The Free Agent List: 2011’s 50 Media Power Bachelors

Not content just sitting around being a New York Times golden boy media reporter, the new media wunderkind was featured in Times documentary Page One and recently announced his forthcoming book, The Top of The Morning, a behind-the-scenes look at morning network news shows. Mr. Stelter was last seen dating CNBC anchor Nicole Lapin in none other than The Observer’s media power couple list, but broke up since the list’s debut. [Can you say "Madden Curse"?] He’s svelte, he’s single, and if you can tear him away from Twitter, ladies, the gregarious, affable, and brilliant Mr. Stelter might just be yours.
The Silver Fox needs no introduction. Currently, the world waits in anticipation for his new CNN talk show, which may offer more personal insight into his mystique-oriented dating life. Though he’s not explicitly out, CNN’s globe-hopping Vanderbilt is a friend of Kathy Griffin, and hosts a yearly New Year’s Eve countdown with her, for what that’s worth.
What Cal Ripken Jr. is to baseball, Dave Zinczenko may well be to lists like these. He knows the 9,000 ways to make a man have hard...abs. Probably a few to make women's hearts melt, too. Mr. Zinczenko is notorious for palling around town with his buddy Dan Abrams—the two received their own Styles treatment under the headline "Wingmen" not too long ago—but Mr. Z is known to be less "tightassed" than his silvery legal eagle counterpart. This may explain his style of romance, played a little looser and faster, as he was once supposedly the inspiration for a Gatecrasher blind item that put his hand under a table during a date with once "Internet-Famous" queen bee Julia Allison ("Third Base at Balthazar," the Gawker headline went). Other former flings of Dave The Conqueror: Mandy Moore, Rose McGowan, and a freelance writer who told Playboy that his style under the sheets was not "earth-shattering," even if his cover lines often argue otherwise.
While perhaps not quite as hunky as Arnie Hammer, the actor who played him (and his twin brother) in The Social Network, the 6-foot-5-inch Southampton native has plenty going for him. After he and his brother settled for a $140 million payout from Mark Zuckerberg and then failed to have it enlarged, Cameron is focusing on his Olympic rowing career and his party website, Guest of a Guest, which should provide a lucky lady all sorts of access to glitz. Whether or not he brings America home the gold, get to know him, and he just might win your heart. Or a settlement against you in court.
Ah, yes: and here we come to Justin Rocket Silverman, who no respectable media bachelor list could ever be without. That whole "Rocket" thing? Not innuendo, at least not by design: it's actually his middle name, which his parents let him choose when he was a young lad with an ink-colored glint is his eye. And they didn't give him that middle name for nothing! If he’ll take a tazer to the chest for Papa Rupert, imagine what he’ll do for your affection. Here's a hint: "Touch and Go," his canonical New York Post article on pleasuring a woman with his hands—and we don't mean by typing— contains the line "with that, he guides my digit directly onto the sweet spot of a beautiful young woman who asked to be called Layla in this story." Currently running for president (or something) on behalf of The Daily, Rocket goes where few media men have ever gone before, and he just might take you with him. Only question is whether or not you can stun him into commitment.
A few times each year, all the illustrious names that fill the lit journals of the city descend upon the Tribeca offices of The Paris Review for their rollicking ledgendary parties. The man standing in a well-cut suit, head and mug cleanly shaven, enveloped in the cigarette haze and grasping a glass of Maker's Mark is Lorin Stein, the editor of the storied journal. His sexual proclivities have been masked in a similarly smoky shadow, but we do know that he's not short of admirers. Every woman and girl laboring in that fair trade of the literary arts seems intent on wooing the master of prose and poetry. Nab the nimble mind while he's still on the market!
Among the other perils of the combat photographer occupation is that commitment is sometimes very much out of frame. Tyler Hicks is always jetting off somewhere, getting tan and getting kidnapped, as he recently was in Libya with three other Times staffers on assignment to cover the country's revolution. Although the adventure-seeking shutterbug may not be marriage material, an itinerant life spent dodging bullets, swearing in Arabic, and roughing it with soldiers does put a handsome furrow in a man’s brow, and a wardrobe of rumpled linen accessorized with a very expensive digital SLR sure helps. A casual consensus also agrees that he's probably incredible in the sack.
