Vanity Fair's "New Establishment" list, an "annual ranking of the top 100 Information Age powers," appears on the web this time around, not in the actual magazine as in previous years. [Update: An abbreviated version appears in the October issue; the full list is online.] And while there are a few surprises to be had—Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who's been reviled in the press in recent weeks, takes the top spot—it once again gives Vanity Fair editor /part-time restaurateur Graydon Carter an opportunity to do what he does so well: insure that his close, personal friends get their moment in the sun!
Take, for example, Tom Freston, who was ousted as CEO of Viacom three years ago. (Has it been that long? Time flies, doesn't it?) Freston has yet to score another big media job since Viacom honcho Sumner Redstone kicked him to the curb—not that he needs a job what with the golden parachute he received—and yet he still manages to come in at No. 57 on the list. What has Freston been up to recently to justify his inclusion? When he hasn't been consulting on the doomed cable network that Oprah has been launching since the beginning of the century—or relaxing with his wife Kathy, who coincidentally made Vanity Fair's "International Best-Dressed List" last month—he's been traveling the world and writing up his impressions for Vanity Fair.
And while the most newsworthy thing that Carter's good pal, Ron Perelman, has done over the past year has been to open the Blue Parrot, "a taco-and-margarita joint in East Hampton, he still clocks in at No. 33 on the list.
Not that there aren't some useful nuggets of info along the way. Vanity Fair was kind enough to mention in Perelman's entry that he recently took possession of his new yacht, the C2. We were wondering about that boat! In January, we reported that the billionaire financier had put his old boat, the Ultima III, up for sale for $67 million. At the time, we naively assumed this was due to some cost-cutting on Perelman's part. But a "source close to Perelman" quickly made it clear that he was simply upgrading to a larger ship. And that it is!
Whereas the Ultima III was a modest 190 feet, the C2 (which is pronounced C-Square) is a far more impressive 257-feet-long vessel. Perelman has been using it a good deal this summer. Back in May, it was anchored off Antibes during the Cannes Film Festival. In early August, it was spotted off the coast of Sicily.
Come December, you'll find Graydon, himself, standing on the deck. Because if this winter vacation is anything like years past, after Carter has jetted down to St. Barth's aboard Perelman's Gulfstream, he'll spend New Year's Eve aboard Perelman's yacht for his annual New Year's party, which turns into a birthday party when the clock strikes midnight. (Perelman was born on New Year's Day.) Well worth an entry on the list of 100, wouldn't you agree?