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Vanity Fair New Establishment Favors Editor Cronies

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 3, 2009 at 8:16AM

The one year that I covered the Hollywood side of the Vanity Fair New Establishment List, I found that the final list reflected less accurate reporting than who was a possible cover subject or socialized with editor Graydon Carter. This year the nasty economy allowed VF to trim some familiar names while the Hall of Fame protects some Carter cronies.
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Thompson on Hollywood

The one year that I covered the Hollywood side of the Vanity Fair New Establishment List, I found that the final list reflected less accurate reporting than who was a possible cover subject or socialized with editor Graydon Carter. This year the nasty economy allowed VF to trim some familiar names while the Hall of Fame protects some Carter cronies.

This year Silicon Valley comes on stronger than ever.

As for Hollywood, I'm not sure why Steven Spielberg goes up. DreamWorks did raise some money, but less than was expected, and it took longer. But for the moment, Spielberg does have it. And he got much of it from Anil Ambani, his Reliance backer, who goes down on the list from 67 to 97. Go figure. NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker is up? Because of Hulu? CAA's Bryan Lourd is back, well ahead of Ari Emanuel, who had to be on the list. But the entry makes no mention of how he pushed out Jim Wiatt and came out on top in the William Morris/Endeavor merger. The beleaguered Weinsteins are still on the list, down four points to 91. Imagine's Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are down just two after success d'estime Frost/Nixon and Angels and Demons, which made up its domestic losses abroad.

Pixar is up dramatically: right call. Star Trek's J.J. Abrams enters at 27. Judd Apatow is up after his movie Funny People disappointed. Movie star Meryl Steep enters the list behind Pitt, Jolie, Clooney and Hanks, who are lauded more for their political clout than their movie stardom. DeNiro is on because of Tribeca, not What Just Happened? or Righteous Kill.

New entries include Tyler Perry, Ryan Kavanaugh, Michael Bay, TMZ's Harvey Levin, Todd Phillips (The Hangover) and NBC Universal's Lauren Zalaznick, one of the few women on the list.


This article is related to: Directors, Headliners, Independents, Moguls, Studios, Players, Steven Spielberg, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Weinsteins


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.