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More on Media's Busted Holiday Blowouts

December 15, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

Bemoaning the state of scaled-back corporate holiday parties has become the party talk of the month. (See our own report on corporate holiday parties, plus New York's take.) The latest laments: The New York Post's Page Six detailed a list of media companies forced to limit their fun.

Martha Stewart--who originally asked employees to host small groups in their homes--decided to have a luncheon for 600 employees at Brasserie 8 1/2. Instead of its traditional bash at the Century Club, the New York Observer staff had a smaller party at Beacon restaurant. K-Rock 92.3, the home of Howard Stern, nixed party plans, and Dennis Publishing, purveyor of man-mags Stuff and Maxim, didn't invite full-time freelancers. Westwood One radio's holiday party at the Puck Building had no employees--the company invited families of World Trade Center victims, police and firefighters instead.

But the worst review was for Primedia (New York's parent, by the way). CEO Tom Rodgers reportedly tried to cancel its holiday event, but went ahead when he learned the Marriott Marquis wouldn't return the deposit. The result was a Wednesday afternoon company-wide “town meeting,” where Rodgers told employees “why shares of Primedia stock are worth about the price of a comic book,” Page Six reported. (A day later, Post media columnist Keith Kelly said one employee compared it to “a Chinese re-education camp.")

Posted 12.15.01

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