Lunch at Michael’s: Gay Talese, John Huey and The Guys

lunch_at_michaels_logo.jpgThe scene at 55th and Fifth resembled something of a men’s club today where the power suits — and ties — ruled. Media machers including Time Inc.’s editor-in-chief John Huey, ad man Jerry Della Femina and the sartorially splendid Gay Talese (who got our attention when he removed his coat and fedora to reveal an eye-catching rust velvet blazer, coordinating vest and yellow tie) broke bread with their equally powerful pals in a dining room. It should be noted, though, that Mr. Huey evened things out a bit by lunching with power gals Martha Nelson of The People Group and “People’s” style director Susan Kaufman. Hope to see more of our favorite gals (Barbara and Diane, where are you?) next week.

We’re were thrilled by how chatty the crowd was today. We made the acquaintance of tech scribe Tucker Hall, who was seated a few stools down from us at the bar, when we overheard him telling a pal that “There’s some blog on mediabistro that writes about the lunch crowd.” His lunch date, Harper Collins editor Peter Hubbard, made our day when he told us that “Lunch” is a must-read around the office. Thanks guys!!

Here’s who we spotted today:

1. Super spin meister Stu Zakim and a host of media movers and shakers who must have had a lot to talk about between bites of their burgers and fries including Business Week‘s Jon Fine (who happens to be the husband of our founder and CEO Laurel Touby),’s Jeff Bercovici, ABC’s Jeffrey Schneider and Patrick Reilly of SIRIUS.

2. Mr. Huey with Ms. Nelson and Ms. Kaufman, who said she was dazzled by divorcee’s Reese Witherspoon‘s (she’s recently spilt from hubby Ryan Phillippe) startlingly young, hip appearance on the red carpet at the Golden Globes. We agree!

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong — fresh off jury duty — with publishing legend Gay Talese and Newsweek‘s new number two man, Dan Klaidman. The newly minted managing editor comes from the magazine’s Washington, D.C. bureau.

4. Peter Brown & guest.

5. Designer Arnold Scassi, Parker Ladd and an unidentified friend.

6. Debbie Fine and Estee Lauder’s vice president of global communications, Sally Susman.

7. Ed Adler.

8. New York Social Diary’s David Patrick Columbia and Alice Mason.

11. Gerry Byrne and guests.

12. Jerry Della Femina (we’re pals with his tireless wife, Judy Licht, whose series on NYC TV Behind The Label is appointment television. We can’t get enough of her fabulously chatty interviews with fashion designers like Vera Wang and Donna Karan), Dr. Jerry Imber and ABC’s Joel Siegel. Today’s lunchtime chronicler, Diane Clehane, chatted with one of our favorite film critic about next week’s Academy Awards announcement. (Mark your calendar, the big news comes on the 23rd.) He told Diane that he expects Dreamgirls and The Queen to garner the most nods and says that despite Babel‘s recent Best Picture (Drama) win at the Golden Globes, it won’t make a strong Oscar showing. When asked who or what he was rooting for, the circumspect Mr. Siegel demurred saying, “It’s not fair to have favorites.”

14. Atoosa Rubenstein in animated discussion with PR guru Steve Rubenstein.

15. Hallmark prexy Henry Schleiff and his newish vice president of corporate communications Jennifer Geisser (the dynamic duo last worked together at Court TV) lunching with Broadcasting & Cable‘s Mark Robicheaux. Jen was kind enough to tell us Kate McEnroe (who, a few years ago helmed WE in its previous incarnation as Women’s Entertainment, and before that, AMC) was also in the dining room. We’re happy to hear Kate has landed at Lion’s Gate. Let us know how you’re doing!!

16. Jim Higgons, Charlie Palmer and friend, we’re told.

17. Author Pamela Keogh.

18. Iconic photog Harry Benson and Tiffany’s Jon Loring.

19. We couldn’t see …

20. Today show contributor Bill Stanton looking imposing in his chic dark shades and The New York Daily News‘ gossip guru George Rush. If you’ve got some great “Today” show dish, Bill, we’re all ears ….

21. Steve Greenberg.

23. Don Epstein and writer extraordinaire P.J. O’Rourke.

24. Fashion maven Jacqui Lividini.

26. CBS News producer Susan Zirinsky — we’re such fans of her show, 48 Hours Mystery. It scares us to death, but it’s positively addictive!!

27. NBC’s Jonathan Wald & guests.

28. Scott Singer with the aforementioned Kate McEnroe.

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