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Memo Pad: Awards Please… Surprise Guest… Friends Again…

David Remnick is back on top. The New Yorker led the pack of nominees for this year's National Magazine Awards with a total of nine, including for general excellence for magazines with circulation between one million and two million, feature writing,...

AWARDS PLEASE: David Remnick is back on top. The New Yorker led the pack of nominees for this year’s National Magazine Awards with a total of nine, including for general excellence for magazines with circulation between one million and two million, feature writing, profile writing and review and criticism.

Meanwhile, Adam Moss‘ New York garnered the most ASME nominations in the title’s history with seven, including three for its fashion and shopping coverage — its Strategist section was nominated in the magazine section category, its Fashion Week online coverage earned honors for interactive feature and a piece on Karl Lagerfeld won a nod for profile writing. New York was also nominated for general excellence, design (though its designer, Luke Hayman, is now at Time working on that magazine’s redesign), and Nymag.com’s Grub Street blog also won a nod for interactive service.

GQ earned four nominations, including general excellence, its first nomination in the category since 2000. Vanity Fair also won four nominations, including columns and commentary for a series of Christopher Hitchens‘ columns, and profile writing. W and Glamour earned two nominations — W for photography and photo portfolio and Glamour for general excellence and personal service. Vogue and Details took home one nomination each and will battle it out with W for the photo portfolio prize. People.com, slate.com, espn.com and businessweek.com were among the nominees for general excellence online.

Cookie, The Economist and More all earned their first nominations ever in general excellence; Best Life also earned its first ASME nomination since its launch, for public interest.

The awards, also known as the Ellies for the elephant-shaped statues handed out to the winners, included several new categories this year, photojournalism and photo portfolio, and expanded its recognition of Web sites to include awards for interactive service and interactive features. In all, Condé Nast took home 32 nominations. Hearst received nine, Rodale earned four, Time Inc. received five nominations, while Wenner Media, Meredith Corp. and Martha Stewart all received two nominations.

The winners will be revealed May 1 at a nighttime black-tie affair at Lincoln Center. — Stephanie D. Smith

This story first appeared in the March 15, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

SURPRISE GUEST: When New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni praised Ono’s room service fare at the Hotel Gansevoort on Wednesday, some saw a peace offering to Ono owner and self-declared Bruni archenemy Jeffrey Chodorow, who publicly banned Bruni from all his restaurants after the critic savaged his restaurant Kobe Club. Wednesday’s feature on room service, conceived before Bruni’s Kobe Club review but executed after it, did more than praise Ono’s wasabi béarnaise. It also sent a message to Chodorow that, despite his promise to handsomely reward an employee who bars the critic from any of his restaurants, Bruni found a way in anyway. Reached at his restaurant opening in London, Chodorow acknowledged the loophole Bruni found: Chodorow’s obligations to the hotel. “And even if the room service waiter recognized him, he wouldn’t be able to turn around and take the meal away, either,” he admitted.

But Chodorow had a new appreciation for the critic: “I think these are the kinds of stories he ought to do. They’re interesting stories — I think it provides a more objective basis,” he said. He clarified: “I think Frank Bruni is a good writer, I just don’t feel that he’s a professional who can be a restaurant critic.” Latest on the list of unintended benefits of Chodorow taking out a $40,000 ad in the Times blasting Bruni’s expertise and starting a blog to excoriate him: a gift of corned beef and prosciutto from Mario Batali‘s father, and a letter from a Kobe Club china vendor proffering a $2,500 credit. “I have not paid for a dinner in a restaurant since the ad,” Chodorow said.

Though he lamented that Bruni found the spinach in Ono’s omelet “too fresh” (Bruni’s words: “like biting into an eggy lawn”) he insisted, “I can accept criticism.” Chodorow elaborated: “If he gave a restaurant a good review, and I thought that restaurant was good, I would have thought it was fair. But if he gives it negative review and I know the food is good, that’s the problem….When I said I thought he was fair, that was because he was generally positive.” — Irin Carmon

FRIENDS AGAIN: Ripping a page from the tabloids’ playbook, Harper’s Bazaar will have Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie (who clearly have kissed and made up after their much-documented falling out) on its June cover. A source close to Hilton said the photo shoot took place a few weeks ago in California. A spokeswoman at Bazaar declined to comment. — Amy Wicks

SHAVE OFF THOSE INCHES: The Los Angeles Times is next up for a trim. “In line with trends across the newspaper industry, [the L.A. Times] is planning to convert its presses from a 50-inch web width to 48 inches,” said a spokeswoman. It’s unclear whether a redesign will accompany the new paper size and the spokeswoman added there is no timetable for the change.

Meanwhile, The New York Times said it is pushing back its shrinking — from 54 inches to 48 inches — to the third quarter of 2008. The size reduction, along with consolidating all the paper’s New York metro area printing into one plant and subleasing another in New Jersey, is projected to save the company $42 million a year.

In January, The Wall Street Journal introduced its redesign and width reduction. The changes at the Journal have, predictably, received mixed reviews so far. — A.W.

MIMICKING LIZ: As the applause died down after Hearst magazines president Cathleen Black‘s approached the podium, Black cracked: “Those are all Hearst employees.” Not strictly true, though there were certainly enough Hearst editors at the kickoff cocktail party for the Literacy Partners gala in May to make some noise: editors in chief David Granger of Esquire, Rosemary Ellis of Good Housekeeping and Susan Schulz of Cosmogirl, editorial director Ellen Levine and the legendary Helen Gurley Brown. Other media folk gathered at Michael’s who do not regularly draw a paycheck from Black included Judith Miller, Nan Talese, Dominick Dunne and HarperCollins ceo Jane Friedman. But the evening’s highlight was Arnold Scaasi‘s surprisingly accurate imitation of Liz Smith. The gossip columnist, who will be honored at the Literacy Partners gala, was absent from the cocktail party, having broken two bones in her foot. In her place, co-honoree Scaasi read her statement of gratitude in Smith’s trademark Texas drawl. — I.C.