Pleasant Chatter at the Future of Media Panel

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This afternoon there were five men at the front of the television studio in NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute waiting to speak on a panel about the future of media.

Panelists from Yahoo, Google and AOL sat together on one side next to Jonathan Geller, a 23-year-old who has already built his own media company and sold it for millions of dollars. NBC legal analyst Dan Abrams, who has a few blogs of his own, sat one seat away from those men, with empty spaces on each side of him. They were waiting for two women, Arianna Huffington and Glamour editor Cindi Leive, and for their Internet Week panel to begin.

A packed audience was waiting in the studio, too.

Ms Leive came first, shaking hands with the young Mr. Geller and the portal-power set. Mr. Abrams kissed Ms. Leive on the cheek, and they sat down next to each other. Ms. Huffington came a few minutes later and filled the last remaining seat on Mr. Abrams’ left.

There were still a few minutes to kill before the prompt 1 pm start time.

Mr. Abrams began telling Ms. Huffington about his latest blog Sportsgrid. Ms. Huffington nodded along.

A few seats away sat James Pitaro from Yahoo, which reportedly was trying to acquire Ms. Huffington’s Huffington Post. Ms. Leive was thumbing away at her red blackberry.

“What’s your Twitter?” she said, without looking up, to Mr. Abrams, who was still talking to Ms. Huffington.

He swiveled away from Ms. Huffington and peered down at Ms. Leive’s screen.

“It’s ‘at Daniel Abrams,'” he said, watching as she punched in a tweet.

“All miked up and ready to talk at @iwantmedia panel with @ariannahuff, @danielabrams and more digital geniuses. Fun!”

“I’m new to this Internet thing” Mr. Abrams said to Ms. Leive.

The AOL, Google, Yahoo reps at the end of the row craned their necks toward Mr. Abrams. “The internet business,” he clarified.

Mr. Abrams told Ms. Leive that he had changed his clothing for the panel. He was wearing an open-collar white shirt, a sports coat and jeans. Mr. Abrams wore a suit on the Today Show this morning. “This is digital Dan!” Ms. Leive said. “I’m feeling very print all of a sudden.”

Patrick Phillips, founder of I Want Media and the moderator of the event, was ready to begin.

“Cindi, I’d like to start the conversation with you,” Mr. Phillips said. “You’re the traditional media person here.”

Ms. Leive laughed.

“I figured that was my role,” she said.

— with Amanda Cormier.

Pleasant Chatter at the Future of Media Panel