What’s in a media power couple? Is it two established editors enlarging each other’s spotlight? Two buzz-worthy bloggers joining their Twitter fiefdoms? A young, literary upstart going cross-genre with an exec over at Condé? All of the above?
Truth is, there are seemingly endless ways to interpret a notion as equivocal as “power”—or even “media,” for that matter. Therefore, a media power couple is largely in the eye of the beholder. In this case, we are that beholder. However, we did try to at least loosely base this year’s list around the following set of criteria:
1. Diversification: A broader use of the term media—not just people who work in print or online journalism, but news hosts, executives of media corporations and even the occasional fiction writer or publicist. This also means that, aside from a few select cases (seven, to be precise), we did not repeat the names from our last list. New blood, people.
2. Location: The couple must live in New York (for at least most of the year).
3. Momentum: The couple’s individual or collective star must be on the make. There might be couples out there who hold positions of greater prominence than some of the couples on this list, but the metabolism of this industry is fast, and if you’re not rising, you’re falling.
4. Social presence: Not like Twitter followers, Facebook friends or Instagram likes—we didn’t put any social media editors on the list, because let’s not get crazy—but old-fashioned, real-world social presence. If we could turn down a hypothetical dinner-party invitation to a couple’s place, for instance, they didn’t make the cut.
With all that in mind, and in no particular order, we present to you 2014′s media power couples and—O.K., fine—one power couple of the year.
Illustration by Fred Harper
Notoya Green and Fred Mwangaguhunga, Married
The lowdown:Mr. Mwangaguhunga runs the gossip site MediaTakeOut.com, which boasts traffic of 16.5 million page views per month. (We should all be so lucky.) Ms. Green is a mommy blogger (Tripletsintribeca.com) who has gone multimedia: You can find her on various network TV morning shows and in the glossies (Essence, Manhattan Family).
Cute detail:The two former practicing lawyers met at a Brooklyn street fair. They’re also raising triplet toddlers, which is just too much.
Dream project:In words that MediaTakeOut might use, “MTO WORLD EXCLUSIVE: WOOO!! Tribeca Triplets TV causes bidding war between E! and Bravo!! OH MY DAYYYUMMM!!!
Carrie Melago and Jonathan Lemire, Married
The lowdown:It’s a city reporter love story: They met in the Queens bureau of the Daily News. Ms. Melago was a police and education reporter; Mr. Lemire covered politics. She’s now an editor for the Greater New York section of The Wall Street Journal (and runs the outlet’s Metropolis blog), and he covers City Hall and politics for the Associated Press. They live in Brooklyn (what? you thought we were going to say Queens?) and have a toddler who, sources tell us, is particularly adorable.
Cute detail:Ms. Melago left the News before her husband, meaning that the couple spent around a year covering the same beat for rival news organizations (and they still seem to like each other).
Dream project:Co-writing a new NBC series that reimagines His Girl Friday for the Internet age.
(Photograph by Julia Xanthos)
Ed Crooks and Emily Bell, Married
The lowdown:Ms. Bell spent years running The Guardian, before leaving to run the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia’s J-School. Mr. Crooks is the U.S. industry and energy editor of The Financial Times. They both have degrees from Oxford—hers in jurisprudence, his in philosophy, politics and economics—so this couple can basically make anyone feel badly about oneself.
Cute detail:British composer and conductor Paul Rhys wrote and performed a song as a wedding present for the couple. It was called “For Emily and Ed.”
Dream project:A lecture series (co-sponsored by CJR) discussing how to cultivate anonymous sources at Exxon.
Dana Goldstein and Andrei Scheinkman, Engaged
The lowdown:Mr. Scheinkman was just hired away from HuffPost by Nate Silver’s ESPN-backed 538 blog. (There, he’ll serve as deputy editor and director of data and technology.) Ms. Goldstein has an impressive resume as well. She has written about women’s issues for Slate and The Atlantic and received fellowships from New America Foundation and the Nation Institute. Doubleday is publishing her forthcoming book on the “history and social science of American public school teaching.”
Cute detail:Before they each made The Observer’s 2011 Power Bachelor/Bachelorette lists, the two had gone on one date. A few months later, they were an item. We’re not saying we brought them together, but ...
Dream project:A modern family: She goes out to write about progressive women’s issues, while he stays home and takes care of the data.
Dean Baquet and Dylan Landis, Married
The lowdown:She’s a multimedia journalist and fiction writer who has written for the Chicago Tribune and the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, former managing editor at the LA Times and current managing editor for news at The New York Times (where he’s also leading the charge to reinvent the magazine).
