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Q&As
Spotlights on Careers in the Media

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Q&A: Jeffrey Frank?
The New Yorker senior editor talks about his new book, Bad Publicity, and gets down and dirty about D.C. politics.
By David S. Hirschman, 01-30-04

More Q&As

So What Do You Do, Geoff Lewis?
Folio:'s newest editor is pulling the magazine about magazines back to its core mission.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 01-27-04

So What Do You Do, Ed Skyler?
The youngest press secretary in New York City's history spends his days defending a private mayor from a very aggressive press corps.
By Melissa P. McNamara, 01-20-04

So What Do You Do, Cullen Murphy?
The Atlantic Monthly's editor on his job, his predecessor, and his side career in the funny pages.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 01-13-04

Meet the (Meta)Press: Ken Auletta
The New Yorker's media writer comes out with a new book and talks to mb about the business, his articles, and learning to talk to the bosses.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 01-06-04

Q&A: Mike Powers
The executive producer of MTV's New Year's Eve: 2004 special takes us behind the scenes of the network's biggest party of the year.
By Jill Singer, 12-30-03

So What Do You Do, Andy Pemberton?
The Blender editor-in-chief on how the music business is changing and how his mag is changing music coverage.
By David S. Hirschman - 12-16-03

Q&A: Will Leitch
The web writer releases a compilation of his best "Life As a Loser" columns and talks about the future of Internet journalism.
By Jill Singer - 12-12-03

Meet the (Meta)Press: Paul Colford
The New York Daily News's "Hot Copy" columnist on all the big media-world issues.
By David S. Hirschman - 12-09-03

Q&A: Jason Fulford
The co-founder of indie photo book publisher J&L Books releases two new offbeat selections and talks about his own photography career.
By Chris Gage - 12-05-03

So What Do You Do, Victor Navasky?
The venerable Nation publisher and editorial director on liberal bias in the press, the role of opinion journals in politics, and whether what's bad for the country is good for The Nation.
By Rebecca Ruiz - 12-02-03

So What Do You Do, Evan Smith?
The New York-born Texas Monthly editor on his career, his mag, and balancing the parochial with the national.
By Jesse Oxfeld - 11-25-03

Q&A: Marion Ettlinger
The nation's leading photographer of authors releases her first collection, Author Photo and talks to mb about why she likes shooting writers.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 11-21-03

So What Do You Do, Romesh Ratnesar?
A Time writer does his second tour in the mag's Baghdad bureau and talks to mb about his job there, his job in New York, and the intersection of the two.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 11-18-03

Meet the (Meta)Press: Jon Fine
The Ad Age media reporter on the Rosie trial, the big stories, and whether the Manhattan media scene is problematically incestuous.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 11-11-03

So What Do You Do, Nick Gillespie?
On Reason's 35th anniversary, the libertarian mag's editor talks about its politics, its far-flung operations, and the glamorous world of Sew Business.
By David S. Hirschman, 11-04-03

Meet the (Meta)Press: Cynthia Cotts
The Village Voice 'Press Clips' columnist on her paper, her column, and her alter ego.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 10-28-03

So What Do You Do, Jim Kelly?
The top editor of Time magazine on running a newsmag and the burdens of the red border.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 10-21-03

Q&A: Dan Savage
As his Skipping Toward Gomorrah goes into paperback, the 'Savage Love' columnist and alt-weekly editor talks about his book, his column, and the future of newspapers.
By Chris Gage, 10-17-03

So What Do Yo Do, Lance Gould?
Drill debuts today, and editor Lance Gould talks about producing his lad mag for military men.
By David S. Hirschman, 10-14-03

Q&A: Gail Collins
The first woman editorial-page editor at The New York Times writes a book about American women—and talks about Jayson Blair.
By Lizzie Skurnick, 10-10-03

So What Do You Do, Peter Carlson?
The Washington Post's 'Magazine Reader' on his gig, his career, and his favorite obscure mags.
By Dan Dupont, 10-07-03


Q&A: John Capouya
An accomplished magazine editor finds yoga—and his inner author.
By Eric Messinger, 10-03-03

So What Do You Do, Scott Moore?
The president of MSNBC.com on his site, internet news, and why blogs are good for online news sources.
By David S. Hirschman, 09-30-03

Meet the (Meta)Press: Greg Mitchell
E&P's editor talks to mb about journalism, his career, and the changes at his shop.
By David S. Hirschman, 09-23-03