This former Wall Street Journal reporter-turned-burgeoning-media-baron’s got it all: left brain, right brain, and a none-too-shabby container to carry them around in. Other bylines? Slate, The Paris Review, GOOD, and Vanity Fair, and at the moment he currently runs highbrow Pitchfork-approved highbrow video game magazine Kill Screen. Hit the right buttons and you might find yourself with a chance at becoming—yes—his Mrs. Pac-Man.
He’s won an Emmy, an Edward R. Murrow award, the praise of The Daily Show, and love from Gawker for being a sharp dresser. Is there anyone who Don Lemon can’t win the affections of? As proven by the nearly unilateral acclaim for his recently released memoir, Transparent, in which he came out to the world as one of the few openly gay national news anchors: no. Question is, New Yorkers, can you bring this Atlanta-based Brooklyn College grad back to the city, or will you have to migrate south to capture his heart?
The soft-spoken, shy and smart-as-a-whip Mr. Brown got his start freelancing music pieces for New York Magazine’s Vulture. When boss Melissa Maerz left, he became co-editor, and eventually sole editor of the blog. Of late, he was hired away by ESPN’s go-go sports/everything else site, Grantland, and decamped to L.A.
A literature-hungry tech nerd, that rare breed: not an easy find, no less the ones also fluent in Portuguese (Scheinkman is Brazilian and French). A Brown grad based in Carroll Gardens, Mr. Scheinkman left The New York Times' interactive news desk earlier this year to lead the development of interactive features at HuffPo. His sweethearts can expect lovely digital Valentines, as shiny and technologically impressive as they are poetic.
“Carl Swanson is a freelance writer who is frantic enough about his romantic life without attempting to be bisexual, too,” a 2003 Nerve bio of the media vet once read after a piece about “post-gay” men. It’s still true: the Observer alum and former Off The Record columnist recently caused a bit of a stir with a May profile of transgender nightlife star Justin Bond, after Mx. Bond lashed out for what was seen in the piece to be “pulp gay exploitation fiction.” Whether or not that has to do with him being single or not, no matter: we hear the bespectacled New York editor-at-large (and acting culture editor as of a month or so back) is nothing but a nice fellow, pronouns and all aside.
Likely the only Times star reporter to have also done time in the gulag that is a Gawker night shift, Mr. Somaiya is appropriately dashing and mysterious: tall, British, and with a penchant for opening the darkest of black box narratives. He's recently been a Times man on the ground in London covering both News International's public unraveling and achieving a new level of regard within the paper for getting close and personal with the riots that savaged the city. Before, he co-wrote a profile on Wikileaks' Julian Assange that inflamed tensions between the most notoriously pale/leaky man in the world and the Times. Not afraid of a little trouble, you may have to cross the pond to grab him, but bringing his deviously charming mug and byline back to New York would be a win for us all.
New York’s most cutting practitioner of the hate-retweet also turns out dense, thinky pieces for Women’s Wear Daily on the media beat. He occupied that beat at The Observer, as well, though this newspaper did not allow him the opportunity to turn out charming profiles of teenage models (he took on the wee runway dynamo Lindsay Wixson for WWD). Get him while you can, gents: the chilly, Teutonic Mr. Turner’s headed to Germany to study the history of newspapers.
Often seen as the odd man out at an network filled with otherwise unilateral viewpoints, Shep Smith might be the last salvation of nuance at Fox News. He might also be its best-looking and one of its richer ones, banking $7-$8M a year on a three-year contract resigned in 2010. His track record for long-term isn’t perfect, so if you want to get in on this once-divorced Fox-y man’s life, it might be best to wait around a moment: his stident work ethic is well-known, but his dating life ("in Canada," as it were)? Not so much.
As if being a Times media reporter isn't heroic enough, Tim Arango and His Mustache decided that facing the mortar-esque phone calls of pissed-off media barons didn't meet the adrenaline high-bar for him, and in March, shipped off to be chief of the Times Baghdad bureau. If you can find a way to bring him back from Iraq—or better yet, pick up him locally—beware, as he already has a lady in his life you’ll have to win over before his heart is yours: the protective wrath of Miss Beasley awaits.
