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HEARST TAKES THE WHITE HOUSE: On Thursday morning, more than 100 Hearst executives assembled at the Newseum on the Washington Mall for day two of their biannual meeting. Around 11 a.m., Harper’s Bazaar editor in chief Glenda Bailey was on stage interviewing Christiane Amanpour when the news hit that former Hearst Magazine president Cathie Black was out of a job as New York City Schools Chancellor. Everybody’s head went down when the blast came out from The New York Times, according to one Hearst source on hand, and there was a brief flurry of e-mails. Nobody was that surprised at Black’s ouster, though, and, by the afternoon, the former Hearst president’s news had been upstaged by the group’s trip to the White House.
The Hearst posse filed into the State Dining Room to listen to a panel of White House senior advisers — including Valerie Jarrett, Gene Sperling and Tina Tchen — introduced by President Barack Obama. “You guys can probably give me some tips on how to dress,” the President said, looking at Esquire editor in chief David Granger. The President spent close to 30 minutes with the group, despite his crowded schedule. He didn’t have time to shake everyone’s hand, but a few Hearst executives got lucky. “I shook the President’s hand! #electtolead” tweeted Kimberly Lau, Hearst vice president of business development and partnership relations, honoring Hearst president David Carey’s mandate to “share this with the world.”
The big news from inside the company on Thursday was the launch of HGTV magazine this fall under the guidance of former Coastal Living editor in chief Sara Peterson. Following in the footsteps of Food Network Magazine’s circulation success, the company will test two issues of the shelter magazine with an initial press run of 300,000 copies.
Back at the confab, other speakers on Thursday included Google’s Marissa Mayer; Doris Kearns Goodwin; John Hayes, the chief merchandising officer of Amex, and Somalia-born Dutch politician and writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Duncan Edwards, the chief executive of Hearst’s international magazine group, and executive vice president Kim St. Claire Bodden, who oversees all the editorial content in the international titles, also addressed the group about Hearst’s action abroad.
On Thursday night, Carey raised a glass to Swedish-born Red Rooster chef Marcus Samuelsson, who cooked for the more than 100 executives at the Swedish Embassy, which has views over the Potomac. “The Hearst family — all the different books — they’ve always been very supportive of my cooking,” Samuelsson said. “They come up to Harlem, they come to my restaurant, they always supported me.”
Barring any scheduling conflicts, Vice President Joe Biden will speak to the Hearst posse today on their turf at the Newseum.
— ZEKE TURNER