Gossip Girl's Blake Lively turns 22 today. Rachael Ray is turning 41. Regis Philbin is 78. Rachel Bilson is turning 28. Supermodel Claudia Schiffer turns 39. Sean Connery is turning 79. Director Tim Burton is 51. Rock star-turned-reality TV character Gene Simmons is 60. Actor Blair Underwood is turning 45. Theater producer Marc Routh turns 47. Disgraced media mogul Conrad Black will celebrate his 65th birthday behind bars today. And country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, who may be better known these days as the father of Miley Cyrus, is turning 48.
• All is not well at ABC. The hoped-for comeback of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? didn't happen and ratings have been so low, the network is now occasionally falling behind Univision. Yes, Univision. [NYT, B&C]
• The owners of Uptown magazine are in talks to acquire Vibe, which shut down in June. What they plan to do with it is anybody's guess. [AdAge]
• Tina Brown's Daily Beast is on the move: She's planning to launch a U.K. version of the Barry Diller-funded website within months. [Telegraph]
• Not every magazine in America is struggling, apparently! [Newsweek]
• Is MTV planning to leave Times Square? Quite possibly. [NYP]
• Monthly mags continue to suffer: Ad pages have dropped by 23 percent on average, although the situation is particularly dire at Condé Nast. [NYP]
• Maureen Dowd landed in a bit of hot water after it was revealed she'd "borrowed" from blogger Josh Marshall for her op-ed column yesterday. She's since offered a (dubious) explanation and apology. [E&P, HP, Politico]
• Television networks start selling ads for the fall season today as part of upfront week, although the economy is putting a damper on things. [NYT]
• Despite few successes and many failures, NBC golden boy Ben Silverman still has a job. For how much longer, though, is anybody's guess. [NYT]
• Angels & Demons was No. 1 at the box office with a $48 million haul. [WSJ]
• If you can't find Newsweek on newsstands, that may be because the magazine has totally redesigned itself. [Newsweek, WaPo, HuffPo]
Fallen former newspaper mogul Conrad Black—Baron Black of Crossharbour, to you—is currently serving out a 78 month sentence in a Florida prison for fraud and obstruction of justice, related to his looting of his own company's funds for his personal use. Or so the government claims. The martyred Lord used to write editorials decrying the injustice of his convictions in the New York Sun, but they folded. Now he's writing the same damn thing in the Times of London. And the man who was once the world's third-biggest newspaper magnate sounds like the second coming of Eldridge Cleaver:
Canadian British Lord and newspaper magnate and stupid criminal Conrad Black is currently serving 78 months in federal prison for mail fraud and obstruction of justice. Black was an old friend of William F. Buckley and Henry Kissinger (before they stabbed him in his wrongfully convicted back) so obviously he's in with the right crowd. This is why he seems to think he's going to get a pardon! And he'd like his old newspaper company to maybe pay for it.
When the New York Sun launched, some wags at the New York Post hung up an office pool in the middle of the newsroom predicting the date the upstart new daily would fold. No one gave the Sun more than two years. Joke's on you, New York Post! The Sun remained unprofitable and unread for six years until the investors had enough and threatened to pull the plug! Now the niche Zionist-conservative daily will fold at the end of the month unless it finds new backers, and Rupert Murdoch—who saved the populist-conservative Post 15 years ago—will probably not step in. Did you know the paper was doomed from the start by wealthy Canadian criminal idiot Conrad Black? The paper's founder, Seth Lipsky, wanted the paper to be a six-page, small-circulation broadsheet. But original backer Conrad had other plans!
Rachael Ray celebrates the big 4-0 today, just a week after she earned the top spot on Forbes' list of the richest celebrity chefs. Others blowing out candles today: Regis Philbin is 77, Gossip Girl's Blake Lively is 21, Rachel Bilson is 27, and Kiss' Gene Simmons is 59. Actor Blair Underwood is turning 44. Country singer Billy Ray Cyrus is 47. Disgraced media mogul Conrad Black is 64. Theater producer Marc Routh is 46 today. Director Tim Burton is celebrating his 50th. Sean Connery is turning 78. And supermodel Claudia Schiffer is 38.
Newspaper magnate, British Lord, former Canadian and convicted criminal Conrad Black, Baron Black of Crossharbour, reports today to Coleman Federal Prison in Florida to serve his 78 months for mail fraud and obstruction of justice. He wrote a lengthy, self-pitying column to the New York Sun, formerly one of his holdings, to announce that he quite loves American justice, even though he was wrongfully convicted and all that. Amusingly, Black would be serving time in a much nicer Canadian prison if it weren't for the fact that he renounced his citizenship to get that title. But he's not bitter! Not at all! Do these sound like the words of a bitter man?
Someone should probably sit down with Conrad Black and tell him that he's actually like, for reals, seriously going to jail in 30 days. Do not pass go. Do not collect a damn thing. The onetime newspaper baron and current felon has been denied bail while he appeals his conviction in the mail fraud case that last month earned him 6 1/2 years in prison. [NYP]