Cute detail:They were once spotted on the subway reading—and comparing notes on—two different T.S. Eliot poetry collections.
Dream project:Does she have any interest in a job at The New York Times Magazine?
Jamie Shupak and Brian Stelter, Engaged
The lowdown:Mr. Stelter, the newly minted CNN host, has the distinction of being the only individual to make it onto three Observer power lists, and we’re happy to see the former New York Times wunderkind finally settle down with a nice Trans-It Girl. Considering that Ms. Shupak has her own busy career—she’s a traffic reporter at NY1 and has recently released her first e-book—we expect they’ll be outsourcing a lot of the wedding planning.
Cute detail:At this point, everything about this couple is a cute detail.
Dream project:Her starring in the Lifetime original movie of his book, Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.
(Photograph by Justin Wayne Harris/PatrickMcMullan)
Beth Stern and Howard Stern, Married
The lowdown:The radio kingpin and the host of HGTV’s Mom Cave have the highest combined net worth of anyone on this list. Of course, Mr. Stern, who moonlights as a judge for America's Got Talent, raked in more cash than any other television personality last year (besides Simon Cowell, with whom he shared the top spot, according to Forbes), even if that’s mostly due to his sweet deal with Sirius Radio.
Cute detail:Even though he’s a germaphobe, Mr. Stern has picked up some of his wife’s fervor for animal advocacy. The couple now has four—yes, four!—rescue cats.
Dream project:A coffee table book showcasing their mutual love of photography and kittens. Obvious title: Pussy!
(Photograph by Nicholas Hunt/Patrick McMullan)
Ben Smith and Liena Zagare, Married
The lowdown:These two are both editors in chief: Ms. Zagare at Corner News Media, the go-to spot for hyperlocal Brooklyn neighborhood scoops, and Mr. Smith, the founder of The Observer’s Politicker, at BuzzFeed, the site that’s (somewhat frighteningly) on its way to taking over the entire Internet-accessible world.
Cute detail:When they met, she was working for the World Bank in Eastern Europe and had a particular dislike for 1) Americans and 2) reporters.
Dream project:42 Reasons Why Ditmas Park Is the New Center of the Universe for People Who Like Pictures of Kittens and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Deborah Roberts and Al Roker, Married
The lowdown:She’s an ABC journalist who has won and been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards for reporting on topics like California wildfires and an Ethiopian-American woman’s journey to find her mother. He is TV’s most lovable weatherman and everyone’s indisputably favorite Today show host (sorry, not sorry, Matt Lauer).
Cute detail:She stayed with him, even through the White House sharting incident (and subsequent Dateline confession).
Dream project:A documentary about wildfires called Here’s What’s Happening In Your Neck of the Woods.
(Photograph by Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan)
Jessica Valenti and Andrew Golis, Married
The lowdown:Mr. Golis is the first-ever entrepreneur in residence at The Atlantic. He has also been credited with building out successful Web-based news outlets, like Yahoo and TPM (where he was deputy publisher), as well as helping PBS’s Frontline remake itself for the digital age. Since leaving her post at Feministing, the site she founded, Ms. Valenti landed at The Nation and has written a new book, Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness. Critics said the progressive couple’s wedding undermined Ms. Valenti’s feminist principles, but we say, “She chose her choice.”
Cute detail:On their first date, he was able to talk about the generational divide in feminism despite trying to not puke after tasting ceviche.
Dream project:Combine forces, ideologies and know-how to create a Gawker/Curbed/The Awl Media-esque blog empire for former socialist summer campers.
Kate Lee and Zachary M. Seward, Engaged
The lowdown:Ms. Lee, a former ICM literary agent, left that job in 2012 to become director of content for Medium, the minimalist publishing platform/community creator from Twitter’s Evan Williams and Isaac “Biz” Stone. Meanwhile, Mr. Seward, as senior editor over at Quartz, makes sure his readership of “business professionals” aren’t scared away by the phrase “digital storytelling.”
Cute detail:They got engaged on the two-year anniversary of their first date, on the same Lower East Side corner where they said their first good-byes.
Dream project:Taking some of their journalism offline. Will no one think of the technophobes?
Sarah Nicole Prickett and Jesse Barron, Engaged
The lowdown:The literati is in the house! She co-founded new avant-erotica Adult mag and is a contributing editor at The New Inquiry. He’s an assistant editor at Harper’s who has dabbled in the Paris Review Daily and The New Inquiry and for us.
