Lunch at Michael’s: ‘I Left CNN to Have More Fun at CBS!’

lunch_at_michaels_logo.jpgIt was a sea of guys in ties with a few well-dressed media mavens in the mix at 55th & Fifth today. We were thrilled to spot Jeff Greenfield, fresh off the announcement of his move from CNN to CBS. The veteran newsman graciously stopped by the bar to chat with lunchtime chronicler Diane Clehane about his new gig that starts May 1. “I’ll be covering political stuff,” says Greenfield, who claimed not to know his official title. “It’s ‘senior something’ because of my age.” (For the record, it’s senior political correspondent.) Better rest up Jeff, because according to the powers that be at CBS you’ll be contributing on a host of subjects to the Evening News, Early Show, Sunday Morning, CBS Radio and the network’s Web site.

The move, which reunites Greenfield with Rick Kaplan (the two worked together on Nightline) and Paul Friedman (a former World News Tonight colleague) is a homecoming of sorts. The newsman told us he started on CBS Sunday Morning as the show’s media critic in 1979. “I reviewed television and movies and then, in 1980, they asked me if I wanted to do some political stuff,” he says. “That’s how it all started.” On his decision to make the move: “I really liked a lot of the things I did at CNN — especially the things I got to do with Wolf (Blitzer), but in ’07 pre-election coverage, there aren’t enough big stories to do every week. I thought [CBS] would be a place to do more challenging work and it did not escape me that the audience was of a different magnitude. It’s an overused word, but I thought it would be more fun because it will force me to be at the top of my game.”

Here’s the rundown on the rest of crowd:

1. Kimora Lee Simmons‘s Baby Phat pitchman B.J Coleman and guests.

2. David Zinczenko and Condé Nast Traveler‘s public relations director Jon Hammond. The Men’s Health editor and man about town says he’s hard at work nailing down some “really big fish” for the upcoming American Magazine Conference in October. “We’ll be making some announcements in a few weeks,” teases Dave. And we’ll be the first one you call with the scoop, right?


3. MTV’s John Sykes and an unshaven and tieless Dan Abrams. We’ve noticed that MSNBC’s general manager and legal eagle has been sporting his own version of a GQ look during his last few visits to Michael’s. Works for us.

4. Gridiron great Frank Gifford, Herb Siegal and an unidentified gent.

5. Producer Irv Winkler, whose latest smash hit Rocky Balboa is now out on DVD. For those of you who didn’t want to cop to wanting to see it in the theater, now’s your chance.

6. Jeff Greenfield with Jerry Della Femina and plastic surgeon Gerry Imber.

8. New York Social Diary‘s David Patrick Columbia and Adam Zickerman, owner/founder of InForm
Fitness, fitness and nutrition guru and author of the best-selling
Power of 10.

9. Leslie Stevens and Lesley Jane Seymour (in a chic lavender Courrege shift. Very Jackie O!). Last week our longtime pal Ms. Stevens made the scene with two casually-dressed gals who we described as “two unidentified fashionistas.” This week she told us one of her guests was Gigi Levangie Grazer, wife of entertainment mogul Brian and author of The Starter Wife. Leslie reports Gigi was thrilled by our apt description. Glad to hear it. As for Ms. Seymour, we’re intrigued by her new business card that boasts: ‘Lesley Jane Seymour, LLC.’ We loved her recent treatise in the new issue of More on her dilemma over what to do with her closet full of couture now that she’s former fashion magazine editor turned “suburban mom.” Something tells us she’ll get a lot more use out of those Chanel blouses and Dolce & Gabbana jackets yet …

11. Larry Kaiser.

12. Today‘s Marc Victor and Us Weekly editrix Janice Min.

14. CBS spinmeister Gil Schwartz and USA Today‘s Peter Johnson no doubt talking about fellow diner Mr. Greenfield’s arrival at the Tiffany network …

15. NBC’s Jonathan Wald.

16. Publishing guru Tony Hoyt with Mary and Patrick Murphy.

17. Myrna Blythe.

18. Jean Doumanian and Diane Sokolov.

19. We couldn’t see …

20. What were Tina Brown and Jeffrey Leeds, President of Leeds Equity Partners, talking about? [Editor’s Note: A tipster tells us they are friends.]

21. Peter Arnold.

22. Civilians.

23. Herb Allen, Jr.

24. Someone named “James,” we’re told, who also works for Kimora Simmons.

25. The gorgeous cherry blossoms blocked our view.

26. Ditto.

27. Lisa Caputo, president & CEO of Citigroup’s Women & Company. The marketing maven is to be feted at the upcoming Matrix Awards with such luminaries as Joan Didion, Meredith Vieira, Susan Lyne, Arianne Huffington, Thelma Golden, Pamela Fiori and Cindy Adams. Caputo’s former boss, a little known senator from New York, is slated to present her award. Perhaps you’ve heard of her.

28. Micky Atea.

29. Public relations princess Elizabeth Harrison.

Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro DOT com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.

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