William Shawn began work at The New Yorker in 1933, was appointed managing editor in 1939 and, quite shortly after the death of founding editor Harold Ross, became the magazine's editor in 1951.
In 1985, 34 years later, Shawn was still the editor, but Peter Fleischmann, the son of founding partner Raoul Fleischmann, owned only 25% of shares in The New Yorker. Paine Webber owned the next largest share, and the Newhouse family's Advance Publications already owned around 17% of the publication. Advance wanted, and got, the rest, for a price something like 20 times current revenues, according to the Times.
The employees, however, were not happy [...]
With only 10 issues remaining, the print edition of Newsweek will now serve as Tina Brown's updated résumé. What will she do with these final covers, now that "everyone" (in New York media circles) is watching again?
You can help Tina decide how to make these last issues really shine! We've got the editorial calendar through the final issue, December 31, and can already see some interesting cover possibilities. "Smartest Families: How to Raise a Brilliant Child," holds promise, maybe with Einstein's head on a "regular baby" in a BOB double stroller in Prospect Park, with maybe Steve Jobs' head on the other baby? And "The Hero [...]
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 [...]
Like all right-thinking people who are fortunate enough to have escaped the dank, vomit-encrusted dagger armory that is Britain, Tina Brown is thankful that she no longer has to deal with that foul island's repulsive weather.
And for whatever reason, like we all needed a reason, there's a profile of Tina Brown! What is a Tina Brown? "'Tina’s a revolutionary leader,' [Hendrik] Hertzberg says by way of explaining why she left The New Yorker. 'Revolutionary leaders go wrong when they stay too long. George Washington went back to the farm; Fidel Castro didn’t.'"
Now, I'm no student of American history, mostly because my high school history teacher was so depressed and endrunkened that he committed suicide not long after my American history semester ended, but, basically, George Washington retired twice. (To the "farm," which… calling that a "farm" is a stretch. I think we [...]
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 [...]
Happy birthday media industry obsession figure Christina Hambley Brown, who is 60 today. Is it me or does that seem like a low number?
Some drunk Irishman once said "There are no second acts in American lives," which is true, but not if you're English. Then you get more acts than the last Lord of the Rings movie. Tina Brown edited Tatler, then Vanity Fair, then The New Yorker, then Talk, then something called Newsweek.
Here are some of the things you'd learn reading the October 24, 2011 issue of Newsweek: Paul McCartney, 69, is "a famous British hunk" and newly married to Nancy Shevell; Occupy Wall Street, a movement led by "the young and angry," is "not exactly the Arab Spring"; Madeleine Albright "like[s] to knit"; Robert Bork thinks Joe Biden isn't [...]
Once upon a time there was a magazine. It was called Talk, and Tina Brown made it with her friend Harvey Weinstein. Tina must have had a magical crystal ball because, as we see in this month's installment, the prescience displayed in this turn-of-the-century synergy handbook is something to behold.
In October 2000, Tina Brown celebrated Talk's new office: "After nearly two years in small and excessively intimate 'temporary' quarters in midtown Manhattan, we've moved downtown into spacious permanent digs in the Chelsea district, designed to our needs and specifications by architect Ross Anderson."
Other new things celebrated in October 2000: Zooey Deschanel, "a straightforward and unbratty new [...]
The line about Tina Brown's stewardship of The Daily Beast and Newsweek has always been that it'll continue as long as Sidney Harman and Barry Diller had bank accounts. Harman died more than a year ago; now his estate will stop paying for Newsweek. That leaves just big Barry on the hook for the two publications which are sort of one publication but not really. The good news: Barry Diller has just huge, monster bunches of cash on hand. So much cash that, at IAC, the property is considered just "one of the many small areas of investment." Meanwhile Jane Harman, Sidney's widow, is throwing a party for [...]
