Time Inc. is the latest publisher to cancel its White House Correspondents’ Association party, WWD has learned.
Co-hosted by Time and People magazine, the party normally takes place every year at the St. Regis Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C., the night before the Correspondents’ Association’s dinner.
A spokeswoman confirmed the news, adding: “Time Inc. will not be hosting its annual Time/People party at the St. Regis during this year’s WHCA weekend. As usual, Time will be participating in the WHCA dinner. People will be making a donation to the WHCA in lieu of tables at the dinner.”
Alan Murray, Time Inc. chief content officer, explained: “This year we have decided to focus on supporting the White House Correspondents’ Association, which plays a crucial role in advocating for the broadest possible access for the press at the White House.”
Held by the WHCA, the annual dinner is slated to place on April 29 at the Washington Hilton, its usual locale. But, unlike most years, the president will not be in attendance. President Trump’s decision to pull out of the annual dinner followed an article in The New York Times in which representatives from Condé Nast-owned glossies Vanity Fair and New Yorker said they would not be holding parties this year.
Guests from the Time/People cocktail party usually head to the New Yorker’s rooftop bash hosted by editor in chief David Remnick at the W Hotel, which is a few blocks away, on Friday night.
Celebrities, politicians and media types typically make the rounds during the weekend, appearing at various events, including Tammy Haddad’s brunch in Georgetown, a handful of pre-dinner parties and MSNBC’s after party. By far the splashiest, and most coveted ticket, however, is for the Vanity Fair after party, which is cohosted by Bloomberg L.P. This year, both media outlets pulled out, following heightened tensions between Trump and the media.
Although there still appears to be a handful of parties slated to take place — comedian Samantha Bee’s anti-White House Correspondents’ Dinner party being perhaps the biggest ticket — it’s still unclear who will show up this year. Thus far, the WHCA has yet to reveal who will emcee the dinner.
The annual dinner began in 1921 and three years later, Calvin Coolidge became the first president to attend. In the past, there have been a handful of presidents declining to attend the dinner, but that’s not the norm.
When news of Vanity Fair and New Yorker’s canceled parties circulated in late February, the WHCA put out a statement pledging to hold the dinner despite the defections and calls from some in the media to boycott the event.
“The WHCA takes note of President Donald Trump’s announcement on Twitter that he does not plan to attend the dinner, which has been and will continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic,” WHCA president Jeff Mason said last month. “We look forward to shining a spotlight at the dinner on some of the best political journalism of the past year and recognizing the promising students who represent the next generation of our profession.”