"In the book, I tell a story about the day that my father brought home the news that he’d been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I was a senior in high school, a month shy of graduating; he was given two months to live. As you’d imagine, my family was fairly devastated, and my mother asked me to drive to the video store to rent a couple movies to get our minds off the news—comedies, my father suggested; he wanted to laugh. Operating in what I guess was a state of shock, I made a poor choice at the video store. I’d picked up my girlfriend on the way home, and [...]
Once upon a time there was a magazine. It was called Talk, and Tina Brown made it with her friend Harvey Weinstein. Now Tina Brown has a magazine called Newsweek and she makes it with her friend Barry Diller. Let's look back, and also look forward.
"A year ago I introduced the magazine by saying that I wanted to bring intimacy to the American conversation, to marry emotion to ideas. In a deeply political season, I'm happy to reiterate that desire." —Tina Brown's Notebook, September, 2000.
Actual things people said in the September, 2000, issue of Talk
"He's really cute and normal. He's really nice and [...]
David Cho: I love it when Tina Brown takes a metaphor too far. Choire Sicha: SO GOOD. David Cho: We should buy a magazine. Which ones are available? Choire Sicha: Alex and I have a short list. David Cho: A VERY SHORT LIST? Choire Sicha: Oh heh. Well, we were thinking… Barely Legawl? Choire Sicha: Or what about Detawls? David Cho: Hmm. Choire Sicha: Wawlpaper??? David Cho: I guess that would be appropriate. Cookieawl. Am I doing this right??? Choire Sicha: …. Choire Sicha: Well, I also really want Monocawl. David Cho: Tawlk. There's one for you. Choire Sicha: Ouch.
My leftist friends are mainly baffled by how much I like Andrew Sullivan. His blog, the Daily Dish, presents a libertarian-inflected center-right political stance. He supported the Iraq War; he is gay and a practicing Catholic. As Ken Layne recently remarked here, Andrew is "by any rational assessment, a demographic of one—a conservative liberal gay Republican Obama loyalist and Irish-English Oxford man who sought and secured permanent U.S. residency."
But the Dish is intelligent, rational, mannerly, and welcoming, in stark contrast to the common run of right-wing blogs. Here is a conservative who accepts me and my views freely, however much they may diverge from his. It was [...]
We have such terrible metrics for judging websites! There's income, and there's traffic, and that's about it. But neither of those take into account burn rate, overall expenditure or organization size, just for starters. One way to look at things might be: unique visitors per month, divided by employees. Size of staff is something of a predictor of size of traffic, it turns out! If you have no staff, you cannot make the traffic, for one thing. Obviously there's a slight variable in this metric—which has to do with number of part-time contributors, freelance and marketing budgets and, of course, certainly at the big behemoth, unpaid contributors. Speaking of, [...]
The Daily Beast turns two years old today and its honcho interviews herself.
You have been accused of having your finger on the Zeitgeist. So where is it located right now? What do people want to read and consume? Sexy brain food. Give us something to make us smarter, but for God's sake don't make it feel like work. People are in such a glum frame of mind they are looking for confidence, audacity, practicality, and FUN.
I'm sorry if these are not things an Obama supporter should say at this point. But the demoralization is profound: thebea.st/TcCh8Z
— Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) October 8, 2012
Andrew Sullivan is not a useful metric for measuring the opinions, stances or engagement of American voters slowly waking to the reality of a presidential election next month. The Daily Beast blogger and Newsweek essayist is, by any rational assessment, a demographic of one—a conservative liberal gay Republican Obama loyalist and Irish-English Oxford man who sought and secured permanent U.S. residency. But when I returned to the media world last week, after a six-month sabbatical, it was [...]
The Daily Beast loses something like $200,000 a week. Newsweek loses around $500,000 a week. (Actually more like $538,000—that's $28 million a year.) Put the two entities together and you're losing a million dollars every ten days or so. Sure, there's some cash incoming—Newsweek has $165 million in annual revenue! Which is a ton of money… almost none of which comes from Newsweek.com. Making sense of the properties online is the most confusing order of the merger. (What will be done to the print product seems pretty obvious to most.) Particularly given that Newsweek.com has two to three times the traffic of the Beast. Here's [...]
Five weeks ago, Casey Greenfield published a piece in the Daily Beast about the Supreme Court, FDR and Obama, drawing from Jeff Shesol's Supreme Power. This week, so did Jeffrey Toobin, in the New Yorker. Greenfield is the woman who is not Toobin's wife who is raising the baby she had with him. While their approach and language differs, they come to some of the same conclusions, and even find an identical supporting quote.