ME JANE, YOU TED: Talk about food for thought.
This story first appeared in the January 21, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
A dinner held Thursday night at New York’s Museum of Natural History in honor of The Soros Foundation’s Ellen Chesler turned into quite an event after speaker Jane Fonda managed to rib both Peter Jennings and her ex-husband, Ted Turner, in the same speech.
According to three sources who were there, Jennings, a longtime friend of Chesler’s, took to the podium, where he compared Chesler to his ex-wife, Kati Marton, who is about to take a high level job at the International Women’s Health Coalition. Like Chesler, he said in a slight poke at his ex-wife and the evening’s honoree, “Kati is always sooo certain about everything.”
Fonda followed him to the podium and responded: “What would you prefer, that we should all be wishy washy? I think I’m going to ask Kati to join a club called ‘Learning to Love Your Ex-husband.’” She then added, according to sources, “My favorite ex-husband is Ted Turner, who gives a great deal of money away to charity although he’s broke and has had to shut down his foundation. But he still has his U.N. foundation and gives money away to health organizations in countries where genital mutilation is still practiced. Which is a case,” she is reported to have said in an apparent double entendre, “of putting your money where your mouth is.”
There was a collective gasp from guests in the rotunda, as several dinosaurs looked on.
Fonda then returned to the topic at hand, talking about Chesler’s work. But when she was done, she made a fitting gesture to Jennings. As she stepped down from the podium, she looked over at him and — drumroll, please — stuck out her tongue.
A Fonda representative was traveling Friday and could not be reached for comment.
— Jacob Bernstein
CONDE NEWS: François Dieulesaint, finance director and deputy director general of Condé Nast France, said Monday he would leave his post at the end of April. His exit was expected following the appointment last July of Didier Suberbielle as the French group’s chief executive officer. Suberbielle now adds the responsibility of chief operating officer. Assuming Dieulesaint’s other duties will be Arnaud Gervais de Lafond, Condé Nast France’s new financial and administration vice president. He comes from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s press group, which includes the French financial daily La Tribune.
— Miles Socha
TIME TO GET IT TOGETHER: Are Wallpaper’s days numbered? Not exactly, but publishing director Richard Johnstone announced at the magazine’s yearend staff meeting that Time Inc. would be giving new editor Jeremy Langmead and his team three years to make their numbers for the style title or else suffer the consequences, said a source who was present at the meeting. A spokeswoman for Wallpaper parent IPC Media denied such a time frame exists, however.
— Samantha Conti and Greg Lindsay
COVERING COUTURE: The New York Times has a new face at the Paris couture: Jonathan Reynolds, the Times Magazine’s legendary food critic, is in town, he said, “with the idea of taking a look at it and trying to figure out why certain people buy certain things.” Luckily, the first-time fashion reporter has some help. He’s going around with Washington hostess, Deeda Blair. He’s also relying on the Times’ Cathy Horyn, who is there with Guy Trebay, fresh from his first-ever stint reviewing the men’s shows in Milan.
MUSICAL CHAIRS: Hearst has poached Spin managing editor Regan Solmo for the same job at Harper’s Bazaar, finally replacing Perry Van der Meer, who quit last August. But accessories director Mimi Shin is leaving Bazaar. She’ll be replaced by senior market editor Danya Unterhalter, who will assume Shin’s title. Replacing her, in turn, is Wendell Brown, currently an associate fashion editor at DNR….At Elle, Emily Dougherty has ascended to the beauty/fitness director position after incumbent Cara Kagan resigned. Dougherty joined Elle as Kagan’s deputy last spring, after a tour of duty as the deputy editor of Nylon and a stint as senior beauty editor during Kate Betts’ tenure at Bazaar.