David Bowie turns 63 today. Fashion designer Carolina Herrera is turning 71. Everyone's favorite British theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking, is 68. Robert Kelly (or R. Kelly to you and me) is turning 43. Sean Paul is 37. Baseball players Jason Giambi and Carl Pavano are 39 and 34, respectively. Actress Sarah Polley is 31. Wolfgang Puck is turning 61. DJ Clue is 35. Susan Berresford turns 67. Composer David Lang is 53. And legendary game show host Bob Eubanks turns 72 today. A few weekend birthdays are below.
Model Maggie Rizer is turning 31 today. Dave Matthews is turning 42. Times book critic Michiko Kakutani is 54. Hot 97 host Angie Martinez is 37. Internet tycoon Lockhart Steele is 35. Indie film honcho Michael Barker is turning 55. Earl Graves, the founder of Black Enterprise, is turning 74. Author Judith Krantz is 81. Singer Joan Baez is 68. And Kate Middleton, who stands to become a princess if Prince William ever pops the question, turns 27 today. Weekend birthdays—including that of Jared Kushner—after the jump!
Last year the SEC and New York attorney general's office opened investigations related to a novel business: a company that hired as "consultants" moonlighting workers with access to proprietary information of interest to hedge funds. Ethical questions will also be asked about the network of insider media consultants Dan Abrams has assembled after Rachel Maddow took the Elle Macpherson-dater's MSNBC slot. With advisors like former Us Weekly editor Bonnie Fuller, ex-Huffington Post writer Rachel Sklar and Lockhart Steele, once of Gawker Media, Abrams Research is meant to be simply a "mock jury of bloggers, TV personalities and newspaper or magazine editors," the Wall Street Journal reports. But it could get so much more thorny than that.
The death of Radar is just one more reminder of the incessant economic crisis that is destroying jobs for hardworking members of the media (and, you know, everyone else). But there may be an upside! Way back on September 16, when The Panic of '08 was just getting started, Curbed founder and real estate blog generalissimo Lockhart Steele made this prediction to Guest of a Guest: "You will know when we have hit the bottom of this financial crisis the very day when Radar Magazine goes out of business. And you can quote me on that!” So things should be looking up!:
The other night, Lockhart Steele, the ex-Gawker Media guy with the porn-star name, threw a lovely, cliquey little party in SoMa. Steele ditched the usual startup-founder blowhards for a pack of writers and editors — I had a national newspaper assignment before my first club soda. But things turned ugly when Wired covergirl Julia Allison traipsed in around 11 p.m. Instead of cheering her, partygoers whom I'd mistaken for grownups just minutes before took turns sniping about Allison behind her back: She's jumped the shark. She's not that pretty. Just look at her arm fat! Bonus hater points to the guy who mimicked Allison's trademark hand-on-hip pose — just out of her view.
Pictured here, New York's Adam Moss, host of the Oscars party the magazine threw at the Spotted Pig, before ab-obsessed Dave Zinczenko unbuttoned his shirt. Moss, who used to run New York Times' Sunday magazine, is one of the most high-minded of modern editors. Which makes the magazine's web triumph last week all the more disturbing. New York claims 20m pageviews per day for the arty nudes it ran of drunken starlet, Lindsay Lohan. (Yes, jealous.) Moss says the traffic is "addictive". He's joking, for the moment. But wait. (In this week's New York sex diaries, an S&M-loving comedian.) After the jump, lovingly photographed by Gawker's Nikola Tamindzic: Emily Gould; Julia Allison; Alan Cumming and other British luvvies' media gays displaying affection; "Smash" from Friday Night Lights; Marlo's enforcer from cult HBO show, The Wire; and Jews eating piglet.
These days, a startup raising $1.5 million hardly seems noteworthy, so I was inclined to dismiss the news that Curbed Network, a New York-based blog franchise, had brought in that modest amount. This despite the fact that Lockhart Steele, Curbed's cofounder, is a friend and helped recruit me to Valleywag when he worked at Gawker Media, and Nick Denton, Valleywag's owner, is one of the investors in this round. No, I was more intrigued by the name of another investor: Zach Nelson, the Larry Ellison protégé who's CEO of NetSuite, the Web-based software company which has filed to go public. How could these two have possibly connected? A quick reading of the social graph revealed only one candidate: Brooke Hammerling, the hyperconnected founder of Brew PR and Valleywag's original Snacky Flack. The coast-swapping Hammerling says her career as a yentapreneur began when she invited Steele, a baseball fan, to an Oakland A's event hosted by Nelson. Hope you got a cut, Brooke.
What follows is like aversion therapy for those who might want to go to the Hamptons. On Saturday night in Amagansett, as Jessica Coen reported today at New York mag, the sundry foodie blogging glitterati gathered for a burger cook-off. Coen was there to support her man Lockhart Steele, our (and her!) former boss at this very website. She looks really happy. That "typical summer share house" was Eater honcho Ben Leventhal's, and it is called "Southfork." Julia Allison was there too! She was cozying up with College Humor's Jakob Lodwick. Later they would have a huge knock-down drag-out fight but then go on to make up. Former Glamour blogger and Gawker enemy Alyssa Shelasky was munching on Doritos poolside, as was weirdly attractive photographer Jessica Craig-Martin. Hampton's Style editor Deb Schoeneman was there, as was College Humor millionaire and (coincidence!) Hampton's Style Contributing Editor Ricky Van Veen. His pictures can be found here; the one above is the only one of Julia Allison topless, just to save you time searching.
Danyelle Freeman, food blogger Restaurant Girl, has been tapped to become the New York Daily News' next food critic. As many an Eater commenter has remarked, the only problem is that Freeman—an alumna of both Harvard and Duke, as she notes on her website—can't write. She cadges free meals from PR people—and she's oft-photographed and therefore never incognito. She also closes her correspondence with, "Until we eat again." She can be thought of as the Julia Allison of the food world: Cheaply attractive, ethically limber and relentlessly successful.
Be gentle with us today, we're mostly all hung over after last night's totally misguided going-away party for our old boss, Lockhart Steele, down on Clinton Street. By the way, you should know that they give a lot of tickets if you drink alcohol on the street. (Yes, shocking. There are laws on the Lower East Side. And you thought it was like Deadwood down there!) But the tickets are only $25 bucks if you show up at the 7th Precinct with your paperwork. Feh.
It's a terrifically sad day here on Crosby Street. Lockhart Steele, managing editor of Gawker Media, the boss of us all and publisher Nick Denton's right-hand man, is stepping down. Today's the last full day in the office for Phish's biggest fan, and if history is any indication he'll show up some time around eleven, bleary-eyed and wearing something paisley. Lockhart's been a friend, a mentor, and a teacher to so many of us in this company—even, maybe particularly, to those that he's had to "let go"—and we're sorry to see him leave for the bright lights of his adorable little Curbed media empire. What we admire most about Lockhart is his calm, tempered management style. He's efficient and direct. Here are some of our favorite directives.
According to an internal email just circulated into our inbox, Lockhart Steele (pictured, with Julia Allison), who is apparently the boss of all of us here as Gawker Media's overall managing editor, announced today that he is at last leaving the company. Beginning July 1 he will work, oddly enough, at his own already existing blog company, the "Curbed Network." What's more, we're either paying him to go away or to stay close to us; Gawker Media will be an investor in a fundraising round that Curbed is planning. Two people will take his place; one to supervise the tech-nerd sites, the other to supervise the sleazy-gossip sites, such as this one. The question is: Which will handle the porn site? Time will tell. Anyway, our loss is Balthazar's gain, etc.