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Donald Trump; The Apprentice!
A schoolboy’s dream…a competitor’s challenge. Donald J. Trump is the very definition of the American success story, continually setting the standards of excellence while expanding his interests in real estate, gaming, sports, and entertainment. He is the archetypal businessman – a deal-maker without peer and an ardent philanthropist. In January of 2004, Trump joined forces with Mark Burnett Productions and NBC to produce and star in the television reality show, “The Apprentice.” This quickly became the #1 new show on television last year, made history in ratings and has received great reviews. Few shows have garnered the worldwide attention of “The Apprentice.” Trump has signed to continue in this role for the 2004-05 television season. Trump started his business career in an office he shared with his father in Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, New York. He worked with his father for five years, where they were busy making deals together. Trump has been quoted as saying, “My father was my mentor, and I learned a tremendous amount about every aspect of the construction industry from him.” Likewise, Fred C. Trump often stated that, “some of my best deals were made by my son, Donald... everything he seems to touch turns to gold.” Trump then entered the very different world of Manhattan real estate. In New York City, the Trump signature is synonymous with the most prestigious of addresses. Among them are the world-renowned Fifth Avenue skyscraper, Trump Tower (where Asprey has just signed a lease paying the highest square foot rent anywhere in the world), and the luxury residential buildings, Trump Parc, Trump Palace (the tallest building on the East Side of Manhattan), Trump Plaza, 610 Park Avenue, The Trump World Tower and Trump Park Avenue. Trump was also responsible for the designation and construction of the Jacob Javits Convention Center on land controlled by him, known as the West 34th Street Railroad Yards, and the total exterior restoration of the Grand Central Terminal as part of his conversion of the Commodore Hotel into the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Over the years, Trump has owned and sold many great buildings in New York including the Plaza Hotel (which he renovated and brought back to its original grandeur), the St. Moritz Hotel (three times…and now called the Ritz Carlton on Central Park South) and recently, the land under the Empire State Building (which allowed the land and lease to be merged together for the first time in over 50 years). Additionally, the NikeTown store is owned by Trump, on East 57th Street and adjoining Tiffany’s. In 1999, the Trump International Hotel and Tower opened its doors to the world. This 52-story, mixed–use, super luxury hotel and residential building is located on the crossroads of Manhattan’s West Side, on Central Park West at Columbus Circle. It is designed by the world-famous architect, Philip Johnson, and has gotten the highest sales prices and rentals in the U.S. It is one of only three hotels in the United States that has received five stars from Mobil for both the hotel and restaurant. It has also received the Five Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Services.
Trump is also the owner of the largest parcel of land in New York City, the former West Side Rail Yards. On this 100-acre property, fronting along the Hudson River from 59th Street to 72nd Street, the biggest development ever approved by the New York City Planning Commission is being built. When completed, this $5 billion project, known as Trump Place, will have 5,700 residential units and more than 5 million square feet of commercial space. Permits will soon be sought for an additional three thousand residential units and commercial space on the most southerly (and largest) portion of the site. Including the parking garages, Trump Place will comprise over 10,000,000-square feet of space (as a comparison, the AOL Time Warner Building is approximately two-million square feet.) Thus far, 5 towers have been completed and are occupied, and two additional buildings are under construction. There will be a total of 18 buildings on the site.
Other recent acquisitions in New York City include The Trump Building at 40 Wall Street, the landmark 1.3 million square foot, 72-story building located in Manhattan’s Financial District, directly across from the New York Stock Exchange and the tallest building in downtown Manhattan. This purchase, which took place at the depths of the New York City real-estate market, is said to be one of the best real estate deals made in the last 25 years. It was totally empty when purchased and is now 100% leased to tenants such as American Express, Bear Stearns and CNA Insurance. In addition, Trump built 610 Park Avenue (at 64th Street), formerly known as the Mayfair Regent Hotel, which was very successfully converted into super-luxury condominium apartments getting, at that time, the highest prices on Park Avenue. Further east, adjacent to the United Nations, sits the brand new Trump World Tower, a 90-story luxury residential building … the tallest residential tower in the world. The Trump World Tower has received rave reviews from the architectural critics with Herbert Muschamp of the New York Times, calling it “a handsome hunk of a glass tower.” Likewise, The Trump World Tower is considered one of the most successful condominium towers ever built in the United States.
Most recently, Trump announced plans for his first foray into Illinois where he has entered into a venture to build Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago, a 2.6-million square foot signature skyscraper, one of the biggest in Chicago, on the banks of the Chicago River, directly west of Michigan Avenue (the most prominent site in Chicago). The architect is Skidmore, Owens & Merrill, Chicago.
In 2002, Trump purchased the fabled Delmonico Hotel, located at 59th Street and Park Avenue. It has been developed, into a state-of-the-art luxury 35 story condominium to be named Trump Park Avenue. It is Trump’s desire to make this one of the most luxurious buildings ever built in New York City. The square foot prices of these apartments are setting new records. Another of Trump’s new ventures in 2002 included the $600 million Trump Grande Ocean Resort and Residences in Miami Beach, Florida, in partnership with a large local development company, and a super-luxury 60 story condominium tower on the Las Vegas strip.
In the gaming arena, The Trump Organization is one of the world’s largest operators of hotels and casinos. The Trump name stands proudly on three world-class casino hotels in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They are also the only five star, five diamond-rated hotels in Atlantic City: The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino on the Boardwalk, the Trump Marina Casino Resort in the Marina District and The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, home of one of the world’s largest casinos and one of the most luxurious casino-hotels ever built. (It also finished the year as the number one hotel in Atlantic City). Additionally, Buffington Harbor, Indiana, is the home of The Trump Casino. Located just outside of Chicago, it is the first casino riverboat among Trump’s holdings. Most recently, Trump entered into an agreement with the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Luiseno Mission Indians to manage the Trump 29 Casino in Palm Springs, California, his first foray into gaming on the West Coast.
Trump’s portfolio of holdings also includes Trump National Golf Club in Westchester, New York, a signature Fazio golf course/housing development, and a 250-acre estate known as the Mansion at Seven Springs, the former home of Katharine Graham (of the Washington Post) and Rockefeller University, which will be developed into a world class luxury housing development with homes that will sell for upwards of $20 million each. Trump recently purchased the largest parcel of land in California which fronts, for almost two miles, along the Pacific Ocean. Seventy-five luxury estates and a Pete Dye championship golf course, to be called Trump National Golf Club/Los Angeles, will be built on this site. In addition, the Tom Fazio-designed Trump National Golf Club and 20 “super mansions” are being built at Lamington Farm in Bedminster, New Jersey, on the 525-acre Cowperthwaite Estate, considered to be the best in the state.
In Palm Beach, Florida, Trump has converted the famous and historic estate owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post and E.F. Hutton, Mar-a-Lago, into the private, ultra-luxury Mar-a-Lago Club. It has just received the award from the American Academy of Hospitality Services as the “Best Club Anywhere in the World.” Also in Palm Beach and located seven minutes from Mar-a-Lago is the Trump International Golf Club. Designed by the famed golf course architect Jim Fazio, this $40 million golf course has magnificent tropical landscaping, water features and streams and elevations of 100 feet (unprecedented in all of Florida). Opened in October 1999, this course is already being acclaimed as one of the best in the United States. In 2002, Trump purchased an additional 60 acres adjacent to Trump International and is in the process of creating a nine hole addition to the course, also designed by Jim Fazio.
And, in a departure from his real estate acquisitions, Trump and NBC are partners in the ownership and broadcast rights for the three largest beauty competitions in the world: the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA Pageants. The last Miss Universe pageant substantially won its timeslot, and a new five-year television contract was just signed with NBC.
In addition, Trump rebuilt the Wollman Skating Rink (currently managed by The Trump Organization) in Central Park. This project was particularly special to Trump. The city had been trying for seven years to rebuild and restore the Rink, whereupon Trump interceded and did so in three months and at only 10 percent of the City’s $20 million cost.
An accomplished author, Trump’s first autobiography, “The Art of the Deal,” has become one of the most successful business best-sellers of all time, having sold in excess of three million copies, and being a New York Times number one best-seller for many weeks. The sequel, “Surviving at the Top,” was on the New York Times best-seller list and was also a number one best-seller as was his third book, “The Art of the Comeback.” Trump’s fourth book, “The America We Deserve,” is a departure from his past literary efforts. This book deals with issues most important to the American people today and focuses on the views regarding American political, economic and social problems. His fifth book, “How To Get Rich: Big Deals from the Star of The Apprentice,” became an immediate bestseller on all lists.
A native of New York City, Trump is a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance. Involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations, he is a member of the Board of Directors for the Police Athletic League and United Cerebral Palsy. Trump also serves as a Chairman of the Donald J. Trump Foundation as well as Co-chairman and builder of the New York Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Fund. In 1995, he served as the Grand Marshal of the largest parade ever held in New York, The Nation’s Parade, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Trump is a founding member of both the Committee to Complete Construction of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and The Wharton School Real Estate Center. Trump was also a committee member of the Celebration of Nations commemorating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations and UNICEF. More recently, Trump was designated “The Developer of the Year” by the Construction Management Association of America. In June 2000, he received his greatest honor of all, the Hotel and Real Estate Visionary of the Century, given by the UJA Federation, and in 2003 was named to the Benefactors Board of Directors by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.
Donald Trump Wants Jackson to Perform in Vegas
What do Wayne Newton, Celine Dion and Michael Jackson have in common?
If Donald Trump and his partners have their way, they all will have a resident performing gig in Las Vegas on their resumes.
Trump's Las Vegas partners have been courting Jackson to perform at the New Frontier Hotel and Casino (search), Us Weekly magazine reports. New Frontier owner Phil Ruffin and partner Jack Wishna have reportedly spoken to representatives of Jackson about a long-term residency.
Trump and Ruffin are partners in Trump International Hotel & Tower, which is being built behind the New Frontier.
"Everything I do is the best, and everything Phil Ruffin does is the best, and this would be no exception," the magazine quotes Trump as saying.
Jackson's spokeswoman, Raymone K. Bain, didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press Wednesday for comment.
The 46-year-old pop star is on trial in Santa Maria, Calif. He is accused of molesting a boy, now 15, at his Neverland ranch, giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold the boy's family captive in 2003.
"There'd be moral clauses in the contract," Wishna told Us. He added that Jackson would draw more than the $80 million Dion grossed in 2004. Dion continues to perform at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Newton is touring the country.
Jackson has in the past reportedly been interested in performing in Las Vegas. The singer is a frequent visitor to the city, where his parents and sister LaToya live.
Donald Trump eyes Miss America
Donald Trump is eyeing the Miss America pageant as his next investment.
The property tycoon, who already owns the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants, has approached the Miss American Organization about buying the long-running contest, which was dumped last year by US TV network ABC because of declining ratings.
He says: "I've talked to them, but I have not made an offer."
The pageant's chief executive officer, Art McMaster, says: "We are flattered that Donald Trump called on the Miss American Organization. We are currently exploring all of our opportunities."
He's hired - to play The Donald
ABC has found its Donald. Justin Louis, one of the stars of the Lifetime drama "Missing," has been cast as the developer-turned-reality star in the made-for-TV movie "Ambition," about Trump's rise to fame and fortune.
The film, based on Gwenda Blair's book "Donald Trump: Master Apprentice," will chronicle the years from the '70s, when Trump began to build his empire, to the early '90s, when he was undergoing turmoil in his personal life, including the breakup of his 15-year marriage to Ivana Trump.
B-movie actress Katheryn Winnick ("Hellraiser: Hellworld") will play Ivana.
Of course, there are considerable challenges in portraying someone as visible and distinctive as The Donald. But, said executive producer Barbara Lieberman, finding the right wig is not one of them.
"I will tell you, we are blessed," Lieberman said yesterday. "Donald Trump had the most gorgeous hair as a young man. He had beautiful, beautiful hair. Certainly before we cast the role, we thought we would have to use a wig."
"We cast an actor with tons of hair, and we just have to style it," added Lieberman, who has several pictures of the young Trump hanging in her L.A. office for inspiration.
She said she has not heard from Trump's representatives regarding the film, which starts production next week in Toronto for broadcast this year on ABC.
Jennifer Baxter, who played Carolyn Bessette's sister Lauren in a TV movie about John F. Kennedy Jr.'s last days, will play Marla Maples, the woman Trump dumped Ivana for. Ron McLarty ("Into the Fire") plays Trump's father, Fred Trump.
Quadriplegic Settles 'Apprentice' Suit
Quadriplegic Lawyer Settles Lawsuit Against Producers of NBC's 'The Apprentice'
A quadriplegic attorney settled his lawsuit against producers of NBC's "The Apprentice" after they agreed to make clear the program accepts applications from the disabled.
James Schottel Jr., whose federal lawsuit claimed the show's online application was discriminatory in requiring "excellent physical" health of would-be contestants, said Wednesday that producers agreed to insert a sentence into the show's rules encouraging people with disabilities to try out.
Schottel said the new language reads: "All applicants who believe they meet our criteria, including persons with disabilities, are welcome and encouraged to apply to be a participant."
"I think that's satisfactory," Schottel said. "I'm still a fan of the show, and I was pleased that the online application is going to be modified and that they have shown they have a commitment to consider people with disabilities. That was my goal from the beginning."
Mark Burnett, who produces the show along with star Donald Trump, said: "It was never our intent to exclude from consideration persons with disabilities."
"Even before we learned of this lawsuit, our staff in New York had already interviewed three persons in wheelchairs." Burnett said. "We continue to urge all potential participants, including those with disabilities, who are interested to apply for the show."
As part of the deal, neither Los Angeles-based Mark Burnett Productions Inc. nor Trump Productions LLC admit any wrongdoing.
Schottel never sought monetary damages. He sued here last month, seeking an injunction that would force "The Apprentice" producers to drop requirements that exclude him and "others similarly situated" from being considered for the show.
Schottel had applied to try out for the show when auditions were staged last month on the Casino Queen gaming boat across the Mississippi River in East St. Louis, Ill.
'Be yourself,' Trump advises
Donald Trump has some advice if you want to be on "The Apprentice": Look sharp, be sharp, but "be yourself."
"Ultimately, if you're not yourself, you're not gonna be happy, and you're probably not gonna do very well. So be yourself -- enjoy it," he advised those who will audition at the open casting call Saturday at WTHR (Channel 13).
The business tycoon/TV star of "The Apprentice" isn't in town for two casting calls this week, but his emissaries from NBC will be looking for candidates for the show's fourth season and a new program hosted by domestic diva Martha Stewart, "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart."
"I wanted to come," Trump said in a recent telephone interview. "I love Indianapolis. I have a lot of friends there. I put that on the list because I thought it would be a great place to be -- great people."
The first season of the show drew 215,000 applicants. More than 1 million people have applied to be on the shows, he said, including 20,000 who came to the New York casting call.
