CROWING RIGHTS — AT LEAST FOR NOW: There were no multiple onstage moments for New York magazine’s Adam Moss or The New Yorker’s David Remnick this year at the National Magazine Awards Thursday night at Jazz at Lincoln Center — probably much to the relief of their rivals. While each category is judged by different groups, they all seemed to decide to spread the love around this time, avoiding the numerous wins by the two New York-named titles of past years.
In fact, they each only received one award apiece, with National Geographic being this year’s big winner with three — for General Excellence, Reporting and Photojournalism. Vanity Fair won two, for Profile Writing (“Pat Dollard’s War on Hollywood”) and Photo Portfolio (again, its Hollywood one), but other than that, no single magazine dominated. Condé Nast, which also owns WWD, had the biggest presence of any company, with seven awards. But a significant number of small or single-title companies, such as The Nation (for Public Interest), Harper’s (for Fiction), The Atlantic (for Reviews and Criticism), New Letters (for Essays) and Backpacker and Mother Jones (both for General Excellence) also were recognized, New Letters for the first time.
The New Yorker, flatly shut out last year despite nine nominations, had a major win for General Excellence, joining Condé Nast stablemate GQ, which won that award in the 500,000-to-one million circulation category (the only fashion title to win anything). New York, which took home five awards last year, picked up its Ellie for Leisure Interests. (Moss had been quietly lowering expectations after last year’s sweep.)
And, while it’s clearly a coincidence, David Willey, editor in chief of Runner’s World and ASME’s newly elected president, is kicking off his tenure with his magazine’s first award — fittingly, after an inaugural speech recognizing digital challenges, it’s for General Excellence at runnersworld.com. Parent company Rodale also won in the Interactive Feature category with bicycling.com, also a first-time win for the title.
After a launch year that turned skepticism about its purpose and execution into an official media sport, Condé Nast Portfolio gets to crow a bit with its first nomination and win for Magazine Section (for its front-of-the-book section called “Brief”). Radar and Domino, two other first-time nominees, were not as lucky, and The New York Times Magazine and its spin-offs, T and Play, which scored six nominations in their first year of eligibility, also went home empty-handed.
— Irin Carmon
PAYDAY: Think the world’s biggest retailer would dish out the biggest pay package to its chief executive officer? Think again.
A look at this year’s Forbes 400 rankings, posted on forbes.com, revealed H. Lee Scott, ceo of Wal-Mart Stores, was merely the 10th best paid retail ceo. Forbes bases its rankings on the most recently reported annual salaries, bonuses, exercised stock options and other compensations of corporate America’s top dogs. Scott was listed with compensation of $8.7 million for the fiscal year ended January 2007.
The number-one spot in the sector is held by Leslie Wexner, whose take of $56.1 million at Limited Brands also placed him 17th on the magazine’s overall list, which was topped by Oracle ceo Lawrence Ellison. Ellison’s remuneration totaled $192.9 million. Ralph Lauren ranked 45th overall with $34.6 million, the second-biggest take among purveyors of apparel.
The 2008 Forbes appraisal looks at the take of 29 retail ceo’s in the most recent fiscal year, including 15 that sell apparel, in department stores, discounters, specialty stores, online or on TV.
Ongoing challenges at various retailers did not necessarily keep their ceo’s from earning big bucks. For example, Terry Lundgren’s earnings at Macy’s, given at $12.2 million, made him retailing’s seventh best paid ceo, while Gap’s Glenn Murphy was 16th, with $4 million. They listed at 148th and 347th, respectively, among all their fellow titans.
Other notables from the world of stores, e-commerce and TV shopping included Abercrombie & Fitch’s Michael Jeffries, whose compensation tallied $8.9 million for the fiscal year ended February 2007, and Nordstrom’s Blake Nordstrom, with $8.2 million. And a pair of ceo’s from different orbits — Kohl’s Larry Montgomery and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos — realized virtually the same amount: about $1.3 million each.
— Valerie Seckler
SHOOTING STARS: Ads featuring M.I.A. — aka Maya Arulpragasam — shot by Juergen Teller’s point-and-shoot for the Marc by Marc Jacobs’ spring 2008 campaign, might have been unveiled several months ago, but the experience still feels a little surreal for the petite Sri Lankan rapper. “The whole time I was doing that campaign I was like, ‘Does Marc Jacobs know who I am?,'” Arulpragasam told WWD at last weekend’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. “He didn’t let me into his parties and stuff six months before.” As to whether she had any reservations about being snapped in lensman Teller’s typically indiscreet — and uncensored — style, she joked: “When I first found out [about Teller], I was like, ‘It’s just like my mum taking pictures — they’re going to come out really hard, you know?” However, you won’t find her sporting Jacobs’ duds any time soon. “You can’t really be dressed in Marc Jacobs’ clothes when you’re on tour,” she explained. “They’re too nice.” Her solution? “I have my own label now,” Arulpragasam said, “which is the only thing I’ve been wearing recently.” The eponymous collection (M.I.A., that is), which is repped by London-based publicist Mandi Lennard, included tour bus-friendly items such as bomber jackets, leggings and T-shirts, all done up in the bold hues and graphic prints for which the singer is known. And, aside from reflective glory, buying an Arulpragasam-designed piece affords its owner a little extra sartorial security. Explained the fashionista: “With my stuff, because everything’s really bright, if you lose it or someone steals it, you can see it from miles away and you can be like, ‘Oy! Give me my shirt back!'” Talk about bang for your buck.
— Nick Axelrod