New Media vs. Old Guard: Where the Industry's Power Players Eat, Shop and Work Out
A version of this story first appeared in the May 2 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
New Media: Coffee
Young webheads wouldn't be caught dead slurping joe from a Greek diner cup. Startup entrepreneurs start up the day with far more trendy brew. BuzzFeed president and COO Jon Steinberg swears by Jack's organic fair-trade java; Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor gets his fix at Intelligentsia in the High Line Hotel; Jezebel creator Anna Holmes likes the espresso at the Sweetleaf outpost in Queens (about which Rap Genius creator Mahbod Moghadam says, "Their dragonwell [tea] is straight crack"); and Reddit GM Erik Martin says Baked in Red Hook is the best. Lover.ly founder Kellee Khalil goes for the East Village Mudtruck and Cosmo.com's Amy Odell favors Financier Patisserie.
Old Guard: Coffee
Older members of the media elite aren't trying to make any statements with their morning beverage -- they're just looking for a caffeine boost. Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter walks down the hall and grabs a cup from his private kitchen in his own abode. Marie Claire's Nina Garcia pops a Nespresso capsule into the office machine, while z100's Elvis Duran ventures no further than the coffee cart guy at his building. "He has ice coffee year round, and I only drink ice coffee."
New Media: Power Lunch
They're on the cutting edge of the technology revolution -- but they prefer their lunches made the old-fashioned way, by hand, at restaurants featuring artisanal fare. Guestofaguest founder Rachelle Hruska likes the kale salad at Margaux, while Cosmo.com's Odell thinks "the fried chicken is amazing" at Ma Peche. Cameo co-founder Matthew Rosenberg eats lunch at Jack's Wife Freda, while Vimeo's Trainor says he takes lunch, and meetings, at Cookshop, where College Humor co-founder Ricky Van Veen also dines. Complex magazine's senior editor Foster Kamer gives a nod to Joseph Leonard, and SweetGreens in the NoMad Hotel, has "awesome salads and wraps," according to Khalil: "But be prepared to wait for 45 minutes."
Old Media: Power Lunch
For the old guard, it's still all about the established scene. The New York Post's Richard Johnson heads to either one of the twin citadels of Manhattan media power lunching: The Four Seasons or Michael's, mostly "for the crowd." Marie Claire's Garcia gravitates toward The Lamb's Club, a favorite for media elites. Vanity Fair's Carter will pop into one of his own establishments -- The Waverly Inn or The Beatrice Inn -- but z100's Duran rarely strays from Walker's in Tribeca. "I leave there so drunk sometimes, I forget to pay my bill, so I pay next time."
New Media: Dinner
From kitschy to costly, late-night dining for this crowd is far-ranging, but one thing is for sure: This group is full of foodies. "Mari Vanna is an amazing Russian place in Gramercy that's perfect for a date or a big group," says Reddit's Martin, who says the "roaming accordion players and sparklers" are a draw. Complex's Kamer goes for the ramen at Ippudo on Fourth Avenue (after a two-hour wait, usually), but for a "perfect restaurant" prefers Marlow & Sons – as does Rap Genius co-founder Moghadam. "That place is impressive and will make my date think I am cool," he says. Some make it a habit of dining out, like Guestofaguest founder Hruska, who is married to hotelier and restaurateur Sean MacPherson and has a list of nightly favorites "on rotation" including Raoul's, OMEN, Giorgione, Neta and Il Buco. When in doubt, however, and needing to dine, Thrillist CEO Ben Lerer has a backup plan, which consists of "walking in at Lupa or Babbo" (the former a fave of Twitter vice president Matt Derella as well).
Old Media: Dinner
Classic is the byword for nighttime eateries for this crowd, with Michelin-starred staples like Le Cirque for author Gay Talese and Le Bernadin a popular pick for Harper's Bazaar's Glenda Bailey and the Post's Johnson, who goes for the fish. The more casual choices included Roberta's pizza, a favorite of NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan ("Nothing gets a friend's attention like a random industrial block in Bushwick"), and "BBQ in Koreatown" for Garcia. And Duran proves that even New York's most well-known can't always get a reservation: "Everyone loves Carbone if I can ever find a friend who can get me in!"
New Media: Nightcap
Location factors in just as much as looks for that last drink of the night. Khalil stops off at Maysville not just for the great selection of Bourbon but because it's "very close to Lover.ly headquarters," and Lerer's go-to is Soho spot Rogue & Canon. Twitter's Derella and his wife head to Marc Forgione in their hood, where they are friendly with the bartender, while Curbed network founder Lockhart Steele heads to the bar at Mark Joseph Steakhouse, "a seaport living gem tucked in the cobblestones way downtown on Water Street." If at a hotel, this group is less likely to be at The Carlyle than The Mark (Steinberg) or the Bowery (Hruska and Into the Gloss' Emily Weiss, who says the lobby is "dark but not dank, with a fireplace and lots of nooks and crannies"). And those who need to blow off a little extra stream should take a cue from Odell and Kamer: The Cosmo.com editorial director goes for a pitcher of margaritas at La Esquina or General Assembly, while Kamer ends up at a local watering hole in Bushwick called Pumps post-2 a.m.: "I'll say this, it's an acquired taste, but their music selection is impeccable."