Q&A: Kate Betts
As New York's Fashion Week gets rolling, star editor Kate Betts talks about her new project, Time Style & Design.
By Emily Fromm, 09-16-03

Q&A: Chuck Klosterman
For this Spin writer, life's all about sex, drugs, and breakfast cereal.
By Chris Gage, 09-12-03

Q&A: Jim Clifton
The man behind the Gallup pollsters on his company, its history, and the importance of public-opinion polling.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 09-09-03

Q&A: Jon Hein
The man who invented "jumping the shark" takes mb shark-hunting through the upcoming TV season-- and through current events.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 09-05-03

Q&A: Bob Kohn
The author of Journalistic Fraud on what's really gone wrong at The New York Times.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 08-29-03

So What Do You Do, Neal Pollack?
The Greatest Living American Writer on his books, his magazine work, and writing as a "big old stupid party."
By Chris Gage, 08-26-03

So What Do You Do, Martha Nelson?
As Barbra might say, the person who edits People is the luckiest person in the world.
By Jennifer Baker, 08-19-03

Meet the (Meta)Press: Mark Jurkowitz
Boston's top media-about-media guy about his career, his favorite mags, and how the Yankees—the Yankees!—led him to Bostonian prominence.
By David S. Hirschman, 08-12-03

Q&A: Diane Ravitch
In her recent book, The Language Police, one of America's foremost experts on education shows how concerns about bias are destroying students' understandings of history and literature.
By Leslie Synn, 08-01-03

So What Do You Do, Allison Arieff?
Dwell's editor-in-chief on running an accessible, left-coast shelter mag—where the staffers finish each other's lunches.
By Adam Bluestein, 07-29-03

Meet the (Meta)Press: Matthew Rose
The Wall Street Journal's media reporter on how blogs change media coverage, whether he had the goods on Howell, and why he doesn't work for a financial publication.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 07-22-03

Q&A: Jake Halpern
The Braving Home author braves an mb interview, discussing "extreme locales," writing his book, and hanging with Bernie Goetz.
By Jacqueline Schneider, 07-18-03

So What Do You Do, Eric Umansky?
Slate's "Today's Papers" columnist on the column, his puns, and working all night.
By David S. Hirschman, 07-15-03

Q&A: Emma Taylor and Lorelei Sharkey
mb gets the "Em & Lo Down" from the authors of Nerve's new sex guide.
By Emily Fromm, 07-11-03

Meet the (Meta)Press: Keith Kelly
The New York Post's scooperific media reporter talks to Jesse Oxfeld about his paper, his scoops, and how to coin a lasting nickname.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 07-08-03

So What Do You Do, John Hodgman?
The former literary agent on his writing, his lectures, and the art of blowhard-ism.
By Lizzie Skurnick, 07-01-03

Q&A: Joe Bob Briggs
The man behind America's favorite redneck movie critic talks about his alter ego, his background, and his new book, Profoundly Disturbing: Shocking Movies that Changed History.
By Leslie Synn, 06-27-03

Meet the (Meta)Press: Howard Kurtz
Who reports on the reporters?
By Jesse Oxfeld, 06-24-03

So What Do You Do, Ben Brantley?
The chief theater critic at The New York Times wields tremendous power over the Great White Way—and he's not afraid to use it.
By Jennifer Baker, 06-17-03

Q&A: Andy Borowitz
The humorist on his new book, Who Moved My Soap? The CEO's Guide to Surviving in Prison, and writing for both a rap star and The New Yorker.
By Lynn Harris, 06-13-03

Meet the (Meta)Press: Jack Shafer
Slate's "Press Box" columnist on his job, the Times, and not moving with the pack.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 06-10-03

Q&A: Kate White
Cosmo's editor just published her second novel, a murder-mystery set in a spa. Lizzie Skurnick talks to her about writing, editing, and the art of the title.
By Lizzie Skurnick, 06-06-03

So What Do You Do, Alex Star?
The Boston Globe's "Ideas" editor on the death of Lingua Franca, not going to grad school, and the calm of crushing deadlines.
By Lizzie Skurnick, 06-03-03

Q&A: Meghan Daum
The prolific freelancer on her new novel, her old essays, and comparisons to Joan Didion.
By Mike Scalise, 05-30-03

So What Do You Do, Sia Michel?
After a successful first year on the job, Spin's EIC talks to mb and gets ready to raise her rate base.
By Rossiter Drake, 05-20-03

