Lunch: Barry Diller (on a Vespa!), Harvey Weinstein & Judge Judy


Maybe it was because it finally stopped raining for five minutes, but the power-lunchers were out in force today at Michael’s. There was a crowd gathering in the lounge before noon waiting for tables. Of course, most of the regulars breezed in at their appointed hours, making sure they had plenty of time for glad-handing before settling in for some serious dish. Harvey Weinstein and Barry Diller did their fair share of hand shaking before getting down to business at separate tables.

I was lunching today with public relations powerhouse Lisa Linden and Tom O’Brien, president and general manager of WNBC. Tom had plenty to talk about, since these days it seems you can’t go anywhere without an NBC star beaming out from a TV set in a growing number of spots. Look for that to continue, says Tom. With the newscasts on WNBC-TV, the fledgling lifestyle channel New York Nonstop (now in 5 million homes), and Taxi TV (in 5,500 cabs and growing), “We have the ability to get our content out across multiple platforms and reach people at any time of the day,” says Tom. Now the network has gone underground with their latest digital out-of-home effort, NBC in Transit, with video of news and NBC Universal entertainment programming broadcast on PATH trains between NYC and New Jersey. “We’re excited about this new way to reach an audience who isn’t waiting for news. It’s another great way for keeping people informed.” Coming soon: more televisions on the platform in Newark. Stay tuned…

I told Tom I have a particular soft spot for those adorable spots with Jimmy Fallon and that cuddly bear cub that seem to be playing in every taxi I’m in. “He’s doing very well,” reports Tom, who says Conan O’Brien’s new show is set to debut June 1 and there will be an announcement about Jay Leno’s new primetime show in two weeks. We’re all ears…

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. The ‘Imber Gang’: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Michael Kramer and Andy Bergman

2. My new pal Susan Silver, Abby Ellin of The New York Times and Judy Twersky

3. Andrew Stein and a mystery gent…

4. Barry Diller and an unidentified young fellow. Here’s a fun fact: Barry is a mogul on the move. I happened to catch him suiting up for a quick getaway after lunch as he slipped into a windbreaker and donned a helmet and sunglasses before revving up his Vespa and disappearing into midtown traffic.

5. Harvey Weinstein and power publicist David Zaslav

6. Nicki Haskell (Loved the pink suit!) and pals

7. Will Schenck

8. Diane Sokolow

11. Freddie Friedman and Lynn Goldberg

12. The ‘Three Joans’: My good pal Joan Gelman, radio maven Joan Hamburg and Joan Geis

14. I’m glad I was here early today to catch the arrival of Cindy Adams (who was wearing an enormous black, bear-like coat and sky-high red pumps). The ageless gossip-euse announced to all within earshot “I’m starving” as she swept through the door held open by Michael’s always affable general manager, Steve Millington. Cindy brought along her pal Judge Judy Scheindlin, who, it must be said, looked sharp in an impeccably tailored white pantsuit that looked pretty pricey. Who says crime doesn’t pay?

15. Jay Kriegel

16. Hearst’s Jim Deutch

17. Bradley Inman

18. Bruce Wasserstein and his lovely daughter, Pam. A little birdie told me they have these lovely father-daughter lunches weekly. Sweet.

20. Christine Taylor

21. CBS’ David Poltrack

22. Robert Scheinberg, with a very attractive yummy mummy (who was sporting some serious jewelry) and a charming two-year-old who was exceedingly well-behaved throughout lunch. We were very impressed…

23. Ronni Chasen and Mrs. Rockefeller, so we’re told

24. Kyle McLaughlin (No, not the actor)

25. Former Cartier chief Ralph Destino

26. Estee Lauder’s Thia Breen and a serious-looking fellow we didn’t get to meet…

27. WNBC president and general manager Tom O’Brien, Lisa Linden and yours truly

28. Dennis Klejna

29. Christine Mcguiness

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