Old Media: Nightcap
Iconic standbys like The Carlyle Hotel are popular, where Katie Couric goes to hear live music and Marie Claire's Garcia grabs a drink at the hotel's Bemelmans Bar, where she might run into Carter or Talese. But Kiernan and Bailey laugh at the idea of late-night imbibing: "If only," says the Harper's Bazaar EIC, while the early-morning news anchor says he's usually in bed "for the 'night-cap' portion of the evening."
New Media: Haircut
When they take off their trilbies and slouching beanies, they're sporting 'dos from some of New York's trendiest (and sometimes cheapest) stylists. Thrillist's Lerer gets sheared at the popular Dop Dop in SoHo, while Twitter's Derella cuts costs on his haircuts, splurging for a $15 trim at Ray's Barbershop on Park Place. Into the Gloss' Weiss, meanwhile, gets her blond locks dyed by her "platinum ninja" at Sally Hershberger.
Old Media: Haircut
As one might guess, the men of the old guard prefer old-school styling. Johnson gets his hair cut at the barbershop in the IRT subway station at 50th Street. "All the haircutters are Russian women dressed in black," he says. But the female media elite put much more care into their grooming. Katie Couric goes to Louis Licari, while Garcia splits her beauty-parlor time between Warren Tricomi (styling) and Frederic Fekkai (coloring). As for who does Carter's famous tresses, his lips are sealed. "I promised him I would never tell," he says. "Can you blame the poor fellow for remaining anonymous on this job?"
New Media: Shopping
"I work in the new-media economy, which supports significantly less flashy lifestyles than the old-media economy," says Upworthy's Peter Koechley. Which is a roundabout way of saying he buys his suits at Century 21. Cosmo.com's Odell isn't above shopping at Zara, and neither is Lover.ly's Khalil. BuzzFeed's Steinberg favors Uniqlo because "everything is cheap," but not everybody in new media is so frugal when it comes to their rags. Into the Gloss' Weiss is crazy about Dover Street Market. "Far and away the coolest store in New York right now," she insists, and Hruska agrees. "My husband is thankful it's not in comfortable walking distance for me!" says the Guestofaguest founder.
Old Media: Shopping
Print and TV journalists like their labels like they like their interview subjects -- famous and rich. Couric wears Michael Kors, Town & Country's Jay Fielden goes for Bottega Veneta, while Duran and Garcia shop at Barneys, Bergdorf's and Saks. But even more important than the label is the tailoring. And Talese has some advice on that subject: "Contact Sal Cisiano, or his son Carl, at their L&S second-story shop at 138 East 61st Street."
New Media: Workout
The new-media elite like to exercise outdoors. Where they can be seen. Koechley works out at the Brooklyn Bridge Park; Derella stretches his muscles at Red Park in Tribeca, and Holmes likes the Central Park loop. When it rains, there's always yoga. Hruska does private sessions at home, and Rosenberg drops by Yoga Vida, where "everyone is in their mid-20s to mid-30s." But at that age, who needs exercise? "This is New York," says TheLI.st's Rachel Sklar. "I take three flights of stairs to my apartment."
Old Media: Workout
The old-media elite like to exercise indoors, where it's safe. Couric keeps fit at Flywheel and Pure Yoga; Fielden hits the gym at the Hearst Tower; NY1's Kiernan takes spin classes at Revolve; and Talese belongs to the Equinox on 63rd Street, "where there is a good pool, top trainers, great steam room and a minimum of cell phone addicts." Duran, though, just laughs when he hears the word "exercise."
New Media: Live Entertainment
Call it generational, but new media insiders had a lot of suggestions where the traditional fell short. From Van Veen's frequenting of Upright Citizens Brigade comedy club to Weiss' newfound love of The Comedy Cellar: "I went for the first time a few months ago and Darrell Hammond performed, unannounced." But it was New York's music venues that hit the right note for many new-media players. "S.O.B's has the best Latin and world music in the city," says Martin, while Rap Genius' Moghadam swears by the Glasslands, and Rosenberg picks Williamsburg Music Hall or the Bowery Ball Room, which is also a favorite of Complex's Kamer. "The acts I've seen there before they exploded -- TV on the Radio, The National, Frank Ocean -- are some of the best shows I've ever seen in a long line of concert-going." The Brooklyn Academy of Music got Koechley's vote, although he said he's a fan of "mostly theater," and he's not alone: Both Hruska and Khalil professed their love to Broadway, with TheLi.st's Sklar heading to 54 Below to get her fix when she can't get to the Great White Way: "Incredible stars from Broadway and unbelievable up-and-coming talent in a lush supper club with amazing sound, fantastic food."