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
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 dont 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 80s,
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 evenings 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
Afterwards, I went to a party at restaurant on the Upper
East Side, hosted by Russ Kagan, the producer of television
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 wasnt
really part of it, feeling rather like Cholly must have felt,
a participating observer.