The New York Times' chairman has been on the market since splitting with his wife of 33 years, Gail Gregg, in 2008. "Pinch," as he is not quite affectionately known, has been called a loner, but the paywall-pushing publisher was also known to seek advice from Ms. Gregg, meaning that, if children aren't a problem—he has two—his next love just may be able to guide his media empire. You may one day be the Wendi to his Rupert.
What's in the water that makes guys like these? Lead. Seriously. The bed-headed, bespectled writer at the increasingly influential TechCrunch just moved to New York City after discovering lead in the water at his San Francisco abode. Sources tell us he's still in that starry-eyed "look at all the cabs and tall buildings everywhere" phase, and Mr. Kincaid himself admits that he's loving it. Enjoys Harry Potter and karaoke, "among other manly pursuits." Obviously has patience and a forgiving heart, as anyone working with the perpetually loud-mouthed Michael Arrington must. If this one's no keeper, we don't know what is.
From the The Huffington Post to Beirut, to an embattled Newsweek and back, the hunky man-meat cooked medium-genius known as Seth Colter-Walls has braved every kind of media trench there is, yet finds himself lately most at ease delving deep into the world of fine arts for the likes of Slate. Ladies, if your man’s never taken you the ballet, this one won’t only give you a plus-one, but he’ll be the White Knight to your Black Swan (alternately: the Don Jose to your Carmen, without that whole stabbing thing).
Our favorite photogenic gaysian, Mr. Zee is the beloved creative director of Elle. In addition, he has appeared on MTV’s Whitney Port vehicle, The City. He currently hosts his own fashion series, All on the Line, on the Sundance channel.
AKA, The Assimilated Negro. T.A.N.’s written everywhere—The Seed to The New York Times, and now, Grantland)—but more than providing trenchant commentary on race relations, he’s also broken barriers, having been the first and only black guy to be published by both Gawker and N+1*. His book, Negropedia, will finally see the light of day in October, when he’ll be post-blog famous and beyond that, more than just your blogger mancrush, if you are, as he once noted of his dream girl, an “Oprah/Sarah Silverman hybrid.” *Subject to confirmation, though we’re pretty sure this is true, actually.
Yes, he works in sales. But the Strong Island-bred Gawker Media partyboy’s been with the company for three years now, and unlike many of the editorial side’s misanthropic cave-dwelling bloggers, is often seen out and about putting social skills on rich display. Yet, also unlike his editorial side (glory be the commission) Gawker's born-and-bred 24 year-old heartbreaker-moneymaker can probably afford to take you somewhere nice around Gawker’s Elizabeth Street offices for dinner. Or home. That, too.
"Like seven feet tall," one editorial staffer dreamily described the original social media blogger. There's a reason his face is still the Mashable avatar on Twitter long after Mashable wandered into existence: Mr. Cashmore has been noted as "the Brad Pitt of the blogosphere," and it's not because he loves adopting #AfricanOrphans. He's Scottish, has a hot accent, and spends his time jetting around from New York to London to San Francisco, which a casual poll of straight women note as decidedly "hot." Good luck tying him down, though: like anything that trends on Twitter, being a hot thing of the moment just won't suffice, here, as (we hear) his girlfriend of recent might tell you.
This guys-guy's guy is a senior editor at Maxim who covers gadgets, tech products and cars, possessed of a swank two-bedroom in Williamsburg complete with 1976 Elton John pinball game, and a piercing stare. Trivia: Mr. Porges has also been featured in an Observer column blaming Meg Ryan for many of the world's relationship woes.
The former Page Six night owl has gone legit: he’s now seen out and about in the light of day, as a top editor at The Daily, the only newspaper that is literally hot to the touch. If Mr. Wilson can help make the weather “bananas” on The Daily, imagine what he could do for you.
Kerry Lauerman
As long as you don’t confuse Salon with Slate, he’ll probably like you.
