‘Everyone Wins’ at 2012 National Magazine Awards

Not really. But they did take half as long as last year.

One hour and sixteen minutes after wrapping NBC Nightly News Thursday night, Brian Williams relieved People managing editor Larry Hackett of hosting the National Magazine Awards.

After a few quick digs at the Marriott Marquis’ poured-concrete architecture, he asked the editors and publishers gathered for “a real favor.”

When he announced the winners, he wondered, could we sustain our applause long enough that he doesn’t have to do the winner’s photo op in total silence? No matter how huge the upset?

“So when we announce fiction,” he said, “if Aviation, Wing & Space wins and everyone’s staring at Remnick like, ‘Oh my God, what’s this going to mean?’—if, like, Cat Fancy wins for commentary—be happy for them. Keep it going. Cover me on the photo op, I will be grateful.”

But seriously, folks.

“The great thing about ASME,” Mr. Williams went on, “is if you publish a magazine in the U.S.—even desktop publishing—you’re not leaving here tonight without an award.”

Snubbed titles may beg to differ, but there were truly some obscure titles among the winners last night. Like IEEE Spectrum, the association magazine of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, which ASME crowned top thought leader. Or D magazine of Dallas, whose editor Tim Rogers accepted the profile writing award by confessing that he first got into this business to get laid. Even though his wife now has a job, kids, and Facebook to distract her, he explained “with this award, and a little red wine, I might get lucky.” (“Can’t stop crying,” he later tweeted.)

It wasn’t the only domestic revelation of the night.

“My husband has started calling me Madame President,” said incoming ASME president and Self editor Lucy Danziger, “so thank you for that.”

First-time nominee VICE’s table lowered the median age by a few years (the suddenly grown-up media company’s elders were otherwise engaged at the VICE Upfronts), but it was also a  twentysomething who brought the New Yorker its third consecutive public interest award.

“Sarah Stillman may still be in her mid-20s and the New Yorker may be in its ‘80s, but as Aaliyah used to sing, ‘age ain’t nothing but a number,’” editor David Remnick said, praising her reporting in “The Invisible Army.”

Mr. Williams put on his own reporter hat to fact-check the pronunciation of a foreign capital in a pre-taped video segment.

“Once I’ll allow but the second time I gotta correct,” he said, “it’s Abb-AH-tta-bad.” (Vanity Fair was honored for Christopher Hitchen‘s “From Abbottabad to Worse,” among other columns)

Esquire editor David Granger dared to correct Mr. Williams in return.

“It’s really fucking hard to win one of these,” Mr. Granger said as he claimed his feature writing Ellie.

New York’s Adam Moss, on the other hand, made it look easy, collecting the prizes for magazine section (Strategist’s fourth), essays and criticism (Wesley Yang’s “Paper Tigers”) and single-topic issue (“The Encyclopedia of 9/11”) while sporting a week’s worth of stubble.

Bragging rights aside, it was an occasion for editors to pay homage to their subjects and their superiors.

Cindi Leive dedicated Glamour’s service reporting prize—awarded for the June relationship abuse story—to Yeardley Love, the 22-year-old lacrosse player murdered by her boyfriend 2 years ago to the night, and whose sister, Lexi, was a guest of the magazine.

“Most of all, I really want to thank Oprah,” said Susan Casey, whose O: The Oprah Magazine won general excellence for women’s magazines. “She makes things inspiring even when she may not intend to.”

Mr. Remnick thanked S.I. Newhouse for “untold dimensions of support,” while Bloomberg Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel, accepting the award for general excellence in general interest (and after having his tie straightened by Mr. Williams) thanked “Mike Bloomberg, who I hope is giving S.I. Newhouse a run for his money.”

Magazine of the year winner Time editor Rick Stengel thanked “the sheriff” John Huey, but attempted to share the love.

“I feel like when we win, everybody wins,” he said.

Except perhaps poor Mr. Williams, who was informed mid-escape in the elevator, that he still had closing remarks to give.

He left ASME with a suggestion for next year: “Give an award for aroma.”