"When I originally signed, I signed for a one-time hit," he said. "Now we're casting already for Number 4. It's been amazing."
The reality TV show features teams that must complete business-related tasks. Each week, a team member is "fired" by Trump until one is left to claim a plum job.
The Martha Stewart version of the show will include entertaining, home renovation, merchandising, design, technology and style.
The show's success is living proof, Trump said, that entrepreneurship and business are doing fine.
Casting, the tone, the human drama and the location in New York City share in making the show work, Trump added, but "it's still ultimately about business, and if people didn't like business, it wouldn't do as well as it does."
In retrospect, there are some contestants Trump wouldn't have chosen, but others turned out to be amazing surprises. He had doubts about Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, "then all of a sudden she turned out to be a character."
She rose to prominence during the show's first season with a diva's attitude that quickly made her controversial. Eventually even she was fired, but she has continued to capture attention.
"You never know until the lights go on," he said.
Trump gives kudos to "Apprentice" students
Donald Trump wrote a congratulatory letter to a group of teenagers who used the NBC reality show "The Apprentice" as a model to raise about $23,000 for tsunami victims.
"I am very pleased to hear about the enthusiasm and success of the high school children in this endeavor, and would like to thank you for sharing it with me," Trump wrote in response to a letter from Rabbi Victor Urecki informing him of the B'Nai Jacob Synagogue Youth Discussion Group's project.
Urecki said 23 teens formed two corporations, Gladiators and Yaffa Corp., and competed to raise the most money. The winners' prize was to be dinner at a nice restaurant while the losers were to get Slurpees.
The teens had hoped to raise $5,000 through fund-raising activities including a raffle and a silent auction. In the end, their total was almost $23,000 and only $2 separated the teams. So everyone was treated to dinner.
Trump Sued For Apprentice Discrimination
An Apprentice hopeful has filed a federal suit against Donald Trump and Apprentice producer Mark Burnett for discrimination against disabled people who want to be part of the reality show.
The plaintiff, a 32-year-old quadriplegic St. Louis attorney by the name of James Schottel, claims that Trump and Burnett have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not allowing disabled people to apply for the show.
Schottel cites wording in the show's application that states candidates "be in excellent physical and mental health" and "meet all physical and psychological requirements."
He is not seeking monetary damages, only asking a federal judge to order the show's producers to "to apply and be considered" for the reality series. He has reportedly asked for a preliminary injunction to block the show from holding auditions scheduled for Friday in St. Louis until his case is heard.
"I'm a fan of the show, and I'm a fan of Mr. Trump, and I don't think he would support any kind of discrimination," Schottel told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "To be a corporate executive, I don't think you need to be able to run 100 yards or run a flight of steps or anything of that nature."
Baker became paralyzed as the result of a fraternity hazing accident while attending Baker University where he was also a football player. After the accident he transferred to Southern Illinois University and obtained his bachelor degree and then attended law school St. Louis University, where he obtained his law degree in 1999.
The Trump and Burnett camp have been silent so far about the suit but the Associated Press quoted an NBC publicist as stating that two people in wheelchairs were interviewed during auctions last week in New York City, and that Trump was present during the sessions.
"We're treating them like everyone else," the NBC publicist said.
Trump: The Movie...and Lawsuit
First, Donald Trump announced plans for a Broadway musical based on The Apprentice, now the Donald's getting his own TV movie.
Not that the perpetually self-promoting Trump has anything to do with the latter: ABC has fast-tracked development on an unauthorized biopic of the real-estate magnate turned reality TV star, E! has confirmed.
No word on who will model the comb-over coif for the teleflick, but casting is under way. Producers are aiming to start shooting as early as next month.
The TV movie will be based on Gwenda Blair's The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire and focus on Trump's personal life and boardroom dealings over the past quarter century as he ascended to the top of America's business world.
"Donald Trump is the American version of royalty," Quinn Taylor, senior vice president of movies and miniseries at ABC, told the Hollywood Reporter. "He's probably one of the most fascinating and intriguing men of my generation who has continually kept himself at the top of his game. That he was able to do it is worth exploring."
Alphabet reps said the flick will not document the newly remarried Trump's second life as a TV star offering up business acumen and his trademark "You're Fired!" catchphrase to wannabe moguls on NBC's hit reality series, The Apprentice. ABC doesn't want to do anything to pimp a rival network.
That means the planned docudrama won't be dealing with a major lawsuit that has just been filed against The Apprentice.
A quadriplegic St. Louis attorney has filed a federal suit against Trump and Apprentice producer Mark Burnett, accusing them of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by discriminating against him and other disabled individuals who want to try out for the show.
The complaint, filed by 32-year-old aspiring contestant James Schottel, is asking a judge to order Trump & Co. to allow him "to apply and be considered for The Apprentice" by the time auditions begin Friday in St. Louis.
Schottel says the show's application is discriminatory because it cautions all candidates to "be in excellent physical and mental health" and "meet all physical and psychological requirements."
"I'm a fan of the show, and I'm a fan of Mr. Trump, and I don't think he would support any kind of discrimination," Schottel told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "To be a corporate executive, I don't think you need to be able to run 100 yards or run a flight of steps or anything of that nature."
A former football player at Baker University until he suffered a spinal cord injury and was paralyzed during a fraternity hazing incident at the college, Schottel obtained his law degree in 1999 from St. Louis University.
Schottel says he has no knowledge of The Apprentice turning away disabled individuals in the past. He hopes the preemptive legal action--which seeks no monetary damages--might open doors for people like him to compete.
Calls to Mark Burnett Productions were not returned. Trump was not immediately available to comment on either the lawsuit or ABC TV movie.
NBC was not named in the suit, but network publicist Jim Dowd said that two wheelchair-bound people were interviewed in New York City last week as part of casting for season four, with Trump personally sitting in on the sessions.
"We're treating them like everyone else," he said.
ABC plans TV movie about Donald Trump
But mogul himself is not cooperating. ABC television is looking for an actor with a good comb-over. Capitalizing on the celebrity of a rival network star, ABC has ordered production to begin on a two-hour movie about real estate tycoon Donald Trump, whose success as host of NBC’s reality hit “The Apprentice” has boosted his status as a pop culture icon, ABC said on Wednesday.
No air date has been set for the TV biography, but casting will start immediately and the movie could begin shooting as early as next month.
The challenge of casting the lead will be to find someone who can convey the charisma and “unapologetic self confidence” projected by the real Trump, said Quinn Taylor, senior vice president for movies and miniseries at ABC.
“This is a man who continually invented and reinvented himself,” Taylor told Reuters “He’s terribly driven --obviously has a need and desire to succeed, and the wherewithal and chutzpah to do it, primarily on his terms.”
He said the role could end up being filled with a name performer or a newcomer, adding that Trump’s signature hairstyle posed no particular problem.
“A comb-over is not a prerequisite. That’s the beauty of a good wig,” Taylor said.
The Donald himself is not cooperating with the project. Instead, ABC has acquired rights to Gwenda Blair’s 2001 book, ”The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire,” which will serve as source material for the movie.
ABC said the film will cover the past 25 years of Trump’s roller-coaster business career and personal life, which has long been fodder for tabloid headlines chronicling his casino deals and relationships with supermodels. But the network said the project would steer away from details about his latest incarnation as a TV star.
There was no immediate comment from either NBC or the Trump Organization.
ABC has enjoyed success with other made-for-TV biographies in recent years, drawing solid ratings and favorable reviews for films on such subjects as Judy Garland, Three Stooges and the Beach Boys, according to Daily Variety.
But the network fell flat in September with an attempt to steal some thunder from NBC by airing a “Primetime Live” expose on Trump opposite “The Apprentice.”
Trump Sued Over Chandeliers
Tycoon Donald Trump is being sued by the contractor who helped light up his wedding reception by installing three costly chandeliers at his Miralago holiday complex in Florida.
Nicholas Jacobsen erected the chandeliers at a cost of $36,000 but he claims Trump has only paid him half of the full fee.
Trump, who insists he will eventually honor the agreement he made with Jacobsen, hopes the lighting expert does push forward with his threat to take the businessman to court -- because he'll shame him for his shoddy workmanship.
In a statement Trump has given to court show "Celebrity Justice," he says, "They did a terrible job. He's a terrible contractor. He could not have been worse."
Fired up to be Trump
Hopefuls flock to tryouts for 'Apprentice' & Martha spinoff
They came from all over the area and all walks of life, but they had one thing in common: They want to be Donald Trump. Except for the ones who want to be Martha Stewart.
Thousands braved sleet and snow yesterday to audition for the fourth cycle of Trump's NBC reality show "The Apprentice" - as well as a new Martha Stewart-hosted spinoff. "He's incredible and you want to learn from him," said Hila Braun, 29, of Englewood, N.J., who got on line at 6:30 a.m.
Some potential candidates started lining up Thursday afternoon for interviews that wouldn't start until 9 a.m. yesterday. By the time the interviews started, wanna-bes were lined up for at least three blocks outside the Trump Building at 40 Wall St. Groups of 10 people where whisked to a table where they talked to a casting producer, who had them introduce themselves.
A female investment banker was pressed for her salary by first-year "Apprentice" winner Bill Rancic, also sitting in on some groups. "Give us a number," he said. "What are you driving?" asked casting producer Scott Salyers. Salyers then tossed out a topic and watched as the group bickered over whether women have an advantage in the workplace. "Remember," Salyers told them. "Donald's always watching."
And he was. Trump hovered over the table, listening to the conversations. "You get a pretty good idea," Trump told the Daily News yesterday. "Every once in a while you'll see someone who's a star. You'll see somebody that just works." "I have a certain feeling - the success [of the show] is one of the things that causes this big adrenaline rush for me. If I came to 40 Wall St. and instead of thousands of people lined up five blocks long there were only three, I'd say it was done."
After one round, Rancic, Salyers and last season's winner, Kelley Perdew, conferred with Trump. "There were a couple of standouts," Rancic said, noting the female investment banker. "She was tough, she was a b---buster," Perdew said. "Half the people wanted to fire her."
While Trump was overseeing the contestants for his show, producers at another table were interviewing potential candidates for "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart." Those contestants tended to wear brighter-colored dresses, and women outnumbered men. There were more people vying to get on The Donald's show than on the domestic diva's. Yesterday was the first part of a 28-city audition process. Filming is expected to start in April.
Trump to Martha: 'You're Hired'
Lifestyle mogul Martha Stewart will star in a prime-time spinoff of NBC's hit reality show "The Apprentice" sometime after her release from prison next month, the network said on Wednesday.
The NBC show, titled "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart," will be modeled after the series hosted by Stewart's friend and fellow tycoon, Donald Trump.
No air date was given, but executive producer Rob Burnett said production on the series may begin while the domestic diva is under home confinement following her scheduled release in March.
Burnett said the show would follow the format of the original "Apprentice," which features Trump and a group of would-be tycoons competing for a high-ranking executive post in one of his companies.
On Stewart's spinoff, which Trump will have a hand in producing, contestants will vie for an unspecified job somewhere in her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Burnett said.
Trump said he doubted Stewart would use the signature phrase he has made famous on his own program.
"She's probably not going to say, 'You're fired.' She's probably got her own expression that's different from what I do," the real estate magnate said. He said he had not decided whether he would appear on her show.
Trump said he and Burnett, the man behind the CBS reality hit "Survivor" as well as "The Apprentice," began discussing a prospective "Apprentice" spinoff several months ago.
"I'm a good friend of Martha's. I have been for a long time," Trump told reporters in a conference call announcing the deal. "And I've learned one thing fairly recently over the last couple of years. She's a very brave woman. Very few people could have withstood what she's withstood. She's gone through a tough time. And she's done it admirably."
Why dish he dumped married 'The Donald'
Donald Trump was back in the headlines last weekend. Not because of a new TV show, new book, new skyscraper or new casino. Because of a new wife. His third.
"The Donald," 58, married Melania Knauss, 34, in a show-biz setting in Palm Beach, Fla. The media generally described her as a former model. But here's what the new Mrs. Trump really is like:
• She's as brainy as she is beautiful.
• Slovenian-born, she speaks five languages.
• She's equally at ease mixing and conversing with the rich and famous in business, politics, entertainment or sports.
I've known Trump for many years. Admire him for his free spirit, his mostly successful entrepreneurial risk-taking and his sense of humor, including occasional self-deprecation.
I've known Melania since 1998, when Trump introduced us in George Steinbrenner's Yankee Stadium luxury suite during that year's World Series. I thought then they were a cool couple.
But two years later, when Trump became a presidential wannabe, he got upset that Melania drew most of the "oohs and aahs" at his campaign stops. So he announced publicly he was dumping the sexy dish.
I wrote then in this column that without Melania at his side as a potential first lady, fewer lenses would focus on Trump's campaign stops. That happened, and he quit the presidential exploration.
Why did they get back together and why is she the new Mrs. Trump?
Because he figured out he fired the wrong person. She is no losing "Apprentice."
Melania realized she is intellectually every bit as bright as he is and can call a lot of the shots in their future personal and business relationship.
That's why this honeymoon hopefully might last a long time.
Donald Trump's Royal Wedding
The traditional thrill of surprise at the gown in which the bride bedecks herself was missing when the former model Melania Knauss and the wealthy real estate developer-turned reality television star Donald Trump were married at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church here Saturday night.
The bride had already modeled the Dior gown, strapless and dramatically form-fitting from bust to hip, then gathered into mounds and furls of white satin encrusted with embroidery, crystal and pearls, on the cover of the latest issue of Vogue.
Inside were more photos, including one of the couple of the moment in a double-page advertisement for Donald Trump, the Fragrance, as well as more bridal secrets: The gown was reported to include 90 meters of white satin, the skirt so wide and voluminous that for the wedding supper at Mar-a-Lago, Ms. Knauss was to be seated on a bench.
Still, there are some pictures that simply do not do a woman - or a gown - justice. And that was one. Shortly after 7 p.m., when Ms. Knauss came down the aisle of the church to the strains of "Ave Maria," she looked magnificent. Her head was completely covered in a swath of white veil, which fell into a 16-foot train, and she carried a small diamond cross and rosary, with roses on either end.
She was preceded by her older sister, Ines, and Cameron Burnett, son of one of Mr. Trump's partners on "The Apprentice," Mark Burnett,
When the priest took the couple through their vows, "obey" was not in the lexicon. And when he asked the guests, including former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and the singers Billy Joel and Tony Bennett, if they would all enable the bride and groom to uphold those vows, they said quietly, "We will." The priest then exhorted them do it one more time, with feeling, and the 350 or so guests shouted out, "We will."
He also noted that the unity candle lit by the couple had been given to Melania at her baptism, which happened to fall on Mr. Trump's birthday, June 14.
After the couple was pronounced "husband and wife," Mr. Trump kissed the bride not once, but three times. The crowd cheered before leaving for Mar-a-Lago and its newly refurbished $42 million ballroom featuring 24-karat-gold moldings and 11,000 square feet of marble flooring.
