GUEST OF A GUEST: Sarah Palin made an unexpected pit stop at a dinner Wednesday night hosted by Sarah Brown, wife of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown; Queen Rania, and Wendi Murdoch at Tao in Midtown New York. The vice presidential candidate stopped by for predinner cocktails hosted by Condé Nast Portfolio and mingled with guests including Georgina Chapman, Donna Karan, Vera Wang, Christy Turlington, Elle Macpherson, Liya Kebede, Elizabeth Murdoch, Sarah Ferguson, Aerin Lauder, Whoopi Goldberg, Gayle King, Diana Taylor, Martha Stewart, Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black and Portfolio editor in chief Joanne Lipman (many of whom are definitely not Republicans). A host of first ladies from around the world and heads of NGOs were also in attendance. News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch introduced Palin to attendees, but the Alaska governor only stayed for cocktails. The dinner was held to discuss initiatives to reduce maternal mortality, part of the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals that the organization hopes to achieve by 2015. Palin, of course, was in town meeting some of the foreign leaders attending the opening of the U.N. session.
— Stephanie D. Smith
This story first appeared in the September 26, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
EVEN THE WEB ‘REALIGNS’: Glam Media is in the process of either eliminating or reorganizing 14 positions, out of 200, and the company has created a new marketing group. The new structure will have sales aligned to support digital agencies with another group assigned to support brands. People familiar with the company weren’t surprised to hear of the possible elimination of jobs, saying the sales team was overhired and the network sites weren’t always happy with how much money they were making off the ads. Glam has a mix of owned and operated Web sites that reach 44 million unique monthly visitors in the U.S. Some sites include Apartment Therapy, Bagsnob and Shake Your Beauty. The chief executive officer is Samir Arora, while Joe Lagani, formerly publisher of House & Garden, is vice president of brand sales for women for North America and Scott Schiller is executive vice president of global marketing.
During an Advertising Week panel on Thursday about online media fragmentation, Wenda Harris Millard, president of media and co-ceo of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, took a jab at Glam, which was interesting, since several sources have said MSLO was in talks with Glam to partner on digital advertising until MSLO decided it was better off creating its own curated ad network. “We’re stewarding brands,” said Millard. “Our intent is not to grow big. We’re not an endless stage, like a Glam [which is about] getting everyone you can possibly get.”
— Amy Wicks and Irin Carmon
DINING WITH THE DEMOCRATS: Speaking of the election, Democrats Abroad, the organization that keeps the party’s flame alive overseas, knows that the way to an expat’s heart is through the stomach. To wit, Al Gore hosted a $10,000-a-plate lunch at Whitehall in London on Thursday, and Thursday night, Ruth Rogers, of River Café fame, hosted a small dinner for supporters. Rogers’ office, however, would not confirm reports that guests paid $2,500 to dine at the Chelsea home the chef and restaurant owner shares with architect husband, Sir Richard Rogers. This isn’t the first time London’s highfliers have opened their dining rooms to Barack Obama supporters. In late April, Elisabeth Murdoch organized a fund-raiser at her London home with help from Kay Saatchi and Bebo founder Joanna Shields.
— Samantha Conti