Wednesday, February 02, 2000

Love is like Oxygen

Sweet sang "Love is like Oxygen" back in the 80s, and you could consider it a theme for the night of Wednesday, February 2nd. Geraldine Laybourne launched her new women-centric network on O2/O2, in the Chelsea Market. The cold bitter winds didn't keep partner Oprah Winfrey away, nor did it force Candice Bergen or Diane Sawyer to stay in. They all came out to express their well wishes and the enthusiasm of the 1,000 or so guests bubbled over the tops of their champagne glasses as Oxygen bubbles shot out at us during the launch of the network and first program.

While TV, network and media trendites dominated the guest list, there were some famous female new media women mixing up the equation, including Alice O'Rourke and Ellen Auwater (NYNMA), Aliza Sherman (Media Egg), Lynn Moloney (independent) and Kathy Reilly (Flooz). Oxygen's launch drew media sorts from the "old school," old boys' network too, like Charlie Rose, who shook my hand heartily as I re-introduced myself. Steven Brill and Bruce Lindsey of White House counsel fame, Jim Ledbetter and Ken Li (The Industry Standard), Nathaniel Wise (Time Digital) and Scott Wenger (The Daily News). Jonathan Alter (Newsweek) and Jim VanMeter (Vogue) were there, and I said a brief "Hello" to Nicolas Butterworth (MTVi) as he weeded his way through the crowd of tall, blond beauties.

I went upstairs to tour the studios, which I'd already seen a few weeks earlier as a guest on one of their rehearsal shows (I know -- "such an honor!" :)). That's where I saw Oprah conferring with her best friend and several advisors. As she left the cubicle, she answered some questions from two young reporters to my left: Her hero is Sojourner Truth and she thinks "the vibe between NY and Chicago is different--New York is so jazzed."

As I was heading out I blew kisses to Seth Price and Bernardo Joselevich as I pulled my new Escada feather boa suit close, braving the February winds.