Q&A: Steve Fishman
The Karaoke Nation author on his book, his career in journalism, and not making a million dollars.
By Eric Messinger, 05-16-03

mb Quick Take: Bryan Monroe on Jayson Blair
The vice president, print, of the National Association of Black Journalists—a Knight-Ridder news exec currently at Harvard on a Nieman Fellowship—on why the Blair scandal has nothing to do with race.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 05-15-03

mb Quick Take: William McGowan on Jayson Blair
Two years ago, William McGowan argued in Coloring the News that American newsrooms were advocating diversity at the cost of their coverage. Has the Jayson Blair case proved his point?
By Jesse Oxfeld, 05-13-03

Meet the (Meta)Press: Sridhar Pappu
The New York Observer's 27-year-old "Off the Record" columnist covers and critiques some of the city's most powerful media barons.
By David S. Hirschman, 05-13-03

So What Do You Do, Stephen Colbert?
The Daily Show correspondent on making fun of the news.
By Jacqueline Schneider, 05-06-03

Meet the (Meta)Press: David Shaw
The L.A. Times's Pultizer-winning media critic leaves his big series behind him and moves on to food and wine.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 04-29-03

So What Do You Do, Keith Olbermann
America's most peripatetic anchorman returns to MSNBC, this time—believe it or not—helming the cable network's marquee nightly newscast.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 04-15-03

Meet the (Meta)Press: Michael Wolff
In the debut of a new mb feature examining people who cover the media, New York magazine's Michael Wolff talks about his column, his background, and how not to conduct an interview.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 04-08-03

Q&A: Gideon Yago
MTV's bespectacled news correspondent on his trip to Kuwait, reporting on the American men and women serving there, and why they opened up to him.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 04-03-03

Q&A: So What Do You Do, Virginia Heffernan
The newly ubiquitous cultural critic on her career, Tina and Harvey, and believing in synergy.
By Lizzie Skurnick, 04-01-03

Q&A: Sheryl WuDunn
The new New York Times cable channel debuts tonight, and Pulitzer-winning reporter Sheryl WuDunn will anchor its signature show, a nightly look at the next day's front page.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 03-25-03

Q&A: Jeffrey Sharlet
The writer who infilitrated a secret, power-brokering fundamentalist Christian group on his Harper's piece and the 'Brothers.'
By Leslie Synn, 03-21-03

Q&A: Alex Berenson
In his new book, The Number, New York Times financial reporter Alex Berenson explains why the stock market fell apart.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 03-14-03

Q&A: Keith Blanchard
The Maxim editor-in-chief writes a novel about—surprise!—a 20-something guy in New York
By David S. Hirschman, 03-04-03

Q&A: James Ledbetter
James Ledbetter on the short, absurd life of The Industry Standard.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 02-28-03

So What Do You Do: Maria Schneider
The Onion writer confesses her paper has peaked, and she challenges other humor rags to stop copying and start upping the ante.
By Leslie Synn, 02-24-03

Q&A: Rick Marin
Rick Marin on women, freelancing, and his new book Cad: Confessions of a Toxic Bachelor (read an excerpt).
By Jesse Oxfeld, 02-17-03

Q&A: Clay MacLeod Chapman
Chapman, only 25, talks about his novel Miss Corpus, and stops to diffuse some myths and examine the ironies of his success.
By Becky Hayes, 02-14-03

Eric Alterman, author of What Liberal Media?
The Nation's media columnist on the myth of a liberal media and the ways that myth is used by the right.
By Jesse Oxfeld, 02-12-03

So What Do You Do: Cindy Adams
The New York Post gossip discusses the pitfalls of her job and the joys of writing about her dog.
By Leslie Synn, 02-11-03

Q&A: Paul Muldoon
"The most important English-language poet post WW2" on the writing process and his lecture series at Oxford.
By David S. Hirschman, 01-31-03

So What Do You Do: Karim Rashid
Industrial design's biggest name on the coming brave new world.
By David S. Hirschman, 01-21-03

Q&A: Laura Rich
Author of The Accidental Zillionaire on Paul Allen and the Microsoft mythology.
By David S. Hirschman, 01-22-03

So What Do You Do: Bill Hemmer
CNN American Morning anchor or his career, terrorism and the need for non-biased journalism.
By David S. Hirschman, 01-14-03

Q&A: Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
Immersion journalist and author of Random Family on her methods and the ten-year journey to publication.
By David S. Hirschman, 01-10-03

So What Do You Do: Serge J-F. Levy
Freelance photographer on going out into the world to where the action is and worrying about selling the work later.
By Caroline Callahan, 01-07-03

Q&A: Toby Young
Author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People on living in London.
By Caroline Callahan 01-03-03

So What Do You Do, Sam Schechner?
Editor of Shout magazine on the hippest new mag for young people.
By Darby Saxbe, 12-31-02

So What Do You Do, Michael Gross?