Cute detail:The Flamethrowers author Rachel Kushner admitted she was involved in a fan mail threesome with the couple.
Dream project:A Morgan Library exhibit of the couple’s correspondences.
Evan Ratliff and Samantha Henig, Dating
The lowdown:Last year, Ms. Henig, the online editor of The New York Times Magazine, made all millennials look bad when she wrote a book with her mom called Twentysomething: Why Do Young Adults Seem Stuck? This was after she had already been a digital news editor at The New Yorker, worked in print and online at Newsweek and helped launch DoubleX over at Slate. Meanwhile, Mr. Ratliff, despite disappearing in 2009 for a Wired article, continues to defy the gods of “content” with his long-form publishing platform, Atavist (the book imprint, founded by IAC’s Barry Diller, former Picador EIC Frances Coady and producer Scott Rudin, is set to launch in March). He also hosts a weekly podcast with nonfiction authors. Honestly, we’re tired just writing about them.
Cute detail:She has gone on the record saying her boyfriend’s Longform podcasts are “in no way soporific!”
Dream project:#Shorterform, please.
Robert Kolker and Kirsten Danis, Married
The lowdown:He’s a longtime contributing editor at New York magazine and an unrivaled teller of urban human drama. Mr. Kolker’s 2011 feature on Long Island serial killings led to a 2013 book, Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery, which was named one of Publishers Weekly’s 10 best books of 2013, as well as one of the Times’ 100 notable titles. A rock-solid newsroom vet, she’s currently Northeast U.S. editor at The Wall Street Journal, where she led the paper’s coverage of the Boston marathon bombing. Previously, as deputy editor of the Greater New York section, she directed award-winning series on both Superstorm Sandy and New York’s divorce laws.
Cute detail:They first met as undergrads working together on the Columbia Daily Spectator.
Dream project:Penning a Law & Order meets The Newsroom crime-desk procedural with a romantic twist.
Jerry Saltz and Roberta Smith, Married
The lowdown:New York art royalty. He’s the senior art critic for New York magazine; she's co-chief critic for The New York Times. Jerry—everyone speaks of them by their first names—is the effervescent extrovert, a former long-haul truck driver who hosts freewheeling discussions with devoted readers on his Facebook page and who appeared on Bravo's Work of Art reality show, bravely performing art criticism in front of the camera. Roberta is the more private of the two (though she has recently brought her discerning touch to Twitter), a former assistant to Minimalist king Donald Judd who has now been with the Times for almost 30 years, earning devotion and trust for her erudite, deeply schooled reviews. Either one can affect your career, but when they come out for, or against you, in unison (as happens every few months), it can be a game-changer.
Cute detail:They each say they think the other does a better job.
Dream project:They're reportedly at work on a book of their 100 favorite paintings.
Rebecca Dana and Jesse Angelo, Married
The lowdown:When The Daily went belly up in 2012, Mr. Angelo, the former editor in chief of News Corp.’s tablet-only newspaper, landed on his feet, returning to the New York Post, where he was named CEO and publisher. Ms. Dana, a one-time correspondent for Newsweek/The Daily Beast and a former Observer staffer, published her first book last year, a memoir called Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde. She's developing her book (with writing partner Lauren Blum) into a TV show for Fox, with Sony producing.
Cute detail:In her book’s acknowledgements, Ms. Dana said that Mr. Angelo gave her “something too good to write about,” which, for a memoirist, says a lot.
Dream project:A cute baby with a funny mustache.
Adam Moss and Daniel Kaizer, Married
The lowdown:Mr. Moss is the editor in chief of New York magazine, and Mr. Kaizer is the co-founder of Longitude Books, an e-commerce site that recommends books based on travel destination. Formerly the EIC of The New York Times Magazine, Mr. Moss was once described as a “handsome young glossy god” by Michael Wolff. Mr. Kaizer, meanwhile, has been involved with an impressive list of do-gooder organizations, including Victim Services, Harlem United, an AIDS service organization, and the Robin Hood Foundation. Oh, and he’s on the board of the pro-bike group Transportation Alternatives.
Cute detail:They bought and restored a historic barn near their house in P-Town that has been described as the “birthplace of the Cape Tip’s art colony.”
Dream project:A Kickstarter-funded public arts program in their backyard.