The sole Vanity Fair byline to make the list, Keenan Mayo is Graydon Carter's last great hope to represent the magazine's lineage of writers who have cadded about Manhattan on the rag's great name, though from what we understand, it'll be the least of the many weapons in Mr. Mayo's great arsenal of South Carolina-bred charm.
"Soup" is the social media editor at Reuters, a job category he invented by being so good at (or as the New York Times noted: "the undisputed king of") Tumblr. And did he just get a shout-out from Anthony Bourdain in this weekend's New York Times Magazine? That's him, all right. But for Mr. De Rosa, re-blogs and re-tweets and media acclaim-fame have not supplanted the original definition of “social.” He’s the most reliably affable figure at media parties and—just your luck—no longer lives in Hoboken: he can capture your heart-shaped ‘like’ right from the heart of Nolita.
If you don’t already know about Mr. Goulian by now, we can’t help you.
Smart, gentelmanly and accomplished Mr. Sheridan made his way up from staff writer to senior editor at Bloomberg BusinessWeek, where he puts his Stanford economics degree to good use. The subject of a bidding war upon his departure from Newsweek, his star is clearly on the reportorial rise.
The son of Watergate-crasher Carl Bernstein and neck-anxiety writer Nora Ephron, the hard-charging Mr. Bernstein spent time at New York Magazine and Women's Wear Daily before joining The Daily Beast. He has a hilarious way with the women: with a mom like Nora Ephron and having been potentially traumatized by the wrath of flackzilla Peggy Siegal, could you expect him to be straight? Trivia: True to his journalistic roots, he scooped Vanity Fair by many years when he outed Mark Felt as Deep Throat to bunkmates at a Bridgehampton summer camp (too bad they didn't believe him). Boys, meet this one alone in a parking garage, and maybe you'll learn all his secrets, too.
Gawker's director of editorial operations, business development director at Hype Machine, and drinker of iced tea, Mr. Kidder is witty, clever, and a bit of a wunderkind, having been at Gawker Media since he was nine years-old (or as long as anyone can remember) and came out both even-keeled and disarmingly charming, not always the case for lifers. He enjoys photography and cooking. "I honestly find it confounding that he's single," says a friend. "He has a lovely apartment in Brooklyn Heights."
Ladies, he may be the most handsome media reporter in town, just be sure to check under the bed before hopping into it. He's reported on reporters everywhere from the defunct Radar to the passed-away Portfolio, and left AOL shortly before they brought Arianna Huffington in to change it up—bad luck or cursed?—to his current outpost at Forbes, but perhaps his splashiest story was one last November for GQ. It chronicles a post-divorce "cannonballing" back into the dating scene in the age of creepy crawlies. Instead of a bedbug-sniffing beagle, Mr. Bercovici (pronounced BER-KOVE-EH-SEE) prefers "chilling the eff out. Keeping perspective. And remembering that whether it's bedbugs, STDs, bunny-boiling psychos, or plain old heartbreak, romance is going to knock you on your ass now and then." Jeff can knock The Observer on its ass any time.
Your masochistic match: the grizzled New York Times art critic may be the writer that the city's galleries fear most, since Mr. Johnson has a penchant for brutal putdowns. Still, he has a soft side, declaring last year that Vermeer's elegant and somber "Young Woman with a Water Pitcher", at the Met, was one of his favorite paintings. "All is painted with excruciating, reverential tenderness," he wrote. He just published Are You Experienced?, a history of psychedelia in contemporary art since the 1960's. Make of that what you will.
A national reporter for the New York Post, News Corp’s least-embattled Lachlan is a common sighting at media parties, encumbered by little more than a well-cut blazer. The Australian reporter has retained his infectious accent but otherwise adapted to a fast-paced city, and a coherent understand of the far extent to which his accent is fetishized by the women of New York.
From GQ, to The New Republic to front-of-book editor for dude-itor Hugo Lindgren’s New York Times Magazine, Mr. Veis has had quite a run in the last few years. Not to mention the writing he’s done for Rolling Stone, Esquire, Men’s Journal and Mother Jones. Mr. Veis is also part of the Duke Media Mafia quietly taking over New York; beware his ambition and (blue) devilish charm.
