Best of 2010: Most Scandalous Media Shakeups

In May, Atlantic Media Owner David Bradley told The Observer that the new incarnation of the National Journal — with more original content in front of its expensive paywall and a bulked-up staff — would compete directly with Politico. However, where Politico places itself on "the more racy, tabloid end of the spectrum," as Bradley said, the new National Journal would be more on "the authoritative end." Bradley hired the AP's Ron Fournier as editor and spent the rest of his leading up to the October launch snapping up more and more writers.

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Nick Denton flexed his muscles last February when he acquired Cityfile, and installed the New York profile archive's editor, Remy Stern, as the editor of Gawker, replacing Gabriel Snyder. The differing memos tell much of the story. From Denton: "To anyone out there looking to build up an online property: snap [Snyder] up quickly." From Gabriel: "I'll put this as plainly as we'd report any other masthead ouster: I am being canned."

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Harper's began the year on a turbulent note. Roger Hodge, the golden boy who started at the magazine as an intern in 1996 and rose the ranks, replacing Lewis Lapham as editor, was forced out of his position by publisher John MacArthur. The regime change — initially reported as Hodge's call, but later revealed to be a firing — led to eavesdropping, sedition and upheaval.

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Martin Dunn, editor of the New York Daily News, announced in July he would be leaving the Mort Zuckerman-owned tabloid due to a "personal family issue." Boston Herald editor Kevin Conway was named as his replacement. The war with the Post rages on!

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Richard Beckman poached US Weekly editor Janice Min to helm The Hollywood Reporter, one of the titles run by e5 Global Media, which he left Conde Nast in January to run. Together, they decided that THR would be better off as a weekly glossy, not a daily. The first issue hit newsstands in early November, and the publication will continue to battle Variety and Twitter! — for domination of Tinseltown's morning readers.

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Sam Zell's Tribune Co. was already in poor financial straights when David Carr wrote a column for the Times exposing frat boy behavior from the executives in the office place. From there, an exodus of top employees claimed CEO Randy Michaels, Chief Innovation Officer Lee Abrams, and a six-legged metaphor of a statue.

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In a surprise switcheroo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that Cathie Black, chairwoman of Hearst Magazines, would be the chancellor of the Department of Education. The announcement came as sitting chancellor, Joel Klein, shared the news that he would be joining Rupert Murdoch on the board of News Corp. And so the era of the education-media roundtable begins!

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W was down in ad sales, and Si Newhouse went with a safe pick: Stafano Tonchi, celebrated editor of T Magazine, the style magazine at The Times. The announcement came just a week after Patrick McCarthy announced he would be leaving Conde Nast, leaving vacancies at the top of the W masthead and in the chairman position at Fairchild. The Times eventually nabbed Sally Singer from Vogue to take over Tonchi's spot at T.

Tonchi is, as we've noted, a sharp dressed man. In fact, in all our Fashion Week run-ins with the dapper W editor we only saw him flustered once: when a poor assistant made the mistake of stuffing a very late and very disheveled Olivier Zahm next to Tonchi at the Alexander Wang show. Quite the dynamic duo, though!

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Hugo Lindgren, executive editor at Bloomberg Businessweek, was chosen in September to take over the top position at The New York Times Magazine. Starting in 1999, Lindgren worked at the Times' s Sunday supplement under then-editor Adam Moss. He followed Moss to New York, then left, and is now running a rival paper. This should be fun!

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Newsweek needed an editor. Tina Brown wanted back into the magazine game. Could it actually happen? The rumors percolated at first, then swelled, then were quashed quite resolutely. "I'm not serious about the Newsweek thing!" she told The Observer in early September. These rumors, as they most often are, were all just rumors. On October 18, Brown wrote a post on The Daily Beast saying that negotiations had fallen apart.

But after a "three week cooling period," as Keith Kelly reported, the talks were back on. Hours later, The Observer had the exclusive: The Daily Beast and Newsweek would merge, and Tina Brown would take over as editor in chief. No doubt, Tina's relaunch of the embattled magazine will be on everyone's mind for the first part of 2011. Either she remakes Newsweek the same way she remade The New Yorker in the 1990s, or she's lost the magic and no longer the Tina Brown she claimed she would always be.

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