There they sipped Cristal champagne and tasted hors d'oeuvres prepared by the chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, whose restaurant is in the Trump International Hotel in New York. The reception dinner menu also featured beef tenderloin and individual Grand Marnier chocolate truffle cakes that resembled the seven-tier wedding cake decorated with 3,000 roses fashioned from white icing.
Later, the boxing promoter Don King, whose diamond cross pendant and two diamond name necklaces nearly surpassed the bride's bling, summed up the event as "a great American occasion."
"It's a royal wedding," Mr. King said. "It's something out of the monarchy. It's something like, you know, King Henry or King Edward - they've got so many kings it really doesn't matter - would have.' '
Is there a girl with good cheekbones or a wealthy businessman of but middling good looks who does not know the story of Mr. Trump and Ms. Knauss? He, when they met, had been twice divorced - first from Ivana Trump, with whom he had Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric, then from Marla Maples, with whom he had Tiffany.
All four children attended Saturday night's wedding. Ivanka, wearing a slim tangerine dress and looking radiant, did a reading. The furrier Dennis Basso said that he had seen Mr. Trump, 58, with his two sons just before the vows and that, "he was looking a little nervous, just like a traditional groom," which Mr. Basso took to be a good omen.
Ms. Knauss, 34, grew up in Slovenia, where she had but one "s" at the end of her name, but where her life, as she tells it, was otherwise undiminished. Her father, Victor Knaus, who has been variously described as an engineer or an auto repairman, managed a chain of car and motorcycle dealerships, Ms. Knauss told The New York Times in an interview six years ago; her mother was a fashion designer. Her sister is also a designer.
The family prospered; they skied in Austria and Slovenia; in summer they went to the shore. Ms. Knaus started modeling at 5. She graduated from the Academy in Ljubljana at 19, then modeled in Paris and Milan - including for European Vogue.
Ms. Knauss met Mr. Trump at a fashion party in 1998. Although she said she was strongly attracted to him, when he asked for her number, she declined. "I am not a girl who will just give away the number to anybody," she said. Another reason she refused: Mr. Trump, whose reputation as a sound-bite king is exceeded only by his reputation as a womanizer, was there with a date.
Three days later, Ms. Knauss violated the first rule of the dating handbook for girls and called Mr. Trump. Since the ring he gave her is said to be worth $1.5 million, it may be argued that it is time to jettison that rule
You're Married!: Trump To Tie Knot In Palm Beach
About 400 of Donald Trump's closest friends and colleagues are coming to Palm Beach for his Saturday wedding to model Melania Knauss.
Donald Trump an ideal husband?
He's the brashest tycoon ever to brag about his billions. But today it's the private life of Donald Trump that's transfixing the US: his third and (he says) final wedding.
Forgive America for its dizzy spell this weekend. It was not enough that on Thursday, George Bush celebrated his second inaugur- ation as the 43rd president, spending $44m (£24m) on fireworks and fancy dance parties. Today, more space must be made in the country's history texts. Melania Knauss, a former model from Slovenia, is to become the third wife of King Donald Trump. The price tag for today's nuptial extravaganza? That's a matter of some conjecture.
And why so much hoopla and expense to herald something that will not last? We speak here of Mr Bush, of course, who has only 1,459 days before he must vacate the White House for whoever comes next. No one would dare imply such a strict term-limit for the Knauss-Trump alliance. The 58-year-old bridegroom, who saw his two earlier marriages fizzle, first with Ivana and then with Marla, has promised to try a little harder this time.
"No really," Mr Trump, rechristened years ago by New York's gossip columnists as The Donald, told Glare magazine. "I take it seriously. I've always said marriage is the greatest institution in the world when you get it right. I've been a great father and a lousy husband. This time around I'm gong to devote more time to my wife". When he is not The Donald, he is The Trumpster. Although the gossip writers like to knock him down from time to time, there is also affection for a man who has become an icon of New York city. Out in the harbour there is the Lady Liberty. And in his three-floor suite atop Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue there is Trump. New York without the three of them would not quite be New York any more.
If there is a new Donald Trump it is not easy to find the evidence. The fashion designer Tom Ford recently advised him in the friendliest terms possible to ditch that soufflé of hair that hovers above his head like an aerosolled helmet. He refused. His recent firing as chief executive of his casino business and its filing for bankruptcy protection should have led at least to an occasional public display of humility. Forget it. Trump might even have taken himself off the front pages for a while. Good joke.
The thing about Trump is that self-promotion, even hubris, is the very fuel of his business. Keeping in the public gaze all the time - an endless soap opera that might be called Trumperama - is his personal and professional creed. It is about staying in the news and promulgating the image of confidence, regardless of circumstance. Even the three months he spent on the front pages of the New York tabloids throughout the whole Ivana-Marla debacle did not seem to trouble him. It was free advertising of his brand.
The Trump name signifies the best and the biggest; always. Say it loudly enough and often enough and it will come to be. Even when his development empire was cracked from top to bottom and ready to collapse under fantastic debt at the beginning of the 1990s, Trump continued to boast to the world that all would be fine. He even published his second book, following his first mega bestseller, The Art of the Deal, in the midst of that crisis. It was called Trump: Surviving at the Top and all of his critics laughed. Icarus was falling, they said. He did not quite, and the next book was called Trump: The Art of the Comeback. True, not everything has worked out as he imagined (without even mentioning the marriages). The Trump Shuttle, the air service between Washington DC, New York and Boston which he launched in 1989 was a notable flop. It would have crash-landed even faster if his executives had allowed him to install Italian marble in the lavatories of the planes. The ageing Boeing 727s, they pointed out, would never have taken off with the extra weight. He had to settle for gold-plated taps. When passenger numbers fell, Trump tried to lure flyers with coupons for his Atlantic City casinos. East coast business types do not much care for Atlantic City.
And deny it though he will, and does almost daily, the meltdown of his casino resort business is surely a disappointment to him. It was the opening of the luxurious Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City in 1990 - he paid a reported $1bn to build it - that almost brought him down. He rode out that crisis but now the Taj and the other Trump casinos are no longer under his control. It is true that gambling has become only a sliver of the whole Trump Organisation. What Trump does best, aside from attracting headlines, is property development. The rest is only peripheral. Even the recent burst of television activity with the American network NBC is fairly insignificant, aside from the additional publicity it generates. "I just want to build," he wrote in The Comeback. "That's what I do best."
Though Trump is deservedly described as a self-made man, he learnt his trade from his family. His grandfather, Friedrich Trump, came to America from Germany in the Gold Rush and made his money opening hotels for prospectors in the Klondike. His father, Fred Trump, took advantage of post-Second World War government subsidies to build housing in Queens and the Bronx. From Fred, Trump learnt the skill of growing buildings and finding tenants. But unlike his father, Trump was not satisfied with dowdy housing. He moved into Manhattan in the Seventies, when the island was in a slump, and vowed to build a fortune and a legacy there. His first coup was purchasing and glamorising the down-at-heel Commodore Hotel alongside Grand Central Station. He covered it with smoked glass and steel and transformed it into a Grand Hyatt. Soon after, Trump became a hero to city dwellers by rescuing and reopening the decrepit Wollman skating rink in Central Park. Trump had arrived.
His recovery after his early 1990s scare was slow but consistent.By the mid-1990s, Trump was back on top of his game. He was gutting and dressing up the old Paramount Tower on Columbus Circle, owned by General Electric, this time in golden glass. It is now the Trump International Hotel and Tower with some of the most expensive apartments in the city.
He began work, after years of frustration, on a virtual city within a city, a series of residential towers that are still rising now, on the site of the old West Side railroad yards overlooking the Hudson river. And towards the end of the decade, he built the America's tallest residential tower, the sleek, black Trump World Tower, now open and sold out opposite the United Nations.
Less predictable, surely, has been his barging into the world of reality television. Conceived by the British producer, Mark Burnett, The Apprentice pits two teams of wannabe entrepreneurs against each another, with contestants vying to snag a senior job in the Trump empire. Each episode ends with one of the contestants hearing the words "You're fired!" from Trump himself. It was the catchphrase of 2004.
But back to the Trumperama du jour: tonight's BIG wedding in Palm Beach, Florida. One good sign for Melania is that she has sufficient influence on Donald to restrain his worst showbiz instincts. He proposed that the wedding be broadcast live across the country. Trump reckoned he could rake in $25m for the rights to his third walk down the aisle, more than enough to cover the costs of entertaining the expected 350 guests. His wife-to-be demurred. Some things are meant to be private, she said, and should remain so. This is an alien notion to Trump, but he acquiesced.
Thus there will be no media inside Mar-a-Lago's Versailles-style ballroom. Nor will there be cameras, still or video, inside the nearby Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea at 7pm where the wedding vows will be exchanged. But you can be sure that the world's press will be camped outside, turning the narrow lanes of Palm Beach into a traffic jam as complicated as Trump's hairdo. Or as migraine-inducing as Melania's dress.
While the 5ft 10ins former model scored points with New York's society mavens for turning down the live broadcast proposal, she was scorned for revealing her dress on the cover of Vogue magazine. Wedding dresses are not meant to be seen by anyone, and certainly not the bridegroom, until its wearer shows up at the church, even if it is a Dior wonder confected by the designer John Galliano. Only then do we need to know, if ever, that it took 500 man-hours to sew together, probably cost $200,000 and consists of 300ft of carefully snipped satin and 1,500 crystal rhinestones. But the Vogue deal surely earned money too, as will the images of the wedding itself that will be released to a hungry world on Sunday.
Trump is accused of lacking class and no more than over the past few days after The New York Times published a sniping article on page one describing how he was leveraging his fame to get all the necessary wedding goodies at discounts in return for the publicity. Worst of all, the Times reported, he received a discount of roughly 50 per cent on a $1.5m diamond ring for Melania. Romantic? Not.
No doubt revelling in the controversy, the groom waded in. "People give me wedding rings," he protested. "I have every major diamond group throwing diamonds in my face. 'Please take our diamonds. Please! Here's a million dollars'!" What was the poor man to do?
The banning of cameras robs us of the only scientific means of calculating which of this week's events will have captivated America more, the Trump nuptials or the inauguration. My guess is that ratings for the former would have been higher. All that now remains for The Donald to do is to become President. And then he can have an inauguration, too. It sounds a like a joke, but he has flirted with running for the White House once before. So why not again? And if the marriage holds, we would have First Lady Melania as part of the bargain.
Burger King turns to Trump for latest ads
When Burger King decided to try a new promotion to cash in on the reality TV craze, the No. 2 fast-food chain turned to the master of the pitch - Donald Trump.
Burger King put a twist on product placement into Thursday's premiere of the third season of Trump's NBC hit "The Apprentice." The Miami-based company had a resurgence in sales last year and hopes some of Trump's pop culture cachet will keep that going.
"It seemed like a perfect fit for us. ... Donald Trump is a bottom-line guy," said Russ Klein, Burger King Corp.'s chief marketing officer.
The two teams in the latest incarnation of the cutthroat reality TV show each had to help design a new Burger King product along with the chain's head chef, Calvin Harris. They then had to sell it while running two busy stores in midtown Manhattan during lunchtime. The team with the most sales won.
The winning team, Networth, hawked a Western Angus steak burger, loaded with onion rings, cheese, barbecue sauce, lettuce and tomatoes (For those counting calories, that's about 700). That burger was being debuted in 7,800 restaurants nationwide Friday.
It will feel like a product has come from the boardroom into the restaurant in 24 hours," Klein said, even though the episode was taped months ago.
Burger King is planning to run a 30-second commercial featuring Trump on NBC until the end of January, Klein said. The burger should be in stores until Feb. 4. The company refused to discuss financial terms of the promotion deal.
The buzz comes as the chain seems to be recovering from past trouble.
"I think it's a very smart marketing move," said Jerry McVety, president of McVety & Associates, a Farmington Hills, Mich.-based restaurant consultancy. "It's a short, quick, targeted campaign ... It's driven more by the association with The Apprentice and Trump than it is with this particular burger."
Privately held Burger King doesn't release exact sales figures. But measuring sales at stores open at least a year is considered a good gauge of performance, and the company said those sales have risen for 11 straight months through December. So-called same-store sales rose 13.6 percent last month at U.S. restaurants.
But same-store sales slid for nearly two years before reversing in February 2004. The company's U.S. sales dropped 5 percent to $7.9 billion in 2003, according to research firm Technomic Inc.
Klein said the company hopes to latch on to hot television shows and movies to drive up sales. Burger King will have a tie-in with the "Star Wars" prequel "Episode III - Revenge of the Sith," set to hit theaters May 19, Klein said.
Guests for Trump's Wedding May See Stars, but No Fireworks
Mr. Trump was approached more than a week ago by the Grucci family fireworks company on Long Island with an offer of an elaborate eight-minute display at the reception, to be held at Mr. Trump's Mar-a-Lago oceanfront estate. The Gruccis offered their services at a discount from their normal fees, which begin around $50,000. At first, Mr. Trump's response was thanks, but no thanks.
But he and his wedding planner, Preston Bailey, apparently had a change of heart; they submitted an application at Palm Beach Town Hall on Tuesday to press forward with the fireworks. A spokeswoman for Mr. Trump said yesterday that the Grucci family had led the effort.
"We were producing a world-class Grucci show replete with music and synchronization that would have taken place at an appropriate time during the reception," said Felix J. Grucci Jr., a former representative in Congress and a senior executive of the fireworks concern, which staged the inaugural display over the Mall in Washington on Wednesday.
"Of course this is disappointing," Mr. Grucci said in a telephone interview shortly after the Town Council voted 5 to 0 to block the Mar-a-Lago display. "It would have been very exciting to do the inauguration of a president and the wedding of Donald Trump in a single week," Mr. Grucci said. "It is not often that you can be part of such high-profile events."
But in Palm Beach, it seems, Mr. Trump's estate is not the only property of concern to the Town Council. Norman P. Goldblum, a councilman, said Mr. Trump's application called for setting off the fireworks from the Mar-a-Lago grounds, in a town where fireworks are allowed only from barges anchored at a safe distance offshore. "We have many multimillion-dollar homes here, and we don't want any of them destroyed," Mr. Goldblum said.
Don't look now, Donald Trump is back
Apprentice III invades airwaves. Is Donald Trump the most annoying man on television? Let's see. Hair? Annoying. Voice? Annoying. Swagger? Annoying. Ego? Annoying. A-list celebrity status? Annoying. Ability to bed, wed and shed supermodels? Annoying.
Endless fame and fortune from a "reality" show that won't go away but really should because I can't take much more of The Donald and sometimes even fantasize about becoming an evil billionaire just so I can run his sorry ass out of town and laugh maniacally as he spirals into a penniless depression and loses everything he never deserved to have ...?
Yeah, annoying. The Apprentice (NBC, Global, 8:30 p.m. tonight) returns for its third season. There is a new gimmick. Sorry, that lacked enthusiasm. There is a NEW gimmick!
