PODIUM FATIGUE: Attendees of this year’s National Magazine Awards got to see an awful lot of New Yorker editor David Remnick — perhaps a bit more than some would have wished. (And, no, we don’t mean Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter, who lost to his Condé Nast counterpart in three categories. Both magazines are part of Advance Publications Inc., parent of WWD.) Prior to this week’s ceremony, Marlene Kahan, executive director of the American Society of Magazine Editors, which dispenses the awards, sent an e-mail to finalists, asking those who were nominated in multiple categories to consider, for variety’s sake, bringing along writers to accept their own awards. Remnick didn’t, although he did bring director of photography Elisabeth Biondi, who was nominated in the photo essay-photo portfolio category but didn’t win. The result: his five trips to the podium. A New Yorker spokeswoman said Remnick did not remember getting Kahan’s request but would be delighted to let writers accept on the magazine’s behalf in the future. That would certainly be a nice way to recognize their contributions. Printing a masthead wouldn’t hurt, either.
— Jeff Bercovici
GLOVES GO ON: Don’t cut Teen Vogue publisher Gina Sanders off in line for the salad bar.
Sanders and her publishing staff recently brushed up on their boxing skills at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, with trainers Lennox Blackmoore, Delem Parsley and Don Saxby. Sanders, who organized the outing to celebrate the magazine’s strong ad performance in February, March and April, even got in the ring with one of the gym’s prize fighters. Her sparring partner was Wezley Hobbs, a Queens-based boxer who, just last week, won the New York Daily News’ Golden Glove title for 165-pound novice at Madison Square Garden. (Teen Vogue, like WWD, is part of Advance Publications Inc.)
“They was eager to learn,” Hobbs said in true boxer-ese of the Teen Vogue staffers. “Some of them were working out aggression. Maybe they have stress at home, and this was relieving it. And some were just happy to be in the gym having fun.
“I spar with a lot of people,” Hobbs continued. “Names don’t stick with me, but faces do. There was this one lady, she had a shorter haircut and glasses. I don’t remember her name. But she looked like she fought before, like out in the street or something.”
— Sara James
BLOWING BUDGET: Last week’s announcement that Sarah Gray Miller would be stepping down as editor in chief of Budget Living perhaps wasn’t as much of a shock to her staff as originally reported. Several sources at the magazine said they weren’t surprised to see Miller giving notice because she’d seemed disenchanted with editorial input from the publication’s business side in recent months.
Chairman and publisher of Budget Living Don Welsh spoke fondly of Miller before acknowledging a possible change in direction for the magazine. “It’s a different world today,” he said. “We launched two-and-a-half years ago, right after the World Trade Center attacks. I think there’s more optimism now, more spending going on, and I think the magazine will reflect that in the future.” Interestingly, the magazine just unveiled a new logo with the word “budget” downplayed and “living” in larger, more prominent type.
By all accounts, Miller’s departure is entirely amicable, though. She and Welsh appear to have agreed to disagree. Miller will be staying on at the magazine through April to close the May issue, and while she will take some time off to travel, several editors who’ve worked with her said they think she’ll be back to something “ambitious and entrepreneurial” within a few weeks.
WALKEN FOR PEACE: Who knew Tony Danza had a thing for international diplomacy? The talk show host was front and center at Thursday’s panel discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict hosted by The Week magazine. Adding to the random celebrity factor were Philip Seymour Hoffman, Daniel Day-Lewis and Christopher Walken, the latter sporting a glorious silver pompadour and looking, as usual, like he had just popped in from another dimension. Moderated by Harold Evans, The Week’s editor at large, the panel consisted of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and ambassador Dennis Ross. Together, they represented a spectrum of opinion ranging, in Kissinger’s words, “from A to B.” Both agreed on the need to abandon gradual negotiations in favor of a comprehensive peace plan. “Unless both sides have agreed on where they want to go, it’s going to be impossible to make the decisions that have to be made,” Kissinger rumbled. Other spectators included Tina Brown (aka, Evans’ wife), Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera, former special prosecutor Kenneth Starr and former Monkee Micky Dolenz. Speaking of random.
NEW SETTING FOR DIAMOND: Kerry Diamond, who has been beauty director of Harper’s Bazaar since August 2001, is joining the Lancôme division of L’Oreal USA as vice president of public relations, reporting to Edgar Huber, president of the Luxury Products Division. “I’ve literally been doing newspapers or magazines since the third grade,” Diamond said. “I’m the kind of person who loves new challenges.”
Prior to joining Bazaar, Diamond was on the beauty editorial staff of WWD, first as prestige beauty editor and then as the founding editor of Beauty Biz magazine. She wrote one book, “Kevyn Aucoin: A Beautiful Life,” and collaborated on another — “Beautified” by “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” Kyan Douglas. She has also worked with hairdresser Sally Hershberger on her soon-to-be published book, “Shagg.”
At Lancôme, Diamond will succeed Suzie Davidowitz, who is being promoted to senior vice president of corporate communications for L’Oreal USA, reporting to Rebecca Caruso, executive vice president of corporate communications and external affairs. Her last day at Bazaar will be May 13.
— Pete Born
DEEP FOCUS: It’s been a long wait, but the second issue of Influence is finally here. Chuck Close, Bruce Weber, Wolfgang Tillmans, Eve Fowler, Hilton Als and Adam Gopnik are among the contributors to the oversized magazine, which made its debut a year ago and explores the nature of art and creativity. For the new issue, founder Raul Martinez chose to delve into portraiture. “I had felt that in photography, images have been getting so technical and manufactured, but at the same time, I kept hearing from people, ‘Can you keep me real?’” said Martinez, who is chief executive of ad agency A/R Media. “One starts questioning what is real and what isn’t — what does a true portrait convey and can it be taken?” A magazine that can answer questions of that metaphysical caliber must be considered a bargain — even at $10 a pop.