You’re so vain, you probably think this magazine is for you: Slate’s Daniel Gross has some thoughts on the “no-action auction” of New York
Magazine. I’ve refrained from blogging this topic because of my “no
transaction coverage” policy. The chorus of “I’m thinking of buying it”
claims by everyone in the magazine world is especially tiresome.
(Let’s start a rumor: Hammock Publishing is considering purchasing it.
No, wait, let’s don’t.)
publishing—the practice of wealthy people or corporations backing
money-losing or barely profitable publications for the psychic and
social rewards—is alive and well. Vanity publishers tend to attach to
high-brow or ideological magazines. The New Republic brought new owners
aboard last year but has kept the same money-losing ways. Entrepreneur
David Bradley bought the unprofitable Atlantic Monthly in 1999 and has
upgraded it sharply, while incurring further losses. The New York Sun,
a neo-conservative daily newspaper with neo-con sugar daddies, was
launched in April 2002.
But New York magazine, with its heavy
lifestyle focus, is a different kind of vanity publication. Today, it’s
not something you own because you have a personal agenda. It’s
something you own because you want to meet celebrities and date models.
Come to think of it, let’s start a rumor.