Cityfile, The Who's Who Of New York

Ah, this is going to be fun. Remy Stern's Cityfile-a who's who of New York media, finance and politics-is finally live. The online directory's more-than-2,000 profiles, written by an-in-house team of researchers, show up the user-generated approach of Wikipedia which was supposed to sweep all before it.

Some of the personal details exposed by Cityfile's detectives are merely embarrassing, such as my own middle name, Guido. The detail on people's homes, including actual addresses and the purchase price of condos, will be controversial: there has been an unspoken pact between celebrities and reporters that even publicly available information is fudged to confuse stalkers, who will now know to wait outside 285 Lafayette Street for David Bowie and Janice Min, for instance. But most importantly, Cityfile's profiles on media and other personalities will help provide the backstory for otherwise shallow online media converage.

New York figures such as Anna Wintour (who just celebrated the 20th anniversary of her ascension to the helm of Vogue) so predate the twentysomethings that cover the city that their messy and illuminating histories are ignored. For today's short-attention-span media, without the benefit of grizzled colleagues, this new site may represent something of an institutional memory.

Accordingly, Cityfile will be providing background information capsules on people in the news for Gawker. As a taste, here's one little item on Roger Ailes, head of Fox News, who's in the news again today after David Carr's exposé on his press tactics. Ailes, notes Cityfile, is the only News Corporation executive apart from Rupert Murdoch entitled to company-paid "security services." He needs all the protection that the media conglomerate can buy.