(Photograph by Patrick McMullan)
Kurt Andersen and Anne Kreamer, Married
The lowdown:Brooklyn's most prestigious high-low/old-new/make-up-your-own-Tina Brown-ism media couple. She has her byline in seemingly every publication worth mentioning—including The New York Times, Time, The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review—has held a high-level exec position at Nickelodeon and has written two successful nonfiction books. He, among (many) other things, is editor at large for Random House. They’re basically the Corleones of New York permalancers.
Cute detail:They met on a blind date in their early 20s. Proving that love and business aren't completely incompatible, they worked together at Spy magazine, where he was the co-editor and she was advertising and marketing director.
Dream project:Co-writing a book about America’s war on snark.
(Photograph by Patrick McMullan)
Lockhart Steele and Lindsey Green, Engaged
The lowdown:She’s the new V.P. at SKDKnickerbocker, where she focuses her P.R. strat on tech companies (think Olivia Pope but for the Internet). He’s the founder of Curbed LLC. Besides having quite a few millions to their names, thanks to Curbed Network’s acquisition by Vox Media last November, this cool couple can ride out Mr. Steele’s bragging rights to having co-written the definitive book on Phish straight into eternity.
Cute detail:Most of their registry items at Crate & Barrel have already been picked clean by eager wedding guests, but there’s always counter space for one more Bavaria Pepper Mill ($16.95).
Dream project:Hear us out: monthly media mixers! You could get journalist types and tech people and real estate folks and publicists and … Oh, God. Maybe that’s not such a good idea.
Kristina O’Neill and Justin O’Neill, Married
The lowdown:Not only are both O’Neills well positioned in the media industry, but they are both ensconced at particularly fashionable publications. Last year, Ms. O’Neill left Harper’s Bazaar, where she was the executive editor, to take over WSJ, The Journal’s luxury glossy. Mr. O’Neill is the photo editor at GQ. They live in Brooklyn Heights and have a (no doubt fashionable) young daughter.
Cute detail:In an interview, Ms. O’Neill listed her favorite nonwork activity as “QT with my husband and daughter.”
Dream project:A Goop-like guide to their life. We’re sure it would have really good photos.
(Photograph by Patrick McMullan)
Juli Weiner and Michael Grynbaum, Dating
The lowdown:Mr. Grynbaum is shooting up the ranks at The New York Times, where he started out as an intern and then served as a transportation writer, following notable subway passenger Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s comings and goings so thoroughly he was bumped up to covering local politics. Now, the Harvard alum has been promoted yet again, to city hall bureau chief. For her part, Ms. Weiner has managed to parlay her digital wit for VanityFair.com into print bylines (notably, a long love letter to The West Wing).
Cute detail:Vanity Fair’s occasional use of Mr. Grynbaum’s photography for its posts. Don’t think we didn’t notice!
Dream project:The Blue Room, a West Wing-like drama about a new, progressive mayor in City Hall.
Julie Chen and Les Moonves, Married
The lowdown:He has held top positions at CBS since 1995 and is the chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation. She co-hosts The Talk, hosts Big Brother and used to be an anchor for CBS Morning News and The Early Show—all on CBS. It’s safe to say that CBS, which continues to win the ratings war, is their world and we’re just watching it.
Cute detail:Last year, the couple told TMZ (the show) they don’t use Facebook. “What about when people post about their dead pets?” asked the world’s most desperate paparazzo. No, not even then.
Dream project:NBC, then the world!
(Photograph by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan)
Elizabeth Spiers and Jotham Sederstrom, Engaged
The lowdown:They’re the small-town folks who found big love in the city at no other publication than The Observer, where she was editor in chief and he was The Commercial Observer boss. Although we’re still sad that Mr. Sederstrom recently left us to run the Daily News’ borough coverage, we gotta hand it to the guy: It’s a good gig. Meanwhile, the unstoppable Ms. Spiers is always one to watch: She has a top position at Flavorpill, countless bylines and her own newsletter.
Cute detail:In a nod to meeting at The Observer, the couple’s first dance song will be Rihanna’s “We Found Love” (“we found love in a hopeless place”).
Dream project:Rebranding GlobeSt.com as an informative but irreverant take on interntional land deals, with a couple stunt pieces thrown in for good measure.
Photograph by Robert Malmberg
Millet Israeli and Josh Marshall, Married
The lowdown:Talking Points Memo, the only blog ever to win a Polk Award, has been hailed as one of the Internet’s most popular political sites, and the couple, as a team, is at the helm. Mr. Marshall created the award-winning site in 2000 and now works as its publisher and editor, while Ms. Israeli, a Princeton and Harvard Law grad, heads up the business side of things, acting as TPM’s general manager and general counsel.
