DO THEY AT LEAST GET COFFEE?: Vanity Fair is taking over the Four Seasons Grill Room this morning, but not for breakfast. The magazine is shooting the power lunch hot spot and its regulars for an upcoming piece on the restaurant’s 50th anniversary. Among the regular customers expected to participate in the shoot are Blackstone Group founders Pete Peterson and Steve Schwartzman; designers Ralph Lauren, Zac Posen and Thom Browne; Martha Stewart; Aby Rosen; Peggy Siegel; Lazard ceo Bruce Wasserstein; Dolly Lenz; the Edgar Bronfmans, both Sr. and Jr.; former New York mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins; Georgette Mosbacher; Ed Lewis; Tim and Nina Zagat; Leonard Lauder of The Estée Lauder Cos.; Henry Kissinger, and gossips Richard Johnson and Liz Smith. Todd Eberle is the photographer. — Stephanie D. Smith
This story first appeared in the December 8, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
MOVING UP: In the wake of Condé Nast International executive Bernd Runge leaving the company, Karina Dobrotvorskaya has been tapped to oversee its Russian operations. Dobrotvorskaya, who has worked at Condé Nast since it launched in Russia a decade ago, came from the editorial side before being named vice president overseeing operations earlier this year. She joined as feature editor of Vogue Russia and went on to launch Architectural Digest there before being named as editorial director in 2006. — Irin Carmon
AND MOVING OUT: Married reporters George Rush and Joanna Molloy have given up their daily gossip column in the New York Daily News in lieu of a Sunday one, but the move sacrificed another Daily News gossip reporter. Jo Piazza, who penned the paper’s Sunday column Full Disclosure, quit on Friday after management decided to dump her column, according to two sources close to the Daily News. Piazza started as an assistant to Rush & Molloy, and later wrote features for the paper. She left briefly in 2007 to help launch Bauer Publishing’s Cocktail Weekly, but when the magazine’s launch was scrapped, she returned to the paper. Piazza did not respond to an e-mail for comment.
Rush and Molloy’s daily column will be replaced by Gatecrasher, originally launched by Ben Widdicombe, who left the paper in the summer and is now an editor at large at Star. Gatecrasher will be run by former Rush & Molloy assistant Sean Evans and Laura Schreffler, formerly Widdicombe’s assistant.
The reduction in frequency on first glance may have looked like a downsizing, but Molloy insists otherwise, telling WWD the move was initiated by her and her husband. According to sources close to the couple, Rush and Molloy had been thinking about scaling back their workload for months. “Gossip, after all, can wear a body down,” they wrote in their Friday column. The duo will write their once-a-week column and other news stories for the paper and its Web site. — S.D.S.
DIAMONDS FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Though the National Bureau of Economic Research finally made the recession official last Monday, Gayle King wasn’t so sure it had fully hit Florida, where she spent Thanksgiving with her family. “I made the mistake of going out on Black Friday,” King said Monday night. “I normally don’t do that, but everybody in the house wanted to go, and I’m thinking, Where is the recession? It is not at the Sawgrass Mills mall in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.! It was like craziness.” King attended a dinner that Russell Simmons hosted to support his Diamond Empowerment Fund, an organization that helps education funding for nations in Africa where diamonds are a natural resource. Simmons was joined by Hearst Magazines executives including president Cathie Black, executive vice president; chief marketing officer Michael Clinton; Susan Plagemann, publisher of Marie Claire, and Jim Taylor, publisher of Town & Country, along with recording artist Cassie, “30 Rock” actress Katrina Bowden and Kim Kardashian. Despite the one-day excitement garnered on what’s traditionally the busiest day of the holiday shopping event, King said she has been personally affected by the year-long economic decline. “I’ve been trying to sell a house in Connecticut, and I had one really solid person that I thought was interested and they’d been back to see it three times. And then I learned later they worked for Lehman Brothers, so you can imagine that’s fallen through.” Meanwhile, King is working on development for her best friend Oprah Winfrey’s new television network, OWN, launching in 2009. Will that include her own show? “I hope so. That would be the game plan. We’re still noodling around on what that would be.” King and Winfrey will also attend President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration and dedicate an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” to his swearing in. But she admitted there’s a hitch. “I don’t have tickets. I don’t have my outfit picked out, but I have a hotel room and transportation. I just know somehow, some way, I will be somewhere in Washington.” — S.D.S.