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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Wolfe’

National Magazine Awards Roundup: New York, National Geographic Among the Big Winners

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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The New Yorker Leads in 2011 National Magazine Awards Nominations

Sid Holt, Chief Executive of the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), announced the finalists for the 2011 National Magazine Awards this morning.

Some highlights:

  • The New Yorker leads with nine total nominations. Here are the other magazines receiving multiple nominations:

The Atlantic (4 nominations), Esquire (3), GQ (5), Harper’s Magazine (2), Los Angeles (3), Martha Stewart Living (2), Men’s Journal (2), National Geographic (4), New York (6), The New York Times Magazine (6), The Paris Review (2), Real Simple (3), Scientific American (2), Texas Monthly (2), TIME (2), Vanity Fair (2), Virginia Quarterly Review (6), W (3) and Wired (3). The six never-before-nominated titles are Cooking Light, House Beautiful, Lapham’s Quarterly, OnEarth, The Sun and Women’s Health.

  • The 2011 finalists include Michael Hastings’ ‘The Runaway General,’ which led to the resignation of Stanley McChrystal, and Jane Mayer’s ‘Covert Operations,’ on the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.
  • The Awards will include the presentation of the Creative Excellence Award to Tom Wolfe.
  • Bonus: intriguingly, ASME puts women’s magazines (e.g., Women’s Health, Essence) in the “Fashion, Service and Lifestyle Magazines” category, but puts men’s magazines (e.g., GQ) in the “Finance, Technology and Lifestyle Magazines” category.

Harper’s Magazine‘s Editor Steps Down

rosehodge.jpgHarper’s Magazine, the oldest general interest magazine in the U.S., has lost its editor.

The pub announced today that editor Roger D. Hodge was departing “to pursue other endeavors.” He will be replaced by managing editor Ellen Rosenbush (pictured left with Hodge), who will become acting editor of Harper’s starting on February 1.

Hodge had served as editor of the long-running magazine since 2006, and worked as deputy editor for two years prior to that. He started at Harper’s in 1996 as an intern. Rosenbush has worked for the title as managing editor since 1989, previously holding posts at Connoisseur magazine, GEO magazine and New Times Magazine.

Said Harper’s publisher John R. MacArthur:

“One of the most talented magazine editors in New York, Ellen has a wealth of experience and has worked with everyone from Tom Wolfe to Richard Rodriguez to Joyce Carol Oates; she will continue to draw the highest-profile writers in the country and uphold the quality of the journalism in the magazine.”

Update: Looks like there’s some speculation as to whether Hodge’s decision to leave was his own. The New York Times‘ Media Decoder blog, citing an anonymous source, claims Hodge was “dismissed” yesterday, although MacArthur told the paper, “It’s his choice, and it’s personal, and I just don’t want to go into it because it’s not something I can elaborate on.”

Full release after the jump

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American Lion: Jon Meacham’s Book Party and a Whole Lot of Presidential Trivia

meachbk.jpgLast night’s book party celebrating the publication of Newsweek head Jon Meacham‘s new book about Andrew Jackson, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, certainly attracted some big names (and presidential trivia buffs it turns out). Spotted by FBNY in the crowd of revelers at Newsweek‘s offices overlooking Columbus Circle (which was more or less shut down last night by Prop 8 protesters) were Brian Williams, Tom Wolfe, Liz Smith, Maria Bartiromo, Tammy Haddad, Jon Meacham (obviously), Jonathan Alter, Rachel Sklar, Richard Cohen, and a whole slew of other important looking people we couldn’t quite place. Not surprisingly much of the talk revolved around the recent election, which led us to wonder a) why a book about Jackson now? And b) who was everyone else’s favorite president. First of all, it turns out that Jackson is not Meacham’s favorite president, FDR is. Meacham told us he chose to focus on Jackson because of the early 19th century presidents Jackson is most similar to our modern day ones in both his strengths and his flaws. One of Meacham’s researchers, Louisa Thomas (also a Vogue and Newsweek contributor), told us she thought the interest stemmed from the fact that both Meacham and Jackson hailed from Tennessee. (Truth be told when we were kids Jackson was our favorite president because he was the best-looking one on the money, which Tammy Haddad thought was hysterical. This affinity lasted right up until we read about the Indian removal).

