Lunch at Michael’s: On The Morning After The Ellies

ellies2006_huey_michaels.jpgMaybe they were tired by this year’s shift from a soggy lunch to a jazzy evening ceremony, or more likely it was all the after-parties (New York at its unofficial HQ, the Spotted Pig, Rodale at The Hudson, and Time at Otto), but there were no Ellie-winning editors pacing victory laps at Michael’s today. There were a pair of eminences present in the form of Time Inc.’s John Huey and Hearst’s Cathie Black, both of whom had to be pleased by their respective employers’ three Ellies apiece. The real (anti)climax of the day, we’re told, was a simple hello from a father to his son. This being Michael’s, the father and son in question were Charles and James Dolan of Cablevision, Madison Square Garden and the Knicks, and the most surprising thing about Chuck saying hello to Jimmy is the fact they were speaking at all. You may recall that Jimmy and Cablevision’s board once shot down his father’s pet project, to which Chuck responded by firing a good chunk of the board, which led to father and son deciding they’d rather break up the company than work together, although they couldn’t, because feuding family members just kills your stock price.

But they weren’t the only ones at Michael’s today. Here’s the rundown:

Table 1: Dominick Dunne was holding court here again, with whom we were told may have been the daughter of the Duke of Windsor. Whoever she was, she radiated youthful vitality (she couldn’t have been older than 22) across the room. It only makes sense she’s a quasi-royal.

2: Court TV’s Henry Schleiff may have moved on over to the Time Warner Center, but he hasn’t switched his lunchtime loyalties to Cafe Gray yet, if ever. He was here today with a pair of guests.

3. This was in our blind spot today, so we need some help with this one. Who was sitting here?

4. Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black held down the corner this afternoon with an unidentified woman with whom she was in deep conversation. She didn’t look as pleased as she no doubt is with Esquire, which won its first General Excellence award last night nearly ten years after editor David Granger turned it around.


5. Hollywood producer Irwin Winkler (Goodfellas, the Rocky series, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?) was here with Deb Shandler. (?)

6. Scott Green’s table, although his companions were also smack dab in the middle of our blind spot.

7. Full Frontal Fashion’s Judy Licht was here holding down what we’ve come to think of as Michael’s fashion table. Previous weeks it’s been the home away from home for the likes of Andre Leon Talley, Anna Wintour, Isaac Mizrahi, etc. etc.

8. Loews CEO and NYC & Co. chairman Jonathan Tisch was here lunching with Amy Rosenbloom and Today’s Mike Bell.

9. NBC News executive producer/CNBC brainstormer Jonathan Wald was here lunching with ex-Absolute editor and current Rodale brainstormer Andrew Essex.

11. John Huey’s table, and he seemed more much quiet and less excited in person than this morning’s all-caps congratulatory email would suggest. The two wins by Time magazine last night — including its first General Excellence nod in more than 20 years — means that he’ll have to put the phone down for a while after seemingly calling everyone in town about replacing managing editor Jim Kelly.

12. Jimmy Dolan’s table. He was here with Cablevision’s corporate communications chief Charlie Shuler and a third gentleman.

14. Simon & Schuster editorial director Alice Mayhew was here with someone we didn’t recognize.

15. No clue, even though they were seated about three feet away.

16. Radio man Nick Verbitsky with someone we heard referred to as “Chuck.”

17. This could just be a wild guess: Maggie McGill Simms and her friend Frances. Forgive us any misidentification, as there were sitting directly behind a column.

18. Lou Korman, founder of EpiCom Media, a packager of photography books, was seated here with a tablemate.

19. This was our table, we being Greg Lindsay and Dan Shanoff, who writes “The Daily Quickie” column for ESPN.com and is also the host of the Varsity Letters reading series. He was disappointed that HarperCollins’s David Hirshey wasn’t there today, as he’s due to read at the next installment on June 7.

20. Ad Age editor-in-chief Scott Donaton wearing a striped shirt and no jacket (we can get behind that look) sitting across from Hearst’s international guru George Green.

21. Forbes Media vice-chairman Kip Forbes was lunch with Don Welsh at the latter’s usual table today. Word on the street is that Forbes is looking to sell a quarter of itself to raise money for its international efforts. If there’s one thing Don Welsh knows, it’s selling magazines, or at least pieces of them…

22. Worth magazine founder Randy Jones sitting behind us with magazine consultant Tony Hoyt. During a lull in our conversation, Randy could be heard ordering his Cobb Salad loud and clear: “No egg. No avocado.” Right, then.

23. Simon & Schuster CEO Jack Romanos was here with entrepreneur extraordinaire Anna Gannon of ARG Capital Group.

24. No clue.

25. Film producer “Stuart Recant” (we’ve obviously misspelled it somehow.)

26. New Line CFO Steve Abramson hovered just to our left, although his lunch date was obscured by that pesky column.

27. Jim Mitchell, although the significance of his name escapes us at the moment.

In the back, out of sight: Cablevision chairman Charles Dolan and (at a separate table) reality TV star Lisa Gastineau.

Please send any and all correct spellings, additions, and what-have-you to Greg AT mediabistro Dot Com AND FishbowlNY AT mediabistro Dot Com .

Map of Michael’s
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