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Weekly Features
Letter from New York
Mathew Tombers is the President of Intermat, Inc., a consulting practice that specializes in the intersection of media, technology and marketing. For two years, he produced the Emmys on the Web and supervised web related activities for the Academy, including for the 50th Anniversary year of the Emmy Awards. In addition to its consulting engagements, Intermat recently sold METEOR’S TALE, an unpublished novel by Michael O’Rourke, to Animal Planet for development as a television movie. Visit his web site at

Feeling a bit like Cholly…

First of all, does anyone remember Cholly Knickerbocker?

Cholly was the pseudonym for a series of New York society writers starting back around 1919. They reported on the doings of “society.” Recently, I had a “Cholly” moment.

For the New York media world, the Holiday season begins the Monday before Thanksgiving with the International Emmys.

It is a small event; nothing as dramatically grand as the Primetime Emmys. But it is the gathering place for those who are doing international television business. The event is the anchor to some important meetings around it.

As I ascended the escalator toward the third floor, where the cocktail party and dinner would be, I passed a teenage tourist on her cell phone, chatting away with some friend back home, saying that she was at the New York Hilton and “all these rich people” were coming in for a party.

I assumed she thought everyone was rich because we were in black tie. I smiled as I am sure the label would have amused any number of people riding up that escalator, who knew they were happy to be at the party but certainly did not feel rich.

Whitney Goit II was there, Senior Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for A&E Networks, looking very European in his forest green velvet dinner jacket, talking quietly and intently with the German partners who had just launched a History Channel in Germany. Noticing he was deep in conversation, I waltzed away but he called me back and introduced me. I don’t recall their names but I had a very nice conversation with the German and his wife, who invited me, should I find myself in Cannes for MIP, to their cocktail party, which I would like to go to, if I can ever find his business card and should I find myself at MIP.

David Fox, founder of Fox/Lorber, one of the leading lights in the home video revolution back in the ‘80’s, was there. He is now a leading consultant in home video and dvd. He is also the American representative of CHUM, the innovative Canadian television company.

Mary Ann Zimmer was there, recently having started consulting for HERE TV, the gay channel by Regent Entertainment out of Los Angeles. She also represents me and has saved a client or two of mine from bad deals.

As the cocktail hour was winding down, Dawn McCall, President of Discovery Networks International, came over and slipped into my hand a bag with a belated birthday present, lights for Claverack Cottage that she had found. We chatted and then she was swallowed by the crowd. She is, after all, a major player in this world and many wanted her attention.

Graham Norton, formerly of the UK and now a staple on Comedy Central, was the evening’s host. He was witty but seemed a little worn by the efforts to make his way on American television, not an easy feat for anyone.

I do some business internationally but not a lot. I went because Mary Ann Zimmer, my attorney, asked me to be her “date.” It was fun for me as I did see old friends, like Whitney and David Fox.

Afterwards, I went to a party at restaurant on the Upper East Side, hosted by Russ Kagan, the producer of television mini-series.

There we ran into more folks, all of whom had some place in the world of international television. Steve Rosenbaum was there, a friend of the last few years, whose company, Camera Planet is in deep distress right now. Though I have no doubt Steve will bounce back from this.

Later, after all the air kissing, I took my leave and slipped into a taxi, a New York figure, perceived as one of those “rich folk” ascending the smooth escalator at the Hilton but as much as I was there, in some way I wasn’t really part of it, feeling rather like Cholly must have felt, a participating observer.