Arthur O. Sulzberger

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

On Tuesday, March 31, my daily Web prowl came across the mention of a major story about The New York Times Publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. in the upcoming May issue of Vanity Fair.

I hied over to and found the story, which I downloaded into my archive. The tedious, 11,415-word piece could be compressed into a four-word sentence: “Pinch is a weenie.”

But Pinch is not the story here. While I was at it, I downloaded articles about Rush Limbaugh; hottie cover girl Gisele Bündchen; Christopher Hitchens’ piece on Lebanon; a long story about the rich, conservative and powerful who attend summer blowouts in Northern California’s Bohemian Grove; and James Walcott’s “What’s Wrong with Washington.” I also swiped some terrific illustrations. Whereupon, I went away to ponder my loot—33,339 words plus pictures, the entire worthwhile contents of the issue.

All this was free from Vanity Fair. I paid nothing—nada, zip, niente. Were any advertisers on the scene hoping for a clickthrough? I didn’t notice.

What’s more, this material was in my computer and in my head a good week and a half before the May issue of VF hit the newsstands and two weeks before subscribers received it in their mailboxes. Meanwhile, VF’s insecure publisher and editors are so desperate for affirmation and buzz that they're happy to screw paying customers, causing them to be one-upped at cocktail parties by computer geeks like me.

Which takes us back to the lede from IN THE NEWS elsewhere on this page:

Multiple sources tell us that 20 or more employees were laid off at Condé Nast Digital today.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Another shameful chapter in The New York Times story comes to an end Nov. 17, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 49 IN THE NEWS Judy Miller Fights Back with Letters to Dowd and Calame NEW YORK--Judith Miller will not go gently into that good night. Her public relations offensive, which had already taken her to CNN with Larry King and to National Public Radio and elsewhere, now includes angry published letters to two of her antagonists, former colleague Maureen Dowd and New York Times Public Editor Barney Calame. --Joe Strupp, Editor & Publisher, Nov. 13, 2005 For us news junkies, the professional demise

Pity traditional newspapers that are stuck in the 18th century Sept. 27. 2005: Vol. 1, No. 34 IN THE NEWS TOKYO--Sony Corp. Chief Executive Howard Stringer on Thursday called on the ailing electronics and entertainment giant to "be like the Russians defending Moscow against Napoleon" as he unveiled a broad restructuring plan. -- Alex Pham, Bruce Wallace and Julie Tamaki "Sony's Restructuring Plan Brings Praise, Skepticism" Los Angeles Times, Sept. 23, 2005 sweeping organizational changes announced by Microsoft Corp. earlier this week mean more than just executive changes and renaming and consolidating divisions. It

By Denny Hatch To: Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., Publisher, The New York Times Dear Mr. Sulzberger: After 50 years of reading The New York Times, I am—with great regret—canceling my subscription. I can no longer justify spending $600 a year. I also subscribe to the print edition of The Wall Street Journal and pay an extra $20 for the online edition to take advantage of the magnificent archive service. I'm about to cancel my WSJ print edition and become a pure online subscriber for $60. For 10 days in February I was at the World Curling Championships in Bismarck, ND, where no

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