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Ellies ’08

ASMEPalooza: Let The Parties Begin

100_2124.jpgIt’s awards season in the media world with tonight’s National Magazine Awards (the Ellies) following hot on the heels of this week-end’s White House Press Correspondent’s Dinner, and will culminate in next Thursday’s Time 100 Gala. That’s a lot of free drinks, fancy dresses and dusted off tuxedos. By next Thursday one imagines certain faces are going to feel so familiar (and certain small talk so well-worn) that everyone will be ready to return their dark offices and casual wardrobes. But, in the meantime, let’s party!

This week’s festivities (notwithstanding Tuesday’s “Skirts, Slacks, and Supper“) kicked off yesterday in an ASME double-header: first the annual American Society of Magazine Editors members’ luncheon, and then three hours later (writers can party!) at a pre-Ellies reception held at the New York Public Library.

FishbowlNY was fortunate enough to be in attendance and ran into a number of tonight’s nominees, including the team from Men’s Health who informed us their lunch had consisted of a hamburger and a pint of ice cream (also the sort of “health” we happen to be very familiar with) as well as David Willey the incoming president of ASME.
Pictures from the evening after the cut.

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Pre-Ellies Nominees’ Reception: The Twitter Files

Too slow to catch all of tonight’s updates in the scrolling feed in your right-hand column here, chronicling the ins and outs of this evening’s pre-National Magazine Awards reception for the 2008 nominees? Get all the reverse-chronological glory in the continuous FBNY Twitter feed, and be sure to check back tomorrow for pics from tonight, and more Ellies madness in real time as we liveblog the awards proper…

What Keeps William Langewiesche On The Ellie Shortlist?

lang_072407.jpgFor all you writers looking for a near surefire way to make the list of finalists for next year’s National Magazine Awards, here’s a tip: Try spelling your name, W-I-L-L-I-A-M L-A-N-G-E-W-I-E-S-C-H-E.

For the 10th straight year in a row, the former Atlantic scribe and current Vanity Fair international correspondent has been nominated for a coveted Ellie — this time in the Reporting category for his “City of Fear” piece on how a Brazilian prison gang took control of Sao Paulo. Those of you keeping score at home will know that William Langewiesche has been nominated a total of 11 times in the 18 years he’s been writing for the big boys. And unlike Susan Lucci (remember her 18 years of watching fellow Daytime Emmy acting nominees prance up to the podium?), Langewiesche has actually nabbed the prized honor — twice.

So how does he do it? We cozied up to some of our favorite magazine cognoscenti to get their take on the Langewiesche magic…

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Ellie-Nominated Slate EIC Talks Hillary Deathwatch

hilldeath.jpgIf you’ve trundled over to Ellie-nominated Slate recently, you’ve noticed they launched a “Hillary Deathwatch” widget that lets readers watch Clinton hang on as her ship slowly sinks. Numbers track the percentage chance Slate thinks she has of snagging the nomination (12 percent at inception, up to 12.9 percent after yesterday’s Rev. Wright news). For extra fun, readers can embed the widget in their own Facebook page or blog.

“Hillary Clinton is as good as dead,” Slate announced when they kicked the thing off at the end of March. “The question now is not just “How dead is she?” but “When will she realize it?”"

We asked Slate’s Jacob Weisberg whether he should be toying with the presidential primary this way. Weisberg answered that the widget is just Slate‘s way of questioning the collective wisdom that says Hillary still has a really good chance of winning.

“This is not a point of view about who we want to win,” he said. “This is a point of view about how we analyze the horserace. Whatever authority says this campaign is still a horse race is actually wrong. So we’re trying to give a graphic dimension to that point of view.”

The widget, Weisberg said, simply uses the capabilities of the Web to “combine the serious point that we collectively think the Democratic primary is more over than people are acknowledging, with something that’s cheeky and makes a game out of it.”

— E.B. Boyd

Ellie-Nominated Writer: ‘I Don’t Know Who Agrees With Hitchens’

matttabbi.jpgWhen we last left Rolling Stone‘s political correspondent, Matt Taibbi, he was taking a break from the never-ending primary season. Since then, he’s feuded with Erica Jong, of all people and received his first National Magazine Award nomination in the Columns and Commentary category. We caught up with him recently to ask whether it’s even possible to be more vitriolic than fellow nominee (and defending champ) Christopher Hitchens, who’s churlishly defended the war about as loudly as Taibbi has attacked it and its architects.

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Ellies ’08: NYT Play‘s Editor: ‘We’re Just Enjoying the Moment’

News-NYT-Play.gifIn the first year that the ASME considered newspaper supplements for Ellie awards, Play, The New York Times‘ sports magazine, scored a nod for General Excellence — circulation 1,000,000 to 2,000,000. Mark Bryant, the Play‘s editor, was out of cell phone range, but graciously answered our emailed questions about the nomination, his expectations and the future.

This is the first year ASME considered newspaper supplements. What do you think of the decision?
I think it’s a good move, and we’re grateful that ASME recognizes Play, T and the Sunday Magazine for what they really are: magazines.

Were you surprised by Play‘s nomination?
To a degree, yes, I was. I didn’t expect Play to be a finalist for General Excellence, of all things, in just its second year and in its first year of eligibility. Play aims to be a new kind of sports magazine, and to that end it’s great to have the work of so many talented people acknowledged in this way. When I got the news, I was truly thrilled.

How about the success of all the NYT supplements, which together scored six nods?
The six nominations for the magazines of The New York Times represent a great achievement by Gerry Marzorati [editor of The New York Times Magazine] and the magazine group. It’s been Gerry’s vision and support that have made these magazines what they are, and I’m very happy for him and everyone else involved.

Play‘s up against some pretty stiff competition [Men's Health, Popular Mechanics, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair]. Any thoughts/predictions about the winner?
Stiff indeed. All I can say is, it’s an honor to be part of a group like this. We’re just enjoying the moment.

What’s up for Play in the coming months? Anything exciting coming down the pipe?
I certainly hope so. Any good magazine is constantly evolving, and never more so than in its early years. Play‘s aim is to cut through the usual sports chatter scores and stats, injury reports and rap sheets, the tidy up-close-and-personals and take a fresh, ambitious look at the people, ideas and forces at work in the world of sports. Given the round-the-clock coverage sports gets these days, that’s quite a challenge. So you could say we’ve got our work cut out for us.

Ellies ’08: Chow.com EIC — ‘We’re the No Country For Old Men of the Group’

chow.jpg If this year’s Ellie category of General Excellence Online were analogous to Best Picture nominees from this year’s Oscars, then “we’re the No Country For Old Men of the group,” according to Chow.com editor-in-chief Jane Goldman. Why, exactly?

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Ellies ’08: Radar‘s Maer Roshan — ‘You Just Gotta Keep Showing Up’

RadarApr08Cov.jpgIf today’s National Magazine Award nominations are any indication, Radar version 3.0 could be sticking around for some time. The publication scored a nomination in the General Excellence, circulation 100,000 to 250,000 category. After the jump, we dish with the mag’s editor Maer Roshan about his thoughts on the honor, the value of perseverance and continuing to come into the office.

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