• Another magazine has gone under: Hachette announced today that it's closing Metropolitan Home to "focus its resources" on Elle Décor. [AdAge]
• New York's profile of star Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin reveals he's one of the paper's highest-paid staffers and is beloved by the titans of Wall Street, but is not quite as popular with some of his Times colleagues. [NYM]
• Circulation is down—and losses are up—at the New York Post. [NYT]
• GE and Comcast have agreed on a valuation for NBC, which brings the parties one step closer to handing over control of the network to Comcast. [Reuters]
• Condé Nast may be trimming expenses and cutting jobs here at home, but the mag giant is busy expanding its presence in China. [NYP]
• Curb Your Enthusiasm is coming to basic cable. TV Land and TV Guide have picked up reruns of the show and will begin airing them next year. [LAT]
• Google has acquired the mobile ad company AdMob for $750 million. [NYT]
• Last night's Mad Men scored AMC its highest-rated finale ever, although considering it's AMC we're talking about, that isn't saying much. [B&C]
• A Christmas Carol was No. 1 at the weekend box office, although its $31 million gross was weak given it cost $200 million to produce. Meanwhile, Precious' $1.8 million take on 18 screens set a limited-release record. [LAT]
• Condé Nast is now swinging into damage control mode: It's retained Michael Sheehan, a "crisis manager and media coach" who's faced some steep PR challenges in the past having worked with President Clinton and AIG. [NYP]
• So is Oprah moving to cable? The discussions continue, reportedly. [AdAge]
• Kyle Pope doesn't seem to have been Jared Kushner's first choice to serve as editor-in-chief of the New York Observer. Times star business reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin turned Kushner down twice over the past year. [NYM]
• More than 100 people were laid off at Lifetime and A&E today. [Variety]
• Philip Gourevitch is stepping down as editor of The Paris Review. [NYO]
• Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes discusses the future of the media biz. [TDB]
• MTV did not rebuild the Berlin Wall for U2, in case you were worried. [UPI]
• Nell Scovell, a writer on Dave Letterman's show in the late '80s, has stepped forward to detail the show's "hostile, sexually charged atmosphere." [VF]
• Layoffs: Yesterday's cuts at Forbes claimed 30-40 people; reality TV-focused Teen Vogue laid off half a dozen staffers today; the cuts continue this week at W; and a big round of cuts could go down at Time Inc. sometime next week.
• Sarah Palin's memoir, which comes out next month, had already earned her $1.25 million even before she stepped down as Alaska's governor. [AP]
• Michael Jackson's This Is It debuts in theaters tonight. [NYDN]
• How's Jay Leno's new show doing more than a month in? Not so good. [NYT]
Mr. Heidi Klum (or Seal, if you prefer) turns 46 today. General Electric chief Jeff Immelt is 53. Jonathan Lethem is turning 45. Sony CEO Howard Stringer is turning 67. New York Times finance reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin is 32. New York art critic Jerry Saltz is 58. Carolyn Maloney is turning 61. Hearst's Ellen Levine is turning 66. Novelist Siri Hustvedt is 54. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is 50. Architect Peter Pennoyer is 52. Naked Angels artistic director Jenny Gersten is 40. Politico Norman Adler is turning 67. Phish drummer Jon Fishman is turning 44. Benicio Del Toro is 42. Justine Bateman is 43. Jeff Daniels is 54. Smokey Robinson is 69. And Haylie Duff celebrates her 24th today.
That was fast. Four of the business writers said last week to be hunting for Wall Street crisis book deals have found publishers — the same publisher. Penguin Group swears it wasn't bumbling when it hired the authors in rapid succession, at a cost of more than $2 million, to basically compete with one other. What does Penguin look like, some kind of investment bank? "I would rather be publishing all three of the best books on the economic crisis than to be competing against any one of them," Penguin's president told the Observer. OK, but who's going to buy these tomes?
What does it take to get American editorial pages honest-to-God riled up about something? In addition to the expected criticism from the left, Hank Paulson's $700 billion bank bailout has been savaged by no less a conservative than Newt Gingrich, who wrote, "we’re using the taxpayers’ money to hire people to save their friends with even more taxpayer money." Among the more strenuous Congressional opponents is the Republican senator from Alabama who chairs the Senate banking committee and said he worries the bailout "is neither workable nor comprehensive despite its enormous price tag." The Monday plunge in the dollar and U.S. stocks was widely seen as rendering judgement on the cost and effectiveness of the plan, unveiled over the weekend. And yet, save for some quibbling about oversight, the Times' Tuesday editorial on the matter treats the bailout as a given:
CNBC is usually sort of like commercial hip-hop for really nerdy people: even if you are totally broke, it is still kind of fun to get in on the giddy clubby lingo of the wealth creating classes, babbling incomprehensibly about the ETFs and munis and benchmark outperformers financing the ice and Benzes and G4 jets of middle-aged white guys and throwing massive tantrums directed at any haters standing in wealth's way. Well okay but not today! It is a decidedly toned-down day on CNBC, because as the Times's Andrew Ross Sorkin already told you no one got any sleep last night and everyone besides Erin Burnett looks like death. But don't let that put you off! As the CIA can vouch, sleep deprivation is like truth serum for some people!And this morning it was worth watching the money network for rare footage of the laissez fairest of all making such uncharacteristic proclamations as: financial stocks shouldn't trade higher than six or seven times earnings, Alan Greenspan was a fuckup, no one has any clue what the hell is going to happen and the whole thing was the inevitable result of a trillion ton stockpile of hubris. Rare real (and real tired) talk from Bush's old plutocrat tax slasher Larry Lindsey, former Salomon Brothers chief and Liar's Poker excessophile John Gutfreund and market-friendly finance journalists like CNBC's David Faber and the Times's Andrew Ross Sorkin when you click the video. Oh also some people wanted to blame CNBC for Bear Stearns' implosion but it is clear from their coverage today that CNBC would never do such a thing on purpose.