ROSE IN BLOOM: There have been some disgruntled rumblings coming out of the new Bloomberg headquarters on Lexington Avenue lately. For starters, cubicles are said to be “overcrowded.” And there aren’t enough women’s rest rooms, or at least not as many on each floor as employees would like. More recently, there has been some concern that the new “Charlie Rose” green room is too exposed for the show’s high-profile guests. (Bloomberg houses the “Charlie Rose” studio, though the show is independently produced.)
In the old building on Park Avenue, the guest lounge was protected by a hallway, which kept Bloomberg staffers from ogling celebrities as they waited to tape their segments. In the new building, however, famous authors, athletes, politicos and movie stars — like the recently featured Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn — hang out in what’s essentially an oversized fishbowl. Not only is there no hallway, but the lounge’s walls are made of glass. Which wouldn’t be such an issue except the green room is located smack in the middle of one of Bloomberg’s “overcrowded” newsrooms.
While the new see-through set-up has had many wondering how guests would react, “Charlie Rose” has been taping on Lexington for several weeks now, and so far, word is not a single guest has complained. Nevertheless, as a precautionary measure, Bloomberg building services arrived this week to install partial obstructions. Because it’s hard enough to prep for the cameras without several dozen reporters staring you down.
LIVING WELL: Angela Matusik has made her first two hires as the newly installed editor in chief of Budget Living. Scott Cohen, formerly of Giant, will serve as her executive editor, and Sharon Ludtke, most recently All You’s managing editor, becomes Budget Living’s managing editor. As such, the magazine will now be a mélange of earnest service, self-consciously edgy pop culture and bedroom-eyed photography, all aimed at Wal-Mart shoppers. (We think.)
HEAVY LIFTING: There are many fast tracks in the publishing business, but the maintenance pipeline?
Maintenance man Ahmed Pruitt was recently promoted to the circulation department at Fairchild Publications, parent of WWD. The catalyst for his unusual career move was the hip-hop magazine he pitched at the company’s annual Magazine Idea Day. “It was a little scary. I was a little nervous,” Pruitt said of getting up in front of president and chief executive officer Mary Berner and chairman and editorial director Patrick McCarthy, among others. “Maintenance was always just a way to get in to the company,” he said, adding that his magazine idea had been in development “for years.” Eva Dillon, currently the publisher of Cookie, set up a meeting with Pruitt after hearing about his pitch. Next thing you know, he’s working with trade circulation director Wendy Frank, a job he started last week.
This story first appeared in the July 29, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The leap won’t, incidentally, keep Pruitt from pitching another magazine next year. “I have a couple of ideas that are really blockbuster,” he said. “But that’s another saga.”
THE CHIC SPEAK: How did Tommy Hilfiger get his start in fashion? “I started out in this business with $150 and a dream,” he says in Mary Gehlhar‘s new how-to book for aspiring fashion designers, “The Fashion Designer Survival Guide,” due out in September from Dearborn Trade Publishing. Hilfiger, whose business hasn’t exactly been on a hot streak lately, dispenses sage advice along with:
Donna Karan: “Never believe the good press because that means you have to believe the bad.”
Cynthia Rowley: “I very quickly learned about the constant battle between art and commerce and had to find the balance to survive.”
Zac Posen: “Ask questions, and ask for help.”
John Bartlett: “Too many designers get caught up in doing a whole collection and doing shows. Shows are for ego, product is for survival.”
Diane von Furstenberg: “Have a big dream and take small steps.”
Lest fashion’s neophytes get too dreamy, Gehlhar is there to ground them by sternly reminding, “It takes more money than you think … Business can be shady. People will steal from you, stores won’t pay, and others will copy your designs.”
No wonder it’s so tough for Tommy.