ROCK ON, RICHARD: The effort to build the Condé Nast Media Group into a group-buy powerhouse has found another stage — literally. The long-buzzed-about “Movies Rock” will be a cinematic version of the three-year-old “Fashion Rocks,” with its own televised event and magazine supplement. Produced in collaboration with the Producers Guild of America and the Entertainment Industry Foundation, the two-hour event will take place at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles on Dec. 2 and air on CBS sometime afterward. “Fashion Rocks” takes place in September.
While the magazine component of “Fashion Rocks” was edited by Vogue contributing editor Jonathan Van Meter, the editor in chief of the “Movie Rocks” supplement will come from outside of Condé Nast. Under the editorial direction of Vanity Fair editor in chief Graydon Carter, the supplement will be edited by Hollywood producer Mitch Glazer, who started out in print writing about music. Close friends Carter and Glazer once unsuccessfully shopped around a proposal for a movie based on a Vanity Fair article, and Glazer and wife Kelly Lynch cohosted a party in Los Angeles for Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue earlier this year.
Condé Nast Media Group president Richard D. Beckman said the show would have “great contemporary performers interpreting the movies, plus video clips packaged to tell the story of music and film.” He said the plan was to have a major Internet portal stream the show, and to do a red-carpet preshow with a cable channel. (Last year, the E Network broadcast a “Fashion Rocks” red-carpet show.) “Then we’ll bundle on behalf of the advertisers who purchase print advertising in the magazine a modicum of product placement within the show,” he said. The group also is negotiating with a wireless partner, but Beckman said it was too early to name it. As in the case of “Fashion Rocks,” Citibank and Chevrolet will be involved as sponsors of “Movies Rock.”
Ratings for the “Fashion Rocks” specials on CBS have not been awe-inspiring. “As a lover of music, I’m sad to say that there’s not a great audience of music lovers on prime-time TV,” Beckman admitted. (“American Idol,” perhaps?) “But the forecast for ‘Movies Rock’ is a higher rating; it appeals to a broader audience, and the December timing should draw a higher rating.”
As for the magazine supplement, which is sent to subscribers, Condé Nast publishers have previously wrangled to be included in the “Fashion Rocks” supplement to bolster their page counts and revenue, but sometimes have been shut out. “You try to find the ones that make the most sense,” said Beckman. “With ‘Fashion Rocks,’ Vogue is a more synergistic project than Golf Digest.” The Condé Nast Media Group declined to name the initial 14 magazines with which “Movies Rock” will be bundled, but Beckman said the number could grow depending on how the ad-selling goes and whether there is demand from a sponsor to be coupled with a particular magazine.
A spokeswoman for the Media Group said this year’s “Fashion Rocks” supplement will have more edit pages than last year’s edition. Sources said Jennifer Lopez will be on the cover, though Beckman said he was unable to discuss it. — Irin Carmon
SO LONG, FAREWELL, ADIEU, AUF WIEDERSEHEN: “The Sopranos” is known for being unerring and deliberate in its cultural references, so the magazine world couldn’t help but notice the prominent role Departures magazine played in the penultimate episode of the show, which aired Sunday. In the episode, Tony Soprano peruses a copy at his therapist’s office, ripping out a recipe for a Basque beef marinade, only to be lambasted by his psychologist for doing so. The sheer number of times Departures was mentioned seemed too obvious — did it speak to paid product placement? Was it indicative of the distant corporate relationship between Time Warner-owned HBO and Departures parent American Express Publishing, which publishes in partnership with Time Inc.? Apparently, none of the above. A spokeswoman for HBO said the show never has product placements and that the corporate connection was irrelevant. (In past seasons, Soprano also has been seen reading The Robb Report and Yachting magazine.) Richard Story, editor in chief of Departures, said that years ago, he had received a letter from David Chase, the show’s creator, praising a particular article, though Story’s subsequent offer to write for the magazine was declined for lack of time. And indeed, Chase himself wrote the scene in question, the HBO spokeswoman said. At press time, Story had not yet seen the scene, having missed it by a few minutes. But, like a few online critics, he speculated the repeated use of the word “departures” wasn’t a coincidence in an episode that involved many grisly ends. “That’s the brilliance of ‘The Sopranos,'” he said. “A cigar is never just a cigar.” And Basque beef is never just Basque beef? — I.C.
HI, I’M HILLARY: Fresh off the Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire, Sen. Hillary Clinton made an appearance in the halls of 4 Times Square Monday afternoon, causing some to question which magazine she might be visiting. The next Point of Passion installment, perhaps? But it looks like Condé Nast wasn’t on her agenda this time, as sources say Clinton stopped by the law offices of fellow tenant Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, reportedly one of the top contributors toward her run for the White House (although the company itself doesn’t donate money. Rather, the funds come from its PAC or employees and their families).
Clinton capped off the day’s 4 Times Square politico sightings, which began with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Charles Schumer. Both men were on hand for a news conference that unveiled federal regulation plans for states and municipalities to update building codes and grow energy efficiency in buildings. According to the building owner, 4 Times Square was the first totally green skyscraper ever built in the U.S. — Amy Wicks
HEART STOPPER: An artificial heart salesman from Tennessee and a Brazilian actress were chosen to model for Saks Fifth Avenue’s fall ad campaign, continuing in the theme of “Want It!” Bruce Weber shot the spring Want It! campaign with salesman Tyke Darlington, but this time around, photographer Diego Uchitel was tapped to shoot the handsome Darlington and actress Fernanda Torres. Terron Schaefer, group senior vice president, creative and marketing, said the response to Darlington was so strong from the spring campaign that he was asked to return. And Schaefer coaxed Torres to model for the luxury retailer after a chance dinner meeting. “I wanted real people,” Schaefer said. “This isn’t the only thing they do. People can relate to them more.” The shoot continues
this week and the campaign
will break in the fall fashion issues. — A.W.