This season, you see, the aspiring corporate backstabbers and shameless sycophants are divided into two teams based on formal education! So it's "Street Smarts" versus "Book Smarts!"
The business tasks, producers insist, will be more challenging this time! So expect the women to tear off more than their designer tops and mini-skirts! And the guys, well, expect them to ...
Oh, never mind. During these new misadventures in TV capitalism, Trump will once again be flanked by his living props — Carolyn "I'm Too Busy To Blink" Kepcher and George "I Can't Believe I Work For This Jackass" Ross.
The goals for the 18 candidates are the same: 1) Avoid being told Trump's most famous phrase — "You're fired!"; 2) Get the most press during the show's run; 3) Find an agent; 4) Get at least one magazine cover; 5) Befriend some real celebrities* (*does not include previous winners Bill Rancic and Kelly Perdew); and 6) Gather enough material for a quickie book.
Tonight's episode is titled "Whopper 101." So the two teams will be required either to invent wild fishing stories or complete some preposterous task specific to fast food.
Put your money on burgers. But maybe not on the show itself. Consider: The Apprentice's audience dropped by a staggering 40 per cent, when you compare finales from the first and second season. And the "buzz" all but disappeared last season.
The show has been making other news this week. Broadcasting & Cable magazine reports NBC is considering creating a new edition, starring imprisoned diva Martha Stewart. Huh? Does this winner get a job or parole?
Mark Burnett, the show's creator, told the New York Post: "We can't talk about it while she's in (prison). There could be an announcement before she comes out, but I wouldn't hold my breath."
Okay. In even stranger news, there are reports Trump and Burnett are hoping to turn their little "reality" program into a Broadway musical. Some predicted show titles: Donald Trump Superstar, The Phantom of the Boardroom, Donald as the Amazing Technicolor Showboat, La Cage Aux Follicles, and The Lyin' King.
God help us. Please.
If you really want to understand why The Donald is the most annoying man on TV, look no further than the tycoon's upcoming wedding.
On Saturday, Trump, 58, will give marriage a third try when he exchanges legally scrutinized vows with Melania Knauss, a 33-year-old model and answer to a future trivia question.
The lavish affair, to be held at Trump's swish Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, is expected to draw 500 of the world's biggest celebrities, including Elton John, David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey and Prince Albert of Monaco.
The Trumpster, as apostle Regis Philbin calls him, was talking to networks about broadcasting the wedding as a "live event." But Knauss, poor idealistic dear, said it should remain private.
This hasn't stopped Trump from exploiting his name to get free and/or heavily discounted merchandise. Chefs, florists, limos, airlines, clothiers and every imaginable wedding-related company are lining up to offer unpaid services.
As The New York Times reported, Trump even got a 50 per cent discount on the 13-carat engagement ring in return for publicity. Ah, how sweet. Sounds like love.
Dear Melania: Don't be surprised if you awake one morning to your husband's second most-famous phrase — "You're divorced!"
No offence. But this dork you're marrying, he's so annoying.
Gorgeous or pretentious? Donald Trump's bride steps out early
The title of the Vogue pictorial featuring Donald Trump's bride-to-be, Melania Knauss, is "How to Marry a Billionaire."
Apparently the answer is: Be a stunningly statuesque eastern European model-type and remember that your fiance is a financier who likes everything, and we mean everything, to be headline-worthy.
Including the gown, which is an architectural bejeweled stunner -- pleated and tucked within an inch of its life -- by edgy Brit designer John Galliano for the house of Christian Dior in Paris.
Knauss, a native of Slovenia and a former model, will wear the voluminous white duchesse satin gown with 13-foot train and 16-foot veil at the wedding and reception Saturday. The vows will take place at Bethesda by the Sea church in Palm Beach, followed by a reception and all other festivities at Mar-a-Lago, Trump's private club.
With her very own queer-eye-for-the-straight-bride in tow -- André Leon Talley of Vogue magazine -- Knauss chose her gown from the round of Paris haute couture shows last summer.
The magazine account features other one-of-a-kind designer frocks that Knauss and Talley liked during their tour of the shows, which is chronicled over 14 pages by fashion shutterbug Mario Testino and written by Vogue's news director, Sally Singer.
"I think it's an incredible work of art," said Kelli Delaney, creative director of Star magazine. "It's more than a wedding dress. If you want to have every single person's eye in the ceremony to be on you, then you would choose this dress. ... John Galliano is one of the most creative designers out there. And I think he created a masterpiece for her."
The gown took the skills of 28 seamstresses at Dior Couture, who worked 1,000 hours on the gown and then an additional 550 hours embroidering it with more than 1,500 crystal rhinestones and pearls, according to Newsday.
The gown would cost about $200,000. Trump exchanged publicity with Graff Jewelers on his TV show, The Apprentice, for a better price on the ring, a 15-carat emerald cut diamond valued at $1.5 million. The chef for the wedding dinner is a tenant in the Trump International Hotel in New York.
"It's really in poor taste in my opinion," said Diane Warner, a wedding consultant and author of Diane Warner's Contemporary Guide to Wedding Etiquette (New Page Books, $13.99). "Showing the gown on the bride before the wedding is the difference between old money and new money. It ruins the sanctity of the wedding ceremony."
She also thinks Knauss goofed on the gown.
"Her gown is a costume. If you look in the dictionary, the definition of ostentatious is `a pretentious display meant to impress others.' This gown is so overdone that it will distract from the beauty of the bride."
According to Vogue, the volume of the Dior gown necessitates that Knauss sit on a bench during dinner instead of a chair.
Donald Trump's wedding almost private
DONALD Trump, the king of reality TV, was tempted to go for a royal wedding-style broadcast of his union on live television until his supermodel bride said some things should remain private ... but not everything.
Melania Knauss vetoed the plan for a live broadcast of her wedding to property mogul Trump on Saturday, New York time. But that didn't stop her from breaking another tradition by revealing the wedding dress - reportedly one of the most expensive ever made - a week before the big day.
Vogue magazine's February issue features the 34-year-old Slovenian on its cover wearing a white satin Christian Dior dress made from almost 90 metres of material and embroidered with 1500 crystal rhinestones and pearls.
New York's Daily News said the gown cost about $US100,000 ($132,000), though the property mogul and his squeeze have kept silent on the price.
A spokeswoman for Trump refused to say whether he had seen the dress - traditionally an unlucky omen before a wedding - but photos of the outfit were plastered across the front pages of New York newspapers yesterday.
Vogue fashion gurus Andre Leon Talley and Sally Singer accompanied Ms Knauss to Paris last year to pick out the wedding dress.
Reporting on discussions about NBC's offer to broadcast the wedding live, Vogue said Trump - star of reality show The Apprentice, in which would-be moguls compete to work for him - was intrigued by the idea. "There hasn't been a live wedding since the royal wedding," he told the magazine. "Three hours in prime time? That's $US25 million in advertising."
But Ms Knauss said no, so the celebrity wedding of the year will be for invited guests only at Trump's Mar-a-Lago villa in Palm Beach, Florida.
The savvy Trump was reported to have made several deals associated with the wedding. The New York Times said he paid half-price for a $US1.5 million engagement ring from diamond sellers Graff in return for the publicity. And chefs and florists were lining up to offer their services for the event.
It will be third time down the aisle for the colourful 58-year-old businessman, whose Apprentice catchphrase of "You're fired!" became a TV buzzword last year.
"You're Married!" Trump Readys Wedding March
Melania Knauss will wear an over-the-top gown by designer Christian Dior when she weds real estate mogul Donald Trump.
Knauss models the strapless gown -- which took 550 hours of labor just to do the embroidery -- on the cover of Vogue's February issue.
Knauss will marry Trump Saturday in Palm Beach, Florida. It will be the third marriage for Trump, host of the NBC reality show ``The Apprentice.''
Because of the sheer volume of the dress, the magazine reports, Knauss will have to sit on a bench for dinner. She'll change into a new outfit after the traditional first dance with her new husband. That dress is a sexy and sleek number by Vera Wang.
Singing Donald Trump?
A company of Dancing Omarosas? The Singing Kwames? A George and Carolyn duet? These horrifying prospects and more could become a reality if The Apprentice: The Musical hits Broadway.
According to the industry trades, producer Mark Burnett is already at work on songs and describes the project as "a love story," suggesting that nobody has learned anything from the lessons of From Justin to Kelly. Chatting with reporters about the third season of The Apprentice, Donald Trump immediately faced questions about seeing his reality show tread the boards.
"We are really looking at it," The Donald says. "We've had a lot of interest on Broadway. Because of the great success of The Apprentice every producer on Broadway wants to get involved with this ... We'll probably have something to report one way or the other in the not-too-distant future. I think it would do very well on Broadway."
Showing a rare measure of restraint, Trump doesn't suggest that he should appear in his own musical, but he already has some very specific ideas about how he should be depicted.
"I just want the reincarnation of Cary Grant to play me," he says with a chuckle. "I don't care if he can act, I just want him to be great looking."
Trump, whose on-camera deal for the NBC series concludes after the upcoming season, claims that there have been casual discussions about his signing on for a fourth and fifth season. For now, though, he's eager to talk about new season's Book Smarts vs. Street Smarts format. Just as The Apprentice can't fool television viewers by sticking to the same structure and formula with each iteration, he knows that an Apprentice musical would have to do more than just parrot earlier successes.
"It still needs to stand on its own legs," he says. "You can't just put the name Apprentice on a Broadway marquee and think it's going to do well. People are too smart for that. I think it it's able to show the drama, the tension, in the a way the love, the anxiety and all of the other things The Apprentice shows, it's going to be a very big hit on Broadway."
From Donald Trump's Boardroom to Broadway boards
"The Apprentice" is moving from glitzy Fifth Avenue to neon-lit Broadway. Reality superproducer Mark Burnett and Donald Trump, executive producers of NBC's reality hit, are developing "The Apprentice: The Musical." Burnett is writing the book for the musical, which is under way, with several songs already written. "It's a love story," Burnett said of the project at a Friday meeting to promote his upcoming NBC reality series "The Contender." "It's very inspirational."
Donald Trump's wedding
Model Melania Knauss, 34, who will wed billionaire Donald Trump, 58, next Saturday at Mar-a-lago in Palm Beach, isn't superstitious about the groom seeing the bride in her dress before the wedding. The Slovenian native appears in full wedding regalia on the cover of the February issue of Vogue, which hits newsstands tomorrow, the first "cover" bride in the magazine's 115-year history.
The gown of the moment is Christian Dior Haute Couture selected by the bride-to-be during a whirlwind tour of the couture shows in Paris last summer where she was mentored by Vogue's fashion guru Andre Leon Talley. The trip is chronicled in a 14-page spread in the magazine, shot by Mario Testino, written by the magazine's fashion news director, Sally Singer, and titled, "How to Marry a Billionaire."
A white duchesse satin confection, the gown is constructed of almost 300-feet of material with a 13-foot train, crowned by a 16-foot veil. It took 1,000 hours to make, and 550 hours to embroider more than 1,500 crystal rhinestones and pearls in a swirl pattern.
At one point in the process, the made-to-measure dress required the skills of all 28 seamstresses in the Dior Couture atelier. The retail price tag is estimated to be in the $200,000 range, though it is likely that the cost was significantly less for Knauss, because of the valuable publicity associated with her high profile.
One problem: the thing is huge. Vogue's Talley has given Knauss her wedding march orders. "This is a heavy dress, Melania, so eat, drink, and be healthy or you will faint."
Picture-perfect Mrs. Trump III
At $100,000, the wedding dress for the future Mrs. Donald Trump takes the cake.
Slovenian supermodel Melania Knauss has picked a hand-embroidered frock from Christian Dior that carries a price tag that is pure Trump.
With its 13-foot train and even longer veil, Knauss' dress is so heavy, she was advised to eat hearty so she has the strength to make it down the aisle Saturday, Vogue magazine reports in its upcoming edition. Otherwise, warned fashion maven Andre Leon Talley, "You will faint."
But Knauss' dazzling dress is just one of the highlights of what is likely to be the splashiest - and most expensive - society wedding of the year.
Like many nuptials, the Trumps' features something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
In this case, what's old is the rosary Knauss will carry down the aisle instead of a bouquet. What's new is that Trump, a notorious control freak, sat back and let Knauss plan her own wedding. He raised no objections when she passed on a proposal by NBC - home of Trump's "The Apprentice" - to broadcast the ceremony live, Vogue reports.
What's borrowed is a Fred Leighton necklace so expensive it comes with guards. What's blue is the La Perla "underpinnings" that Knauss intends to wow Trump with on their wedding night.
Trump's getup for the Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church ceremony in Palm Beach, Fla., will include a white tie and matching cummerbund (by his suit-maker, Brioni).
Knauss' sister, Ines, will be her maid of honor - with no other bridesmaids.
Celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is picking up the tab for the wedding feast and personally cooking filet mignon with green peppercorn sauce for the 350-500 invited guests. The cake is a 5-foot-high Grand Marnier chiffon layered with buttercream and covered with 3,000 roses made from white icing.
New York wedding wizard Preston Bailey won what Vogue called a "'Survivor'-style competition" to provide the flowers for the ballroom reception at Trump's sprawling Mar-a-Lago estate.
With Chrisena Coleman and Amy DiLuna
Donald Trump: How to look like 100,000 bucks!
It took 28 seamstresses to make, with more than 1,000 hours spent working on the intricate stitching.
Almost 300 feet of material was used, hand-beaded with more than 1,500 crystal rhinestones.
One hundred thousand dollars buys a lot of things.
For Melania Knauss, that almost covered the cost of her spectacular white duchesse satin wedding gown designed by John Galliano for Christian Dior - one of two dresses she will wear when she becomes the third Mrs. Donald Trump on Saturday.
The real news about the Dior dress (right), according to Vogue magazine, who accompanied the billionaire's bride as she hunted for the perfect piece in Paris, is that she bought - not borrowed - her wedding gown.
And that's not the only new frock she'll be wowing the Mar-a-Lago crowd in this weekend.
While most women dream of saying "I do" in a Vera Wang original, a Trump bride does things differently: Wang whipped up something just for Knauss, but she will change into it only after the first dance with her new hubby.
That tulle gown is a featherweight compared with Galliano's, which is so voluminous that Knauss has to sit on a bench, not in a chair, during dinner.
Insiders say prices for a custom creation by a Parisian couturier start at $100,000 and shoot upward.
Other high-profile brides also have worn eye-poppingly expensive dresses.
Catherine Zeta Jones' Christian Lacroix original cost $136,600; Victoria (Posh Spice) Adams became Mrs. David Beckham in a $100,000 Vera Wang confection; Trista Rehn gave up her "Bachelorette" status in a $70,000 Badgley Mischka gown, and Carolyn Bessette became the most-envied woman on the planet in a $40,000 dress designed by her friend Narciso Rodriguez.
