Posts Tagged ‘The New Yorker’
The New Yorker Editor David Remnick Comments on His Career, the Magazine’s Content and Cover Controversies
“While most magazines have their moments in the culture, The New Yorker has mattered a lot at various points in time,” said David Remnick, the magazine’s editor. New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute hosted a wide-ranging conversation with him on Tuesday evening.
Remnick shared his candid thoughts on his career, his editorial role, the magazine’s print and digital content and occasional controversies. While being The New Yorker editor is a once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity, many takeaways from Remnick’s experiences about career timing, managing work relationships, having strong competitors and staying relevant apply across positions.
Below are selected highlights.
Early career: “There were things back then called paid internships”, Remnick emphasized, (in his only reference to the ongoing Conde Nast internship controversy). He got an internship at Newsday, and another at The Washington Post. He also taught English in Japan and served as WaPo’s foreign correspondent in Moscow, competing for stories with Bill Keller of The New York Times.
He attributes his eventual switch from newspapers to magazines to the waiting room at his father’s dental practice. He spent time there reading magazines while listening to rock music. “The New Yorker was hard to grasp beyond the cartoons when I was little, but I warmed to it.”
Being named editor : After Tina Brown left, Remnick, who had been working at The New Yorker, became editor. He said he got the job, even though he had no prior professional editorial experience, after Sy Newhouse’s initial choice was nixed. As Remnick recalled, “they really needed an editor in a hurry. But the geometry of my relationships with other editors changed, and that’s still complicated.”
The theme “If you build it, they will come” worked magically in the baseball movie Field of Dreams, but in the crowded blogosphere, only a fraction break through to the big leagues of major media brands. While The Huffington Post, Bleacher Report and Vice are well-known examples, many other blogs succeed on a smaller scale.
A “super bloggers” panel convened at Advertising Week in New York on Thursday, sharing their perspectives on editorial content and sponsored posts with moderator Manoush Zomorodi , host of WNYC’s New Tech City radio show. They included Ben Bowers, founder of Gear Patrol, Julie Carlson, editor-in-chief of Remodelista, Emily Schuman, founder and editor of Cupcakes and Cashmere, and Joy Wilson, founder of Joy the Baker.
While their blogs cover consumer categories like home design, baking, fashion and gadgets, their approaches also apply on the corporate side. Some areas below serve as reminders, while other issues like sponsored content are more recent.
In case you spend even more time trolling blogs and Twitter feeds than we do, you’ve probably heard of horse_ebooks. Here are prime examples of the feed at work, posted over the past week:
No circus act lifts or beach body workouts.
— Horse ebooks (@Horse_ebooks) September 20, 2013
What if you could do the very
— Horse ebooks (@Horse_ebooks) September 16, 2013
You get the idea. It appeared to be the perfect encapsulation of all the things we love/hate about Twitter and social in general: unintentionally hilarious snippets of automated spam copy promoting random self-published ebooks and posted without so much as a thought toward order or logic.
Essenial Guide to Lasting Pain Relief http://t.co/V9f3mrahuL
— Horse ebooks (@Horse_ebooks) September 18, 2013
Many wondered over time how such a beautiful thing came to be. But, as revealed this morning in The New Yorker (of all places) by acclaimed novelist Susan Orlean (of all people), horse_ebooks is no bot—it’s BuzzFeed creative director Jacob Bakkila and partner Thomas Bender, who worked there “until about a year ago.”
This short clip doesn’t reveal too many details of The New Yorker‘s brand “refresh” project. Still, it’s interesting for a very brief behind-the-scenes look at how an established magazine plans and executes a calculated rebranding.
For example, the slightest tweak to a classic typeface and the addition of avatars for each columnist can alter the public’s perception of the magazine as it shifts from a stodgy, old-world literary title to a source of news and essays for a wired generation that’s less and less likely to read The New Yorker in a recliner on a Sunday afternoon.
Quotes are valuable, right? Everyone wants a client to be quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or a major tech blog. Well, in case you thought that scoring quotes is all about being a legitimate expert on the topic at hand with something valuable to add to the conversation, The New Yorker gives us this video profile of Greg Packer. He has amazingly been quoted nearly a thousand times on everything from the new iPhone to the local football game and the war in Iraq despite being the least qualified expert around.
