Daily News Staff Keeps Chelsea Commons Busy With Farewell Parties

Business does not appear to be slowing down at the Chelsea Commons, the favored restaurant and bar on West 24th Street for staff going-away parties at the New York Daily News .

“Every time you log onto the computer you see another farewell party,” said one newsroom source. “It gets a little dispiriting to start your day that way every day.”

The Daily News , maintaining its reputation as the most tumultuous newsroom in the city, lost at least five more staff members during the week of June 12.

Daily News editor Ed Kosner, who staff said was looking “stressed,” was taking what is no doubt a well-earned vacation somewhere in Europe. But the senior editors tending the News in his absence were still in good spirits.

“The Daily News is a hot place,” senior executive editor Michael Goodwin said. “What I think you have is other news organizations coming to the Daily News to fill holes in their news organizations. The people have gone on to greater responsibilities and far greater salaries, in some cases triple.”

For the record, the departures: Eve Burton, the News ‘ in-house lawyer, departing for Atlanta to be CNN’s top lawyer. Editorial board member Jonathan Capehart took a job writing a national affairs column for Bloomberg News. National editor Diane Goldie quit in order to spend more time with her family. Dwight Cunningham, who had been at the News on the news desk for less than six months, went to Scholastic to be an executive editor. And Alan Delaqueriere, who had long worked in the News ‘ library, defected to The New York Times ‘ library.

The latest round of departures follows the exits of deputy managing editor David Ng (who went to work for former Daily News editor Jim Willse at the Newark Star-Ledger ), Rush & Molloy reporter K.C. Baker for People and feature writer Eamon Lynch, who’ll take on freelancing.

That is one hot place.

Many at the Daily News are simply chalking the shuffle up to Mr. Kosner putting the News in order.

“Kosner is making a sweep,” said one staff member. “He wants to put his signature on it.”

And one staff member argued that Kosner’s housecleaning was long overdue. “Otherwise you end up being a dysfunctional family rather than a first-rate newspaper,” the staff member said, “and we have to be a first-rate newspaper.”

And at the ceaselessly speculative Daily News , speculation is mounting that once Mr. Kosner, 62, completes his sweep, he will not stick around for too long. “He’s said this is the job he’ll have,” said one staffer, adding: “He’s certainly here for a limited time.”

“If something happens in the middle of the night, you have to get up from your bed and come in to direct traffic,” said another newsroom source.

And if the newsroom speculators are right, it means the Daily News will only get hotter.

Things have gotten simpler at the top of Jann Wenner’s Men’s Journal masthead. The two senior deputy editors, Sid Evans and Jon Gluck, are both leaving. Mr. Evans goes to GQ as a senior editor and Mr. Gluck will join ex- Details funnyman Bill Shapiro at his magazine-Web site startup MBA Jungle . They follow Corey Seymour, a 10-year Wenner veteran who took a job as men’s editor of Ralph Lauren’s polo.com.

Insiders described Men’s Journal as a different and more difficult place after Mr. Wenner shifted former editor in chief Terry McDonell to Us late last year to guide its transformation into a weekly.

Mark Bryant, who had spent a decade editing Outside in Santa Fe, was brought in last November.

“It’s an unfortunate coincidence that they all got great offers at the same time,” Mr. Bryant said, “but attrition when you’re changing a magazine is sad but expected.”

Messrs. Evans and Gluck were both eyed as possible candidates to succeed Mr. McDonell when he moved to Us Weekly . When Mr. Bryant came in, both were promoted to senior deputy editor, creating a confusing masthead beneath Mr. Bryant that included a managing editor, two senior deputy editors, two deputy editors and a senior editor.

Fatigue may have been a factor, as well. “They were working days and nights and weekends,” said one person familiar with Men’s Journal . “There used to be a really good editorial infrastructure.” Another source added, “They were always behind deadline and slow to edit.”

Mr. Bryant admitted, “Yes, the magazine was closing late when I got here, and it is continuing to close late.” He added, “Jann has given me the green light to expand.”

Insiders also said that there was tension over the editorial focus of Men’s Journal. “They’re trying to change the magazine from being adventure and sports to more general interest,” one source said.