Lunch at Michael’s: Bob Schieffer’s Exit Interview, the HarperCollins Boys and More

Michael’s, believe it or not, isn’t solely a media macher canteen, and today was proof of that. There were Tony winners in the window table, a six-time Emmy winner sitting next to them, and various writers, editors, socialites and fashionistos scattered throughout the place. (And sure, the place had its fair share of M&A types.) Here’s the roll call:

Table 1: Former Musical Theater International CEO Freddie Gershon presided over a table full of Broadway vets. Gershon, we were told, helped bring Grease to the stage and played a role in the rise of the BeeGees. (Some people might not qualify those as accomplishments, per se, but still). One of his lunchmates was screenwriter Gary Ross, who wrote the screenplay for Seabiscuit, among other films, and among the others at the table were Tony winners and a past president of the Drama Desk Awards.

2: The Los Angeles Times’ TV beat writer Matea Gold chatting with, and presumably interviewing CBS’ outgoing favorite uncle, Bob Schieffer.

3. Today’s head-scratchingly odd couple: the ultra-elegant Terry Allen Kramer (Broadway producer, socialite, and Allen & Co. heiress) with Beth Ostrosky, who’s best known as Howard Stern’s girlfriend and for that FHM cover a while back. [Update: Apparently it’s a Hamptons real estate thing — Stern & Ostrosky are renting Kramer’s $35 million house for the season. That would make strange bedfellows of anyone.]

4. Couturier Arnold Scassi and his longtime companion, Parker Ladd were at the corner table with an unidentified woman who could have been a doppleganger for younger, more innocent Bonnie Fuller.

5. Stanley Shuman, the head of Allen & Co.’s media practice (and Rupert Murdoch’s personal banker) was here along the wall with someone we couldn’t spot. His very presence set off the spider-sense of our lunchmate, Reuters media beat-er Kenneth Li, who will be packing himself off to Sun Valley just after the holiday for Allen & Co.’s annual media mogul confab. It’s the vacation equivalent of lunch at Michael’s — except that Ken practically has to hide in the bushes rather than dine at the bar.

6. The HarperCollins crew — David Hirshey, Marion Maneker, and Collins president Joe Tessitore — toasting their fourth tablemater, serial bullshitter Gil Schwartz, and his overwhelmingly successful effort to have his latest book (as Stanley Bing, of course) excerpted in every magazine whose readers are mocked in its pages. Meanwhile, Hirshey’s ascension to the rabbi of American soccer has continued with his World Cup columns on Deadspin. Right-wingers take note: he’s cheering for France.


7. Barry Wishnow, a former exec at Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, and Joseph Abboud, sat here. We knew he was in the fashion business when we spied the open buttons on the sleeve of his seersucker jacket (a surefire sign of top quality — that, and the fact that he wants us to know it).

8. The eternally present David Patrick Columbia, lunching today with Manhattan real estate doyenne Alice Mason.

9. Marianne Diorio, SVP of global communications for Estee Lauder, and … we couldn’t spot who else. [Update: She was with Marc Rowan of Apollo Advisors, we’ve since heard.]

11. We could see the head of literary archpublicist Lynn Goldberg peeking out from behind the wall from our perch at the bar, but not her companion, unfortunately. [Update: we’ve since heard her invisible lunch date was Elizabeth Finkle.]

12. Ralph Lauren’s top pair of publicists, Nancy Murray (Ms. Inside) and Jim Abernathy of Abernathy MacGregor Group (Mr. Outside).

14. Simon & Schuster editorial director Alice Mayhew and a guest.

15. We could make out regular Gerry Byrne from across the room, but not who he was lunching with.

Unfortunately, we were pinned down on the inside corner of the bar today, which made for a great spot to intercept Gil Schwartz on his way back from the men’s room, but didn’t work out so well for regular-spotting in the back half of the dining room. There are a lot of single names from here on out. Sound off to greg AT mediabistro DOT com if you were back there somewhere today.

16. Dan Sheffey.

17. Former Ladies Home Journal editor and media avenger Myrna Blyth, who should have had her own cottage industry hating on Katie Couric by now. (Of course, maybe she does, and we just don’t read the New York Sun.)

18. Film producer Stanley Jaffe and, if we heard correctly, one Steven Swig. And if it’s the Steven Swig we’re thinking of, he would be the San Francisco-based attorney who’s also a fan of elephant polo. But that can’t be right, can it?

19. PR honchette Judy Agism

20. Ruth Kauders Rothschild, the beauty and fashion director of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food

21. Jon Needham.

22. Lynn White, of the WB11 Morning News.

23. A very Sirius table, with Sirius Satellite Radion VP of marketing Martin Lee and company consultant Walter Sabo.

24. Socialite L. Marilyn Crawford

25. Tom Goodman.

26. Cartier executive Marianne… something. Our lack of aptitude when it comes to speaking and spelling French finally comes back to haunt us.

27. No clue. [Update: This table hosted a trio consisting of PR exec Jim Brodsky, “society schmatte creator” (in the words of our tipster) Steven Stolman, and socialite Gillian Miniter.]

Laurel: For the “no clue” table 27: pr exec Jim Brodsky, society schmatte
creator Steven Stolman and socialite Gillian Miniter.

28. Ditto.

29. Former Saks PR chief Jackie Lividini.

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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