NO NEWS AT THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE: The proposals are in to executive editor Bill Keller (he received upward of 20 applications, according to sources), but that’s as far as The New York Times has gotten in the process of finding a successor for Gerry Marzorati, the editor of the Times’ Sunday Magazine. In late June, Marzorati was reassigned by Keller to a newly created, amorphous position at the company. At the time, Keller said he would be accepting applications for the plum job via e-mail through July 31 and that Marzorati would stay on as editor of the Magazine and T through the end of the summer. Now — nearly three weeks after the executive editor’s July 31 deadline — sources told WWD that Keller and Co. haven’t begun to meet with editor candidates in earnest and are hoping to name a successor by the end of next month. While a slew of well-known Times staffers and external candidates have sent Keller their ideas, not everyone who submitted a proposal is a true contender or even gunning for the job. Insiders said Times higher-ups have been soliciting opinions from some and making it clear to all that suggestions are welcome.
Then there’s Marzorati, a divisive figure at the Times who nonetheless generates some sympathy as he twists in the wind waiting for his successor to be named — and continues to do a job many believe he was pushed out of.
This story first appeared in the August 20, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
— Nick Axelrod
BABY STEP: The standoff between Apple Inc. and magazine publishers over iTunes subscriptions showed the slightest hint of easing on Thursday with the launch of the People magazine iPad app. In a first for the digital storefront, subscribers to the paper version of People are now able to download a free, tablet-ready copy of the magazine every week as opposed to re-buying the issue for something close to the newsstand price, as has been the case for magazines in the iTunes store since the device’s April debut. Apple has thus far disabled the sale of digital subscriptions through iTunes in what many see as a battle with publishers over rights to customer data and revenue shares. People’s existing-subscribers model could be the first step toward a resolution.
Still, those expecting perestroika in Cupertino may want to tone down their hopes. While Fortune tech blogger Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Thursday cited an off-the-record source who said Time Inc.’s other flagship brands are expected to follow People’s lead some time in the next month, a spokeswoman for the publisher contested that account (which, yes, was published on a Time Inc.-owned Web site). She said the company has no timeline to apply the complementary-copy model to its other titles and is exploring other subscription possibilities. Whatever the case, Time Inc. parent Time Warner seems to be onto something with Apple. Earlier this week, the co-president of the company’s HBO cable unit told Bloomberg that its iPad app would launch within six months and be free to HBO subscribers.
— Matthew Lynch
FASHION AT GOOGLE: OUT OR IN?: After Fashionista and other blogs posted and tweeted about a mysterious new fashion venture at Google called GStyle, its creator, Google intern and fashion blogger Tony Wang abruptly departed the technology company.
Was he forced to resign because Google didn’t like the way his summer project was portrayed?
Neither party will say. But if so, it just goes to show that sometimes even the highest of high-tech companies are thrown for a loop by the blogosphere, where everyone knows each other’s business and everyone is the media.
After Wang e-mailed a bunch of fashion bloggers to ask them to participate in GStyle, Fashionista wrote: “One of the world’s most powerful companies is tapping the brains of some of the world’s most powerful bloggers in order to get a better sense of how they consume and use media.”
In fact, said a Google spokeswoman, GStyle is simply part of the Google Authors series, in which non-Googlers speak on a variety of topics at various Google campuses. Videos of the talks appear later on YouTube. Past speakers have included presidential candidate Barack Obama, Bob Woodward and Molly Ringwald.
At first, Google would not permit Wang to speak to a reporter about the program. Then, a few days later, a spokeswoman said he had left the company.
Already one fashion blogger, Jennine Jacob of the Coveted and founder of the Independent Fashion Bloggers association, invited by Wang, spoke at Google’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters July 29. A spokeswoman for Google said no more fashion speakers are currently confirmed.
— Cate T. Corcoran