It’s back to school for the cool kids as the usual suspects filed into ‘the cafeteria’ at Michael’s to gear up for what will hopefully be a fruitful fall. Plenty of folks in the dining room had just come from Walter Cronkite’s memorial service. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong, who was hosting a birthday lunch for his great pal Kerry Kennedy on Table One, told me that it was a truly moving event. “It was great to see the high standards of journalism celebrated that way. Walter was truly one of a kind,” said Joe.
Henry Schleiff, who stopped by to check in with me on his way to joining Kerry and Joe, was also celebrating plenty of his own good news. The new president and general manager of Investigation Discovery had just announced earlier today that his former Court TV colleague, Ed Hersh, joined the network as senior vice president of strategic planning. Henry is riding high these days since announcing the October 19 premiere of Paula Zahn ‘s new show, On the Case With Paula Zahn. On top of all that, ID went hi-def today and was recently moved up on the local dial to Channel 23, Court TV’s former home. “Justice was served!” he laughed. “And you can quote on me that!”
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1. The birthday gal Kerry Kennedy with ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong, Henry Schleiff, and a table full of revelers.
2. Showtime’s main man Matt Blank with a casually clad fellow we didn’t get a chance to meet.
3. A very dapper James Nederlanderwith producer Terry Allen Kramer. When we told her we were coveting her red ostrich bag all during lunch, she told us, “Mancini, Beverly Hills. I order everything on line and they send things to me!” Fab!
4. Teddy Forstmann and another formidale looking fellow.
5. Money man Stan Shuman
6. ‘The Imber Gang’: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Michael Kramer and Andy Bergman. I caught Jerry on the way in and asked him what he thought of the current season of Mad Men, since he was one of the industry insiders who sang the praises of the series from the get-go. We both agreed it’s assumed the mantle of The Sopranos and is even taking on the same foreboding tone (A small wonder since series creator Matt Weiner toiled in David Chase’s shadow before breaking out on his own). “I can’t wait to see them bump off one of those ad guys,” joked Jerry. As long as it’s not dapper Don!
8. Literary legends Erica Jong and Ken Follet with two well-dressed pals. Ken was proudly showing off the cover of his new book, Fall of Giants, while Erica took some good-natured ribbing from the foursome about her bestselling torrid tomes. “My mother would have hated your books if she’d read them,” joked one table mate.
11. NBC Universal’s Lauren Zalaznick
12. Warner Brothers’ Ken Werner
14. PR guru Richard Rubenstein with a lovely lady who insisted on leaving her Blackberry at the coat check. “We’ve gotten much too connected!” she told me. Alrighty …
15. Dakota Jackson, whose furniture is to die for!
16. My good pal and former InStyle editor Charla Lawhon (Long time no see!) and Martha Nelson, who’ll celebrate her first anniversary as group editor of Time Inc.’s Style & Entertainment Group next month. Congrats! Charla and Martha were dishing with Claus Preute of Burda Media and his lovely wife. Charla, who has been spending the summer in Oyster Bay, has some interesting things in the works that she hopes to announce this fall. We’re all ears.
17. Steven Stolman with Jack Rogers CEO Denise Johnston. After a foray into fundraising, Steven is back in the fashion biz and will be designing shoes for the iconic brand. Good news to social swans everywhere.
18. Vivi Nevo (a friend of Ron Perelman, so we’re told)
20. A late-arriving Peggy Siegal and scribe Roger Friedman, who’d come from the Cronkite service.
21. Lauren Mandel
23. My friend Christian Leone and pals. Christian is keeping busy these days as Gilt Groupe’s VP of marketing and communications. He stopped by the bar to check in and told me the gang at Gilt Groupe was thrilled that the t-shirt they’d done for Fashion’s Night Out was completely sold out. Like the good fashionista that he is, Christian tells me he’ll be making plenty of stops during tomorrow night’s shopping extravaganza, including one to his former boss Alberta Ferretti.
24. My good pal Nick E. Rubinstein with two stunning gals
27. Debbie Kosofksy with a very stylish mystery redhead
Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.