Honors the achievement of editorial excellence both in print and on digital platforms
Rick Stengel, Managing Editor
Catherine Sharick, Managing Editor, TIME.com
May 20, October 17 and December 26/January 2, 2012, Print Issues
Weekly iPad App

GENERAL EXCELLENCE – Active- and Special Interest Magazines
Honors magazines serving targeted readerships
Jane Berentson, Editor
February, November and December 2011/January 2012 Issues

GENERAL EXCELLENCE – General-Interest Magazines
Honors large-circulation weeklies, biweeklies and general-interest monthlies
Bloomberg Businessweek
Josh Tyrangiel, Editor
October 10-16, October 31-November 6 and November 14-20 Issues

GENERAL EXCELLENCE – Lifestyle Magazines
Honors city and regional publications as well as food, travel and shelter magazines
House Beautiful
Newell Turner, Editor in Chief
March, June and July/August Issues

GENERAL EXCELLENCE – Thought-Leader Magazines
Honors small-circulation general-interest magazines as well as literary, scholarly and professional publications

IEEE SpectrumSusan Hassler, Editor in Chief
September, October and November Issues

GENERAL EXCELLENCE – Women’s Magazines
Honors health, fitness and parenting publications as well as fashion, service and lifestyle magazines
O, The Oprah Magazine
Oprah Winfrey, Founder and Editorial Director
Susan Casey, Editor in Chief
April, May and November Issues

Honors political and social commentary; news analysis; and reviews and criticism
Vanity Fair
Graydon Carter, Editor
Three columns by Christopher Hitchens, Contributing Editor: “When the King Saved God,” May; “Unspoken Truths,” June; and “From Abbottobad to Worse,” July

Honors overall excellence in magazine design
Jim Nelson, Editor in Chief
Fred Woodward, Design Director
May, August and October Issues

Honors long-form journalism on topics ranging from the personal to the political
New York
Adam Moss, Editor in Chief
“Paper Tigers,” by Wesley Yang, Contributing Editor
May 16

Honors the use of original photography in a feature story, photo essay or photo portfolio
The New York Times Magazine
Hugo Lindgren, Editor in Chief
“Vamps, Crooks & Killers,” photographs by Alex Prager; introduction by A.O. Scott
December 11

Honors original, stylish storytelling
David Granger, Editor in Chief
“Joplin!” by Luke Dittrich, Contributing Editor

Honors the publication of fiction in magazines
Zoetrope: All-Story
Michael Ray, Editor
“The Hox River Window,” by Karen Russell

Honors coverage of fashion and beauty; travel; decorating and gardening; food; fitness and active sports; cars and boats; and hobbies and crafts
James Oseland, Editor in Chief
“Italian America,” by John Mariani, Lou Di Palo, Marne Setton, Rina Oh, Greg Ferro, Jane and Michael Stern, James Oseland, Dana Bowen, Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli

Honors the editorial direction of a clearly branded front- or back-of-the-book department or section
New York
Adam Moss, Editor in Chief
July 11, October 10 and November 28

Honors photojournalism and photography that documents news events or news-related subjects
Harper’s Magazine
Ellen Rosenbush, Editor
Stacey Clarkson, Art Director
“Juvenile Injustice,” photographs by Richard Ross

Honors coverage of health care, personal relationships, parenting, career planning and personal finance
Cynthia Leive, Editor in Chief
“The Secret That Kills Four Women a Day,” by Liz Brody, Editor at Large

Honors overall excellence in magazine photography
Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief
Grace Coddington, Creative Director
Raul Martinez, Design Director
March, October and November Issues

Honors news or feature stories about an individual or a group of closely linked individuals
D Magazine
Tim Rogers, Editor
“He Is Anonymous,” by Tim Rogers

Honors magazine journalism that illuminates issues of local or national importance
The New Yorker
David Remnick, Editor
“The Invisible Army,” by Sarah Stillman
June 6

Honors reporting excellence as exemplified by one article or a series of articles
The New Yorker
David Remnick, Editor
“The Apostate,” by Lawrence Wright
February 14 & 21

Honors magazines that have devoted an issue to the comprehensive examination of one subject
New York
Adam Moss, Editor in Chief
“The Encyclopedia of 9/11”
September 5-12

‘Everyone Wins’ at 2012 National Magazine Awards