Donald Trump's life story
Donald John Trump was born June 14, 1946, in New York, NY. The third generation in a family of businessmen, Donald has his father, Fred Trump, to thank for his deal making and entrepreneurial skills.
Fred Trump was forced to help support his family due to his father's death early on. As a result, Fred started his own business and recognized the money to be made in real estate. Donald inherited the skill of recognizing a good deal when he saw it, since Donald would assist his father in his business ventures when he was still young.
After completing his education at a military academy, Trump headed out to study finance at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. With an innate eye for business, and the additional training he received in school and while working for his father, Trump knew what he wanted to do with his life, and whatever it was, he knew it would be big.
But big couldn't occur where he was raised -- in Queens -- so he packed up his belongings and moved to Manhattan on his own. His bank account and wallet were a far cry from the fortune he has today (he was practically broke), but that didn't stop him from becoming a member at an exclusive club in New York.
Trump used his negotiating skills and smarts to join the club, which was not open for "regular" folk -- on the condition that he kept his hands off the wives of other members (his womanizing skills must have been apparent early on). He didn't intend to play polo and sail in yachts as a member, rather he used his membership as a way to make contacts, and that he did.
Trump had transformed himself into one of the most powerful real-estate moguls of the '80s, with ownership of buildings such as Trump Tower on 5th Av., Trump Parc, the Plaza Hotel, and the New Jersey Generals. He also penetrated the casino business in Atlantic City and New Jersey, and transportation with the Trump Shuttle airline.
Duck, Donald, Duck!
Even though he studied business, he often went against the basic principle behind economics: lower prices when there's competition. When Trump had competitors, not only did he not lower prices, but he also raised them. Despite his knack for making deals and recognizing a good investment when he saw one, Trump's billion-dollar empire crumbled in 1990, when he was forced into bankruptcy for over $2 billion bank loans that he couldn't pay.
Although he handed over most of his holdings to the creditor banks, he remarkably managed to bounce back by the end of the 1990s. He shared his story in the book, The Art of the Comeback, and has done more work in the publishing world as he has co-authored several books about none other than himself.
"The Donald," as he is nicknamed, has also ventured into television as the Executive Producer of Miss USA, and is presently the Producer of the Miss Universe pageant. He has also made countless cameo appearances as himself in shows such as Roseanne, Suddenly Susan, Spin City, The Nanny, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and The Job, as well as films like Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Celebrity and 54.
The Trump Troupe
Real estate, transportation, casinos, and entertainment weren't enough for "Trump Daddy": in 1999, he announced that he was considering running for President, as a Reform Party candidate in 2000. Incidentally, he revealed in The Art of the Comeback that he wouldn't have made a good President: he has trouble shaking others' hands as he is a germophobe, and worst of all, he is honest.
Honest or not, one thing's for sure: Trump is known as a womanizer, and his two failed marriages have been tabloid fodder for the past 2 decades. His marriage to Ivana Trump ended in 1990, but he has 4 children to show for it: 2 sons and daughter Ivanka, an up-and-coming model. Trump then wed Marla Maples in 1993. The couple had a daughter, Tiffany, and then divorced 6 years later.
He is always seen with different women in the tabloids, so it's hard to track his present romantic record. Single or not, the father, mogul, and flamboyant figure has proved that whether you're on your way up or down, it pays to think big.
Thanks to the hit NBC reality series The Apprentice, in which 16 contestants vie for a position at one of Trump's corporations, The Donald can add another success to his Trump report card.
Donald Trump is not only one of the world's richest men, but one of its most recognizable. Add to that one of the most debonair, extravagant, and cocky. But, you'd be hard pressed not find a working man that doesn't admire him. Despite a privileged upbringing, he didn't inherit anything, and went on to fame and fortune, thanks to his business accomplishments (and his love life).
What makes Donald Trump truly remarkable is how he pulled off one of the most remarkable business turnarounds in history. After accumulating a multi-billion dollar fortune, he saw most of it wiped away under massive loan payments (his companies were reportedly carrying $8.8 billion in losses at their worst), only to regain it after making some very clever business moves.
The famous bachelor accumulated buildings, yachts, and properties like a kid acquires baseball cards. At his peak he had the Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, Plaza Hotel, and a yacht allegedly worth $100 million. He's also the owner of the Miss Universe, Miss Teen USA and Miss USA beauty pageants.
He also has 4 books that have made the best-seller list. He connects with the common man. He lives the life many of us ideally seek. He is the poster boy for Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous. He is... you get the point.
Is there little wonder then that he decided to flirt with the idea of running for President for the Reform Party? What else would you expect from a man as likely to appear on the cover of Business Week as on National Enquirer? One thing is for sure, "The Donald" makes for interesting press.
Donald Trump is a throwback to the Greedy '80s, a real life Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street (not the corporate raider part, but the charismatic, media-savvy part).
He is driven, arrogant, intelligent, and he understands the psychology of real estate speculation. He knows the power of branding, and makes sure his name is on his property, lest he miss an important opportunity to promote himself. He even licensed his name to a Seoul building for a cool $5 million.
His great talent as a businessman is turning bad real estate properties into gold mines (though he overpaid for some properties that resulted in his near complete downfall).
That talent is what made him rich, but there are a lot of rich people in the world, what made Trump stand out is his outspokenness, and his direct and honest (if misguided at times) public commentaries.
But Trump has a good heart, and is a regular contributor to charities. Our favorite story is about an unemployed auto mechanic who once helped Trump get his limo functioning again after it stalled on the highway. The man had no money, yet he didn't accept any payment for his services. Trump was duly impressed by his generosity, so the next day he sent flowers to the mechanic's wife, and a letter certifying that the man's mortgage had been paid off in full.
Trump is equally adept at speaking his mind, among his favorite targets are Bill Clinton. He has regularly criticized Bill Clinton for cheating on his wife with a woman as ugly as Monica Lewinsky. He even said that if Clinton had been caught with a slinky model instead of Monica Lewinsky, "he'd have been a hero." How can't you love the guy?
His appeal obviously doesn't have much to do with physical attractiveness, or his comb-over hair. In fact, some of his ex-girlfriends have gone public regarding his hair loss paranoia, as if it had a Samson effect on his success.
He never has a lack of beautiful women parading around. His propensity for dating models is well known, as are his high-profile divorces to Marla Maples and Ivana Trump. Though he could have a million single women at his doorstep, chances are if you don't look like a replica of Christy Turlington, you don't stand a chance.
Honestly, you are better off reading his biography, if you want to know what he has accomplished, because the list is enormous.
But here are two little factoids that let you know he has the reached the pinnacle of fame and fortune: he once owned a $100 million yacht that belonged to Saudi financier Adnan Khashoggi, and according to the Gallup Organization, 98% of Americans know who he is.
Even those who don't know much about Donald Trump can get a taste of his success on his hit reality series The Apprentice, on NBC.
Donald Trump is a player. A real player; a high-roller who can beat you at anything you throw at him. A day in his shoes would be the highlight of anyone's life. No one would hesitate to trade places with "The Donald" (not that Trump would let that happen of course). He isn't trendy or sleek, but in the business world, he is as cool as they come.
Trump has style and isn't afraid to drop a mini-fortune on a suit if he looks good. He is a billionaire and looks like one, and even with his fashion sense, he stands as a beacon to the ordinary man looking for the American Dream.
"Anyone who thinks my story is anywhere near over is sadly mistaken."
-Donald Trump, about his future
'Apprentice' cast will sail to Caribbean
Two words sum up a trip being offered to fans of The Apprentice. You're sailing!
Former cast members Stacie, left, Raj, center, and Jenn, pop open a bottle of champagne at a press conference in New York. An eight-day cruise themed on the hit NBC show will sail from New York to the Caribbean on Sept. 26, after a bon voyage party in Manhattan with a send-off from Donald Trump. Cast members from the show — including Bill Rancic, the first apprentice, and Stacie J., Jennifer C. and Raj from the second season — will be on board. The trip will take place on a Carnival ship, The Legend, which is being renamed Trump World Legend for the week.
Guests can meet and talk to cast members about the show, but there will also be on-board competitions involving teams and tasks, just like there is on TV. Participation will be open to all passengers. In addition to cash prizes, one person will win the grand prize — spending a day as CEO of Expedia.com, which is sponsoring the cruise. The CEO-for-a-day will get a $15,000 paycheck for all that hard work; first-class airfare to New York and ground transportation by limo, plus a stay in a five-star hotel.
On-board events will also include lectures on business and career topics; a masquerade ball; singles-only events; and a poker tournament. Regular cruise amenities will be offered as well, including children's programs for guests traveling with kids and shore excursions. Stops are planned in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where there will be an evening of club-hopping; Tortola; and St. Thomas, where a golf tournament is scheduled.
The ship has 1,062 cabins and tickets start at $1,199 per person, based on double occupancy. The price covers basic meals but not taxes, gratuities, liquor and other extras like taking part in the golf event.
"We want people to have a great time when they're on board," said Mark Kammerer, vice president of Cruise for Expedia. "We really believe you can bring a popular TV show down to the personal level so people can actually see, feel, touch and be around the people they've seen on TV."
Howard Hughes Vs. Donald Trump
Howard Hughes and Donald Trump are the celebrity business moguls of their respective eras, and their many similarities are striking. For starters, these billionaires are both making headlines thanks more to Hollywood than to their business acumen.
The legendary life and times of Hughes, who died in 1976, are being revived on the big screen: The Aviator, a holiday blockbuster from The Walt Disney Co. studio Miramax, stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role. Meanwhile, Trump has upped his already high profile with the hit reality show The Apprentice, which just wrapped its second season on General Electric's NBC network.
But beyond the public's fixation with them, Hughes and Trump have much else in common. Each got a head start in business thanks to extremely successful fathers, and went on to build fortunes of their own worth billions. Each has had a big stake in casinos, a reputation for womanizing as well as a fascination with the entertainment industry.
Hughes and Trump even share a neurosis about microbes. Hughes' fear of disease ultimately turned him into a recluse, who was rumored to exhibit extremely bizarre behavior that included wearing tissue boxes as shoes, and storing his own urine in jars. Trump is eccentric in his own right, if less so: He's merely a "germophobe" who doesn't like to shake hands.
We probably won't really know how these two business dynamos stack up against each other for many years, but the fact that they've both had a tremendous impact on the American business landscape is indisputable.
California Tribe Dumps Trump From Its Casino
The Twenty Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians is dumping Donald Trump from its casino.
The tribe has announced an early $6 million buyout of its partnership with Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts Inc. The initial $11 million deal two years ago renamed the tribe's Spotlight 29 Casino the Trump 29 Casino. Daily operations were turned over to Trump's company as part of a $60 million expansion.
The buyout announcement comes after Trump Hotels filed for bankruptcy last month. A bankruptcy judge this month signed off on a $100 million loan that will keep Trump's casinos in New Jersey and Indiana open while the bankruptcy case is resolved.
The tribe's contract with Trump's Atlantic City, N.J. corporation would have expired in 2007, but included an early buyout option beginning in April 2005.
"We are proud of what we have done together with the tribe, starting with the financing and development of the property and culminating in the record-breaking results," Trump said in a statement this week. "It's now time for the tribe to assume management responsibility."
A bankruptcy judge handling the Chapter 11 reorganization of Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts has set a Jan. 21 hearing. The buyout is not final until a bankruptcy judge approves it.
What can't Donald Trump sell?
His show's a hit, as are his namesake line of suits and "Donald Trump," the fragrance. Is there anything the Manhattan mogul can't sell? The real test is coming - long-maned Trump is getting ready to launch his own line of hair products, including shampoos, conditioners and hairstyling items for men over 40. "His new fragrance is selling well, so Donald feels the timing is perfect to launch his hair-care line," an insider told InTouch Weekly. A rep for Estée Lauder, the maker of Trump's fragrance, declined to comment
Donald Trump takes ''Apprentice'' into a new realm
For the third season of 'The Apprentice,' Mark Burnett and I have decided to take the series into a new realm," says Donald Trump, the show's star and executive producer. "We wanted to see what would happen if we pitted college grads against high school grads. The result makes for fascinating television. Who will you root for? You'll also discover that we chose candidates who are more relatable -- along the lines of Sam, Troy and Amy."
NBC is already hyping this new season as the ultimate showdown between theory and practicality. Heaven forbid, guys, that Donald Trump hires somebody who has both common sense and a college degree. Heaven forbid the show could be won by somebody who has both a college degree and a functional business background. FOX's "My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss" couldn't entice viewers with the prospect of watching Ivy League snobs get humiliated, but maybe NBC will have more luck.
The eclectic group of "Street Smarts" contestants includes a glo-in-the-dark necklace millionaire, a top Mary Kay saleswoman and a variety of small business owners and real estate professionals. Then again, real estate professionals also dominate the "Book Smarts" team, thought that group contains its fair share of lawyers.
Get the lowdown on the 18 players:
Occupation: Senior government manger
Education: High school
Hometown: New York City
Occupation: Real estate agent
Education: High school
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Occupation: Technology firm owner
Education: High school
Hometown: Tampa, Fla.
Occupation: Sales executive
Education: High school
Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
Occupation: Real estate financier
Education: High school
Hometown: Los Angeles
Occupation: Real estate broker
Education: High school
Hometown: Wildwood, N.J.
Occupation: Gym franchise owner
Education: High School
Hometown: Lake Balboa, Calif.
Occupation: Real estate investor
Education: High School
Hometown: Las Vegas
Occupation: Shoeshine business owner
Education: High school
Hometown: Conely, Ga.
Education: bachelor's from University of Miami, JD from Villanova University School of Law
Occupation: Sales manager
Education: bachelor's from University of Miami
Hometown: Carlsbad, Calif.
Occupation: Business manager
Education: bachelor's from Jackson State University, MBA from unnamed school
Occupation: Marketing technology firm owner
Education: bachelor's from Cleveland State University, graduate work in music composition at Boston University
Occupation: Supply Chain Consultant
Education: bachelor's from Arizona State University
Hometown: San Diego
Education: bachelors and JD from University of Memphis
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.
Occupation: Real estate developer
Education: bachelor's from Boston College
Education: undergraduate work at Jerusalem University and Seattle Pacific University, JD from Seattle University School of Law
Occupation: Real estate broker
Education: University of Florida
Hometown: Boyton Beach, Fla.
Donald Trump is ready for the next battle between ''book smarts'' and ''street smarts''
Real estate mogul turned TV star Donald Trump is turning his next prime-time boardroom from a battle of the sexes into a contest between "book smarts" and "street smarts."
A team of nine college graduates faces off against a group of nine entrepreneurs whose formal education ended with high school when the third edition of NBC's hit reality show "The Apprentice" debuts on Jan. 20, the network said on Thursday.
The first two editions of "Apprentice" featured two teams of wannabe tycoons -- divided by gender -- competing for a high-paying executive post in Trump's business empire, with one contestant "fired" in a boardroom showdown at the end of each episode.
