HEARST OF THE HAMPTONS

New York private equity people love summering in the Hamptons, where they can relax and let down their guards a bit, far from the stress of Wall Street. But this summer they'd be well advised not to run afoul of the local newspaper tycoon, one John Kim.

If Steve Schwarzman were having coffee with Meg Ryan, I'd say, ‘Hey look, there's Steve Schwarzman

John Kim

Kim, a partner at New York private equity firm Capital Z, his wife Jodi, and his father-in-law Jerry Della Femina, are majority owners of the East Hampton and South Hampton Indepenents, a newspaper group that sees its readership skyrocket during the summer months. Following a management shakeup, Mr. Della Femina asked Kim to spend some time as interim publisher overseeing the direction of the papers.

The Hamptons summer scene is famous for its glitterati, and well covered in society pages. But Kim ominously notes that most Hamptons publications don't have a publisher that can recognise 90 percent of New York private equity professionals, even while they're wearing shorts. “If Steve Schwarzman were having coffee with Meg Ryan, I'd say, “Hey look, there's Steve Schwarzman,”” warns Kim.

Kim also notes that on any given weekend, his papers are read by more private equity professionals than are most of the industry's trade publications. If you see PEI open an office on the Montauk Highway, you'll know why.