It hasn't been a fun ride for hedge fund manager Phil Falcone since he picked up 20 percent of the New York Times Co. a couple of years ago. He had to face off against the ruling Sulzberger clan for representation on the board of directors and the company's plunging stock price means his investment in the paper is now worth a few hundred million less than it once was. Today, however, he gets his money worth with a Times profile of his beloved bride, Lisa Maria Falcone, who, as the title of the piece informs us, is a "philanthropist with a sense of timing." Indeed!
The High Line celebrated its grand debut with a splashy, Calvin Klein-sponsored party on Monday night. Naturally, Lisa Falcone and her husband, Phil Falcone, were in attendance: The hedge fund founder made a $10 million donation to the elevated park a week or so before it was unveiled to the public. Lisa took a few minutes to address the crowd at Monday night's party, and her speech came off as a bit loopy, according to people who were there.
Hedge fund mogul Phil Falcone hasn't had the easiest stretch as of late. The $500 million he plunked down for a 19 percent stake in the New York Times? The value of his shares have plummeted by nearly two-thirds over the past few months as the paper has struggled to remain solvent. And his recent efforts to dominate the charity circuit haven't worked out as well as he might have liked either. Last week, in what was either a very bold act of generosity or an effort to steal the limelight, Falcone and his wife Lisa announced plans to donate $10 million to the High Line, just days before the railway-turned-park was officially unveiled to the public. Unfortunately for Phil, his sizeable check still didn't entitle him to a front-row spot at the yesterday's official ribbon-cutting ceremony. So Phil did what he had to do to insure his pair of scissors was put to use (and his $10 million didn't go to waste). Evidence of Phil's brash power move below.
The High Line, the elevated railway turned public promenade, opened last night to a select group of donors and supporters. Before the gala kicked off, Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller issued a challenge grant, promising to donate $10 million to the walkway if someone else came along and matched it. Hedge fund mogul Phil Falcone and his wife Lisa delivered, and while it's still unclear when the public park will actually be public—rumor has it that it may just be a matter of days now—in the meantime, venture capitalist Fred Wilson was good enough to bring a camera along to last night's event so we can all get a little peek at what's in store.
Reports surfaced recently that media mogul David Geffen had expressed an interest in buying a piece of the New York Times. As the story goes, Geffen had offered to buy Harbinger Capital Partners' 20 percent stake in the paper; but Harbinger, the hedge fund operated by Phil Falcone, had rejected the overture because it had been hoping for a higher price. Much was made of Geffen's attempt to snag a piece of the esteemed paper, what his true intentions were, and whether the DreamWorks co-founder had been hoping to shape the paper's coverage of Washington and Hollywood. It doesn't matter much now, since the deal doesn't appear to be moving ahead. In the meantime, though, let's all be thankful that Falcone's wife, Lisa, hasn't been making any efforts to influence the Times's fashion coverage. Click on the photo above to see Lisa at the NYCB spring gala the other night in all her glittery glory.
So. Remember how Harbinger Capital Partners is buying and destroying the New York Times and the very institution of journalism itself? Almost 500 of you should! While we've focused mainly on jocular idiot Scott Galloway, the marketing professor Harbinger forced onto the Times' board, we neglected to mention that the founder of Harbinger is a character in his own right. His name is Philip Falcone. He owns a hockey team! He bought Bob Guccione's house! Also: he and his wife donated the legal maximum to the Republican National Committee. His wife, by the way, is an aspiring novelist and Look Book participant. And a former "model" who maybe exposed her fake breasts in respectable Hollywood films. After the jump, embarrassing photos of the men who are destroying journalism and the women who are producing their babies. (NSFW!)