"For the third season ... we wanted to see what would happen if we pitted college grads ('book smarts') against high school grads ('street smarts')," Trump said in a statement.
Trump himself is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of business who began his career as a developer in his father's real estate business.
While ratings have declined somewhat from its first season, "The Apprentice" remains one of NBC's biggest successes. The show ended its sophomore run this fall as the second most-watched reality show on U.S. television (behind "Survivor: Vanuatu" on CBS) and ranked No. 12 among all prime-time programs in household ratings.
The Dec. 16 finale, in which West Point graduate and software executive Kelly Perdew triumphed over Harvard Law School-educated attorney Jennifer Massey averaged nearly 17 million viewers.
Jennifer disses the Donald over 'Apprentice' finale
Friends of Jennifer Massey likened the finale of "The Apprentice" to the movie "Gladiator," in which Russell Crowe's character is stabbed in the back before being thrown into the arena for a final clash.
Donald Trump, claiming to be "undecided," invited executives, former contestants and audience members to weigh in on the winner. In the end, the 30-year-old lady lawyer lost out to Kelly Perdew and his West Point background
It wasn't pretty, and Jennifer M. tells TV Guide Online why:
TVGO: So, have you forgiven Mr. Trump for that little verbal jockeying he did at the very end that seemed to be leading to the declaration of your victory, but instead ended with him saying, "You're fired"?
Jennifer M.: You know, I think ultimately Mr. Trump is a showman. I think it was a bit lacking in business integrity, but again, that's the performance he wanted to put on. It wasn't only me that was disappointed - I have over 400 e-mails that reflect a lot of shock people felt witnessing that live finale. It really compromised the demographic of that show. You have a lot of really intelligent business individuals out there, and a lot were really disgusted by the way that things went down.
TVGO: Still, you had a few people pushing for you there.
Jennifer M.: I want to acknowledge fellow contestant John for really stepping up for me and expressing his indignation at the unprofessionalism that was taking place. Season 1 player Omarosa also stood up at the very end and called it a disgrace to women.
TVGO: Which fellow contestants might you keep in touch with?
Jennifer M.: Andy and Raj are two of my favorites. Andy is a really classy individual who showed a tone of positive and respectful competitiveness throughout the cast. For that reason, I'm really looking forward to keeping up with Andy.
TVGO: Do you have any thoughts on "The Apprentice 3," which will pit people with book smarts against those with street smarts?
Jennifer M.: I'm a little mystified by the premise. I really think the best candidate is someone that has both. So I don't really understand why they're making that divide.
Donald Trump is master of publicity
Lincoln Center is one of the world's most revered venues for the performing arts. But on Thursday night, opera and ballet were trumped by the art of the big publicity deal, and The Donald was the maestro.
Alice Tully Hall on Broadway dripped giant photos of the billionaire as television crews and shivering fans prepared for the season finale of "The Apprentice," NBC's hit reality series.
A couple of bedraggled young women stood quietly amid the bright lights and bustle, holding cardboard signs: "We drove from Calif. to see The Apprentice. Need 2 tickets." No one took pity.
Kelly Perdew, the 37-year-old West Point graduate and U.S. Army veteran whom Trump chose as his apprentice during a live broadcast, was treated like a rock star when he arrived at the cast party around midnight. Several hundred people, crowded behind barriers on narrow West 52nd Street, screamed out his name as he emerged from a limo. Only Trump's appearance created as big a stir.
But lots of aspiring apprentices, fired by Trump, got the celebrity treatment too. Inside the Roseland Ballroom, with disco and hip-hop pounding in the background, Perdew was surrounded by a steady stream of back-patters and autograph seekers.
Even the show's losers, if that's the right word, roamed with their own entourages. The women, in sleek evening gowns, ruled the night, a barrage of shooting stars. Or maybe not. Alumni from the first season - Amy, Katrina, Kwame, Bill - seem not to have lost their luster.
Maria Boren, the Richmond marketing director who survived to Episode 11 this year, sparkled in a svelte black dress. Trailed by her personal assistant, she flashed an electric smile that attracted clumps of admirers. She has no regrets about the show: "I had such a good time." For now, though, she needs time to catch up on her real job.
Jennifer Massey, the 30-year-old San Francisco lawyer who was this season's runner-up, is going back to work, too. "I'm still gainfully and happily employed with my law firm," she said in an interview just a few minutes after Trump fired her. But she has plans to capitalize on her celebrity. Massey is mulling a book deal and thinking about designing a line of women's clothing.
She is not one to give up. "I felt like I was the strongest candidate and I deserved to win. I tend to be low-key. I wasn't raised to grandstand and showboat and shout about what a great leader I am." She is no fan of Kelly: "I wouldn't trust him." But he "does seem like the best fit for the Trump organization," she conceded.
Perdew, the victor, was less critical in an interview (after Massey departed). But he deflected a question about whether he would hire her if given the chance. Over the next year, Perdew will be working on Trump's mammoth development project on the West Side of Manhattan. "I'm going to be in Mr. Trump's ear all the time," said Perdew, whose brother recently returned from military service in Iraq. If he spends any time listening, he should learn a few things about superb self-promotion.
After the show, Trump met with a handful of reporters.
"Well, we got it done," he said, shaking hands around the room, dispelling rumors that he won't do that. "That's a great question," he said more than once. He joked with reporters from the New York tabloids, before brushing off suggestions that Perdew had the win wrapped up all along and Trump was simply injecting a bit of dramatic tension into the final show.
"I was really thinking, even in those last five seconds." Trump pronounced himself pleased with both of the final contestants: "I couldn't have lost with either one."
Some local folks were pleased, too. Genworth Financial Inc., the Richmond insurance and retirement products company, sponsored the final two episodes, and its top executive, Michael Fraizer, made some live comments on the final show. "This has been a tremendous night for the company," Fraizer said afterward.
"The Apprentice" gave Genworth a chance to raise money and awareness, he said, for the Alzheimer's Association and the National Basketball Association's Read to Achieve program, both featured in the last two shows. It also allowed the company to introduce itself to millions of Americans.
Trump will be reaching millions of Americans for a while longer. The third season of "The Apprentice" has already been filmed and the search is on for folks to people the fourth.
"We had literally tens of thousands of people who wanted tickets. I guess they probably have a thousand seats in that room," Donald Trump said in an interview after the show.
Trump is the master of publicity. How many other American real es- tate developers enjoy international fame?
Jennifer was too tough, so Donald Trump hired Kelly
Lawyer Jennifer Massey may have proved too feisty in her bare-knuckled fight to be on Donald Trump's payroll.
Trump instead chose software executive Kelly Perdew, 37, to join his staff during the season finale of "The Apprentice" on Thursday.
Massey, 30, a Princeton and Harvard Law School graduate, attacked like a pit bull in the boardroom, even accusing Perdew of behind-the-scenes backstabbing. Her confrontational style eventually turned off Trump. "Your teammates did not really like you too much and you did lose too much," Trump said in "firing" Massey.
It probably didn't help that she didn't escort Trump to a VIP reception during the reality show's final challenge. Instead, he walked to a helicopter and flew off. Perdew was given the choice of a job in Las Vegas or New York, and chose to help Trump on his massive development on Manhattan's West Side.
He won after the two candidates were put through one last nerve-jangling competition: seeing who could manage a charity event more efficiently. Massey organized a basketball game involving NBA stars, while Perdew ran a polo match in leafy Connecticut. Perdew had to referee squabbling assistants, decide where to paint a corporate logo on the grass and also learned a lesson about the care and feeding of Trump: his boss complained his seat at the polo match was dirty.
Massey landed NBA Commissioner David Stern to emcee her charity event and quickly produced a generator when the power blew backstage from too much video game playing. But her brashness turned off many in the game show's audience, who overwhelmingly urged Trump to pick Perdew. "She's getting thrown under the bus here," one of Massey's supporters said after a succession of people interviewed backed Perdew.
NBC did its best to make the finale a big event, renting out a theater in Lincoln Center, bringing Regis Philbin on to host and having the O'Jays perform the show's theme song, "For the Love of Money."
"The Apprentice" isn't nearly the hit it was last spring. The show averages just under 16 million viewers, down 19 percent from the 19.6 million it averaged going into the first season's finale, according to Nielsen Media Research.
And NBC will be hard-pressed to duplicate the audience of 28 million people who watched Rancic's hire. The network notes that "The Apprentice" has been hurt by the loss of "Friends" on Thursday night, but that it's still a top ten show among young people.
Since it was a game about corporate wiles, NBC wasn't afraid to do a little business itself: the network advertised talking Trump bobblehead dolls for sale, and stationed boxer Sugar Ray Leonard in the audience to tout "The Contender," producer Mark Burnett's next series on NBC.
Donald Trump's wedding star-studded affair
Some of the names from the invitation list for the Jan. 22 wedding of Donald Trump and Melanie Knauss: Prince Albert of Monaco, Mohammad Al-Fayed, Muhammad Ali, Paul Anka, Tony Bennett, Tom Brady, Naomi Campbell, Graydon Carter, Sean Combs, Vic Damone, Clive Davis, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Clint Eastwood, Rick and Kathy Hilton, Elton John, Billy Joel, Derek Jeter, Larry King, Henry Kissinger, Heidi Klum, Henry Kravis, David Letterman, Liza Minnelli, Ron Perlman, Pat O'Brien, Shaquille O'Neal, George Pataki, Luciano Pavarotti, Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Lionel Richie, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Eliot Spitzer, Sylvester Stallone, Joe Torre, Usher, Harvey Weinstein, Bruce Willis, Oprah Winfrey, Anna Wintour, Steve Wynn.
But how many of them will show up? And how many will give toasters?
"The Apprentice" winner "hired" live from Lincoln Center December 16
The time has come for Donald Trump to utter those two magical words, "You're hired." NBC will broadcast a special three-hour "Apprentice" finale event featuring the dramatic live boardroom showdown from Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall on December 16 from 8pm-11pm ET. Additionally, the telecast will include a live extended cast reunion where some old scores will be settled once and for all.
Other highlights will include the return of fan favorite season one cast members plus live performances by The O'Jays featuring their famous rendition of the "Apprentice" theme song "For the Love of Money."
Specific details on the final two tasks will be announced next week but one will involve the organization and execution of a polo match that benefits the Alzheimers Assocation. The other task will be to run a charity basketball tournament featuring 12 NBA stars that will benefit "Read to Achieve." Genworth Financial (formerly GE Financial) is the title sponsor for both tasks. To orchestrate these tasks, several season two cast members will return to help (or hinder) the two finalists on their pursuit of a dream job with The Trump Organization.
The O'Jays, R&B living legends with careers spanning over 40 years, have released a record 60 plus albums and still perform their timeless music to sold-out audiences all over the world. The O'Jays members are Walter Williams Sr., Eddie Levert and Eric Nolan Grant. This year marks a milestone for their career; being nominated to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, releasing a new album entitled "Imagination" and signing an unprecedented 6 album multiyear deal under the direction of Beyonce's father; record executive Mathew Knowles for the Music World / Sanctuary Urban Records Group. O'Jays hits include; "Back Stabbers", "Love Train", "I Love Music", "Use To Be My Girl" and the hit song, "For the Love of Money" that has become an enormous success as the theme song for Donald Trump's NBC show "The Apprentice".
Donald Trump "hires" Regis Philbin to co-host "The Apprentice" finale on December 16 (8pm-11pm ET)
Music Legend Tony Bennett plus NBA Stars Dikembe Mutombo, Michael Finley, Hall of Famer Bob Lanier featured in final tasks.
"Trumpster" and Regis will be together again during NBC's three hour "Apprentice" finale event on December 16 from 8pm-11pm ET. Regis will co-host a portion of the live telecast from Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall including the cast reunion. Either Jennifer Massey or Kelly Perdew will be appointed Donald Trump's next "Apprentice" during the broadcast.
"Regis Philbin has been one of my closest friends for more than 20 years. He is a legend in the business and I personally invited him to join me in hosting 'The Apprentice' three hour finale," said Donald Trump. "It will be great to incorporate his expertise at hosting live events and I know we are also going to have fun together."
"I'm very happy that NBC asked me to be a part of the 'Apprentice' finale," said Regis Philbin. "It's one of the biggest shows of the year and I'm honored to be with my pal Donald Trump, the hottest guy in the business. Me and the Trumpster, what a team."
Also featured in the taped portion of the finale are Tony Bennett, NBA Commissioner David Stern, Bob Lanier and 16 of the NBA's rising stars. Bennett throws a kink into Kelly's organization of The Genworth Trump Polo Cup with a last minute benefit performance while Jennifer struggles to wrangle 16 NBA stars for The Genworth Charity Basketball Classic and is missing a host for her event. "Fired" Apprenti John, Raj and Elizabeth worked for Kelly and Pamela, Chris and Stacy R. were hired by Jennifer.
The 16 NBA stars featured on "The Apprentice" are: Shandon Anderson, Jason Collins, Juan Dixon, Michael Finley, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, Mark Jackson, Brevin Knight, Corey Maggette, Amal McCaskill, Dikembe Mutombo, Morris Peterson, Tayshaun Prince, Kareem Rush, Amare Stoudemire and Dwayne Wade.
After more than 40 years in front of the camera, Regis Philbin has become a cultural icon in television broadcasting. The Emmy-winning host of the top-rated talker "Live with Regis and Kelly" took his daytime success to primetime in 1999 with "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," and again in 2004 with "Super Millionaire." In his long career, he has ambitiously tackled talk shows, game shows, the literary world, the fashion industry, and most recently the music world with his new album, "When You're Smiling."
"The Apprentice" is produced by Mark Burnett Productions in association with Trump Productions LLC. Mark Burnett, Donald Trump and Jay Bienstock are executive producers. Conrad Riggs and Kevin Harris are co-executive producers. Al Berman is executive producer of the live broadcast December 16.
Donald Trump and Regis Philbin, what a great team
New Year's Eve will be televised without Dick Clark for the first time in 33 years. The TV icon, who is in a Los Angeles hospital after suffering a stroke last week, will not host ABC's annual "New Year's Rockin' Eve" orgy of retro-ness. Regis Philbin will fill in for him.
In a statement issued yesterday by his publicist, the 75-year-old Clark is quoted as saying: "It'll feel strange watching it on TV but my doctors felt it was too soon. I'm sure Regis will do a great job and I'm thankful that he was able to step in on such short notice."
In April, Clark announced he had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the '90s. He said he was going public with his condition to let people know that the disease puts them at an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. His publicist, Paul Shefrin, has declined to discuss details of Clark's condition, the Associated Press reports, except to say that "things get a little better every day" and that "his brain is 100 percent. His brain is not an issue at all."
ABC -- which last week, when asked if it had backup plans, said it hoped Clark would recover quickly -- yesterday issued a statement assuring the American public that the network has not wavered from its position re Clark recovering speedily. It added that it is willing to commit, on the record, to being "thrilled" that Philbin has agreed "to fill in at the last moment to help give [Clark] the time to make that happen."
