MY DINNER WITH BARACK: Anna Wintour isn’t quite adding restaurateur to her résumé like many of her editorial peers, but she will be hosting the hottest table in town tonight — the Vogue editor in chief is opening her Sullivan Street home to President Barack Obama for a fund-raiser to benefit the Democratic National Committee (clearly showing Wintour isn’t just a friend during presidential campaign times). Obama, who will tape an appearance on “The View” earlier in the day, will decompress among what’s rumored to be a small crowd of donors including longtime fashion liberals Calvin Klein and Donna Karan. The get-together is a bookend of sorts to the June 2008 party Wintour co-hosted with Klein, André Leon Talley and Shelby Bryan. Michelle Obama — still at the time only a potential first lady — was the guest of honor at that event, where the fashion crowd shelled out $1,000 or $2,300 a ticket for a reception at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. gallery in Chelsea. About 70 of the truly devoted, including Nicole Miller, Isaac Mizrahi and LeBron James, then spent $10,000 for a private dinner at Klein’s house. The guest list for this go-round seems a bit more guarded, perhaps a sign of the President’s lagging approval ratings (down to 48 percent according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll Tuesday) or maybe just a nod to the entry fee, which the Washington Post pegged at $30,000 a head. So will this stir yet another round of rumors of an ambassadorship for Anna? — Matthew Lynch
This story first appeared in the July 28, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
THE SQUEEZE IS ON: It looks like the longer The Washington Post Co. takes to consider the bids for Newsweek, the better the magazine’s staffers will get to know each other. In a memo to employees last week, Newsweek senior vice president of operations and chief information officer Joseph Galarneau revealed the magazine is delaying a planned move from its 395 Hudson Street offices in New York’s West Village to a space in Midtown at 888 Seventh Avenue. The new timetable should keep the newsweekly from having to pack up shop twice should its new owners have their own real estate agenda, but comes with a catch: the magazine will have to merge from two floors to one. According to the memo, Kaplan Inc., the Post-owned test prep company (and revenue darling) has to move into 395 Hudson by the end of the year, and the office consolidation will make way for construction crews and some early Kaplan arrivals. There’s been little word on the Newsweek sale since the last round of offers came in earlier this month, which could mean that early bidders such as stereo magnate Sidney Harman, former Daily News partner Fred Drasner and private equity firms Avenue Capital and OpenGate Capital are all still in the hunt. A Newsweek spokeswoman declined to comment on any possible schedule for the sale. Whoever buys, staffers are likely hoping it happens before Nov. 19, the last day they’ll be able to stay in their downtown quarters according to the new plan. — M.L.