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Posts Tagged ‘Gay Talese’

UK’s Port Magazine Adds U.S. Editor

The two things that jumped off the page when reading Alex Vadukul‘s bio are the fact that he was born in Milan and idolizes Gay Talese. Solid lineage, on both fronts.

PortMagazine_Issue12The New York-based Vadukul, who has in recent years been a regular contributor to the New York Times, and also written for the paper’s style magazine T and Rolling Stone, this week added the title of U.S. editor for London-based arts and culture quarterly Port. The publication was co-founded in 2011 by Matt Willey, who serves as senior editor and boasts an equally intriguing background:

Willey is on the board of the Editorial Design Organization and is the vice chairman of The Typographic Circle. He is a visiting lecturer at Skolen For Visuel Kommunikation in Denmark.

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Matt Blank, Dennis Basso and the Story Behind Meghan McCain’s Latest TV Project

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Last week,  it was all about authors and agents, and today it was television titans’ turn in the rotating cast of characters that is Wednesdays at Michael’s. Tonight when Liz Smith hosts her annual kick-off for her Literacy Partners’ initiative, the joint will be jumping with social types like Diane von Furstenberg (who, we hear, recently broke her shoulder skiing and is, no doubt, sporting a fashionable sling) and her Vespa loving hubby Barry Diller, Cynthia McFadden, Cornelia Guest, Calvin TrillinNan Talese and Gay Talese. We won’t be there to trade air kisses with the glitterati, because we’ll be chatting up our favorite Bravolebrities at their upfront party across town (Giggy, that means you!).

Today I was joined by Evan Shapiro, president of pivot (yes, with a lower case ‘p’) the new cable network targeting the all-important millennial audience  launched by Participant Media, the production company responsible for an impressive slate of projects, including An Inconvenient Truth, The Help and Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln. Participant chairman and founder Jeff Skoll and CEO Jim Berk tapped Evan to spearhead the company’s expansion into television in May of last year. Prior to that, he had served as president of IFC and Sundance Channel where we was responsible for award-winning program, like the buzzed about Portlandia.

I could barely keep up with Evan, whose passion for his latest gig was evident from the moment he sat down. The incredibly youthful 45-year-old father of two teenage girls told me running pivot is his “dream job,” because he’s doing more than creating what he considers groundbreaking television. “Ten years ago I would have said my dream job would have been at NBC or CBS.  Today, it’s this job because we’re doing something that’s going to have an impact on the world.” Evan dismisses the notion of millennials as spoiled and entitled and instead compares them to ‘the greatest generation’ saying, “Like ‘the greatest generation,’ they have been handed a series of events not of their own making, and, post 9/11 and the Great Recession, they have a real sense of their place in the world and want to make a difference.”

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Gay Talese and Chris Jones Speaking at Harvard Today

If anyone happens to find themselves in the Harvard area with nothing to do this afternoon, you should not miss this: Gay Talese and Chris Jones are going to be speaking about narrative journalism. The free event begins at 2:00 pm, and is being held at Boylston Hall in Fong Auditorium.

We’d love to go; they are two excellent writers. Here is some more information about the lecture.

Gay Talese Reads a Ton of Newspapers

The Atlantic Wire has a new Media Diet today, featuring Gay Talese. He says that the first paper he reads is (of course) The New York Times, and that he reads it cover to cover. But that’s not all. Throughout the course of his day, Talese reads The Daily News, The New York Post, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Observer. The one paper he doesn’t read? The Washington Post.

Talese also uses a computer to write on that is “about 20 years old,” but fear not, he still loves typewriters:

But I do have typewriters, I still have them, I still use them. I know a man who repairs typewriters, who supplies parts for typewriters, who gives you tape for typewriters. He’s in his late 70s, and he’s as old as I am. He just wanders around town making house calls for typewriters that are in disrepair or typewriters that are ailing from whatever typewriters ail from.

That typewriter statement is kind of sad, right? Something about that image is just depressing. Anyway! Check out the rest of what Talese reads here.

Gay Talese: ‘Nobody tells the truth as much as the Times tries to tell the truth.’

If Gay Talese knows one thing, it’s The New York Times. However, when we read that he told Vanity Fair “I think the Times is now better than ever,” it was pretty surprising. After all, the paper is a lot different now. Hell, everything is a lot different than when Talese wrote about the paper back in 1969. But he said he liked it, so there you have it.