Cute detail:They were sort of friends at Princeton and then reconnected more than 10 years later, when Ms. Israeli starting thinking about classmates with whom she had lost touch.
Dream project:Co-writing the next season of House of Cards.
Laura June Topolsky and Joshua Topolsky, Married
The lowdown:The Topolskys prove that a married couple can work together, even when one member of the couple is technically the other’s boss. He’s the editor in chief and co-founder of The Verge, the Vox-owned tech and culture website that launched in 2011, where she’s a senior features editor. Instead of relationship drama, they had drama with Engadget, a tech blog they left to start The Verge.
Cute detail:They’re raising a fat chihuahua named Penny.
Dream project:Ms. Topolsky joins her husband under his musician stage name, Joshua Ryan, to record a sweet dubstep track about Michael Arrington.
Bennett Madison and John Koblin, Dating
The lowdown:Since 2011, Mr. Koblin has moved from WWD media reporter to Deadspin blogger to a brand new gig as a style section reporter at The New York Times, though we’ll always remember him as one of our own. Mr. Madison is a HarperCollins-published author whose most recent young adult novel, September Girls, was a 2013 Booklist Editors’ Choice.
Cute detail:Mr. Koblin’s tweet in response to ESPN Executive Director John Walsh’s allegations that his beef with editor Lynn Hoppes was over a girl: “My boyfriend @bennettmadison would be surprised to hear this.”
Dream project:A nonfiction novel chronicling a year of their life.
Joe Pompeo and Jessanne Collins, Married
The lowdown:She is the editor in chief of Mental Floss magazine, has bylines all over New York and recently released an e-book about being a Playgirl editor. He’s a star media reporter at Capital New York. Anytime you think you have a good pitch or a groundbreaking scoop, just know that one of them has probably already thought of it.
Cute detail:Last year, Mr. Pompeo asked ASME award organizers to leave the general excellence in print, special-interest magazine category off the embargoed list of winners sent to media reporters, since Mental Floss was nominated for that category.
Dream project:They’ve already done Finite + Flammable, a zine about zines, which is the kind of thing we would have thought up for them had it not already existed.
(Photograph by Patrick McMullan)
Ian Mohr and Elisa Lipsky-Karasz, Married
The lowdown:They are a News Corp. family through and through. He’s the deputy editor for Page Six, and she’s WSJ magazine’s fashion, news and features director. The couple met at the Post, and their baby son, though he still can’t eat solid food, is already a boldface name: Arthur Edward de Pallières Mohr’s birth announcement ran on Daddy’s gossip page.
Cute detail:Baby Arthur was born exactly four years and one day after his parents’ wedding. How’s that for timing?
Dream project:A Cricket-style illustrated magazine that combines cute pictures with gossip on Berkeley Carroll’s incoming kindergarten class.
(Photograph by Patrick McMullan)
Ira Glass and Anaheed Alani, Married
The lowdown:He hosts This American Life, produced and co-wrote Mike Birbiglia’s Sundance award-winning film, Sleepwalk With Me, and recently accepted the Medal for Spoken Language from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is the editorial and story director of Tavi Gevinson’s wunderteen Rookie magazine, with fact-checking creds from The New York Times Magazine and a former editorship at The Chicago Reader. Together they live in a $1.26 million carriage house in Chelsea.
Cute detail:Their dedication to their rescue pit bull, Piney, despite the fact that he’s still something of a biter.
Dream project:Starting a foundation for tween literacy.
(Photograph by Patrick McMullan)
Media Power Couple of the Year: Joanna Coles and Peter Godwin, Married
The lowdown:They have all the bases covered, from sexy to serious, glossy mags to geo-politics. Though they have been a force in media circles since they arrived in New York from London almost two decades ago, both Joanna Coles and Peter Godwin have climbed ever higher in their respective corners of the media landscape since 2011, when last we made this list.
In 2012, Ms. Coles ended a successful six-year streak helming Marie Claire to become the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan, Hearst’s marquee magazine. Her husband, meanwhile, was named the president of the prestigious PEN America Center, serving as the head of a long list of literary lights campaigning for press freedom.
Ms. Coles is that rare glam/hard news hybrid who pulls off stories about “Libya’s Lady Rebels” and lipstick spreads with equal aplomb.
