Women’s Wear Daily
04.24.2014
fashion-memopad
fashion-memopad

Memo Pad: Rupert's Journal Entry... Is it Ok!?...Juno Rising...

Rupert Murdoch addressed the entire Dow Jones staff Thursday afternoon for the first time, hours after News Corp.'s purchase of the company had been...

fashion-memopad/news
RUPERT'S JOURNAL ENTRY: Standing on boxes of computer paper in the Wall Street Journal's ninth-floor newsroom, Rupert Murdoch addressed the entire Dow Jones staff Thursday afternoon for the first time, hours after News Corp.'s purchase of the company had been finalized in a shareholder meeting. (The meeting was largely symbolic, as proxy votes had already assured the deal.) He spoke of tremendous change in the world and the need for the Journal be a resource as millions of people have emerged from poverty and joined the world economy, according to people in the room. "It wasn't a rallying speech," said one staffer. "Just a state of affairs."

Said another: "He used the word 'nervousness' half a dozen times" to refer to how he presumed the staff felt.

"I know you all have work to do," Murdoch finished, "so don't get scooped!"

Incoming Dow Jones chief executive officer Les Hinton and new Wall Street Journal publisher Robert Thomson (whom Murdoch said would have no financial responsibilities) also spoke briefly. Thomson said, "A man standing still is a man overrun," and emphasized that the Wall Street Journal would maintain its tradition of honesty, integrity and "perspicacity." (This word caused significant brow-furrowing in the newsroom, according to several people. Perhaps Thomson's first order of business should be dispensing a dictionary.)

At the shareholder meeting earlier that day, famed activist shareholder and self-described "queen of the corporate jungle" Evelyn Y. Davis livened up the proceedings by addressing former Dow Jones ceo Richard Zannino, who was attending his last such affair after only a year and a half in the position. Two people who attended said she told Zannino he had made a great retail executive — his résumé includes stints at Liz Claiborne and Saks Holdings — and challenged him to put his fashion skills to the test by guessing who had designed her rather unusual suit. He thought for a moment and said, "Valentino." She told him he was right. — Irin Carmon

IS IT OK!?: Fashion guru Tim Gunn is one of fashion's newest ubiquitors, with several jobs including mentor on Bravo's hit reality series, "Project Runway," and chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne. But the latter title seemed to create a conflict of interest with his role as a fashion advice columnist for OK!. In the Dec. 3 issue, a reader asked what denim brands he recommended. Gunn replied, "Liz Claiborne jeans fit everybody — they're remarkable. Another set of jeans I subscribe to is Lucky Brand. I have never had a better fitting pair of jeans in my life." Gunn's loyalty to his employer is expected, but nowhere does OK! disclose Gunn's job at Liz Claiborne. A reference to "Project Runway" is the only identifier OK! uses for Gunn.
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