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New York Times media columnist Ben Smith recently took a trip “out East” (aka the Hamptons) to find out how high-profile media executives and talent have been living, while their underlings have been toiling away in more modest digs usually within the five boroughs of New York City.
In his newest column, Smith writes, “most media executives extremely cautious once they learned what I was writing about. ‘Now there’s an IQ test,’ said another prominent Hamptons media figure. “I’d have to be insane to let you quote me.'”
According to Smith, WarnerMedia News and Sports chairman and CNN president Jeff Zucker is in East Hampton, “where he is among the caddy-less golfers” at the posh East Hampton Golf Club that Smith brings up earlier in the piece. His longtime friend, Discovery chief executive David Zaslav, is there as well.
MSNBC president Phil Griffin is reportedly in Hampton Bays. Fox News chief executive officer Suzanne Scott “is still going into the Sixth Avenue office.” At Condé Nast, CEO Roger Lynch appears to be far away from the turmoil at his company. He is in Lake Arrowhead, outside Los Angeles; artistic director Anna Wintour is weathering the crisis at Mastic, just west of the Hamptons. Troy Young, president of Hearst Magazines, is on Shelter Island. A.G. Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times, is in the Hudson Valley; executive editor Dean Baquet has remained in his Greenwich Village apartment.
How about on-air cable TV news talent? Many of them are outside of the city, though you wouldn’t necessarily know it by looking at their green screen backdrops each day. According to Smith, Sean Hannity has been working from the North Shore of Long Island since before the crisis, and Tucker Carlson’s show is produced near his homes in Florida and Maine. Chris Cuomo made his Hamptons basement famous. Don Lemon, who has been living in Sag Harbor, is commuting most nights to CNN’s studio in Hudson Yards. Chris Hayes went up to the Hudson Valley, and Rachel Maddow is in Western Massachusetts.