No. 471: "Fox Networks"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Aug. 26 2000 12:00 AM

No. 471: "Fox Networks"

(Continued from Page 2)

What I particularly like about his recipe is that it consists mostly of other commercial products, ready-mades—mayonnaise, French dressing, relish. Why not just buy some special sauce? It makes me nostalgic for my Aunt Bernice's secret dip made of a packet of Lipton's dehydrated onion soup and a quart of daiquiris.

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More Powerful Than Harry Potter Answer

Alan Nevins, a literary agent with Mike Ovitz's Artists Management Group, is suspected of using the New York Times' secret roster of surveyed bookstores to wangle a place on the best-seller list for his client Rich DeVos, a co-founder of Amway.

Nevins denies any skullduggery but acknowledges placing orders for at least 18,000 copies of DeVos' new book, Hope From My Heart: 10 Lessons for Life, at a few small bookshops that report to the Times. Editors involved with the best-seller list say Nevins' plan would not have worked because they disregard such unusually large bulk orders.

Nevins says he was just doing his holiday shopping early, or if you prefer to know what he actually said, that he arranged the sales on behalf of Amway distributors who planned to resell the books at their fall sales conference. Why did Nevins order them at small local bookstores instead of directly from the publisher? Mike Ovitz works in strange ways his wonders to perform.

Ron Land, an executive with the book's publisher, says, "The purpose of directing those sales through the stores was to get the book a presence in the marketplace and get it on the list." Owners of the stores say Nevins made that intention clear to them. I can't believe that an agent would lie.

Oh, sure I can. But I can't believe that any of Mike Ovitz's people would know the name of a small independent bookstore. Or of a book.

Incontrovertible Headline Extra

Lack of Information Hindered Identification of Woman—Irish Times (Dublin) Aug. 24, 2000

Matt Heimer's You-Be-the-Editor Extra

Participants were asked to suggest cover lines for the forthcoming magazine Hip-Hop Girl, described as a "Cosmo-Martha Stewart Living hybrid aimed at the hip-hop set."

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