You won't want to miss this thorough WWD report on life inside Newsweek. It's mostly what you'd expect from Tina Brown: the magazine is constantly torn up, resulting in exhaustion and money burn, and, while some enjoy the thrill—being around a Tina turnaround joint is a great kind of rollercoaster!—the anonymous employee quotes are brutal. (Sample: "You’re exposed relentlessly to the truth that we’re not putting out a good magazine.")
In the long term, who knows what'll happen? For one thing, we know that Tina Brown will spend huge amounts of money until the checkbook stops delivering it. The figure always bandied about is that now NewsBeast loses [...]
It's here! It's Tina Brown's Newsweek! There it is, between the huge amount of word-free space and a 2/3rds of a page devoted to a photograph of a shoe: Harvey Weinstein and Hillary Clinton as hot topics, with editorial buttressing from the minds of Larry Summers and the recently unemployed Kathleen Parker and Joanne Lipman. Mmm, it's like soaking in a nice warm bath of a comfortable yesterday—a happy, mature place of sort-of kind-of powerful people (the kind of people who have "power" at Michael's restaurant, or certain overpriced bistros in D.C.) explaining things simply and calmly (and sometimes correctly), with the occasional stroppy quote on [...]
"I'm the first woman editor of Newsweek, which is very exciting. You know that in the 1970s, the women editors of Newsweek launched a lawsuit against the management because there were hardly any women doing anything of any consequence on the magazine. And women's liberation took over and they hired the great lawyer, Eleanor Norton, and they went to battle for their rights. I feel that it—you know, a merger has created what the lawsuit couldn't." What a difference forty years makes.
Publications from the Guardian to USA Today ran premature obituaries for the still-living Tina Brown, who will be 60 this November, on the last day of Scorpio—not long before her contract at The Daily Beast ends.
In the obituaries, she predeceases the publication she founded, the future of which is currently hazy, if not actually smoky. Backer Barry Diller may or may not have a plan for it. There is a great case to be made for keeping the old Beast! Without Tina, after all, it can make money.
Though there have been some glitches. The site will be five years old this October. The Beast had 19 [...]
"Early on in [Tina Brown's Newsweek] tenure, there were covers for the Olsen sisters and Regis Philbin. Buzzfeed would have covered them, too, only in its 'Nostalgia' vertical, which, like Brown, is preoccupied with the 1990s." —Way harsh, Noreen Malone, way harsh.
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 [...]
Once upon a time there was a princess who lived in a castle before she ran away and married an ogre. Together they spawned Talk, a magazine sprinkled with synergy dust and celebrated across the land. It was so wonderful, it only lasted two years….
Here are some of the things you'd learn reading the June/July 2000 issue of current Newsweek/Daily Beast honcho Tina Brown's Talk: Now that he's 18, Prince William ("'Wills,' his mother called him") "needs a bride"; Erica Jong burned her prenup with husband, Ken Burrows; Gigi Levangie Grazer "lives in Pacific Palisades with her second husband, superproducer Brian Grazer"; "Amy Smart has played it like her [...]
1. Before we proceed, we might all need to take a moment to acknowledge that we've reached the point in our culture where former editors of the New Yorker are writing fanfiction. Publicly, I mean; who knows what William Shawn scribbled in his most private notebooks, and in some sense who wouldn’t want to know, how many miles to Babylon, etc. But still. Fanfiction, in a “news magazine.”
2. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with fanfiction qua fanfiction. I’m not into it myself, but I read serial killer profiles at 3 a.m. when I can’t sleep, so no judgment. But the communications scholar Henry Jenkins has an awfully neat [...]
i am at the National Book Awards at the Cipriani on Wall Street and i am standing fifteen feet away from Tina Brown. Tina Brown is sitting at her table and she just finished her dinner and i am waiting with my friends Mike and Nate to interview her to ask her how many times she has presented Tom Wolfe with an award, but right now she looks like she's having a pretty intense conversation with some old dude and if i interrupted her conversation she probably wouldn't do my interview. a cater waiter just walked by carrying some plates with slices of pie on them and the pie [...]