This interview quickly establishes the fact that Packer, a retired highway maintenance worker, doesn’t have any particular insight on, well, much of anything. And yet, he’s been so successful in getting his quotes published that the Associated Press had to issue an effective ban on him way back in 2003. How did he do it? He simply showed up and let everyone know that he was eager to offer a few words.
The lesson here is to keep pitching quotes to reporters and bloggers (especially bloggers). Our standards apparently aren’t as high as you might think.
(Ed. note: this video’s being a little wonky on Safari, so if you can’t watch it you might want to try another browser.)
Internet.org sounds like the most noble kind of charity organization: designed to bring broadband to the four billion-plus people around the world who don’t have access, it might be Mark Zuckerberg‘s passion project (and the promo clip is quite stately thanks to JFK).
But Matt Buchanan of The New Yorker, among many others, isn’t so sure about Internet.org’s goals. What’s the problem? Well, the project was founded by Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, and Samsung—seven companies that would love to get those 4-5 billion wired up so they can provide them with related services (and promo messages). Buchanan takes issue with the fact that Facebook stands to gain millions, if not billions, of new users without actually doing any of the infrastructural legwork required to make the plan a reality. It’s hard to believe, but many of the areas targeted by Internet.org don’t have any electricity, much less 4G service.
This is why Zuckerberg’s Wired interview, published yesterday, reads something like the first stop on a damage control tour.
They never learn. Or, rather, they learn that they can do whatever the hell they want. In the face of a lawsuit filed by impressionable young folk who made “less than $1 an hour” interning for W Magazine and The New Yorker, publishing giant Condé Nast has decided to double down and make it official: they no longer plan to pay their interns anything at all.
We’ll go out on a long, sturdy limb and assume that the company made this decision after a very similar suit filed against Hearst last year failed to proceed in its original “class action” form. The individually disgruntled interns involved in that case plan to press on alone, but Condé seems to think the whole thing’s a headache not worth having. This despite the fact that two guys who sued after working unpaid internships on the set of Black Swan won a settlement.
So there’s not a whole lot to see here, unfortunately.
The New Yorker decided to celebrate gay marriage’s (limited) Supreme Court victory with a cover illustrating its signature brand of humor—the kind that inspires quiet chuckles from its readers and confuses or frustrates everyone else.
Everyone’s joked about Bert and Ernie’s “domestic partnership” for some time (along with the fact that Bert is the biggest bad guy since the Wicked Witch), but as a preview of this week’s cover made its way around the blogosphere, quite a few media observers asked “why?”—and a surprising number of people beyond the usual crowd took offense.
Here go the arguments:
The New Yorker has named Breda O’Reilly as its new advertising director. She comes to the magazine from The Guardian, where she served as its director of sales since last year. Prior to The Guardian, Breda spent three years at The Atlantic, first as advertising manager and then as advertising director. She was responsible for sales strategy and implementation for TheAtlantic.com, TheAtlanticWire.com, and TheAtlanticCities.com. During her tenure, Breda and her team increased revenue by 136%, working with such clients as Goldman Sachs, Dow, BMW, and Novartis, among many others. Prior to The Atlantic, she held sales positions at IAC and Microsoft Advertising. (Fishbowl NY)
Ampush announced the recent hiring of Andrew Hersam as director of sales. Ampush, founded in 2009, is a social technology company that helps brands and agencies advertise on Facebook. The company expects Andrew to play a key contributing role in continuing to drive Ampush forward during a period of expansion and investment. Hersam is an accomplished media executive with more than 20 years of experience managing print, digital, TV, and event brands. Hersam was most recently global marketing solutions, client partner at Facebook with Facebook’s financial services business. Prior to Facebook, Hersam served as EVP, media for the Competitor Group, Inc. (CGI). (Release)
Hearst Newspapers announced that Mike DeLuca, 45, has been named senior vice president, digital for Hearst Newspapers. Hearst Newspapers’ digital footprint includes 30 websites, 11 mobile sites and 33 apps that together reach more than 50 million unique readers each month. DeLuca last served as chief revenue officer at Savored, which was acquired by Groupon in 2012. At Groupon, he most recently served as VP of sales and before that, was senior vice president, sales and operations for AOL Local. DeLuca is also on the advisory board of Yodle, where he was senior vice president of sales and marketing from 2008 to 2010. He was vice president of sales and account management at Yahoo! from 2003 to 2008, and prior to that, held various sales and management roles in the storage technology sector. (Release)
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