Calendars are becoming increasingly empty.
New York’s media world was due to descend on East Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Steel music venue Thursday evening for the annual National Magazine Awards — also known as The Ellies in a nod to its elephant-shaped award. But a raft of glossy magazine editors are now suddenly free after the American Society of Magazine Editors and Columbia University-sponsored event was postponed amid concerns over the coronavirus. At the latest count, there are 142 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York state and officials are urging organizations against mass gatherings as they work to battle the deadly disease.
“ASME fully hoped to host the Ellie Awards this week,” said Sidney Holt, executive director of the ASME. “Given, however, the near-certain spread of coronavirus in New York, ASME has concluded that postponing the awards is the right thing to do.”
The organization plans to reschedule the event for later in the spring. The award winners will be announced then, while David Granger, the editor in chief of Esquire magazine for almost two decades until 2016, will be honored for his work in the media industry.
Last year’s winners included David Remnick, editor in chief of The New Yorker, who took home four Ellies, pushing up his total haul over his career to 48. Adam Moss of New York Magazine, whose office was just closed because of the COVID-19, was another big winner of the night. But as the old guard reigned, that new guard still got a look in. Indeed, Erin Bried, the founder of children’s magazine Kazoo, won the General Excellence, Special Interest award.
A number of media events have been canceled as authorities around the country move to stop the spread of the virus. On Friday, Time magazine postponed its 100 Women of the Year launch event, due to take place on International Women’s Day with news personality Katie Couric. Just hours later, the City of Austin canceled South by Southwest, the annual music-festival-turned-tech-and-media event. This is the first time in 34 years that it will not take place.
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