Lunch at Michael’s: Ex-CBS News Prez Says Give Katie A Chance

lunch_at_michaels_logo.jpgAs much as we’ve come to enjoy our perch at the bar with its bird’s eye view, we were thrilled when one of our favorite television titans, Andrew Heyward, invited us to join him and his guests for lunch. Today’s lunchtime chronicler, Diane Clehane, chatted with the always affable and extremely insightful former president of CBS News and Bostonian pals Jeffrey F. Rayport, chairman and founder of Marketspace and his wife, investment consultant Hilary Hedge. Andrew, who is currently working with fellow Harvard alum Mr. Rayport as a consultant to Marketspace’s media practice, looked relaxed and happy (love the Zegna suit!) as he weighed in on his former employer’s decision to hire Katie Couric to anchor the evening news. “They are not to be underestimated. They deserve credit for trying new ideas and taking the program in new directions. The reporting is excellent.” His take on Couric: “She’s very talented and has brought a warmth to the broadcast. It takes time to find your voice and it takes time for viewers to find you.” So back off, you naysayers!

Here’s the rundown on the best of the rest:

1. Bruce Wasserstein presiding over a table of imposing-looking gentlemen.

2. Peter Brown and Joan Cooney.

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and New York Social Diary‘s David Patrick Columbia with the lovely Joan Jacobson.

4. Herb Siegal and guest.

5. Producer Irv Winkler and an outdoorsy-looking gent. The hit-maker — whose latest picture, Rocky Balboa, has proven to be a knockout punch at the box office — was collared by Peggy Siegal (who was showing off her pics taken on a recent trip to Africa to all who stopped by) on his way out. The uber publicist was overheard extending an invite to Irv to attend her screening of “The Lives of Others.” Second shift: Former New York City Council president and one-time mayoral candidate Andrew Stein.

6. Our friend Terry Allen Kramer, Margo McNabb and guest.

7. A flack named “BJ,” we’re told …

8. Messieurs Heyward and Rayport, Ms. Hedge and Ms. Clehane.

9. Larry Kaiser.

10. Ms. Siegal and an unidentified female Fox exec.

11. Myrna Gershorn (Freddie’s wife).

12. Herb Allen, Jr.

15. Harper Collins’ David Hirshey and a dark-haired young fellow.

16. Nick Simineck, husband of Terry Allen Kramer (table 6) and guests.

17. Retailing legend Marvin Traub.

18. Henry Schlieff — looking casual but dapper as always in his navy cashmere v-neck. The tireless Mr. S. stopped by Bruce Wasserstein’s table for a round of “hellos” on his way out and then chatted with our table (8) before heading back to work. We’re expecting big things from the Hallmark Channel now that this consummate showman is at the helm.

20. Jack Myers.

22. Bob Sherman.

23. Martin Puris.

24. Last-minute reservations: Jerry Della Femina, Jerry Imber and the gang.

25. Jon Needham.

26. NBC’s Jonathan Wald and guest.

27. Jodi Ringel.

28. The blooming forsythia and pussy willow arrangement blocked our view.

29. Ditto.

30. Mogul in the making Atoosa Rubenstein and an unidentified female guest. The former Seventeen editor’s new sleek look makes her an uncanny doppelganger for the ruthless but compulsively watchable star editor “Lucy Spiller” played with evil glee by Courteney Cox on FX’s new series Dirt. Coincidence? We think not.

In the Garden Room: The stylish trio of Barbara Randall, executive director of Fashion Center BID, Marylou Luther of the International Fashion Syndicate (and Fashion Group International’s inspired creative director) and Gloria Gelfand, president of Gelfand Marketing Solutions.

Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro DOT com & lunch at mediabistro DOT com.