Last night’s ASME National Magazine Awards had more than a few surprises. The evening began with a cocktail hour for a change, where FishbowlNY had drinks with Graydon Carter, Bethenny Frankel, David Copperfield, and other media celebrities milling around the red carpet. We caught up with a few nominees, such as the editor of Audobon magazine: “We’ve been nominated for 5 years,” he told us, “and we haven’t won once. I wasn’t going to attend, but then I thought, what if we win this year?”

They didn’t. Oh, well! Some other choice quotes: we heard from Bethenny Frankel that she always reads her magazine coverage in nail salons, because she is medicated on planes.

The evening began on a somber note, with Graydon Carter acknowledging the many journalists who had died or been detained while reporting in war areas, and presenting a slideshow of the work of Vanity Fair contributor Tim Hetherington, who died in Misrata, Libya.

But the mood lightened as the awards were announced. Some of the big winners of the night were New York Times Magazine, New York, and National Geographic, each taking home a couple of awards, with National Geographic jubilantly winning “Magazine of the Year.”

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