You Know You Want to Read It:New York Takes on Judith Regan

By Neal Comment

nymag-regan-cover.jpgAs the Daily News hinted yesterday, New York staffer Vanessa Grigoriadis reports on how the Judith Regan firing went down, and it’s a doozy of a story, especially in the way she lays out the dynamics of Regan’s relationship with the rest of HarperCollins, including CEO Jane Friedman, and its parent company News Corp. But, of course, you want to hear about how Regan staffers in LA were called into a meeting room to be told about her firing, only to discover she was still eating lunch at her desk. Or about the speculation that Friedman may have jumped the gun on cutting her loose. And, let’s face it, you kinda want to know what O.J. Simpson had to say for himself during that interview. (There’s also the story which many will describe as the time Regan nearly seduced the young Grigoriadis over to the dark side of the force, but since you’d never heard about that, you couldn’t really anticipate it.)

moynihan-regan.jpgGrigoriadis doesn’t get Regan to talk yet, but she does speak with some of the former publisher’s authors, like Maura Moynihan (seen at right with Regan) and raw-food advocate Natalia Rose. But my favorite detail is actually one that’s ancillary to the Regan saga:

“There were two secret books at HarperCollins in 2006, and we asked, ‘Are they worth it?'” says a HarperCollins editor. “Jane said that one of them was not that big a deal, but the book with Judith was going to be huge.”

I imagine all those bookstore owners who got suckered into blind-ordering the second memoir from Princess Di’s butler last fall are gritting their teeth just a little harder after reading that.