On the debut of the Observer‘s first Media Couples Power List, those who enjoyed it in private found reason to loudly kvetch about the ethnicities of the subjects. Well, here at The New York Observer, the only color we see is Salmon. Some were also upset that some of the “couples” who made the list are now “divorced.” [Okay: fair enough.]
For a couple to make our media power couple list, they must:
1. Come to mind.
2. Work in print or online media.
3. Represent some kind of “power,” however superficially marginal it seems.
4. Navigate their way past the multitude of proprietary computations that went into this.
Generally however, we received positive feedback, both in private and public. To this writer alone, emails such as…
I LOVE IT SO MUCH I CAN BARELY CONTAIN MYSELF.
and god all of these people need a tan.
…and DMs like…
[REDACTED]?? Really? That amateur made it onto a NYC power list?
…appeared regularly for the next hour or five after we posted the list. It is something that both readers and subjects “openly deride, yet secretly delight in,” almost by rule-of-thumb. Many of those who made the list expressed (or feigned) astonishment at their perceived importance; some wrote sincerely kind emails and were flattered to have made it. At best, it represents a Salmon-tinted vantage point, which we’ll concede, is not as all-seeing as we’d like to think it is.
But yours is.
Or rather, the collective ‘yours’ is, given the sheer volume of suggestions that materialized in the post’s wake. Some were patently bad; others were trenchant observations, initially missed by us, by a wide mile. Either way, we’ve collected our addendum list, very often with your help.
Without further ado: the final installment of The New York Observer‘s Media Power Couples List 2011. Please enjoy, bask in their glory, bask in your own glory, or despise at will. Whatever you do, just do as you did on Wednesday, and click the everloving shit out of it.
Michael Wolff and Victoria Floethe, Dating
Mr. Wolff, friend of The New York Observer and Editorial Director of AdWeek, has made a career out of feuds, whether it be Rupert Murdoch (in his book on the News Corp chief, The Man Who Owns The News) or 15 year-olds (in his public war of words against the now-deceased Tony Judt’s teenaged son). Before going to work for the trade magazine, Mr. Wolff was a Vanity Fair columnist and the publisher of news aggregation website Newser.com. Mr. Wolff left his wife in 2009 for Ms. Flothe, a writer 27 years his junior, who was also once an employee of Mr. Wolff’s Newser and Vanity Fair. Ms. Flothe is a self-described “femme fatale” who once noted that “Internet writers need trust funds” or “a man of means.”
Keith Gessen and Emily Gould, Dating
She’s the former Gawker tell-all blogger turned New York Times Magazine pin-up after being convinced by an n+1 article (among plenty of other things!) to quit, turned memoirist, turned bookseller. He’s the hunky Russian-American novelist behind All The Sad Young Literary Men and also, incidentally, the n+1 editor who played no small part in her leaving Gawker.
Ingrid Sischy and Sandra Brant, Dating
In 2008, Ms. Sischy was editor-in-chief and an 18 year-veteran of Interview when she left the magazine; having been a contributing editor at Vanity Fair since 1997, becoming the international editor of Italian Vanity Fair seemed a natural fit. Very interestingly (and at the same time), Ms. Brant—Interview’s chief executive officer, president, and the publisher of Brant Publications—sold her 50 percent interest in the company, and also exited. She became the international editor of Spanish Vanity Fair. In 2009, the two were named, in addition to their responsibilities at their respective Vanity Fairs, international editors at German and Russian Vogue (respectively). Did we mention they’re the only lesbian Media Power Couple on this list, and that Ms. Brant used to be married to Peter Brant? Because they are, and she did.
Stephanie Clifford and Bruce Headlam, Engaged
Love inside the same section! It can happen. Mr. Headlam is The New York Times media editor and one of the “stars” of the Times documentary Page One, overseeing some of the paper’s most visible bylines, including Media Power Couple List-Maker Brian Stelter and Media Power Reformed Crack Addict* David Carr. Ms. Clifford is a Harvard grad and once executive Crimson editor who went on to write for Inc., Time, Sports Illustrated, and US Weekly before joining the Times in 2008 to work with advertising reporter Stuart Elliot under sly Canadian seducer/editor Bruce Headlam. In August 2010, Clifford was moved to report on retail, still under business editor Larry Ingrassia but no longer under the purview of Headlam. The two are now engaged, and are set to wed in October (they’re registered at Bloomy’s, if you’re feeling celebratory). Their chemistry as documented by a Times video (back when they still worked alongside one another) is as undeniable as it is indeed powerful. [*List to come.]