tammymaria.jpgBrian Williams told us his favorite president was also FDR but that Lyndon Johnson held a special place in his heart (apparently BriWi has listened to more than 600 hours of Johnson phone conversations). Other tidbits you may not be aware of: according to BriWi Johnson was actually the one who had the phone wires installed in the White House (thereby contributing in his own way to Nixon’s demise), apparently there is a photo somewhere of Nixon and Johnson crawling around the residence as Johnson explains how it all works. Also? Woodrow Wilson is the most overrated and Americans love to forgive their presidents (i.e. Truman) so perhaps Bush still has a shot at the history books. There’s more! Tom Wolfe responded to our question by apologizing for having such an obvious pick.

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The NYT Tightens Its Belt, Adds Bono to the Masthead

NYT annual reportgg-1.jpgLots of New York Times news to discuss today! You may recall, way back in the early days of August before Sarah Palin was even a glimmer in John McCain‘s eye, that we told you how the NYT Co. was under increases pressure to cut its dividends (simply put: “it has to stop paying its shareholders so much money and use some of its finite cash to pay off its bonds”). Bloomberg is now reporting the company is considering doing just that, or perhaps even dropping dividends altogether(!) after “reporting a loss on severance costs and a steeper drop in advertising sales.” Keep in mind that the NYT Co. has a $1.1 billion debt and pays the controlling Ochs-Sulzberger family a $25.1 million a year dividend. Time for some belt-tightening we thinks!

But that is not all, by a long shot. Because if you were the national paper of record, as well as (by far), the best example of how a newspaper should go about transitioning to the online world, and you found yourself struggling, what would you do? Hire a celebrity for your op-ed pages, of course!

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The Clay Felker Memorial: Tom Wolfe, Gloria Steinem, and Others Remember

felkermem.pngLast night the New York magazine world literati turned out for a memorial celebration for Clay Felker, the legendary editor of New York who passed away over the summer. A red-socked Sir David Frost hosted the event, which was held at the New York Ethical Society and featured such Felker disciples as Tom Wolfe, Gloria Steinem, Leslie Stahl, and Richard Reeves. All the featured guests spoke to Felker’s genius, excitement, and curiosity, and both Steinem and Stahl specifically mentioned what a novelty it was to encounter a male editor who would listen: “That had never happened before!” (We have video after the jump).

It’s a well known fact that Felker had a widespread and lasting influence on New York magazine publishing &#151 as was evidenced when a list was read of all the people who had worked with him and gone on to become editors and design director — however it was hard not to note (especially from our seat in the balcony) that the audience was primarily a gray-haired one, causing us to wonder is there a modern-day Felker? Would we have to go online to find one? And if they did exist, and say, sent one of their writers to secretly infiltrate a Leonard Bernstein-hosted Black Panther party on the Upper East side (or its modern day equivalent), would Bill O’Reilly be calling for their arrest?

After the jump we have video of Tom Wolfe talking about the modern-day fate of the “Masters of the Universe” and what Felker would have said about the current financial crisis, Gloria Steinem discussing how she made sex dull, and Judy Collins closing out the evening with Amazing Grace.

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Partying With The King

King and his wife flank the Trumps

The short hallway between the “Pool Room” and bar acted as a sort of cosmic, generational media portal last night at the Four Seasons, where a pair of cocktail parties — one celebrating Larry King‘s 50 years in broadcasting (a.k.a the “old people room”), the other celebrating the New York Observer‘s redesigned paper and Web site (a.k.a the “kids room”) — were in full, boozy, media-centric swing.

