Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Judith Regan is having The Worst Year Ever!

The big story in the publishing world this week is the ousting of Judith Regan from Harper Collins-last Friday,she was given the bum's rush by no less than Rupert Murdoch himself. Regan is alledged to have said some Mel Gibson like comments during a heated argument with a HC lawyer about another hot button book,7 by Peter Golenbock,which is one of those novels that claims to have some truth in the wink-wink-nudge,say no more way about Mickey Mantle's sex life.

And to top this all off,she's listed in a lawsuit with other folks involved in the O.J. book and Tv deal from Ron Goldman,seeking to find out what happened to the money Simpson recieved and hid in a dummy corporation to avoid paying off his civil suit. It truly sucks to be you right now,Judith.

Let's take this mess one detail at a time;the comments that JR has been qouted as saying by the lawyer(I didn't know lawyers took notes during phone conversations,a new one on me!)were:"Of all people, Jews should know about ganging up, finding common enemies and telling the big lie." and then,after naming several HC employees,including CEO Jane Friedman,said they were a "Jewish cabal" against her. Now,alot of people are saying that they never heard Judith utter a prejudiced word ever but after reading that rambling statement she made to the Times,justifying her decision to make the O.J. deal,I have to say that it's very believable to image her talking like this.

Also,it sounds like HC was considering delaying the Mantle book,due to flack already flying about it from Mantle's family and die-hard baseball fans. I don't blame Harper Collins for that,considering that they're trying to recover from the whole "If I did it.."drama bomb. I also get why Mantle's people would be upset over a novel told in the first person that graphically details the true and maybe-true sexual romps of an American icon but honestly,folks-a)it's a novel,b)most of our baseball heroes were not choir boys and c)the book sounds boring to me. If I want to hear raunchy sex stories from an old man,I'd go to my local bar and buy drinks for one of the regulars.

Back to Judith;most people are saying that she'll land on her feet and set shop elsewhere. That's probaly true but with Ron Goldman suing her and she herself considering a libel suit against HC,that may take a little longer than Judith anticipates. My advice is,time to make nice. What Judith needs right now is to get some real support and sympathy on her side,which is going to take a real miracle from a devoted PR person. I'm not in that business but even Stevie Wonder can see what kind of fresh hell she's landed herself into. A major league image makeover should be top priority for Regan in 2007.

She's going to need to,especially with Bridie Clark's upcoming novel entitled Because She Can due out in February. Clark used to work for Regan and the Devil Wears Pradasque evil boss in this book about book publishing has already been compared to her. I'll be reviewing BSC for this blog(yes,I was interested in the book due to possible JR gossip but before she was fired,I swear!)and while I wouldn't know how accurate it is to the real deal,I will let you guys know if it's a good read. As for Judith,she should be cracking a few spines like How to Win Friends and Influence People or a Miss Manners guide(there's one on basic communication,that could be a big help). Good luck next year-you're gonna need it!


Pop Culture Diva said...

Speaking as a PR/Marketing professional, Regan needs to soften those edges. I don't know much about her but she seems defensive. Also, years of pissing people off doesn't reverse itself overnight. She needs a team of crisis experts and an image consultant. You can only be the badass so long before it backfires on you. Karma's a bitch.

Robin Brande said...

Oo, so glad to hear you'll be reviewing Because She Can. Sounds dishy, and it's about an industry I might actually understand, as opposed to the fashion industry (although I'm always happy to learn, as in the blue sweater scene).

lady t said...

I agree,PCD,that those sharp edges need to be smoothed but at this point,JR may have to find someone with superhuman abilities to save her professional behind. There's a story in the NYT today about Regan getting a reprimand a few years ago at HC for telling an editor that she use to replace the scrolls in her neighbor's mezuzahs with torn bits of money.

A mezuzah is to the Jewish faith what a household saint shrine is to Christians,so that's a serious charge right there. This story keeps on gettting worse for Regan,it's like she's walking in quicksand.

Robin,I'll be glad to fill you in on BSC-my review'll probaly be up in late Januray/early Feb(got some other books to get thru first). In the meantime,a fun publishing insider novel to read is Olivia Goldsmith's The Bestseller. It came out several years ago but is still in print and does have an agressive female book editor who gets what's coming to her in the end. It's also a great,juicy read.