JAMES BRADY;OH, WHAT A LOVELY YEAR

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This was early in the week when Barry Diller would spend half a billion bucks for a cable TV network and control of a small motion picture company (Barry does stuff like that before breakfast) and there he was in the Grill Room of the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan sitting across from Norman Pearlstine of Time Inc. enjoying lunch.

And making nice.

Barry doesn't even work for Time Inc. but he was making nice. These days Cardinal Richelieu would be making nice with Norm lest he be reassigned to the provinces.

Wow! What a year in the biz!

Where do you start? With Calvin Klein's naughty undies ads starring the teenyboppers or Rupert Murdoch and John Malone take over the known world or the Dow hits five thousand or what?

Just consider.

Young Ed Bronfman buys MCA which includes Universal Studios and then he buys the Four Seasons restaurant which graces the Seagram Building which his family already owns. Next thing, Mr. Bronfman will be tossing the salad and seating Dr. Kissinger.

Leno is beating Letterman in the ratings.

Spielberg, Geffen and Sparky launch Dreamworks. Ted Turner and Time Warner merge. George gets launched and JFK Jr. is schmoozing with the press.

Dick Snyder attempts to buy the company that puts out the Little Golden Books and is rebuffed.

John Mack Carter leaves Good Housekeeping for corporate life.

Tom Murphy sells Cap Cities/ABC to Disney. Colin Powell does a slow tease but doesn't. Steve Forbes omits the tease and runs. Princess Di goes public and why not? The Times Mirror Co. folds New York Newsday and embraces austerity.

The gentrification of Madonna. The Beatles are back. Tyson is out. Bye-bye, Connie Chung.

America meets lowest common denominator television on those sleazebag tabloid talk shows and the advertisers flock! Then one day someone at P&G actually tunes in to see this crap and is "shocked! Shocked!"

Kathie Lee Gifford kvetches.

Magazine publishers spend most of the time wringing their hands over the price of paper and wondering what to do about it.

Milken is back as a player. So much so, did he break the rules?

Highlight of The Million Man March? Rev. Farrakhan lectures us all for a couple of hours about mystic numbers.

Tisch sells CBS to Westinghouse.

Bob Wright becomes a quiet hero at NBC. The "Today Show" edges ahead of "GMA." They stick with Conan O'Brien. Roger Ailes spins off yet another cable channel out of CNBC and gives a talk show gig to anyone who stops by. Next? Uncle Don?

Bill Gates shows up in Manhattan to plug his new book and over lunch charms everyone from Si Newhouse to Diane Sawyer.

Bill's old amigo Paul Allen launches Starwave out in Seattle and a cool entertainment show called "Mr. Showbiz."

On CBS a new series called "Central Park West"? Oy, vey, you shouldn't ask. What a schlepper. And forget "Heaven's Gate." Costner gives us, glug, glug! "Waterworld."

Gore Vidal tells (almost) all.

Claeys Bahrenburg launches an American Marie Claire, hires Donna Kalajian Galotti to take Cosmo into a new millenium, and gets fired for his trouble.

Windows 95.

Gerry Levin fires Michael Fuchs. Some Time Warner brass wanted Fuchs shot at dawn; others felt they ought to pay him a hundred million or so. So Mr. Levin, Solomon-like, had them shoot at Michael but miss and then give him a golden handshake of a lousy 80 mil or so.

Whacko Jacko returns with a flop. But look at the bright side; not a child molestation suit all year.

You mean, Clinton might actually be re-elected?

Ovitz bails out of CAA to join Eisner and the stars begin bailing out of CAA, too. Is Michael the smartest guy in town or has he pulled a gaffe?

Turmoil at "60 Minutes."

Pierce Brosnan's the new 007. Shaken, not stirred. And BMW gets plugs galore.

Never mind what the O.J. trial did to race relations or the criminal justice system. Think what it did to the daytime soaps!

Don Imus goes national. Cahners is sold. Clay Felker gets a professorial gig out at Berkeley and tells bright young things about the magazine biz. Parade spins off a teen weekly, react. Canada gets to keep Quebec but declares war on....Sports Illustrated? The Cleveland Browns are headed for Baltimore and the Oilers for Nashville. Who the hell cares anymore.

Have we ever had as many hurricanes?

Jerry Jones defies the NFL. But that's OK. He also hires Deion Sanders and God will punish him.

Seinfeld and "E.R." and Tim Allen keep right on keeping right on. Mandy Patinkin quits "Chicago Hope." Roseanne keeps right on being Roseanne. Tony Bennett lives! Sinatra is 80. Louis Malle dies and we ache for Candy.

Northwestern goes to the Rose Bowl. At Nebraska, if you can make bail, you play. In pro ball they're mulling a new award

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