NBC announced yesterday that Philbin would co-host the contestant reunion portion of Thursday's season finale of its reality series "The Apprentice," appearing with "The Trumpster," as NBC has taken to calling show star Donald Trump.
Anyone who watched the live reunion portion of the show's first edition would understand why the network has added a co-host. But, in the news release, NBC let it be the Trumpster's idea:
"Regis Philbin has been one of my closest friends for more than 20 years," Trump is quoted as saying. "He is a legend in the business and I personally invited him to join me in hosting 'The Apprentice' three-hour finale. . . . It will be great to incorporate his expertise at hosting live events and I know we are also going to have fun together."
"Me and the Trumpster, what a team," added Philbin.
10 weirdest moments of ''The Apprentice''
Viewers of the first season of "The Apprentice" might have thought things couldn't get much weirder than Omarosa losing Jessica Simpson. Oh, could they ever.
The show's second season started out strange and only got stranger. For a while, the boardroom seemed to have turned into CrazyLand, with Trump trying to think of the oddest thing he could possibly do each week — I'll take away Bradford's immunity! Now I'll invite all the women back in to whine about Stacie! Now I'll fire two people at once!
Not to mention the bizarre Trump voiceovers, which went unnoticed by some viewers while bugging the heck out of others. And the incessant product placement, with tasks involving Crest, M&M Mars, Pepsi, Levi's and other major corporations. (Looking back, it's shocking that The Donald didn't get David's Bridal to lend its name to the bridal-shop challenge.)
We've searched our memories for the top 10 moments of an exceptionally weird season. Now if you don't mind, we're going to go scour our brains with bleach.
1. Bradford gives up immunity
Bradford could have been an interesting character, but viewers didn't get to see much of the Florida lawyer. In the very first episode, he volunteered to lead otherwise all-female Apex, helping them win the Mattel toy challenge by building MetaMorpher toy cars and winning immunity from the next elimination. Some viewers liked his boldness, others decried his sexism (remember his crack that the men would have to "grow boobies" to compete with "my girls"?). But it was all for naught when an overconfident Bradford went too far, claiming he didn't even need the exemption. An appalled Trump knew Bradford wasn't the worst performer, but couldn't resist punishing him for looking a gift Trump in the mouth. Before Bradford knew it, he was out on the street.
2. Ivana strips on Wall Street
Some reality show meltdowns are entertaining, some are funny, others are just plain humiliating. Ivana had one of the latter. It's too bad, really — after an awful start, she'd started to come around, even inventing a cool jean-fit wheel during the Levi's challenge that she didn't really get full credit for (thank you, Jenn). But any smarts she had went out the window when, in response to Jenn and Sandy's provocative selling techniques, Ivana decided to yank down her skirt on Wall Street for $20. No amount of business smarts was going to get her into Trump's good graces after that one.
3. Maria flips out at the photo shoot
Maria and Wes made "Apprentice" history by getting fired together, and it probably wouldn't have happened had it not been for Maria's total freak-out when she was trying to coordinate a Levi's photo shoot. She was a woman possessed, taking over as if the shoot were a pack of hell hounds on burning leashes. When Wes tried to control her, Maria unleashed the fires of hell on him, screaming, "Do not get in my fricking face. ... Back off!" Wes let himself be steamrolled, and so he clearly earned his dismissal. But Maria was the star here. During her tirade, Maria screamed "Give me bitchy or give me death!" to the models she was trying to guide. How fitting that her bitchiness ultimately led to her Apprentice death.
4. Jenn C refers to customers as ‘old, fat Jewish ladies’
More than one "Apprentice" contestant has been shown the door because they lacked simple common sense and basic manners. If Jenn C. had ever worked at a retail establishment of any kind, she should have known that mocking the customers is the rudest, least professional thing an employee can do. Yet when Apex lost the restaurant challenge to Mosaic, Jenn didn't blame the stark decor or clumping, unhelpful Apex staffers. Instead she tried to place the failure at the feet of two customers, whom she referred to as "those old, fat, Jewish ladies." It was never clear what their age, weight or religion had to do with anything (Stacy later mused "I don't think they were even Jewish") but Jenn's statement was jarring and uncalled for. She later claimed Jewish heritage in her own family, and while she didn't flat-out say anything anti-Semitic, her real-life employer wasn't too happy with her behavior, and fired her shortly after Trump did.
5. The tennis reward
Last season, the rewards were generally the least interesting part of each episode. This season, there have been some boring, product-placing rewards (caviar at Petrossian), but we've also had some exceptional ones. One of the best rewards was given to Mosaic, who went to Arthur Ashe Stadium to play tennis with Anna Kournikova and John McEnroe. Raj's presence made this ever the more rewarding, as he shamelessly flirted with Kournikova ("I have a general rule. If you meet a woman of such beauty... you must try, at least," he told her). As a result, she challenged him to return one of five serves, and of course he failed. His punishment: Running around the stadium in his underwear, which he actually borrowed from McEnroe. As he ran, the two pros, and his teammates, volleyed balls in his direction. From start to finish, it was a raucous good time, for Mosaic and for viewers.
6. Carolyn laughs hysterically during the fabric challenge
When she's not lashing out at the boardroom table, Carolyn Kepcher generally appears to be a cardboard cutout. I'm not sure what she carries in that briefcase, but heavy sedatives would be a good guess. That's unfortunate, because she's often more interesting than Trump. So when she went to watch the men select fabric during the design challenge, we expected more of the same. However, observing the team's out-of-their-element incompetence quickly became too much for her. At first, she chuckled but tried to hold it in, arms sternly crossed as she stifled a laugh, grinning and looking away. Suddenly, though, all that she'd held inside burst forth and she laughed. Tears streamed down her cheeks; although she was heaving with glee, she managed to laugh silently. It was a fantastic glimpse of Carolyn's other side.
7. Apex creates a ‘police state’ New York for its ad
During the eighth episode, Donny Deutsch challenged the teams to create a recruitment campaign for the NYPD that emphasized the emotional, adding that "the real core of this assignment is hitting people [in the heart]." Apex interpreted that as "scaring the bejesus out of every person watching." Their TV ad began with on-screen text that declared "new threats and new enemies require more strength," as if the police force's current strength wasn't enough. Even worse, with tense music in the background, the ad included among its footage a scene where heavily armored cops, guns raised, stormed a subway car that had an apparently dead person on the floor. Apex failed on a massive level to create a campaign that came even close to what Deutch asked for. When Trump watched the ad in the boardroom, he said "there's nothing warm and fuzzy" about it.
8. Stacie consults the 8-Ball
Stacie J. may be the first reality-show contestant who was brought down by a toy. There happened to be a Magic 8-Ball sitting around when the teams were working on an early project, and Stacie picked it up and started — well, babbling. The 8-Ball weirdness stuck in her teammates' minds, eventually leading to a scene in which Trump had the entire women's team come back to the boardroom to all pile on Stacie. Stacie didn't help herself in that boardroom, hinting that the 8-Ball did indeed talk to her. But really, at that point, the curtains could have started talking in front of everyone and Stacie still would have been a goner. Outlook not so good. Ask again later.
9. Gelato flavors and British battleships
There's brainstorming and then there's getting a whisk broom and shaking every last thought out of the dusty corners of your brain. In the challenge where contestants had to invent a gelato flavor, the women did the latter. Alert viewers who listened closely and/or freeze-framed the whiteboard from an Apex planning session saw that actual gelato flavors suggested included lobster, Bloody Mary, fried chicken, peppers, rice and Old Bay seasoning. For gelato! Which is a frozen dessert similar to ice cream! The only similiar "What the..." moment came in the first episode, when Raj pronounced that British battleships were a great source for team names, suggesting "Dreadnought." Don't mind me. I'll just be over here on the Dreadnought, relaxing with my bowl of fried chicken gelato.
10. Jenn C. mimics Trump's movements during dinner
The very first reward found the winning team dining in Donald Trump's gold-plated apartment high above New York City. When you're out of your element, or insecure about your general grasp of the rules of etiquette, taking cues from your host is acceptable, even wise. But at dinner, Jenn C. took this to its extreme; she was trying to, as she said, be "as professional as I could." And that she was, if by "professional," she meant "psychotic." She sat to Trump's immediate right and pretended that both of them were marionettes being operated by the same person. As he lifted his arm, she lifted hers. Her gaze was possibly the most disturbing part; she locked her eyes on Trump and seemed to radiate some combination of lust and envy. It probably took everything Melania had not to fling her fork into Jenn's neck from across the table —perhaps the only thing that would have made the dinner more entertaining.
Donald Trump promotes his new ''power in a bottle''
Donald Trump walks off the Marshall Field's State Street elevator Tuesday looking like a billion dollars. His bright lavender tie stands out from the crowd. He's tanner, taller and blonder than he appears on TV. And despite the inclement weather, the guy is having a good hair day.
"The Donald" was in town to promote his latest product: Donald Trump, The Fragrance ($60) -- better known as "power in a bottle."
Inspired by the Trump phenomenon, Aramis and Designer Fragrances, a division of the Estee Lauder Companies, joined forces with Trump to capture yet another market . . . and right in time for Christmas shopping (surprised?).
His "Apprentice" protege Bill Rancic at his side, Trump didn't miss a beat as he moved like a rock star down the Field's runway into the madding crowd. Nearly 1,500 fans -- the largest Field's turnout for a celebrity ever -- waved black and gold "Donald Trump" placards, and cheered.
"Wow, look at this turnout," Trump shouted into the microphone, surrounded by hundreds of bottles of the gold-topped skyscraper-shaped fragrance. "If you're a woman, buy this cologne for your husband, boyfriend, or significant other -- and the same goes for you guys," he added, laughing.
"Hey, whatever you're into is fine with me. I love this scent. You'll love it. It will make you feel like a success."
From the Field's gig, Trump was slated to meet up with Mayor Daley before jetting back home. But first, he chatted with the Sun-Times, to discuss The Fragrance, "The Apprentice," life, and yes, love.
Q. Mr. Trump, the latest trend is women wearing men's cologne. You're banking on guys buying this. What about the ladies?
A. Why not? The lady in my life loves it. The Fragrance is for everyone. It's the No. 1 seller here at Field's. You know, I've never been a fragrance guy, but now I really love this cologne. And the Estee Lauder group is phenomenal. They promised they'd get it out right in time for Christmas, and look at us now.
Q. "You're fired!" is synonymous with your persona. Have you fired many people over the years, and how different is that experience from the TV glamorization of letting someone go?
A. Yes, I've fired many people along the way. How many? I couldn't tell you. It's not easy, believe me, only of course, if the person I'm firing is a sleazebag or they've been caught stealing. On television 'You're fired!' works beautifully, because it's concise -- and really what else can you say at that pivotal moment?
Q. What's your take on the differences between the tactics used by men and women striving for success?
A. My belief is that women have the distinct advantage in business. Who do you think is going to be more successful selling candy -- a woman or a man? It's a woman hands down. You see it in real time on my show.
Q. You've been known to say "Never underestimate the competition." Who is Donald Trump's competition?
A. I have lots of competitors everywhere, in all areas of business. But let's focus on Chicago, your old building, the Sun-Times. The location is fabulous, and I believe my presence has been terrific for real estate here, really opening up the market for my competitors.
Q.Let's talk love. Do you apply your business skill to affairs of the heart?
A. Love (laughs)? Sure, why not.
I keep love and business totally separate. Let me tell you this. Love is more difficult than any kind of business. The most complex business deal cannot even begin to measure up to the most minor love affair.
Q.You've got to be the busiest man in America. How do you juggle being a good father and all your ventures?
A. I always say I'm a great father, a lousy husband. I'm not running for political office, so it's easy for me to speak my mind. My kids are terrific, and I devote a lot of time to being a father.
Q. You have a lot of possessions. What if you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take three things with you?
A. Hey, this is fun. Hmm, food, "lovin'," and some form of communication to get the hell off the island!
Donald Trump's family values
It's always interesting/entertaining to see how the other half lives. So when we saw a profile of the three Trump children The Donald fathered with his first ex, Ivana, we took the bait.
Although the story is darned-near fawning (the reporter just can't get over the fact that the three kids, Donald Jr., 26, Ivanka, 23, and Eric, 20, are polite. Oh, how low the bar has been set), it's a brilliant look into the Trump family values.
"We were sort of bred to be competitive," Ivanka told the reporter. "Dad encourages it. I remember skiing with him and we were racing. I was ahead, and he reached his ski pole out and pulled me back." Nice!
Eric adds, "He would try to push me over just so he could beat his 10-year-old son down the mountain." Is it just us, or does this guy sound like a jerk, willing to knock down his own kids so he can feel like a big man on the slopes?
Donald Trump to Start NASCAR Engines for NYC Victory Lap
NASCAR fans will see the top NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers roar down Broadway for an unprecedented “Victory Lap” commemorating the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, on Dec. 2. The 10 drivers who competed in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup will make the Great White Way the sport’s newest road course for a day, as part of the annual NASCAR Champion’s Week celebration held in New York, it was announced today by NASCAR and Nextel Communications (NASDQ: NXTL).
The loud and unforgettable Victory Lap starts at 9:45 a.m., when the 10 contenders in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup will strap into their machines outside the NASDAQ in Times Square. Donald J. Trump, chairman, president and CEO of the Trump Organization, will then say the most famous words in racing – “Gentlemen Start Your Engines” – and wave the Green Flag. The race cars will roar down Broadway, turn left on 42nd Street and finally take a “checkered flag” at NASCAR’s New York office on 52nd Street and Park Avenue.
The 10 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers – Kurt Busch (the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion), Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Jeremy Mayfield, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler and Tony Stewart – will be chaperoned by the two Chevrolet pace vehicles and the NYPD.
“New York is big, NASCAR is big, and this is going to be a big happening,” Trump said. “People in this city are used to seeing some interesting things. I can guarantee that the sight and sound of 10 NASCAR stock cars revving 800 horsepower on the most famous street in the world is going to be unforgettable.” “New York City is proud to host NASCAR's Champion’s Week," said New York City Sports Commissioner Kenneth Podziba. "We are pleased to partner with NASCAR as the sport continues to build its fan base in the five boroughs and the industry celebrates another successful season at its culminating event – the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf=Astoria."
Tim Donahue, president and chief executive officer of Nextel, the title sponsor of racing’s premier series, will open the NASDAQ trading market on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2004. Donahue will be joined by George Pyne, chief operating officer of NASCAR, and the top 10 drivers of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Prior to opening NASDAQ, Busch, along with crew chief, Jimmy Fennig, NASCAR officials and Nextel executives, will participate in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series’ annual Times Square photo shoot. A representative from Mayor Bloomberg’s office will read a proclamation recognizing Friday, Dec. 3 as NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Day in New York City. Additionally, a representative of the Governor of New York, George Pataki, will proclaim Friday, Dec. 3 as NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Day in the Empire State.
