NEW YORKER’S OFF YEAR: Receiving five National Magazine Award nominations in a single year is not exactly a disappointment — unless you happen to be The New Yorker. Under editor in chief David Remnick, the Condé Nast weekly has dominated the competition, racking up 10 nominations last year and 11 in 2004.
So what happened this time? It’s possible the strong showing by New York magazine under editor in chief Adam Moss stole some of the thunder normally reserved for The New Yorker. New York staffers were equally pleased on two fronts: They matched The New Yorker’s total of five nominations and they beat their own record of three in one year. “We’re a magazine that tries to do a lot of different things and what I think this shows is, we do them reasonably well,” Moss said. As always, though, what really matters is which title gets bragging rights come awards day.
But it appears a mix-up also may have cost The New Yorker a nomination or two. According to a source involved in vetting the entries, the magazine submitted the wrong issues in at least two categories, leading judges in those categories to exclude the title from consideration. A representative from The New Yorker said there had been no official notice of disqualification from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker, who is president of ASME, declined to comment. It’s worth noting, however, that not since 1996 has The New Yorker failed to be nominated in the fiction category.
Still, the day was hardly a bust for Condé Nast Publications (which owns WWD), which reaped a total of 24 nominations — triple the number received by Time Inc., which had eight, and quadruple Hearst’s six. In the women’s fashion category, Condé Nast was the only media company represented — Vogue was nominated for general excellence in its circulation group and W was nominated for two awards, in photography and for photo portfolio/essay. For the second year in a row, Glamour received a nod for general excellence.
Rodale garnered eight nominations overall, its most ever; Backpacker, Prevention and Runner’s World all got the nod for general excellence in their circulation subcategories and Men’s Health picked up multiple nominations for the first time in its history (it received three). Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia received four — including for Living, Kids and Everyday Food; Wenner Media three, all for Rolling Stone, and Hachette Filipacchi a nice round zero.
Among individual titles, the Atlantic Monthly led the field with eight nominations, followed by this year’s dark horse, the Virginia Quarterly Review, with six. After that, it was a five-way tie among New York and The New Yorker, National Geographic, Harper’s and GQ. GQ’s five nods made for editor in chief Jim Nelson‘s best year yet, and the magazine’s biggest haul since 1997, when Art Cooper was still in charge. Rival Esquire managed only two nominations, its worst showing since 1998, while Details got shut out for the first time in five years.
The winners will be named at a nighttime ceremony on May 9.
— Jeff Bercovici