NOT YOUR MOTHER’S RECIPE: Many successful women in business thank their mothers for bestowing valuable life lessons, but Gourmet editor in chief Ruth Reichl believed her success came by living the opposite way her mom did. Reichl told attendees at the annual New York Women in Communications’ Matrix Awards that her mother was discouraged from living her dream of becoming a doctor. But unlike wives and mothers from a few generations back, women these days are encouraged to have both a viable career and a family. “I wake up every morning grateful not to be my mother. Grateful, in fact, not to be any of the women of her generation,” Reichl told the audience.
Meanwhile, “Top Chef” judge Padma Lakshmi believed she made her mother proud by eating most of her lunch in between hosting duties at the event. Lakshmi took the podium with her mouth full before introducing the event’s honorees. “I’m living my mother’s dream,” said Lakshmi, “I sit on my ass, I eat and I talk.” Other honorees included Anne Sweeney, president of Disney ABC Television Group; New York Times Supreme Court correspondent Linda Greenhouse (who recently retired from the paper to become a journalist in residence at Yale); playwright and actress Anna Deavere Smith; Susan Gianinno, Publicis USA chairman and chief executive officer, and publicist Joannie Danielides. Diane von Furstenberg received a Lifetime Achievement Award and acknowledged during her speech that all women are strong, but often, because of “circumstances,” that strength in some women is held inside. — Stephanie D. Smith
PERHAPS THEY SHOULD GET THEIR RESUMES READY: Things are heating up in the battle between the Old Guard at the Tribune Co. and new owner Sam Zell. The company on Monday sent a rather unorthodox press release blasting Randy Michaels, who Zell appointed as chief executive officer of Tribune’s Interactive and Broadcasting units, for hiring Marc Chase as the new president of Tribune Interactive. The release begins with, “Surely you can’t be serious?” regarding the appointment, and goes on to say “another freaking Clear Channel Communications executive on the payroll and this one’s been named president of Tribune Interactive.” And there’s more: “Tribune Broadcasting’s Randy Michaels’ past finally caught up with him when Marc Chase obviously blackmailed his way into a position he is not remotely qualified to hold. Insiders are irate. Chase is a fraud.” Chase’s professional experience lists “vocabulary advisorist for George W. Bush” from 2004 to the present and, prior to that, at eBay as “president of buying crap.”
This story first appeared in the April 8, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The release adds that a source inside Tribune Co.’s human resources department said Chase’s résumé (reprinted on the release) was fabricated and that his name isn’t Marc Chase — it’s actually Mark Thompson. Chase and Michaels could not be reached for comment. A Tribune Co. spokesman said, “We’re trying to make clear that this is not the same company that it used to be.” He added that he’s not worried about how Zell will react. “Sam wants people who are smart, creative and approach their business in a different way,” he said. — Amy Wicks
MARTHA GOES BIG: The aesthetic onslaught of Times Square got slightly more orderly early Monday morning, as two of the video billboards promoted the launch of Martha Stewart’s cobranded line with 1-800-Flowers.com. Not far from the seven-story rendering of her face, inside the Nasdaq MarketSite, Stewart herself presided over the opening bell with 1-800-Flowers chief executive Jim McCann and their respective senior staffs. Turnout among Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. executives was high, including chief executive officer Susan Lyne, who, when asked about the rumors of her pending departure that continued to surface as recently as two weeks ago, said simply: “I can’t control them.” — Irin Carmon
BRAGGING RIGHTS: The Washington Post swept the Pulitzer Prizes on Monday with a total of six awards, followed by The New York Times with two wins. Several of the Post’s honors — in the public service, breaking news reporting, national reporting, international reporting, feature writing and commentary categories — were for already high-profile and lauded stories such as Dana Priest and Anne Hull’s exposé of conditions at Walter Reed Hospital, as well as Jo Becker and Barton Gellman’s series on Vice President Dick Cheney’s behind-the-scenes power. From the Times, Amy Harmon won for explanatory reporting on the implications of DNA testing, and Walt Bogdanich and Jake Hooker won for investigative reporting for a story on toxic ingredients in Chinese imports; the latter was shared with the Chicago Tribune staff for reporting on faulty government regulation of toys, car seats and cribs. Reuters, the Boston Globe, Investor’s Business Daily, the Concord Monitor and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel were also honored. — I.C.