Gawker boss Nick Denton, that time he let Patrick McMullan take his picture in 2008. (photo: Patrick McMullan</em)
Nick Denton
While we’re on the subject, the flagship site does have a wild child onto itself: Brian Moylan. Fact: Gawker’s house expert on Gay Studies has not only an infectious laugh, but an MFA in creative writing, which he’s not afraid to use…on the site. Like Anderson Cooper, he has managed to successfully socialize with Kathy Griffin. Unlike Anderson Cooper, he’s not afraid to talk about Anderson Cooper being a “giant homosexual.”
Charmer of women both online and IRL, Rex Sorgatz is a known fixture at New York's new-boom tech parties and gatherings. His uniform of gray fitted blazer, spiky hair, chunky glasses is tweaked night-by-night only with a new faded-print tee—the guy must have a thousand of 'em. Ask him about his old roommate, Grantland Edgar Winter-correspondent Chuck Klosterman, or that time he worked at an alt-weekly in the midwest. Topics to avoid: the past, specifically, his arrival on and way with the women in Manhattan's editorial-tech scene in 2008, and that time Nick Denton personally posted about it on Gawker. He's worked his way through advising as many digital editorial operations as he has Manhattan's bevy of Startup Lolitas, so if you're a lady with some coding chops or a term sheet, get on board with Rex And The City, lest he be forced to settle with a "Prarie Ho Companion" (a term he once had emblazoned on a shirt that got him sued by Garrison Keillor).
Want a nice Jewish boy who can extemporize for hours about college basketball and teach you how to Dougie? Look no further than Ben Cohen, sports writer for The Wall Street Journal and Grantland. He landed on the scene as the Deadspin intern, where he survived a summer bringing a grizzled AJ Daulerio coffee and picking up his dirty cig butts. It paid off! Now he gets to sell his soul to Bill Simmons at the sworn enemy of Nick Denton's Games 'n Dudes site when he's not putting in hours for New York's other favorite roguish, scandalous media baron. Ladies, we say buy: Mom will approve, and Dad will want to talk sports. If the markets know what they're doing, they're taking the long position on mensches like this one.
The previously Brooklyn-based Mr. Jefferson has written for, well, pretty much everyone. Via his bio: National Geographic, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, The Root, Filter, GIANT, Jezebel, Wonkette, Nerve, The American Prospect, and The Awl. It's all worryingly, disconcertingly good, and his handsome mug makes matters of competition no better. Throw on top of that the fact that he went across the world to give a kidney to his dad in Saudi Arabia? Exactly. Good thing he moved out to L.A.; the self-described "voracious pursuer of sexual enlightenment will be a threat to lesser bylines and other Brooklyn boys' potential dates no more. Ladies, be nice to this one. Try not to leave any marks.
A modern-day media mogul, "Topherchris," as he's known, manages hundreds of single-serving blogs and commands tens of thousands of followers as the Editorial Director at Tumblr. Baby-faced and big-eyed with 5 o'clock shadow, his self-posted photos draw hundreds of <3s. He enjoys dinosaurs and herbal refreshments.
Stylish, tall and Ivy League! Mr. Welch, a Columbia grad and senior editor at GQ, can be found skulking around 4 Times Square by day, and haunting a booth at Max Fish by night.
He’s Canadian, he’s Jewish, and he can engage women in meaningful discussion about political ideologies. The nightlife nightcrawler has charmed the likes of everyone from Mila Kunis toSasha Grey to...more strippers. So he can probably charm you. Or at the very least, get you into a decent bar or two. He also has plenty of friends, as exhibited by his blog My Facebook Friendz, where he opines on the state of everyone who is friends with him on Facebook, once a day (New York Post critic Lou Loumenick, hello!). "im actually just recently single," Mr. Barna noted over instant message, "so hopefully this will get me laid."
Former New Yorker fact-checker and political correspondent (as well as softball captain!) for The Daily, the dreamily nerdy (or nerdily dreamy) Joshua Hersh has keen investigative senses in his blood: his dad is Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, and the two of them will no doubt see right through you should you try to scoop him or steal his heart. Pick him up at the State Department, which he's now covering for The Huffington Post as of this summer.
