• Fox News remains in first place in the cable news ratings race. MSNBC is showing modest gains, while CNN is dropping like a lead balloon. [NYT, MM]
• Cablevision says it plans to charge readers to access to Newsday.com. [NYP]
• Hearst is launching an e-reader for magazines and newspapers. [Fortune]
• The Times is launching several local "citizen journalism" sites. [E&P]
• Sony CEO Howard Stringer has pushed aside two senior execs. [WSJ]
• Old Navy's newest ad campaign resembles a celeb tabloid. [Jossip]
• Peter Scarlet has resigned as the Tribeca Film Fest's artistic director. [THR]
• Take a tour of the White House with Katie Couric if you'd like. [YouTube]
• Denver's Rocky Mountain News says goodbye. [RMN]
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.
Whoopi Goldberg served as emcee at the National Board of Review's annual awards ceremony at Cipriani 42nd Street on Wednesday night. Attendees at the Bulgari-sponsored event included Alec Baldwin, Meryl Streep, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber (left), Clint and Dina Eastwood, Ed Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Salma Hayek, Anne Hathaway, Julian Schnabel, Diane Lane and Josh Brolin, Sir Howard Stringer, John Patrick Shanley, Eva Amurri, Tim Robbins, Joy and Regis Philbin, Meredith Vieira, Heather Graham, Amy Adams, Debbie Bancroft, Veronica Webb, Bethenny Frankel, CNN's Alina Cho, Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel, director Danny Boyle, along with a smattering of Bulgaris, including Ilaria, Veronica, Nicola, Natalia, and Beatrice. [PMc, Wireimage, The Daily]
The Tribeca Film Institute hosted a benefit screening for the Quantum of Solace last night, which was followed by an afterparty at Tavern on the Green. Attendees included Daniel Craig, Becki Newton, Chris Diamantopoulos, Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower, Craig Hatkoff and Jane Rosenthal, Julia Stiles, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Jeffrey Wright, Debra Messing, Andre Balazs, Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict, Hoda Kotb, Jill Stuart, John Sykes, Judy McGrath, Howard Stringer, Rob Wiesenthal, Liya Kebede, Stewart Rahr, Molly Sims, and Serena Altschul. [PMc, Wireimage, GoaG]
♦ It was the Metropolitan Opera's 125th opening night on Monday and so naturally a long list of recognizable faces trooped out for the occasion. In floor-length gowns and tuxes to walk the red carpet and watch Renée Fleming: Barbara Walters, Howard Stringer, Michael Bloomberg, Helen Mirren, Christie Brinkley, Faye Dunaway, Molly Sims, Taylor Momsen, Martha Stewart, Hilary and Bryant Gumbel, Henry Kravis, Mercedes Bass, Ann Ziff, Georgina Chapman (left), Helena Christensen, Jane Fonda, John Lithgow, Juliana Margulies, Joy and Regis Philbin, John Turturro, Parker Posey, Peggy Siegal, Ellen and Chuck Scarborough, Deborah Norville, Julie Macklowe, and Tory Burch. [Park Ave Peerage, NYSun, Wireimage, PMc]
It won't be quite as cheery as usual at Herb Allen's annual media mogul retreat, which kicks off today in Sun Valley. This time last year, the credit crisis was but a blip on the radar. Oh, how things have changed over the past twelve months. Without the billions on hand to close big deals, the economic downturn has made life pretty depressing for the master-of-the-universe set. But gather they will— the tennis and hiking must go on, damnit—and aside from the handful of players who were dropped from the invite list on account of their declining influence, all the media big shots are expected. Among those who will be cruising in on their company-owned jets: Rupert Murdoch (along with son Lachlan), Warren Buffett, Viacom chief Philippe Dauman, Les Moonves, Howard Stringer, Edgar Bronfman Jr., Jeff Bewkes and Dick Parsons of Time Warner, NBC's Jeff Zucker, Universal's Ron Meyer, Paramount chief Brad Grey, and Disney's Bob Iger.
Sony's photo-sharing site, ImageStation, is quickly following in its sister music site Connect's footsteps, dancing itself out of business, and is closing in February 2008. Meant to boost use of its Cyber-shot digital camera line, ImageStation failed to compete with the likes of Yahoo's Flickr, and its users are having their albums shuffled off to Shutterfly, one of the few remaining independent photo sites. (Kodak bought Ofoto, and HP, another camera maker, owns Snapfish.) ImageStation's failure is not much of a surprise, considering Sony has proven itself, time and again, incapable of coding its way out of a paper bag. Aside from the videogame business, where it has a thriving in-house development studio building games for its PlayStation consoles, Sony has repeatedly bungled all of its efforts to tie together its gadgets with software and websites. A suggestion to CEO Howard Stringer: Stick to to what we know and love your company for — that is, really swank HDTVs.
OMG! Sony is challenging Apple to a video-download service duel! Howard Stringer, Sony's CEO, has a novel plan to use the PlayStation 3 as a trojan horse into the living rooms of America — supplanting the struggling Apple TV. Please. The only thing shocking about Sony's service is that it took the company this long to sort things out. And that's not particularly shocking, since this is Sony we're talking about — the conglomerate that couldn't coordinate its way out of a paper bag. The surprise is not that Sony has a video-download service in the works — it's that Sony management feels confident enough about the effort to spoon-feed a story to the Wall Street Journal about it. Here's the back story that the Journal didn't bother to provide.
Tina Brown's new talk show, "Topic A with Tina Brown" debuts tonight at 9PM EST on CNBC. Tonight's guests: Barry Diller, Sony Corporation of America chief Howard Stringer, Hollinger Inc. chairman Conrad Black and Queen Noor of Jordan, writer Malcolm Gladwell, and historian Simon Schama. Tina on her absence from the magazine world: "I miss being a journalist as such, being a journalist in the mix of the news. I keep thinking every day of articles that I would assign. And I keep thinking, why isn't anybody assigning Anthony Swofford, the author of 'Jarhead,' to go to Iraq? It seems to me mad. I would have done that instantly."
Tina Brown: I've always put myself in the hot seat [IWantMedia]
Dialogue with Tina Brown [Hollywood Reporter]
Press release: Topic A with Tina Brown [CNBC]
An execution at Sony Music. According to Roger Friedman, Tommy Mottola didn't know what hit him. The Sony Music head arrived Thursday morning at 550 Madison, was told to see Sir Howard Stringer, the charming Brit who runs Sony Entertainment. Mottola was given a couple of hours to clear out his office. Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson, two of Sony Music's biggest stars, were recently forced out of Sony Music; Mottola's handling of their departure was messy.
Mottola Leaves Sony Music [Fox News]