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NECK AND NECK: Is Vanity Fair handicapping the increasingly competitive horse race between The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal in its annual list of the top 100 New Establishment figures? The list places Bill Keller, executive editor of the Times, at number 26 and archrival Robert Thomson, editor of the Journal, nipping at his heels, at number 27.
During Thomson’s two years at the News Corp.-owned paper, he has launched a weekend glossy, WSJ., debuted the daily New York metro section and expanded coverage of culture and sports, two subjects that weren’t in focus before Rupert Murdoch acquired the daily. The Times and the Journal have made not-so-subtle attacks on each other whenever possible, whether in their own pages, on earnings calls or just in plain-old press releases. Just a few days ago, the Times sent an e-mail to reporters saying Susanne Craig would join DealBook and Business Day after spending the past 10 years at the Journal. Even Bob Christie, senior vice president, corporate communications at the Times (who formerly held a similar title at the Journal), got in on the action, tweeting, “Miss the old authoritative WSJ biz coverage? Subscribe to NYT.” With fighting words like that, it will be interesting to see how, and if, Thomson (or one of his minions) responds next.
On the much quieter fashion front, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chief Bernard Arnault is the only industry player to crack the top 10, at number six, followed by Ralph Lauren, at number 16, thanks in part to his new 23,000-square-foot store in Paris (which includes the new hot spot restaurant Ralph.) PPR’s François-Henri Pinault is at 17, Karl Lagerfeld takes 39th and Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg share the 40th spot. Surely how much the brands spent on advertising so far this year had no influence? — Amy Wicks