New York Magazine

Imagine! Asking for $10 Million-Plus to Start a Dweebsite!
January 21, 2014

Ezra Klein, an analyst, columnist and television commentator who runs The Washington Post's Wonkblog, is making plans to leave the newspaper after failing to win support for a new website he wanted to create within the company, according to four people with knowledge of the negotiations. Insiders reported Klein asked The Washington Post's new owner—Amazon's Jeff Bezos—and publisher Katharine Weymouth for an investment "in eight figures." (That's $10 million or more!) They turned him down.

5 Data Insights Into the Headlines Readers Click
July 16, 2013

According to Koechley, tests show that traffic to content at Upworthy can vary by as much as 500 percent simply because of the headline. “The headline is our one chance to reach people who have a million other things that they're thinking about, and who didn't wake up in the morning wanting to care about feminism or climate change, or the policy details of the election." Given how significant a headline can be to clickthrough rate in both search and social online channels, we decided to test different headline types to determine those that resonate most with readers

Here's the Evidence That Progressive Is About to Kill Off Flo
August 16, 2012

In adland, it's been stated so often it's now a truism: America loves Flo, the Progressive insurance pitchwoman played by comedian Stephanie Courtney, and a huge portion of the company's brand equity is tied up in the Flo character. Progressive spends up to a quarter of a billion dollars a year on ads starring Flo. Yet this week comes talk of The End of Flo. It all started with a series of Tumblr posts by Matt Fisher, describing how Progressive paid for a lawyer to defend the man who killed his sister in order to weasel out of paying …

Beware Publicity Hounds
March 12, 2010

Two stories about publicity hounds smacked me in the face and got me to wondering what would happen if an employee or associate of mine got into the business of self-promotion for the sake of self-promotion to the detriment of the company or society.

Zimmerman Agency's Caroline Zimmerman on the Evolution of the Voucher
November 11, 2009

She began life after college as a school teacher before getting a job in the circulation department of a small magazine in New York City. That was when Caroline Zimmermann began to learn about direct marketing, including how much she liked it, to the point that she next got a job at a boutique direct marketing agency, where she became fascinated by both the art and the science of direct marketing—including whether or not her promotions worked.

The Dangers of Bifurcating Your Business
January 14, 2008

In 2007, ABC News and Charles Gibson squeaked out a victory over Brian Williams on NBC. Both left Katie Couric of CBS a distant third. When Charles Gibson was a host on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” I liked his loosey-goosey, laid-back demeanor and obvious ease as an interviewer in front of the camera and bantering with Diane Sawyer. With the switch to ABC’s “World News Tonight,” where he replaced the urbane, upbeat Peter Jennings, Gibson seems to have purposely changed his “Good Morning America” persona. At first he became the kindly country doctor of my childhood—Hop Allison—who used to make house calls. Lately I

Two Industries That Dis Paying Customers
July 17, 2007

A couple of weeks ago, I read that the final article by David Halberstam, who was killed in an automobile crash outside San Francisco on April 23, was available on the Vanity Fair Web site. As a long-time customer and admirer of Halberstam’s work, I wanted to read it. I found “The History Boys” and downloaded it for free. It was scheduled to appear in the August 2007 Vanity Fair and I—a nonsubscriber to the magazine—was able to access it long before it arrived on newsstands or in the mailboxes of paying subscribers. That meant I—a Web junkie—could discuss it at a dinner

The Secret of Starting an Instantly Successful Business
July 12, 2007

On June 6, 2006, I devoted these pages to the tectonic change in the CBS Evening News. The piece was titled “WOMEN TAKE OVER AT LAST! With Couric and Logan on Board at CBS, Maybe the Evening News Will Come Alive.” With CBS paying Couric $15 million a year and spending $2.9 million for a new set, I had high hopes that she and her electric, articulate chief foreign correspondent, Lara Logan, would bury their tedious male competitors. Alas, a year later the program is moribund, with lower ratings than those garnered by temporary anchor Bob Schieffer. In a fascinating 6,300-word analysis of Couric—including

Declaring War on The New York Times
March 1, 2007

“Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one,” wrote A.J. Leibling, the late, great New Yorker journalist. Not so. If you want to pony up $30,000 to $80,000, you can buy a full-page ad in The New York Times and write a long letter that says pretty much anything you like. Last Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007, three such letters appeared: 1. From aggrieved restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow, whose new steak house was dissed by The New York Times food critic, Frank Bruni. 2. From JetBlue founder and CEO, David Neeleman, apologizing for the mess he made in dealing with the ice

The Babe Went Out With the Bath Water
February 6, 2007

Judith Regan, a 53-year-old self-proclaimed hottie, has been called by Vanity Fair “the Angriest Woman in Media.” She reportedly cussed out employees on a regular basis with the “f” word, the “s” word and, in doing so, routinely alluded to male and female anatomies—her own included—with various “c” words. According to one former editor, Regan went through 18 personal assistants in 2005. “Say what you want about the fearless, foul-mouthed former publisher of ReganBooks,” wrote Steve Kettmann in the San Francisco Chronicle, “it would be hard to deny she has probably been the single most influential force in publishing over the past decade.” She