Claire Howorth and Mike Nizza, Dating
Mr. Nizza worked at The New York Times as a reporter before going to The Atlantic as a “Senior Innovation Editor." This earned him the position of Editor-in-Chief of AOL News, which he departed last year to become Managing Editor at The Daily. The gun-totin’ Ms. Howorth, unlike her city-slicker mans, came from Oxford, Mississippi to go work as a publicist at Grove/Atlantic, before jumping the fence into editorial: Vanity Fair, and then, The Daily Beast, which she departed to go work at The Daily last year, like Mr. Nizza. Then Mr. Nizza and Ms. Howorth ended up dating. Power Value: When was the last time you were in a relationship with someone else who had to own an iPad? Exactly.
Pilar Guzman and Chris Mitchell, Married
She's the former Cookie Editor-in-Chief recently named to the same post at Martha Stewart Living. He's a Conde Nast lifer, having been a publisher at Details, Wired, and now, Conde Nast Traveler. He is also an eBay Power Shopper.
Sia Michel and Tyler Grey, Married
She’s the former editor of Spin—incidentally, the first female to helm a national rock music mag—and now creeping up the masthead of The New York Times, having recently been promoted from pop music editor to deputy overseer of Arts & Leisure. He’s a former Radar-ite (best known for uncovering the sex-and-drugs extracurricular activities of Walt Disney World “cast members”), author a book about boy band impresario Lou Pearlman, and deputy editor of the Fast Company website. Fun fact: They're also raising three lovely kids, ages 6, 5 and 1!
Graham Bowley and Chrystia Freeland, Married
Mr. Bowley, a former Financial Times writer and bureau chief in Brussels for the International Herald Tribune, is these days a reporter for the New York Times business section. Ms. Freeland, the former managing editor at the Financial Times, is now the global editor-at-large for Reuters. When they are not influencing the global economy and/or general fate of the world together, they are raising their three children.
Sophie Donelson and Greg Lindsay, Married
Mr. Lindsay’s career trajectory was once monitored as an ongoing feature on Gawker: he has worked and/or written for (among others) Fortune, AdAge, Women’s Wear Daily (where he took convicted sex criminal Peter Braunstein’s place, as a writer), MediaBistro, and a bunch of other places (Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, etc). He’s currently known as a contributing writer for Fast Company and author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next, which both The New Yorker and Bloomberg Businessweek called “fascinating.” Not bad, but most importantly: he’s won on Jeopardy. He even beat the robot. Mr. Lindsay may be humanity’s last hope. Ms. Donelson was previously at Elle Décor and the now-defunct Blueprint before moving on to a season as editor-in-chief of Hamptons Cottages & Gardens.
Peter Lattman and Isabel Gillies, Married
He’s the former Wall Street Journal law reporter who defected to Andrew Ross Sorkin’s Dealbook at the Times in August 2010. She played Eliot Stabler’s wife on Law and Order: SVU, but that’s not enough to make a Media Power List. What is? Being the author behind bestseller Happens Every Day, a memoir about following her first husband to Oberlin and watching her marriage collapse (Lattman, for the record, has also been divorced once). She also wrote another memoir about falling back in love with—spoiler alert!—Mr. Lattman, entitled A Year and Six Seconds. Divorcee hotshot finance reporter and divorcee hotshot memoirist/paramour of Eliot Stabler? No one couple should have all that power.
George Packer and Laura Secor, Married
Both at The New Yorker and both former Holtzbrinck fellows at the American Academy in Berlin (it sounds boring, but it’s quite prestigious), Mr. Packer and Ms. Secor are a foreign affairs match made in, um, a panel discussion at the NYPL? He wrote The Assassins’ Gate, about the U.S. involvement in Iraq, and she’s the author of the forthcoming Fugitives From Paradise, about Iran. (This couple has definitely got the Middle-Eastern-countries-starting-with-“I” beat covered.)
Andrew Rice and Jennifer Saba, Married
The New York Times Magazine’s Andrew Goldman had a few suggestions for our list, much to the horror of his co-workers, probably. Among them were Mr. Rice and Ms. Saba: She’s a former Editor & Publisher dynamo—not the zombie E&P, but the actual, Joe-Strupp-and-Greg Mitchell-helmed E&P—who moved onto writing about media for Reuters; he’s won a Pushcart Prize writing for The Paris Review, almost a footnote among his filings for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, The Economist, etc.
Nina Willdorf and Michael Endleman, Married
Allison Benedikt of The Village Voice then chimed in to help Andrew Goldman out on his quest to help us out: What about Nina Willdorf and Michael Endelmen? She basically asked. Totally fair: He’s the features editor at Food & Wine, and she’s the Editor-in-Chief of Budget Travel. So basically, these people take the best vacations ever. And speaking of Allison Benedikt…
Allison Benedikt and John Cook, Married
...Ms. Benedikt and Mr. Goldman together (inadvertently?) reminded us of Ms. Benedikt's own neglected Media Power Couple status: She’s married to Mr. Cook, an investigative reporter for Gawker.com, who was recently accused by The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg of indoctrinating his wife with anti-Zionist leanings, or at the very least, attempting to. The entire thing was very funny. Mr. Cook has worked at Radar, Yahoo, and Mother Jones, and he also wrote a book about the history of Merge Records. Ms. Benedikt previously worked at the Chicago Tribune, and is now the Film Editor of The Village Voice, and together, they have two children, who may grow up to be anti-Zionist power-establishment-upturning geniuses. Or investment bankers. Who give money to the Koch Brothers.
