JOINING THE JOURNAL: The Wall Street Journal’s upcoming magazine launch (it’s called WSJ., conspicuous punctuation not to be omitted) has had an editor, Tina Gaudoin, since January, and now it has a publisher: Ellen Asmodeo, who spent 17 years at American Express Publishing that culminated in six as the publisher of Travel + Leisure and who was most recently president of brands for Louise Blouin Media — but only for six months. The appointment comes just in time for the New York leg of WSJ.’s advertiser-aimed road show, which after a tour of Europe hits The Core Club today.
Per Dow Jones, WSJ., which will launch in September, will be “the inside track on the world of wealth and is a celebration of the lifestyle of its readers. From cars to fashion, from property to philanthropy, from personalities to travel, WSJ. magazine is the authority on how to live life to the fullest.” That is, for those who still have any money or a job in this economic crunch. — Irin Carmon
FASHION GOES TO WASHINGTON: The nation’s capital isn’t exactly renowned for being fashionable, but the next White House Correspondents Dinner may help redress that shortcoming because Donatella’s coming to town. After all, politics could be in the Versace family soon since her brother Santo is running for the Italian Parliament. Donatella Versace and her close friend, Rupert Everett, will be the dinner companions on April 26 of their host Time Style & Design editor Kate Betts, as well as Time managing editor Rick Stengel. Time recently interviewed Versace for its “10 Questions” column in the weekly edition. No word as to whether Versace will dress either Stengel or Betts for the event. But what once was a relatively staid evening for the White House Press corps and D.C. politicos clearly has turned into the journalistic equivalent of the Oscars: Instead of simply going for a Washington VIP, Time will also host Colin Firth and his wife, Livia, and actors Jamie Hector, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Sonja Sohn from HBO’s “The Wire.”
Meanwhile, People magazine, which last year invited “American Idol” castoff Sanjaya Malakar, will also have musical relief in tow: The magazine has invited pop band The Jonas Brothers, as well as Marcia Cross of “Desperate Housewives”; Megan McCain, daughter of presidential hopeful John McCain, and Martha Stewart. Niche Media’s Jason Binn, which publishes Capitol File, will cohost the after party with Rosario Dawson and comedian Craig Ferguson. — Stephanie D. Smith
COMPLAINING ABOUT THE GOOD LIFE: Ignore Alan Richman’s inarguably cushy life as a food writer on the mastheads of GQ, Condé Nast Traveler and Bon Appétit, his unending list of awards (12 James Beard awards among 22 nominations, plus a National Magazine Award, for which he was also a five-time finalist) and, once again, the fact that he gets paid to eat. He begs for sympathy in “My Days of Whine and Roses,” an article in the May issue of Bon Appétit that seems to veer between tongue-in-cheek and genuinely plaintive.
“First of all, you try being full all the time. I spend most of my afternoons lying flat on a couch, wondering how I can summon the strength to go to dinner,” Richman writes, adding, “If you think you would like my life, try coming home from a four-hour dinner, sitting down at your computer and composing deep thoughts.”
There are other travails. “I also travel, but that’s overrated. Not long ago I flew coach to three Asian destinations and the planes were full for 42 of the 45 hours. Another thing: after three or four visits, even Stonehenge and the Taj Mahal start to get old.”
For anyone wondering why Richman doesn’t leverage his status to demand first class, the article has a possible explanation: “A mitigating factor is mistreatment by editors….Editors run magazines, and like all supreme authorities, they take care of themselves first.” Barbara Fairchild and Jim Nelson, take heed. — I.C.