Daily News gossip columnist on his new book about Ralph Lauren.
By Caroline Callahan 11-26-02

So What Do You Do, Art Cooper?
On January 29, 2003, longtime GQ editor-in-chief Art Cooper will receive the most prestigious honor the American Society of Magazine Editors grants—he'll be inducted into the Magazine Editors' Hall of Fame.
By Nicole Beland, 11-19-02

So What Do You Do, Jonathan Mandell?
The editor of Gothamgazette.com on city politics and the city post-9/11.
By Caroline Callahan, 10-22-02

So What Do You Do, Nancy Jo Sales?
Whether it's Chelsea Clinton "kissing up a storm," the Hilton hotel heiresses dancing on tabletops, or Hugh Hefner in bed with seven women one-third his age, the subjects of Sales' Vanity Fair profiles are sure to be colorful.
By Albert Lee, 10-15-02

So What Do You Do, Ruth Reichl?
As restaurant critic, Reichl liberated The New York Times from the Gallic grip of her predecessor, Bryan Miller, who fairly choked when she granted coveted three-star ratings to places like Japanese noodle shrine Honmura An.
By Albert Lee, 10-08-02

So What Do You Do, John Strausbaugh?
With Elvis and Jesus kitsch lining the walls—and let's not get into the book shelves of odd canned and dried foods—it's hard to tell if Strausbaugh is the coolest dude ever... or the world's biggest geek.
By Taffy Akne, 10-01-02

So What Do You Do, Libby Callaway?
Call her the anti–Anna Wintour—fashion's "Queen of Nice." Callaway just completed covering New York's Fashion Week, which ended yesterday, for the New York Post.
By Albert Lee, 09-24-02

So What Do You Do, Vanessa Grigoriadis?
Grigoriadis has profiled Monica Lewinsky, Mariah Carey, Lizzie Grubman, and other members of the troubled-yet-stylish sisterhood for a variety of glossy magazines, including Spin, Talk, and Rolling Stone.
By Albert Lee, 09-17-02

Dan Savage, syndicated sex columnist
The editor of Seattle's alt-weekly The Stranger talks about the video-store origins of his "Savage Love" sex column, his fondness for archconservative journal National Review, and a possible gig on... NPR?
By Adam Wasserman, 07-29-02

Roz Chast, cartoonist
The popular New Yorker cartoonist talks about her insecurities, why she won't do comic strips, and post-9/11 humor.
By Adam Wasserman, 06-24-02

Bay Garnett, Cheap Date co-editor
An interview with the editor of the "anti-fashion" magazine that fashionistas love.
By Albert Lee, 06-17-02

Michelangelo Signorile, New York Press columnist
The controversial columnist on activism, outing, and (sigh) Andrew Sullivan.
By Albert Lee, 06-10-02

Rob Weisbach, Simon & Schuster editor-at-large
The Boy Wonder is back.
By Albert Lee, 06-03-02

Seth Mnookin, Newsweek reporter
After just one month, The New York Sun's media/politics reporter jumps to Newsweek.
By Albert Lee, 05-20-02

Jason Gay, New York Observer senior editor
His career launched when the Vineyard Gazette editors took a risk on a young ad salesman.
By Albert Lee, 05-13-02

Jeannette Walls, MSNBC gossip columnist
The veteran gossipeuse dishes on her feud with Matt Drudge and who's the most fun to report on.
By Albert Lee, 05-06-02

Randy Cohen, The New York Times Magazine's "Ethicist"
Career highlights: "News Quiz" columnist for Slate; staff writer for Late Night with David Letterman; "stupid rock band" drummer.
By Taffy Akner, 04-29-02

Jeff Greenwald, freelance travel writer
Prolific writer Jeff Greenwald reveals why he ditched Lonely Planet and went DIY with his latest book.
By Rolf Potts, 04-18-02

Jill Davis, novelist
The ex-Letterman writer dishes on her new novel, Zsa Zsa's sense of humor, and her very popular cat.
By Ron Hogan, 03-15-02

Carl Hiaasen, Miami Herald columnist
The Miami Herald columnist discusses his new novel and reveals the weirdest New York Times obituary headlines.
By Ron Hogan, 02-11-02