MEMO PAD

MASON’S MANEUVER: Was the New York Times Home section duped Thursday? On the section’s front page, the Times wrote about how December’s Elle Decor scooped Vogue by several days with competing stories about interior designer Stephen Sills’ new home in Bedford, N.Y.
As it turns out, the author of the Times story, Christopher Mason, happens to be a writer for Elle Decor and even has a feature in its December issue. In the Times story, Mason claims Marian McEvoy, editor in chief of Elle Decor, “appears to be the victor in the magazine wars.” Why not? That’s his editor — at least part of the time.
Nancy Nielsen, spokeswoman for the Times, said, “We were not aware of that, and had we known, we would have discussed with him our conflict-of-interest rules and what would have been appropriate.” The Times won’t be running a correction or clarification, however, since the story is accurate, said Nielsen.
Reached for comment, Mason, a freelance journalist who writes frequently for the Times, said, “I’ve only written one piece for Elle Decor, and I’m also writing a piece for The New Yorker, but it hasn’t run yet. I don’t have a contract with Elle Decor. I felt it was a clear and balanced piece.”

FUCHS’S FATE?: Rumors were circulating this week that the ousting of D. Claeys Bahrenburg, president of the Hearst magazine division, could mean bye-bye to Anne Sutherland Fuchs, senior vice president and group publishing director. But according to Fuchs, “It could not be further from the truth.”
“I am not leaving Hearst. They’ve been wonderfully supportive. I think Cathy Black [new Hearst Magazines president] is fabulous. Claeys brought me in, and I oversee Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Town & Country and House Beautiful. Cathy Black. A woman. It’s wonderful. We’ve served on panels together. Harper’s Bazaar is up 7 percent for the year, Town & Country is up 18 percent, Marie Claire is a rocketship. Nothing’s wrong with this picture. I’ve got the most delicious franchises.”

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