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HELP, I NEED SOMEBODY: Media strategy firms, especially ones who promise crisis control and reputation rehab, usually like to stay under the radar, but holding meetings at Soho House isn’t exactly the soul of discretion. Former Star and Details editor Joe Dolce and former MSNBC editorial director Davidson Goldin, who teamed up earlier this year to form DolceGoldin, were spotted Tuesday having lunch there with Paul McCartney’s ex-wife, Heather Mills, who even the most sympathetic observer might call a candidate for their services. Dolce confirmed the lunch Wednesday, but declined to comment on whether Mills was already a client or was just being pitched.
— Irin Carmon
This story first appeared in the August 14, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
NOT SUCH A GOOD IDEA: Models at London Fashion Week next month won’t have to produce a health certificate before they get on the runway after all. Hilary Riva, chief executive officer of the British Fashion Council, said in an open letter Wednesday that a yearlong model health inquiry deems certificates “an unworkable solution.” “From our conversations with our international counterparts in New York, Milan and Paris, it has become clear that they do not recognize the need for an international health certificate,” Riva wrote.
Riva added that the inquiry’s panel also found that the questionnaire that models would have to complete to obtain a certificate would be “intimidating and invasive,” and that the cost and time it takes to obtain a certificate would prevent many models, particularly those not based in the U.K., from working in London.
Instead, Riva said the BFC has asked the U.K.’s Association of Model Agents to develop a way to safeguard the health of models through the agencies it represents. The inquiry already bars models under 16 from walking in shows during London Fashion Week and requires that London shows have healthy backstage environments.
Riva added in the letter that the inquiry is mulling a “Healthier Model Program,” which she said would require public funding. The council is awaiting government feedback. Meanwhile, Riva said the BFC plans to develop a Web site that will provide advice for models and those interested in the modeling industry.
— Nina Jones
STILL A STRUGGLE: Tribune Co.’s second-quarter earnings, released Wednesday, reported publishing division figures that are essentially in line with the rest of the industry — and, like most publishers, the firm is seeing the value of its investments shrink. Advertising revenue dropped 15 percent, or $91 million, for the second quarter, with retail ad revenues down 8 percent as a result of declines from department stores, specialty merchandise, electronics and furniture/home furnishings. National advertising was down 12 percent, or $16 million, from softness in the movie and telecom categories. Operating revenues for the quarter were down 11 percent to $700.6 million, and the division fell deeply into the red, with operating losses of $3.77 billion versus a profit of $81.3 million the previous year. The loss resulted from a $3.84 billion write-down at the division, including $3 billion of goodwill at its newspaper unit and $836 million in the value of its “four newspaper mastheads,” according to the company’s earnings release.
Overall, the company recorded a second-quarter loss from continuing operations of $3.84 billion, versus a profit of $64.9 million in the second quarter of 2007.
— Amy Wicks