After the last few relatively uneventful Wednesdays, we were thrilled to see the dining buzzing with excitement when we arrived this afternoon. Our favorite Cosmo gal Kate White was celebrating the publication of her latest book, Lethally Blonde, with a ladies lunch at Table One comprised of an intriguing mix of flaxen-haired gals. The festivities spilled out into the main dining room causing quite the hubbub until Steve Millington corralled the crowd and the gals settled down to tuck into their salads. White’s power peroxide set: Kim Cattrall (who was overheard telling a reporter she “hasn’t heard anything new” about a possible Sex And The City movie), Hilary (Mrs. Bryant) Gumbel, Cecile Richards (president of Planned Parenthood and daughter of the late Texas governor, Ann), Linda Fairstein, Sarah Greenberg of Lionsgate Films and Joan Carl, president of D. Porthault (which would explain the lovely little packages at each place setting).
The View‘s Elizabeth Hasselbeck, who looked glowing in her 15th week of pregnancy (“It’s the self-tanner”) told lunchtime chronicler Diane Clehane that she was there because she was “in awe” of Ms. White, adding, “Cosmo and The View have a lot in common. They both cover all the things women really care about. Both have also been subject to others trying to duplicate their successful formulas but they’re both true originals!” Fresh off yet another dust-up on this morning’s show with Rosie O’Donnell, Hasselbeck professed to know nothing about plans to replace her departing co-host. “I never know anything.” But, she admitted, “I’m sure there’s some master plan.” When asked to characterize her contentious relationship with O’Donnell, Hasselbeck gamely replied: “We’re friends. We’re in different places philosophically. When you feel deeply about issues, things get heated. Some times I wish I didn’t care as much as I do.”
Also in attendance: Lesley Stahl (who slipped in after things had settled down) and the one true head-scratcher of the group: Carolyn Kepcher, who, you might recall, served as Donald Trump‘s hatchet woman on The Apprentice until he banished her from the boardroom. We’re guessing Ms. Kepcher enjoyed the news that the once popular reality show was left off NBC’s new fall schedule.
Here’s the rundown on the rest of today’s crowd:
1. Kate White and guests.
2. Peggy Siegal, who seemed bit miffed that reporters and an E! camera crew hovered near her table while waiting their turn to chat with White and the extremely popular Kim Cattrall. Ahem, we seem to recall a few Wednesdays where Ms. Siegal and her PR minions have taken over the joint.
3. Mayor Joe Armstrong, fresh off his trip to London, with old pal president and publisher of Forbes, Jim Berrien. Ever the gentleman, Mr. Mayor introduced us to Jim, who recounted the romantic tale of how he met his wife, Mary Jane, thanks to Joe. Seems back in Rolling Stone‘s heyday, Jim was toiling in sales in New York while Joe running the show out in San Francisco. While on a trip to the Left Coast, Jim was introduced to Mary Jane by Joe and that was that. The happy couple is celebrating their 27th wedding anniversary tomorrow. Congrats! Jim also told us to look for the September launch of Forbes Executive Woman — a “lifestyle book less jock-y” than the other testosterone-fueled Forbes editions, says the publisher).
4. Joel Siegel, Jerry Della Femina, Jerry Imber and the gang.
5. Sony bigwig Martin Bandier and two gents.
6. Peter Brown presiding over a table full of folks who looked familiar but …
7. Ellen Delsner (Ron‘s wife).
8. Jack Myers and Katherine Oliver, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting.
9. Stu Zakim and Jon Auerbach, formerly of the New York Post, now the new editor of Metro newspapers in New York, Boston and Philadelphia.
11.Michael Clinton and, we’re told, Phillip Michael.
12. Jon Knee.
14. Al Roker (who chatted with Hilary Gumbel when she came in) and Gerry Inzerillo.
15. Peter Wolfe.
16. Nick Virbitsky.
17. David Friend.
18. A mystery …
20. Joan Jacobson and a gentleman named Versace (no relation to Donatella …)
21. Quest‘s Chris Meigher.
22. The spring arrangement blocked our view.
24. Martin Puris.
25. We couldn’t see …
26. David Adler.
27. Jim Mitchell.
And we bid a fond farewell to our pal, Dale, who has been vigiliant about keeping our perch at the bar reserved on Wednesdays. We look forward to seeing you back in action come September!
Please send comments and corrections to diane AT mediabistro DOT com & lunch at mediabistro DOT com.