DOING GOOD: Ellies — who needs ’em? Hearst Magazines on Tuesday will dole out the first-ever Tower Awards for excellence in edit, art and design among Hearst titles. The biennial awards, developed by president Cathie Black, are the company’s own version of the National Magazine Awards — which tend to be dominated by archrival Condé Nast. Honors will be given for best cover, best reporting, best regular section and best photography, among others. The entries were not judged solely by their peers — Black recruited outside executives including Susan Lyne, president and chief executive of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, for feedback. CBS senior political correspondent Jeff Greenfield and Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America” will hand out crystal statuettes to the winners during Tuesday’s dinner celebration. The gala is Hearst’s first major gathering following its executive management conference held last week in New Orleans with 70 top staffers, including the editors and publishers at each title who, in between workshops, helped remodel a house severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Executive vice president Michael Clinton photographed the crew during its four-day home-building for a future book. Clinton has published two photo books to date; his third, “Global Faces,” will be released in the fall. — Stephanie D. Smith
PRIZED PACKAGES: The Wall Street Journal was bestowed two Pulitzer Prizes — for its financial reporting, naturally — on Monday, the only publication to take home multiple honors. The Journal won for public service for its reports on backdating stock options for business executives and for international reporting on capitalism’s effect on China. Other winners included The New York Times for feature writing for Andrea Elliott‘s coverage of an imam finding his way in America, and The New York Daily News, which won a nod for editorial writing for editorials on behalf of Ground Zero workers besieged with health problems (though the News was later called out by The New York Times on its reporting relating to its news accounts of one of those workers, Cesar Borja, who died in January). The Los Angeles Times’ Kenneth Weiss, Usha Lee McFarling and Rick Loomis earned an award for explanatory reporting for their coverage of the world’s distressed oceans, while Charlie Savage of the The Boston Globe won a Pulitzer for national reporting for his reports on President Bush using “signing statements” to assert his right to bypass provisions of new laws. The Associated Press took home an award for breaking-news photography for an image of a Jewish woman battling Israeli security forces during an evacuation of illegal settlers in the West Bank. — S.D.S.
This story first appeared in the April 17, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
GREEN MACHINE: Thomas L. Friedman is getting a lot of mileage out of his motto, “Green: The New Red, White and Blue.” After making its debut on Starbucks coffee cups, the phrase became a newspaper headline and now, it’s the title of Friedman’s upcoming documentary for the Discovery Channel, which airs Saturday. The columnist for The New York Times specializes in foreign affairs, but visited companies including Google and Wal-Mart to reveal some of their energy-saving methods. And, while some may view his turn as green advocate as a departure from his normal reporting, Friedman has a history on the subject. He developed a previous documentary, “Addicted to Oil,” and he wrote a lengthy piece in Sunday’s Times Magazine, “The Power of Green.” He wrote: “How do our kids compete in a flatter world? How do they thrive in a warmer world? How do they survive in a more dangerous world? Those are, in a nutshell, the big questions facing America at the dawn of the 21st century.” Friedman told WWD that he may follow up the documentary with a book, although he hasn’t decided yet. — Amy Wicks
SPLITSVILLE U.K.: It seems there are as many theories about why Prince William and his girlfriend, Kate Middleton, split as there are Corgi hairs on the Buckingham Palace sofas — and the British press is having fun with each and every one. Reasons range from Middleton’s nouveau riche middle-class background — and gum-chewing mother, a former airline hostess — to Wills’ famously roving eye to the fact that the young couple had grown apart after the prince left London for officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, from which he graduated last year.
The Sun, Britain’s largest-selling newspaper, broke the story on Saturday — and sent the country’s media machine into overdrive. Radio stations announced the news every hour, and even Prime Minister Tony Blair got involved, telling a BBC political TV show the young couple should be “left alone…and allowed to get on with their lives.”
The Sun has been the most sympathetic to the couple. It dubbed the split “amicable,” and claimed — in a story headlined “Tears in the Alps” — that the prince and Middleton had discussed their future at length during a ski trip to Zermatt, Switzerland, last month. Their topic of discussion reportedly was a time-honored classic: She wanted more commitment, and he wasn’t ready to take the next step. Even the royals can’t escape a cliché.
Meanwhile, other papers, including the Daily Telegraph, reported that Middleton’s middle-class roots were a subject of ridicule among some of Wills’ friends. Apparently, the old boys with the floppy hair and posh accents would snigger “Doors to manual” — a reference to Mamma Middleton’s former career — when Kate entered the room. And the papers also pointed out that Carole Middleton uses words like “toilet” instead of the more appropriate “loo,” and that she forgot to call Queen Elizabeth “Ma’am” when she met her in December.
More than one paper reported that Wills was desperate to start sowing some oats and living like a 24-year-old army boy should — and that he was no longer having much fun with Middleton, whom he met while they were both studying for undergraduate degrees at St. Andrews University in Scotland. “I’m free-e-e-e. I’m really happy. Everything is fine. Let’s drink the menu,” the Mail quoted him as saying on Friday night. Wills was at Mahiki, the Polynesian-themed club in London’s Mayfair, and was snapped on his way home in the wee hours.
As for the ever-loyal Middleton, word has it she’ll never kiss and tell, even though the papers say her story is worth upward of $10 million. One thing is for sure: When it comes to the British royals, no love affair is ever dull, and — who knows? — there may be a Wills and Kate sequel still to come. — Samantha Conti
REALLY NICE: Diligent readers of Vanity Fair’s regular “Notes From the V.F. mailbag” may have seen that an entry in the May issue got unusually personal about one of its columnists. “An entire party of New York City diners will no longer be reading V.F., at least not as long as Michael Wolff continues to contribute,” it was noted in the magazine. The problem? “They say their meal was disrupted when he was allegedly rude and obnoxious to the staff of a restaurant they were all eating in.” Wolff, who has been described in three separate New York Times business articles as, variously, “contentious,” “often-caustic” and “corrosive” (though it was not always clear whether the reference was to his writing or personality), responded in an e-mail: “Gosh. Had no idea it was even in the magazine. I assume it’s a joke, since I am unfailingly courteous everywhere I go.” — Irin Carmon