off the record
Newsbeast editor in chief Tina Brown seems to have developed a redemptive streak, at least when it comes to the bad boys and girls of the media world. Her website has recently published several pieces by otherwise disgraced journalists.
“God, have you ever walked into a meeting and thought, This is not going to go well?” Code and Theory founder and creative director Brandon Ralph moaned. “That’s what it was like when we went to pitch to The Daily Beast.”
Sitting with him in his 5th floor SoHo offices, it was easy to imagine what the handsome and lanky 33-year-old was talking about. The Observer had come in to meet with the man who had been hand-picked by Tina Brown, Anna Wintour, Peter Brant, and Jason Binn to create their online platforms. With long, dark, wavy hair; leather bracelets; and a penchant for John Varvatos; Mr. Ralph looked more the part of a hip New York restaurateur.
Illusionist David Blaine stopped by Newsweek/The Daily Beast for an appearance on BeastTV today. While in the company’s West Chelsea office, Mr. Blaine couldn’t resist demonstrating his powers to what we assume were wowed staffers.
Excited writers tweeted the events (with pictures). It isn’t every day that magic happens in a newsroom.
Could an era of less splashy Newsweek covers be at hand–or has the final control between Tina Brown and utterly unfiltered buzz been removed? Dirk Barnett, the creative director of Tina Brown’s Newsweek—and thus the man responsible for the Photoshopped “Diana at 50″ cover, the “first gay president” cover and a phallic asparagus Read More
Newsweek stunned no one this week when their most recent cover appeared on newsstands—a striking image that managed to be not only sexist, gratuitous and just plain ludicrous, but recycled. The image was a stock photo that had previously been used in several other magazines. Unsavory and unoriginal!
We say, if you’re going to go for it…really go for it. Click through to see our ideas for future Newsweek covers. Have at it, Tina.
Photo illustrations by Ed Johnson.
HOW THIS ALL WENT DOWN
Remember that time Newsweek magazine was put up for sale by The Washington Post and then “saved” by then-91-year-old stereo magnate Sidney Harman (of the wonderful line of audio/visual products Harman + Kardon)? Well, less than two years ago, that actually happened. Now, that era is over, as the Harman family is done investing in Newsweek. As a result, IAC is now a majority owner, with a print publication on its books. How, exactly, did any of this happen in the first place?
Things Spy Did First
Our first thought upon glancing at the latest New Republic cover was that new editor-in-chief, Facebook founder and marriage equality activist Chris Hughes was cribbing from Tina Brown‘s playbook. It has all the elements of a latter day Newsweek cover: A royal, buzzy photoshop, canny packaging. (Duchess Kate Middleton is more symbol than subject, as Britain’s royal family is not mentioned in the editorial package.)
The presence of Tina Brown atop the Newsweek masthead has been nowhere more evident than on the cover of the magazine itself, from S & M to a very dead (and very photoshopped) Princess Diana. Love or despise Tina Brown’s cover-work, they’ve made people talk.
Surely, though, there have been more than a canceled ideas from that wellspring of manufactured, marketed scandal-making that didn’t pan out for whatever reason.
And today, we learn about one of those firsthand.
Yesterday Newsweek/Daily Beast editor Tina Brown reclaimed her crown as queen of controversial covers. It had been briefly snatched by Rick Stengel, whose Magazine of the Year, TIME, caused a media firestorm Thursday by featuring a hot, young mom breastfeeding a three-year-old on its cover. TIME’s image was more arresting, but the May 21 Read More
U.K. production company What’s It All About? has acquired film and TV rights to Good Times, Bad Times, Harold Evans’s memoir of editing The Times of London under Rupert Murdoch, Variety reports. Mr. Evans (Tina Brown’s husband) resigned from The Times shortly after Mr. Murdoch took over in 1981, over a lack of editorial independence.