New York is the fourth largest NASCAR market in the country in terms of homes tuned to the average NASCAR events. On average, more households in the New York market tuned in to NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events on network television than Knicks and Ranger games on their local affiliates in 2003. NASCAR is the second-highest-rated sport on network television. NASCAR’s New York office was opened in 1998 to draw corporate interest and involvement to all levels of the sport. NASCAR has more Fortune 500 involvement than any other sport. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events rank second in television ratings among all professional sports.
Should Donald Trump be fired
You could call it Trump: The Art of the (Bankruptcy Restructuring) Deal.
Donald Trump's casino businesses, which have failed to share in his highly publicized successes in other realms in recent years, are being restructured under a bankruptcy protection plan that would strip Trump of his majority stake.
The Donald, as the mogul is known, has achieved renewed celebrity through the hit reality TV show, "The Apprentice." Each week, Trump eliminates one contestant from a team that fails to make as much money as a competing team. His signature statement on the show, "You're fired," became a national catch phrase. The new attention also put him back on the best-seller list this spring with "Trump: How to Get Rich."
Under the plan, announced late Monday, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts plans to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy next month, emerging within a year. DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, an arm of Credit Suisse First Boston, and Trump would invest $400 million to help the company pay down its $1.8 billion in debt and cut interest payments in half.
Trump, the chairman, chief executive and largest shareholder, would see his stake in the company shrink from 56 percent to 25 percent, with Credit Suisse owning more than two-thirds of the company. Trump himself would contribute nearly $71 million, $55 million of which would be in the form of a co-investment with Credit Suisse and $15.9 million of which would come from his Trump Casino Holdings notes. Trump would also give up trademark rights to his name and likeness for use in connection with casino operations.
The plan has been endorsed by some Trump bondholders, but others still must agree to it. Trump Hotels stock was suspended from trading by the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. "I look forward to our recapitalized company being a major player in the evolving gaming industry," Trump said in a statement.
Anthony Sabino, an associate professor of business at Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John's University in Jamaica, N.Y., said the bankruptcy filing was "not surprising give the circumstances in the gaming industry." He noted that casinos in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City have been undercut by the growth of gaming operations on Native American reservations and the weaker economy. In June, MGM Mirage agreed to purchase the Mandalay Resort Group for $4.8 billion in cash, followed a month later by a deal for Harrah's Entertainment Inc. to buy Caesars Entertainment Inc. for about $5.2 billion, and further consolidation in the industry is expected.
Sabino termed the Trump casino businesses restructuring as "a prepackaged bankruptcy." "There's already an agreement with creditors, and they're only going to court to avail themselves of what the law allows them to do," Sabino said. "He's basically renegotiated his debt."
Trump emerged in the 1980s as New York's hottest developers, attaching his name to buildings, Atlantic City casinos and best-selling books, notably "Trump: The Art of the Deal." By the early 1990s, though, the headlines were more about financial troubles and his breakup with his first wife, Ivana.
This would be the second time that Trump casinos have been through bankruptcy. In 1992, the three casinos he then owned — the Taj Mahal, Castle and Plaza — ended up in Chapter 11, burdened by more than $1 billion in debt and hurt by the 1990-91 recession. Trump later regained control of the casinos. But he climbed back from the brink of personal bankruptcy and chronicled his return to billionaire status in the 1997 book "Trump: The Art of the Comeback."
Last month, when his hotel-casino business reported a $17.6 million second-quarter loss, Trump blamed it on high gas prices and "other inflationary pressures" that have left his customers with less money to gamble at the beginning of the summer season.
The company's $220 million yearly interest payments have been a drain, while a lack of cash has left Trump's three New Jersey casinos vulnerable to new competition, such as the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, the $1.1 billion gaming hall that has been siphoning gamblers since it opened a year ago.
Donald J. Trump and Radio City's Rockettes will help The Salvation Army of Greater New York "kick off"
As part of the ceremony, Trump will issue a fund raising challenge to The Salvation Army's "apprentices" -- cadets from the organization's School for Officer Training. If the "apprentices" don't meet the challenge, well ...
Joining Trump for the official start to the Christmas Kettle Effort will be the most appropriate group to "kick off" an event, the world famous Rockettes. For more than 100 years, The Salvation Army has been raising funds through its familiar red kettles, manned by uniformed bell ringers. On street corners and in shopping malls throughout the Greater New York area, The Salvation Army
will have more than 300 kettle locations and in excess of 1,000 volunteers
assisting with the campaign.
The Greater New York Division has set a goal of $1.5 million to be collected through the red kettles. Funds raised through the kettles help the religious/charitable organization to reach out to thousands of needy individuals during the holiday season and throughout the rest of the year.
"The red kettle is a very visible and important part of The Salvation Army's holiday effort," said Lt. Colonel Nestor Nuesch, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army's 14-county Greater New York Division. "Without these donations, the holiday season will be less bright for many men, women and
Architect Sues Trump Over Stolen Designs...
November 9, 2004.
A judge should order the destruction of two condo towers being built for an oceanfront resort that carries the name of Donald Trump, according to a lawsuit filed by a Miami architect who claims the billionaire and a hotel developer took his design. The lawsuit filed by Paul Oravec says he was "shocked and dismayed" to see design photos of the towers at Trump Grande Ocean Resort and Residences in the newspaper after similar ideas he created were turned down by Trump.The resort is under construction in Sunny Isles Beach on the Atlantic Ocean, just a few miles northeast of Miami. Trump, the corporation, the architect for the Trump Palace and Trump Royale towers and two development companies were named as defendants. The lawsuit alleges copyright violations and seeks unspecified damages. It also calls for a judge to halt construction or order the destruction of the buildings. Norma Foerderer, a spokeswoman for Trump, said he couldn't comment because he hadn't seen the filing. A spokeswoman at Dezer Properties, a prominent hotel builder in New York and the Miami Beach area that partnered with Trump on the towers, said legal counsel wasn't available for immediate comment. Oravec claims he devised the concept for the concave-convex design in 1996 and sent it to several developers.
Donald Trump To Get Married, Again...
Billionaire Donald Trump’s January 22 wedding in South Florida will be a low-key affair at the request of his fiancée Melania Knauss, sources close to the billionaire said Tuesday.
“A big wedding is not Melania’s style,” a source at Trump’s New York City office told the Boca News. “I can’t say anything except that it will be a small affair. They don’t want any hype.”
Trump said Friday on ABC’s The View that the wedding ceremony, his third and Knauss’s first, will take place January 22 at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. Mar-a-Lago, set on 18 beachfront acres, was the real estate tycoon’s exclusive 118-room mansion before he turned it into a private club. The manager of Mar-a-Lago, contacted for comment, would not confirm whether the resort has made any preparations since Trump’s public announcement. But the wedding is guaranteed to be one of the most talked-about in Palm Beach County history.
Mar-a-Lago – the region’s most exclusive spa for super rich – is visible from South Ocean Boulevard and its rooms are filled with antique furnishings. The property has its own golf course and an underground tunnel to the ocean shoreline. Anything less than a royal wedding will certainly be a first for “The Donald,” a flashy capitalist conquistador whose latest book includes a "How to be Married" section. Trump first tied the knot with Ivana in 1977 and then with Marla Maples in 1993, both of which were occasions for multimillion-dollar parties. But Trump himself has insisted that Knauss, who has lived with the tycoon in his Trump Towers home since 1998, is a different story. Riding high on the success of his NBC reality show “The Apprentice,” Trump proposed to Knauss in early May. The 33-year old model, 25 years younger than Trump, hails from a tiny East European country that sources have said is not accustomed to royal weddings. Slovenia’s net wealth is a mere fraction of Trump’s holdings.
Is ''The Apprentice'' a Reality TV Show?
First, and most obvious, is that the famous boardroom scenes are totally out of whack with the rest of the show. Take last night's episode, which had the contestants competing to see who could create the most profitable bridal salon. As the would-be mini-moguls went about their tasks, it was clearly summertime in Manhattan. The men, specifically Chris and Kevin, walk around the city in shorts and tennis shirts, and even go to their business meetings so attired. The women sport summer dresses.
The point is not that no one should go to a first business meeting in shorts.
The point is, just after the boardroom scene--supposedly the same day as the bridal sale-- when Donald Trump tells Chris, the New York stockbroker, "You're fired," Chris walks out of Trump Tower into a cold rain and gets into the waiting taxi wearing a winter coat.
OK, this is TV. "Reality" TV, but still TV. Nevertheless, normally on TV, producers make every attempt to approximate reality by creating what's known as continuity. That means that even if they shoot the same sequence over several days, they make sure the characters are wearing the same clothes. If, for instance, a character is smoking a cigarette, a professional director will take care that the cigarette burns shorter as fictional time progresses. Certainly, you would never see a movie bank robber enter a bank in the summer and emerge in the snow. By the same token, they may film five episodes of Jeopardy in one day, but at least Alex Trebek changes his suit to maintain the appearance that time has passed.
That's not how it goes on The Apprentice. The weather, week after week, is always cold and rainy (hence the winter coats) after Trump does his thing. It certainly seems that all the post-firing scenes, supposedly featuring the rejected candidates' off-the-cuff reflections, were shot on the same day. That day could only have been well after the actual tasks and the actual terminations. Asked to comment, Trump said he thought it was a raincoat, not a winter coat. But was the termination scene shot well after the fact? "I can't get into the details of that because it's a really confidential thing," Trump said.
Now, about that taxi. After each ritual firing, there it is, seemingly the same cab with the same Yahoo! (nasdaq: YHOO - news - people ) HotJobs billboard on top. According to New York City Taxi And Limousine Commission regulations, yellow cabs are permitted to respond to street hails, but they are not permitted to have two-way radios or to accept radio calls. Maybe this cab was off-duty; maybe it was just a prop and not a real taxi. But the idea that a cab would be waiting there is another fiction, and totally unnecessary. Wouldn't it be more real--and more fun--if the just terminated man (or woman) who would be Trump was stuck outside flailing away for his taxi to oblivion. Perhaps they should be relegated to the subway, a mode of transport that does not seem to exist in executive producer Mark Burnett's New York.
As to the competition itself, there seems to be cause for doubt. Yesterday, the winning team had about 40 customers lined up outside its four-hour bridal sale. We never saw an actual sale on TV, but they were said to have sold 27 dresses. Has any retailer in history ever made a sale to 65% of its potential customers? Maybe if they were selling newspapers for a quarter or packs of gum. But can that be done when the item offered is a $1,000-plus wedding gown? The losing team's record was even more remarkable: two customers, two sales. Possible--if the brides were from another planet.
Trump allowed, "I was extremely impressed, too, but that's what they sold. They're totally on their own." But, Trump added, "The prices are extremely favorable."
The process, also, was too good to be true. The contestants' main task was to convince vendors to let them sell their very expensive dresses at a store that would open and close in an afternoon. Both teams are shown easily succeeding with this aspect of the business. Would any real "vendor" make such a deal with someone he or she just met? That is, if the would-be fly-by-day merchant there had no film crew in tow.
Other reality TV shows, including The Apprentice, have been, on other occasions, accused of staging the competition. The Joe Millionaire on Fox, a unit of News Corp. (nyse: NWS - news - people ), allegedly was lightly scripted in his romantic ruminations. Contestants on Survivor, aired on CBS, a unit of Viacom (nyse: VIAb - news - people ), were reportedly consulted by therapists after being voted off the show. But these shows were not the fodder for business school curricula, the way The Apprentice, which is broadcast on NBC, a unit of General Electric (nyse: GE - news - people ), has been.
Yesterday the winning team received a "reward" in the form of a $50,000 shopping spree at a high-end jeweler. The main point of this reward, of course, is to allow the show to advertise the jeweler. But what lesson does that teach when a $12,000 profit merits a $50,000 reward? This is reality TV in Enron-world.
Donald Trump was roasted
The tables were turned on Trump as the real estate mogul turned reality TV star sat through a litany of jokes at his expense during the Friars Club's 100th anniversary celebrity "roast" on Friday.
Trump, who puts wannabe tycoons through their paces in his NBC hit show "The Apprentice" before dismissing each week's loser with the signature phrase "You're fired," endured a flood of cracks about his hair, his love life, his ego and his business interests before a crowd of 1,700 at the $500-a-plate event in a Manhattan hotel ballroom.
More than 70 entertainers and other celebrities sat on the long dais, and a dozen comedians took turns skewering The Donald after being introduced by roastmaster Regis Philbin.
Susie Essman, who appears on Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" comedy series on HBO, said she and Trump didn't hit it off right away when they met.
"I wasn't your type," the sassy comic said. "I'm smart, my (breasts) are real and I speak English."
Nightclub comic Stewie Stone commented on Trump's far-ranging fame.
"When I was in Italy, I met the pope and the first thing he asks me is, 'How is Donald Trump? I go, how does the pope know Donald Trump? He says 'His name comes up a lot in confessions."
NBC chieftain Jeff Zucker, alluding to his network's faltering ratings this season, saluted Trump and his show as "the only thing that stands between NBC and a total collapse."
"'The Apprentice,' was actually the second show that Donald pitched to us. The first was called, 'Extreme Hair Comeover."
On the love front, and Trump's predilection for younger women, Zucker said: "Donald has his dating down pat. There's the picking of the ring, the meeting of the parents, the meeting of the grandparents and then the realization that he went to high school with the grandparents."
Donald Trump's new book ''Think Like A Billionaire''
With the success of NBC's "The Apprentice," businesspeople around the world must be wondering how they ever survived without a weekly primer from Donald Trump on how to run their businesses and their lives. Luckily, not only has Trump produced yet another book for management types, but three of his cohorts have produced advice tomes as well.
The Trumpster's latest tome is, no surprise, grandiosely titled "Think Like A Billionaire." While Trump certainly has a wealth of experience (no pun intended) in being filthy rich, it's unclear how just thinking like a mogul can create wealth. It seems that Trump wants his readers to subscribe to the Professor Harold Hill School of Personal Finance.
Unlike in his previous books, where Trump discussed negotiating or management, in this book, Trump's knowledge is vague. He includes short chapters (usually two pages long) on buying a home, getting a mortgage, and even a laughable segment on what Trump calls the Mar-A-Lago diet, which seems to involve hiring a personal chef to fire up some Chilean sea bass.
Trump claims that he has received positive feedback on his hour-by-hour description of a typical week, but the section reads like he merely fleshed out his appointment book with a few bland recollections. Are readers hungry to know how many times Trump talked to Regis Philbin in a week? (Answer: 3)
The only new information that Trump presents is a discussion of his television career, but between the name-dropping and the summaries of "Apprentice" episodes, these passages are boring and stale. Trump includes short bios of each of the second season contestants, which are readily available on NBC's website, and then traces his route around the city each day, without dropping any interesting or secret tidbits.