Thursday, August 17, 2006

Love ya, Nelson

Whatever possessed me to suggest that Nelson Peltz may be a tad money-focused? The man is a veritable Mother Theresa in Armani, helping corporations find their way, giving hard-pressed lawyers a chance to step up a tax bracket, proudly watching while his Arby’s chain upgrades its bread. Instead of taunting him to grant an interview, or covering developments like Standard & Poor’s downgrade of a holding’s credit rating, I should be scouring film art houses to find a replay of “Ocean’s Twelve,” so I can jump up and cheer when he appears for a millisecond in a crowd scene. (His other film appearance was in Brian DePalma’s 1970 epic, “Hi, Mom!” If you ask me, he stole the flick from DeNiro.)

Why the change of heart, the regular readers among you might ask? It has absolutely, positively, beyond a shadow of a doubt nothing to do with Peltz’s shift in investment focus from your world to mine. So what if he recently bought 2.8 million shares in The Tribune Co., parent of the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Newsday and other places where I may someday work? Or that he may be hungry for other media acquisitions? And that I hope to stay in the media?

Even if he did end up buying a company where I was plinking away at the keyboard, why would I worry? He has to know I’ve only been kidding with all this commentary about his management abilities, and how his Triarc operation, the parent of Arby’s, is a Mini Cooper compared with Wendy’s, CBRL and the other companies whose directions he’s insisted on plotting. It’s all been just a lot of joshing. Diverting his attention away from restaurant or food chains may be great for you. But it’s not necessarily awful for me. Right?

Work with me here, people.

Well, just wanted to get that out there. Now I’m off to have an Arby’s sandwich, with some Heinz ketchup on it.

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