Here’s a few more gems from Talese:

On Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.:

I think the Times is now better than ever. Better than when I worked for it. And Sulzberger the publisher has to take credit for it. And I think that the reporters we celebrate tonight are the quintessential journalists of my lifetime, and the editors too: The Jill Abramsons, the Bill Kellers, and the publisher Sulzberger. Here I am sort of making a belated celebration of and tossing of the hat to and making my genuflection to people I criticized four or five years ago.

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Gay Talese: ‘Everything that happens in New York was represented by people that came into Elaine’s’

Last night Elaine’s shut its doors forever, but luckily Grub Street was there to get some great quotes from some of the regulars, including Gay Talese, Lewis Lapham and James Lipton. Below is a few of their more interesting remarks.

Talese:

What ends tonight is the life of a restaurant that was in a small space, less than 60 square yards. A place where New York was represented fully. It was like the United Nations of emotion. All the people. I don’t know what’s going to happen to replace it, maybe nothing. That’s what we are marking tonight, not celebrating anything, but marking the end of something. But New York is a city of rebirth, so there is certainly not going to be the end of anything in New York, because everything in New York that you think is dead revives by sunshine.

Lapham:

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Elaine’s to Close Next Week

Elaine’s, one of the most iconic restaurants in New York, is closing its doors on May 26th. The restaurant – which has served a wide variety of celebrities and writers, including Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer, George Plimpton, and Gay Talese – simply couldn’t survive once its owner Elaine Kaufman died last December.

Diane Becker, who inherited the place from Kaufman, told The New York Times, “The truth is, there is no Elaine’s without Elaine. The business is just not there without Elaine.”

It’s a sad day for the city. We imagine that somewhere Woody Allen, who used Elaine’s in the opening of Manhattan, is feeling a little more cynical than usual today.

Drinking Was Widespread at The New York Times in the 60s

Everyone – okay, almost everyone – likes Mad Men, because there’s a lot of things to like about it. One of the more interesting aspects is its portrayal of the rampant drinking during work. It happens so much it almost seems unbelievable.

But according to Gay Talese, who wrote for the New York Times around the same time as Mad Men is set, everyone drank during work, especially at the Times. In fact, he says the drinking at the paper was way worse than anything shown in Mad Men.

In the short video above he discusses this, including an incident when a colleague passed out on his typewriter (that’s a machine used to type words). Talese says the drinking was so bad “It was a wonder the paper could ever get out.”

The New York Times in the 1960s > College frat houses everywhere.

Norman Mailer Writers Colony To Honor Toni Morrison, David Halberstam

mailer award.jpgNext week, the Norman Mailer Writers Colony will throw its first gala hosted by New York media bigwigs Tina Brown and New Yorker editor-in-chief David Remnick.

The gala, emceed by Nation columnist Calvin Trillin, will be held at Cipriani on Tuesday night and will also serve as an awards dinner honoring Toni Morrison with a Lifetime Achievement Award and posthumously bestowing the Distinguished Journalism Prize to David Halberstam. The first Norman Mailer National High School Nonfiction Writing Award and Norman Mailer College Nonfiction Writing Award will also be given out that night.

The writers colony is a nonprofit organization founded earlier this year, located at the home of the late author and Village Voice founder in Provincetown, Mass. It aims to help nurture writers in the spirit of Mailer, who passed away in November 2007 at the age of 84. The organization is billing this year’s gala as the “first annual,” presuming there will be more to come.

The group is also promising that boldfaced names like Joan Didion, Pete Hamill, Jhumpa Lahiri, Salman Rushdie, Gay Talese, designer Diane von Furstenberg and director John Waters will be in attendance, so you know we’ll be there covering the event.

Related: RIP, Norman Mailer

Gay Talese: There’s No Link Between Alcohol And Creativity But Journos Sure Used To Drink A Lot

We could listen to Gay Talese talk all day about the boozy good old days at The New York Times, when tobacco smoke clouded the City Room and drunk reporters passed out on their typewriters before they could meet their deadlines.

In the clip above, Talese is asked whether there is a connection between alcohol and creativity. No, he says, before going on to compare his former work environment to the 1960′s advertising world of AMC‘s “Mad Men,” which regularly depicts ad professionals swilling whiskey in their offices until they pee their pants or run over feet with lawnmowers.

“The drinking that went on in journalism went way beyond that,” Talese said. “It’s a wonder the paper could even get out. There were enough sober people at least for every issue to get a paper out, but another half of the staff was out of it.”

After the jump, a longer interview with Talese featured on bigthink.com.

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