In the “Old People Room”: King and his television and famous New York pals, like Joan Rivers, Donald and Melania Trump, the View‘s Barbara Walters (at one point Trump and Walters were just feet from each other, but didn’t appear to acknowledge each other) and Joy Behar, Campbell Brown, Mario Cuomo, Lou Dobbs, Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas, Tina Brown, Jeff Greenfield, Ron Howard, Time Inc. managing editor Jim Kelly, Keith Kelly, Ray Kelly, Oprah B.F.F. Gayle King, Calvin Klein, Time Warner chief Dick Parsons, Sandra Bernhard, Jerry Stiller, Arliss actor Robert Wuhl, Mort Zuckerman, American Morning‘s newly-installed Kiran Chetry, Glenn Beck, Montel Williams, James Carville, Tom Wolfe, Andy Rooney and artist Peter Max, whose colorful rendering of King served as the room’s centerpiece.

In the “Kids Room”: 23-year-old Observer owner Jared Kushner held court with twentysomething bloggers and their youthful bosses, like Gawker’s Choire Sicha, Radar‘s Jeff Bercovici and Maer Roshan, Page Six‘s Corynne Steindler, Slate‘s Jacob Weisberg, Domino‘s Deborah Needleman, WWD‘s Irin Carmon, and HuffPo’s Julia Allison, Katharine Thomson and Rachel Sklar. Fittingly, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, chose the Observer party over King’s.

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Kurt Vonnegut: 1922-2007

Renowned author and satirist Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday, weeks after falling in his Manhattan home. We’ll be posting links and remembrances here all day, so check back often.

  • NYT: The satirical novelist captured the absurdity of war and questioned the advances of science in darkly humorous works such as Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat’s Cradle.
  • LAT: Tom Wolfe: “There was never a kinder and, at the same time, wittier writer to be with personally … He was just a gem in that respect. And as a writer, I guess he’s the closest thing we had to a Voltaire. He could be extremely funny, but there was a vein of iron always underneath it, which made him quite remarkable.”
  • Salon: Andrew Leonard on playing chess with Kurt Vonnegut.
  • NPR (2006): Kurt Vonnegut judges modern society.
  • McSweeney’s (2002): The best jokes are dangerous, an interview with Kurt Vonnegut.
  • The Daily Show (2005): Vonnegut talks to Jon Stewart.
  • Rolling Stone (2006): Vonnegut says this is the end of the world.
  • Playboy (1973): Vonnegut on science fiction.
  • Stop Smiling (2006): Vonnegut on the melancholia of everything completed.
  • E&P: 1974 interview.
  • Atlantic Monthly (1955): Then-GE employee and aspiring novelist Vonnegut recalls days in the army.
  • Alternet (2003): Vonnegut at 80.
  • Salon (1999): Another interview.

Eat It, New Yorker! Harper’s Puts 157-Year Archive Online

Not to be outdone by the splashy archival projects of the New Yorker and Time, Harper’s magazine has relaunched its Web site by putting articles from its 157-year-archive online.

The archive, available free to the magazine’s subscribers, includes a quarter-million scanned pages available as PDFs from the magazine, starting with Harper’s June 1950 issue. It was launched April 1 with the help of the Cornell University Library, which allowed the magazine use of scans of the first 49 years of Harper’s. Associate editor Paul Ford spearheaded the project.

The magazine eventually plans to allow bloggers access to link to archived material, but launched with its subscribers in mind.

Like the New Yorker‘s archival DVD project, Harper’s could face criticism from its contributors — from Charlotte Brontë to Tom Wolfe — whose work has been digitized.

“In an ideal world we would have contacted all 40,000 writers living and dead,” Harper’s VP, public relations Giulia Melucci wrote in an e-mail. “In any case, we are not profiting from the individual works or any of it for that matter. This is a service to our subscribers; we are offering it to them for free. In our experience writers are delighted to have their work available on the Web.”

  • The New Harpers.org