The nation's number one tech blogger and Apple's biggest fanboy is back on the market after a few decades of wedlock. Currently rumored to be dating a high-powered PR flack out of the Valley, he is known to enjoy writing manuals, treading in murky ethical waters and walk by along the Connecticut river valley. Windows and Linux users need not apply, but if you enjoy vacationing in Cupertino, by all means, snap this one up.
New York Magazine scribe and Fire Island habitué (not in the way you think, mind), Mr. Gray made a splash with his story on notorious airplane hijacker D.B. Cooper. His book on the subject, Skyjack, just came out on August 9th
Shuttling between New York and Berlin, the ever-personable Mr. Lewis-Kraus’s byline has appeared in n+1, The London Review of Books, The Believer, Harper’s, where he lampooned the goings on of publishing’s most sacred cow, the Frankfurt Book Fair. He recently finished "a digressive, genreless book about restlessness, purpose, and pilgrimage" that he explains is "forthcoming in Spring 2012 from Riverhead." Speaking of restlessness and purpose, we learned that Mr. Lewis-Kraus just settled in New York City last week. Consider this your welcome: singles, attack.
Kevin Roose once infiltrated holy-hell Liberty University and wrote a book about it while he was still at Brown. Chances are, he turned a few preacher's daughters into sinners if they weren't there already. He's now working on a book about young bankers and traders when not working with Times golden finance guy Andrew Ross Sorkin on building out their Wall Street presence into an empire.
The Observer would be in gross violation of what abstract laws govern the compilation of such lists as the one you’re reading—if not downright negligent—had it failed to disclose its own skin in this game, who is 5’11, but always dressed to the nines, a Man of Manhattan if there ever was one. The humble spiritual descendant of a long lineage of juniper berry farmers, co-founder of cult blog Hashtag Hashtag, former summer intern of The Awl, Observer staff writer and Wee Hours columnist Nate Freeman is the kind of creature of the night who makes Batman look like a feeble shut-in. If you can keep up with the Duke alum's darkness-oriented schedule, each evening with Mr. Freeman is an excursion through as many different rope-guarded doors as there are cocktails to be dreamed up, and he would know, having respectively been through each one and sampled most of them. Just don’t press this roguish cultural omnivore and all-around nice guy to be number one. Always his first love, the deadline comes second to nobody, unless you tend bar at Mr. Freeman’s humble home away from home, midtown's Bull Moose Tavern. Ladies, if you're looking to tie this one down, word to the wise: Take. No. Prisoners.

What goes into making a list of media bachelors? The proprietary formula is of course proprietary, but a few of the key elements are pretty transparent.

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First and foremost, Power Bachelors should be desirable, be it by physical appearance, byline, or pure and unfiltered cachet.

Beyond which, they must be available: this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re completely single, per se—besides, what’s ‘single’ in New York now, anyway? But if they don’t have a ring on it, aren’t living with someone, and you can get within close proximity of them, that’s a bachelor. Dictionary definition: “Unmarried man.” Ours? They likely have yet to fully give up the freedoms afforded to one not in a long-term committed relationship.

Unless they have had a recent breakup, it’s a good bet that they were not included on our Media Couples Power List, or the Sequel to the Media Couples Power List. And they’re definitely not these lovebirds.

Finally, to make our list, candidates must simply come to mind: the following gentlemen represent nothing more or less than the editorial judgment of The Observer. They’re the names that came up most often, that were thought of first, and who simply defy exclusion from this kind of thing.

Without further ado, we present out 2011 Media Power Bachelor list. These are gentlemen whose words on the page or appearances on the screen are as utterly charming and desirable as their lives beyond it. For those on the prowl, fair warning, however: to win them away from bachelorhood, most of these men will have to be torn from not just from a modicum of romantic freedom, but the imprisonment of their work that’s lead them to the high regard that appearing on this list requires. If you’re interested in proposing something to them—like, say, a drink—get in touch, and we’ll do our best to pass along the message.

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