Peter Kaplan and Lisa Chase, Dating
Mr. Kaplan is the editorial director of the Fairchild Fashion Group (as well as the former longtime editor of The New York Observer, and the inspiration for at least three Twitter doppelgangers). Ms. Chase, his longtime girlfriend, is an editor at Elle.
Danielle Pergament and Devin Friedman, Married
A few weeks before America elected Barack Obama as its president, GQ senior editor took to the pages of his magazine and asked, “Will you be my black friend?” The infamous article came about after a cocktail party hosted by Mr. Friedman and his wife – Lucky editor Danielle Pergament – that was a tad heavy on the arugula and Radiohead. As he stated in his piece, Mr. Friedman really needed some color among his acquaintances. Just take a look at the pictures from their 2007 nuptials, a week-long jaunt to Tuscany. Whitest wedding ever. Black couples, lend a hand and befriend these poor Kefir-eating souls.
Will Leitch and Alexa Stevenson, Married
Ladies, put it away: As of last year, the Deadspin bachelor is off the market. As Will Leitch’s wedding to brand manager Alexa Stevenson approached, Deadspin – the Gawker Media sports ‘n’ dudes site that he founded – decided to roast him. First up, Ms. Stevenson: “I'd also like to mention — do what you want with it — how Will prepared for the Costas show: he ate nothing but raisins for an entire week.” Nothing too rude in there. Here’s Deadspin writer Drew Magery’s take on Mr. Leitch: “You look like a fucking Hefty bag. You’re uglier than a Weintraub essay. You’re fatter than Chandler’s ankles. I wouldn’t fuck you with Nick Denton’s vagina.” Let’s hope that Mr. Leitch is better liked by his current colleagues at New York magazine, where he writes about sports, and Yahoo, where he writes about movies, both of which he sidelines for the occasional book.
Henry Finder & Kwame Anthony Appiah, Dating
Fabulously learned, these two men of letters split time between New York -- where Mr. Finder is the editorial director of The New Yorker -- and Princeton – where Mr. Appiah is a chaired professor of philosophy. But it’s not all Ivory Tower contemplation for the author of Cosmopolitanism, he has also contributed to Time, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Review of Books.
Caleb Crain and Peter Terzian, Dating
Brooklyn high-lit luminary Caleb Crain has a blog called, strangely, “Steamboats Are Ruining Everything” (it’s an oblique reference to a 19th century maritime novel). But, hey, there’s one thing steamboats haven’t ruined: his marriage to fellow writer (and Elle Decor editor) Peter Terzian! Mr. Crain -- a contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, n+1 and other publications that pay the bills in Park Slope – is the go-to guy if you’ve got a dense tome on 1913 Colorado coalminer strikes. Mr. Terzian’s tastes, however, skew more musical than rhetorical. He’s the author of Heavy Rotation, which collected essays by prominent authors about the albums that changed their lives. Let’s hope that Mr. Terzian and Mr. Crain like each other at least half as much as Ben Kunkel likes The Queen Is Dead.
Jesse Eisenger and Sarah Ellison
Ms. Ellison is having quite a moment, with the recent publication in Vanity Fair of her expose of the News of the World phone hacking scandal. Though, she’s an old hand at covering the vagaries of the press, having authored the book War at The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Eisenger is no slouch himself, having won a Pulitzer Prize for his Wall Street reporting, he now works as a senior reporter at ProPublica and writes a regular column for The New York Times’s Dealbook.
Mark Graham and Meaghan Keane, Engaged
Mark “Uncle Grambo” Graham used to edit Gawker Media’s Defamer, going on to be one of the first editors at New York’s Vulture, before going to work for Viacom/MTV Networks as a Senior Web Editor. Meaghan Keane is the Editorial Director of B5 Media; she was previously a deputy culture editor at the now-defunct-and-oft-adored-in-retrospect New York Sun, and a staff writer with Wired News. Together, they are painfully, powerfully adorable.
Amy Waldman and Alex Star, Married
Mr. Star, once the editor of the beloved Lingua Franca, the magazine that covered the vagaries and intrigues of the academic world, went on the The Boston Globe’s Ideas section, and later the Times magazine. In the recent shake-ups there, he landed as a senior editor at the Times Book Review. Ms. Waldman, once co-chief of the Times’ South Asia bureau, went on to become national correspondent for The Atlantic. Of late, she turned to fiction, and her first novel, The Submission, is due out in August.