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The Insider

Jun 9, 2003  •  Post A Comment

After the 59th Annual Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner in Washington Wednesday at the Hilton, CNN and Fox News Channel hosted dueling parties. No surprise there. The twist was that CNN’s party was, by numerous third-party accounts, downright fun, not an adjective many folks have attached to CNN’s gatherings in the past.
How fun was the CNN party? Ask some of Fox’s own stars, The Insider suggests archly.
Fox’s party was described as loud and crowded but CNN’s party was loud and crowded longer. Both had dance floors but CNN’s was rocking later. Fox News hipster Shepard Smith resisted being pulled onto the CNN dance floor by a gaggle of gals, but CNN Chairman Jim Walton proved to be a real boogie man.
Indeed, Ali Zelenko, director of public relations for CNN in the capital, shut down her bars and deejay at 2 a.m. and still had a crowd milling about at 3 a.m. Fox wound down by 1 a.m. (The Insider sought confirmation or contradiction from Fox News for this item but got neither.)
The night before, George Stephanopoulos hosted a party for “This Week” roundtable colleague Fareed Zakaria’s book “The Future of Freedom.” A persistent rain stopped just before the arrival at Mr. Stephanopoulos’ D.C. digs of Tim Russert (whose “Meet the Press” creams the competition, including Mr. Stephanopoulos’ “Week,” every Sunday morning), Cokie Roberts (one of Mr. Stephanopoulos’ “Week” predecessors) and assorted other political and media movers and shakers.
Mr. Stephanopoulos’ wife, Ali Wentworth (who will have a better understanding of her husband’s current ratings battle when she and former ABC newsman Jack Ford debut on “Living It Up! With Jack & Ali” and challenge the supreme “Live With Regis & Kelly”), helped toss a book party in New York Thursday night for playwright Suzan-Lori Parks’ “Getting Mother’s Body.”
Tony and Toni’s Wedding
Finally, The Insider, in cold gray New York, tossed a bit of rice over the weekend in honor of the marriage of Fox Networks Group President Tony Vinciquerra to Toni Knight, president and CEO of Worldlink Media, a boutique media sales company, at the Four Seasons in Maui, Hawaii. In attendance were mostly family and a sprinkling of such professional pals as David Barrett, the Hearst-Argyle Television president for whom Mr. Vinciquerra worked before moving to Fox and the West Coast. Even as you read this, the newlyweds are honeymooning on Kona.