THESE AD-HOC TIMES: Two days ago, The New York Times’s Sunday Styles section was scheduled to run a front-page story penned by “Cad: Confessions of a Toxic Bachelor” author and former Times staffer Rick Marin. The piece dealt with the topic of his book and argued, not surprisingly, that commitment phobia is curable. Scheduled to run alongside it was a piece by recently married Times writer Alex Kuczynski arguing the opposite. But sources said the piece was killed late last week because Times higher-ups felt that it was too self-promotional.
That would not be particularly surprising (or irksome), Times sources said, but the paper often prints articles by authors that address the topic of their work. In fact, it did so just last week when it published a lengthy article by author Daniel Goleman, who addressed a recent scientific study on meditation — a topic in his recent book on the Dalai Lama.
“We have all these new ethical guidelines,” said one Times source, “but there’s no consistency to how they’re being enforced.”
“Caprice governs everything,” said another Times staffer. “I believe in consistency in principle but I rarely see it — even with the new 500-page ethics code.”
The ethics code is actually 53 pages but, as one Times source pointed out, “it’s long enough to explain why no one’s read it.”
But perhaps they should read the manual. A Times spokesman said that, while he wouldn’t discuss internal editing decisions, “we don’t believe we were dealing with a violation of our ethical journalism policy.” Marin could not be reached for comment.
— Jacob Bernstein
A BAZAAR SHOW OF SUPPORT: Don’t send resumes to Cathie Black about the Harper’s Bazaar job just yet. Hearst’s normally trigger-happy president fired off a letter to New York Magazine last week disputing an item that said that the parlor game du jour is “guessing whose head will replace Glenda Bailey’s at Harper’s Bazaar.”
“I wanted to take issue with a report in the Feb. 10 issue regarding Harper’s Bazaar,” Black wrote in a note that appears on the letters page of this week’s New York. “Clearly, your reporter was not aware of Bazaar’s current newsstand numbers. As editor-in-chief, Glenda Bailey has consistently shown growth for the magazine on the newsstand since she began editing it more than a year ago, and the numbers prove it. The ABC figures for the second half of 2002 show Bazaar at a 13.4 percent increase on the newsstand, which follows a first half increase of 10 percent. Glenda’s ability to sell magazines — a talent for which she is widely known in the industry — has led Bazaar to back-to-back double-digit increases in newsstand sales for the first time in a decade. We at Hearst couldn’t be more pleased with Glenda’s success at editing Harper’s Bazaar.”
Below the letter, an editor’s note reads: “New York regrets not making an effort to procure newsstand figures.”
The item in New York was picked up last week by various media outlets, including The New York Post and Hintmag.com’s Chic Happens. The latter hypothesized, as did many in the industry, that Black might finally turn back to Hearst expatriate Bonnie Fuller, the Us Weekly editor who has long been said to have an interest in editing the Hearst title and whose contract with Wenner Media is up in coming weeks.
STILL IN VOGUE: Bazaar is not the only fashion magazine showing gains on newsstands. Figures for Vogue’s second half also clock it in at just over 13 percent, a spokeswoman for the magazine said. Vogue is owned by Condé Nast, a division of Advance Publications, which also owns WWD.
THE ANTI-SHOCK ADS: While Tom Ford feels fit to gamble Gucci’s season on a pair of scissors, the guiding lights at Lanvin, Bill Blass and Bottega Veneta keep backing away slowly from the outré approach. They’ve gone back to their respective cerebral styles this season — illustration, architecture and still life, respectively.
Alber Elbaz continued down the artsy route at Lanvin, hiring three famed illustrators — Pierre Le Tan, Serge Clément and Ricardo Mosner — to paint or sketch his collection. At Bill Blass, Lars Nilsson hired David Lipman to literally encroach on Calvin Klein’s territory by shooting his label’s new campaign in one of Richard Meier’s glass towers on West Street, just a few floors below Klein’s own apartment. And over at Bottega Veneta, Tomas Maier greenlit a second season’s worth of product photography shot so close-up that you would see the whites of the models’ eyes, if there were any.
“I wanted to show the make and quality of the products,” Maier said. “The photos are hyper-realistic, you can almost pick up the product from the page.” And the subject matter isn’t something you’d be afraid to touch, either.
— Greg Lindsay
HUNTING IN THE JUNGLE: Need to poach a few senior editors? You may want to start your hunt at the Jungle Media Group — publisher of grad school service books MBA Jungle and JD Jungle. A pair of earlier high-level defections began to look like a run at the top on Monday, when Us Weekly unveiled that new managing and deputy managing editors had entered through its perennially revolving doors: John Dioso and John Kline, fresh from managing editor gigs at the Jungle titles. They headed out the door less than a month after JD Jungle editor in chief Jon Gluck left for a role as deputy editor of New York and MBA Jungle editor Kendall Hamilton bolted for Colorado and the editor’s chair at Ski.
Started during the Internet era, the Jungle titles were designed as advertising vehicles aimed at a lucrative, yuppie readership. But MBA Jungle editor in chief Vince Bielski said there’s no rush for the exits yet. “Undeniably, we lost three big hitters. But undeniably, they’ll be replaced.” He added that Jungle was even prepping a new magazine, Break, which will focus on travel.