During her six years at Marie Claire, the Fleet Street vet succeeded in simultaneously upping the cool factor and circulation. She became a regular on reality TV (America’s Next Top Model, Running in Heels), and magazine sales and ad pages rose. When Hearst Magazines President David Carey named Ms. Coles for the top Cosmo post, he cited her work on Runway as evidence that she was well suited for pushing content into new arenas.
Her platinum pixie shines at all the right places: magazine parties, the front row during Fashion Week, the pages of New York Times trend pieces. She is active on social media (so active that, according to a recent Times story, she outsources some of the writing to her assistant, Serge Kletnoy) and somehow manages to achieve the admirable feat of making leather pants look comfortable.
Mr. Godwin, a journalist, filmmaker, novelist, memoirist and former human rights lawyer, has been one of the key voices covering the reign of Robert Mugabe and the aftermath of war on his native Zimbabwe. He wrote seminal books on the subject, including a trio of memoirs: Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa, The Fear and When the Crocodile Eats the Sun. He has an impressive head of wavy, still somewhat brown hair, and, although he no longer sports a beard, he retains the relaxed dress of a former foreign correspondent.
Their home life is befitting a couple that professionally balances couture and torture, as Mr. Godwin likes to say.
“Living in our house is like the British House of Commons,” Ms. Coles told The Observer, adding that Mr. Godwin is a former barrister. “We argue about everything from politics to sex positions.” To say nothing of the two sons, two cats and a dog. (Mr. Godwin compared their household to a more verbose United Nations.)
“Living with two teenage boys is like a permanent state of civil war,” Mr. Godwin said. “Nobody shuts up.”
Despite running a magazine known for doling out tips on “Your Best Sex Ever!” Ms. Coles declined to offer a recipe for lasting love.
“God knows I’d never give advice,” she told us, though it does seem that the old saw about absence and fondness is true for these two.
“We have no time, which is probably one of the reasons that we get on,” Ms. Coles said, explaining that the couple would never go on official date nights, because it would feel contrived. “Peter would lean over and ask what we should do now.”
That she would end up with Mr. Godwin might have surprised the young Ms. Coles, who had already formed a poor opinion of him by the time they met at a dinner she arranged at the London club Café Des Paris. She had heard a story about the time he was walking down a rubbish-strewn street, only to slowly realize that the garbage was actually his belongings, thrown out the window by a girlfriend he was living with.
The trepidation was mutual: Ms. Coles had been described to Mr. Godwin as “the rudest woman in London,” he said, due to her “fantastically direct” interview style.
Despite that rocky beginning, the foreign correspondent and the features writer began dating. In 1997, they moved to New York, where Ms. Coles was posted as a New York correspondent for The Times of London and Mr. Godwin wrote for well-regarded publications (Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic) and worked on a novel.
Not long after relocating to the New World, Ms. Coles found out that she was expecting. The pregnancy became a memoir told in alternating his-and-hers diary entries, chronicling their new lives in New York as they negotiate Hamptons rentals and housekeepers, dinner parties and prenatal classes and, ultimately, labor.
In 2000, they co-wrote a piece in the Times style section about learning that, no matter what New Yorkers say, babies don’t make for portable party props. (Takeaway: If it isn’t worth hiring a babysitter, the party probably isn’t worth attending.)
Around the time their second son was born, in the atmosphere of anxiety in post-9/11 New York—remember anthrax?—the couple decided to make their partnership official.
After a City Hall ceremony during their lunch break, they shared a glass of Champagne. Then it was back to work. Ms. Coles didn’t mention the nuptials to any of her colleagues at New York magazine, where she worked at the time as articles editor.
Planning a big wedding party (or, indeed, any wedding party) was just never something that occurred to her.
And all of these years later, the couple seem happy, ensconced in their Upper West Side apartment, walking their dog in Riverside Park and raising their American sons.
“When you have all the considerations of work and kids, you need to know that you can rely on the other to have your back,” Ms. Coles said. “I know Peter has my back, and I have his.”
But both Mr. Godwin and Ms. Coles were insistent that this article not make them sound like some sort of smug, perfect couple.
“We are really just improvising like everyone else,” Mr. Godwin said. “It works in complete chaos. We don’t have the secret to anything at all.”
“We still have the daily pressures of waking up and getting our shit together,” said Ms. Coles. “But it’s nicer to do that with someone else.”
Cute detail:When Mr. Godwin first took Ms. Coles to Zimbabwe, he tried to impress her with an up-close lion kill. But when it came time for what he called the “acme” of the event, she was busy reading an Updike novel instead of watching the carnage.
Dream project:52 Sex Moves That Will Help Promote Freedom of the Press.