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Memo Pad: Politics Are Fine, But Show Us The Dresses… All In The Name Of Art…

The New York Times online broke the Eliot Spitzer scandal, invested untold energy and money on election coverage and went deep on Heath Ledger, but...

POLITICS ARE FINE, BUT SHOW US THE DRESSES: The New York Times online broke the Eliot Spitzer scandal, invested untold energy and money on election coverage and went deep on Heath Ledger, but those weren’t the days that set total page view records. That honor goes to…the day after the Academy Awards, with its red-carpet slide shows, which presented the single biggest traffic day at 37.6 million page views. (In Style and Us Weekly, watch out.) Of course, those figures were followed closely by the two days of Super Tuesday coverage, the Spitzer affair and Ledger’s death, said Jim Roberts, editor of digital news at The Times, at the Mediabistro Circus on Wednesday.

Page views notwithstanding — Roberts’ colleague, editor for interactive news Aron Pilhofer, specifically said that they didn’t guide news coverage or necessarily affect investment — the team has been steadily experimenting with tools and applications that satisfy the public’s hunger for political information, such as maps and databases. All these can be more arduous than a casual click-through suggests; for example, when Hillary Clinton’s schedule as first lady was finally released in the form of 17,000 nonsearchable image files, the Times team spent hours processing it to searchable and readable form. Pilhofer contrasted that with The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, which he said simply invited their readers to download all 17,000 files. The takeaway: a newspaper reader gets a journalist’s distillation of the material; a Web site user can dynamically access the material themselves — with The Times’ help, of course.

— Irin Carmon

ALL IN THE NAME OF ART: The premiere issue of tar mag — the new biannual arts title from BlackBook magazine founder Evanly Schindler — will feature Benicio del Toro on the cover, shot by Julian Schnabel. Other contributors include Juergen Teller, Terry Richardson, Matthew Barney and Ryan McGinley, who shot a 30-page portfolio of unclothed models (obviously in the name of art) for the first issue, out in October. Susan Cappa – formerly of Vogue – is publisher of tar mag, Maurizio Marchiori is the co-publisher of tar mag, Zoe Wolff from Domino is executive editor, Neville Wakefield is the creative director and Bill Powers has been tapped as artistic director.

Powers is also the editor of artist Rachel Feinstein’s first book, which includes an interview between Feinstein and Sofia Coppola, with a foreward by James Frey, a collector of her work. Coppola and Feinstein met while backstage at a Marc Jacobs show (a few years ago, Feinstein also appeared in an ad campaign for the designer, shot by Teller). The book will be published by tarSIZ in September but this evening, Feinstein will have a book signing at Marianne Boesky Gallery. Simon Doonan, Cynthia Rowley, Yvonne Force Villareal and Salman Rushdie are expected to attend.

— Amy Wicks

BUSINESS OF WOMEN: Business media are heavily courting women in the corporate offices (see strategies by Condé Nast Portfolio and The Wall Street Journal in recent months). In The Journal’s case, the paper is feverishly expanding its coverage to include more news on culture and fashion, and the upcoming launch of a glossy magazine, WSJ. But on Wednesday, The Journal took the most literal step in creating content geared toward that audience: wsj.com added Journal Women, an online channel on “career, balance and lifestyle” specifically for women. The destination will include original content, blogs and stories from the paper oriented to females; articles still included one about AMI’s Bonnie Fuller stepping down from her post, a story that broke a week ago. There will also be discussion boards. So far, the site has little advertising; Crate & Barrel is the only one that seemed to be targeted toward females. In a few months, forbes.com will also launch a women’s business online network, Executive Women’s Network. The site will be available by invitation only, and will offer original content as well as social networking services. Forbes.com editors and staffers of recent Forbes spin-off Forbes Life Executive Woman will oversee the site.

— Stephanie D. Smith

NEW IN THE HOUSE: Janet Siroto has been named executive editor of Good Housekeeping, replacing Judith Coyne. Most recently, Siroto was the editorial director at Match.com and she previously worked as an executive editor at Redbook. She will be responsible for Good Housekeeping’s fashion, home, parenting and financial coverage.

— A.W.

YOUTH WILL RULE: Some independent magazines learned multiplatform faster than big media, not just because small means nimble; it was also a survival mechanism to produce edgy creative for advertisers or to throw parties for companies hungry for early adopters. The Los Angeles-based Flaunt, which marks its 10th anniversary this year, has lately been taking this philosophy to its logical conclusion, spinning off a creative consultancy (clients include Converse), in-house book publishing and even an interior design and furniture business.

It is also joining the Web video wave starting in August, though its plan of having several channels and featuring short narrative films in addition to the customary magazine B-roll fare is unusual. Founder Luis Barajas, who has moved up to publication director to oversee all the side projects, isn’t short on hyperbole and also trumpeted the magazine’s eye for young talent, particularly among photographers. He’s put his money where his mouth is, naming 29-year-old Andrew Pogany, who arrived less than six years ago as his intern, as Flaunt’s editor in chief.

— I.C.

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