Internal Memo: Tina Brown

tb Internal Memo: Tina BrownBuzz. Zeitgeist. Electrifying!

Lists. Lists of lists. Lists of the greatest lists of lists. Lists of the most powerful lists of the greatest lists of lists. Lists of the lists that shook the lists that shaped the lists that changed the world forever. I should make a list of these lists. Or someone should make it for me. I wonder if I could get an OmniList iPhone app for my BlackBerry?

Photography. Pictures. The image. It just has to pop. I said it before when I started Talk, and I’ll say it again now, no one so uniquely embodies our present moment of revolutionary transformation–a moment like no other–as Hillary Clinton. She is the very metabolism of the now.

Paper. Ink. Pages. My favorite page in our new issue is the “NewsBeast/DataBeast” page. Isn’t it beastly? Pages, in my experience, become more powerful and relevant the more slugs you stick on them. You’ve got to tell the reader what they’re looking at, and avoid alienating them by making them feel beholden to read the text. The genius of the concept of multiple points of entry is to make the reader feel they’ve done the work of reading several articles merely by looking at a layout of headlines and doodads while reading precisely nothing. That is the philosophy underlying our entire “NewsBeast” section, and nowhere is it better realized than on the “DataBeast” page. Plus, I just wanted a page that said “Beast” twice, and so far there has been resistance from my staff to the idea of installing a regular feature on pets and wild animals called BeastBeast. Oh my! Beast! Beast! Beast! Beast! Beast! Beast! Beast! Crackling!

Hiring. Staff. People. Sometimes I sit up at night wondering, Who is the most brilliant hire I’ve made so far? Michelle Cottle? I love her Southern drawl! Whenever she drops into my office, it’s like we have William Faulkner or Huey Long on staff. Andrew Sullivan? BeastDish! DishBeast! Dieasht! Peter Boyer? Since I hired him, I’ve received so many odd “Thank You” notes from New Yorker subscribers begging me to hire Malcolm Gladwell as well. I should do it. Malcolm is the one writer in English language who perfectly embodies my theories of multiple points of entry in his prose–you never have to look past the subhead to know what he’ll say. Soon I’ll have him. But what of my other electrifying hires? When you narrow it down, the going really gets tough! Howard Kurtz or Joanne Lipman? Howard Kurtz or Joanne Lipman? Howard Kurtz or Joanne Lipman? In Howie you have a genius of interviewing who knows how to make an interviewee say exactly what you know he’s thinking even if he has no idea whom he’s talking to. And Joanne created the brilliant, crackling, zeitgeisty, buzz juggernaut we remember as Condé Nast Portfolio, a masterpiece multiplicity of a 1,000 entry points of light. The only title you can talk about in the same breath is Talk.

Party time! I must be off! Somewhere on the Upper West Side there’s an opening for a tin of sardines!