Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jill Krementz covers the National Magazine Awards

Tom Wolfe and I covered many assignments together in 1964 when we were at The New York Herald Tribune. I was a staff photographer and he was a reporter. One day Tom was assigned to go to Paris with a just-married couple who were taking their friends on their honeymoon to Paris. Tom got to go to Paris. I got to go as far as the airport. I took this photograph of Tom on the chartered bus provided by the lovebirds.
National Magazine Awards
May 9th, 2011
Hosted by Katie Couric and honoring Tom Wolfe
583 Park Avenue

The National Magazine awards were established in 1966 when a single award was presented to Look. Sponsored by the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), the awards are now doled out in 34 categories, including 12 for digital media (which mercifully were presented earlier this year). Katie Couric hosted the evening, which ended around midnight.

Each award winner receives a reproduction of Alexander Calder's stabile Elephant. Graydon Carter (Vanity Fair), David Remnick (The New Yorker), Lorin Stein (The Paris Review), Adam Moss (New York Magazine), Jann Wenner (Men's Health), Stefano Tonchi (W), Hugo Lindgren (The New York Times Magazine), and Mary Melton (Los Angeles) were among those bringing home an “Ellie." The award for the Magazine of the Year went to Chris Johns, editor of National Geographic.

Tom Wolfe was the 2011 Recipient of ASME's Creative Excellence Award. As expected he showed up decked out in his famous white suit, hat, and spats. I have known Mr. Wolfe since 1964 when we both worked for The New York Herald Tribune. In the late '60s we were colleagues once again, this time as staffers for New York Magazine with the late Clay Felker at the helm.

I was particularly pleased to meet photographer Lyndsey Addario with whom I sat (and who was nominated for two of her photojournals in Time and in National Geographic). I was also very happy to see my good friends Veronica Chambers and Sarah Reinertsen, each of whom have been in books I've written: The Writer's Desk and How if Feels to Live With a Disability. The entire evening was a down-the-rabbit- hole experience.
The Awards ceremony was held at 583 Park Avenue at 63rd Street, and you would have thought the President was attending what with all the security. I was told that I couldn't stand outside on the sidewalk and take photographs. I said that it was my understanding that the sidewalk was
public property.
Walter and Bina Bernard. Mr. Bernard was an art director at New York Magazine for many of the years Tom Wolfe was on board as a writer. NY Post columnist Cindy Adams.
Lynn Povich, the first female senior editor of Newsweek. Most recently she was managing editor/senior executive producer of East Coast programming for MSNBC.com. Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter.
Cullen Murphy, who for the past five years has been Vanity Fair's Editor-at-large. Before that, Mr. Murphy was at The Atlantic. Michael Hastings, who wrote The Rolling Stone profile of Stanley McChrystal that changed history: "The Runaway General."
Tip sheet being handed out by PR people with mugshots of attendees. That's Michael Hastings second from the left on the top, with a beard.
Rosemary Ellis, Editor-in-Chief of
Good Housekeeping.
Courtney Murphy, creative director of Good Housekeeping. Her Holly Golightly look is thanks to Kate Spade.
Michael Elliott, Deputy Editor of
Time Magazine.
Jill Herzig, editor-in-chief of Redbook Magazine. A colleague described her "as the most down to earth EIC imaginable. She was recently seen helping a junior editor carry her bags as opposed to the usual Devil Wears Prada scenario where the junior editors are regarded as sherpas."
Veronica Chambers, one of my favorite writers, works for Good Housekeeping while she continues to write novels. Veronica Chambers as she appeared in my book The Writer's Desk, published by Random House in 1996.
Her text below:
"It's no accident that so far, I've lived in the top floor of three walk-up buildings in Brooklyn. A friend of mine once compared me to a cat, saying I like to climb up high and feel like I'm king of all I survey. I often felt like that when I was writing Mama's Girl -- I needed somehow to find a place, a perch that was high enough so I could look at this incredibly painful history with my family, especially my mother, and write about it. I was afraid of digging too deep. that somehow I could lose myself in all the hurt -- like so much quicksand. So I would find high places to curl up like a cat -- the loft in my apartment, the roof of my brownstone, even the kitchen counter."
Tom Wolfe gets interviewed by reporters covering the event.
Tom Wolfe and his family -- wife, Sheila Berger, and their two children, Thomas and Alexandra. Tommy is a metalwork sculptor, and Alexandra is a journalist.
Sheila and Tom Wolfe with hat and spats. Alexandra and Thomas Wolfe.
Sheila and Tom Wolfe with their daughter Alexandra out in the Hamptons.
Richard Story, Editor of Departures Magazine. Richard Stolley, former Managing Editor of People Magazine, who now lives in Santa Fe. Mr. Stolley said he knew who Mr. Story was because he used to get all his mail when they were both working in the Time-Life Building.
David Granger, editor of Esquire, and Ellen Levine, who is with Hearst. Lewis Lapham, Editor of Lapham's Quarterly, a nominee for General Excellence honoring academic and scholarly publications.
Jann Wenner, Sheila Wolfe, and Walter Bernard. Mr. Wenner is the Editor and Publisher of Rolling Stone and the Chairman of Wenner Media. Wenner was on hand to present Wolfe with his Creative Excellence Award and because he was nominated for an Ellie in his role as Editor-in-Chief of Men's Journal. A busy man I'd say.
Sam Syed an Indian-born Brit, who described himself as "postmodern accidentalist" and who said he wouldn't have worn a white suit if he had known Tom Wolfe would be wearing one. Sarah Culley, Senior Managing Editor of Women's Health.
The magician David Copperfield was there as a presenter. Byron Dobell, seated at Tom Wolfe's table, was an editor of New York Magazine during much of the time that Wolfe worked there. Dobell is an excellent painter of portraits and landscapes who has had many solo exhibitions. His work hangs in The National Portrait Gallery.
Steve Shepard, Richard Stolley, and Lynn Povich. In the background is Nina Link, the CEO of the Magazine Publishers of America. Mr. Shepard is the founding dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. He and Ms. Povich are husband and wife.
Larry Hackett, Managing Editor of People.
Mr. Hackett is the President of ASME.
James Oseland, Editor-in-Chief of Saveur (also a judge on Top Chef Masters), and Mark Jannot, Editor-in-Chief, Popular Science.
Vanity Fair's Christopher Hitchens's insightful writing about living with Stage 4 Esophageal Cancer received a nomination in the Columns and Commentary category. He won.
Graydon Carter pays tribute to the two photojournalists, Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, who were recently killed in Iraq covering the war.
Graydon Carter accepted the Ellie on behalf of his magazine saying that although Mr. Hitchens was finding it increasingly difficult to speak that he had truly found his voice. Lorin Stein, editor of The Paris Review, accepted an Ellie for Essays and Criticism for the Fall issue's "Mister Lytle: An Essay" by John Jeremiah Sullivan.
Professional rugby player Gareth Thomas (who was introduced by Sports Illustrated's Terry McDonell as "the first openly gay sports hero") presented the Fiction Ellie to The Virginia Quarterly Review. Fred Woodward, the design Editor of GQ, who accompanied Jim Nelson to the podium when the magazine won for overall excellence in
magazine design.
Katie Couric, who emceed the evening. It was at this point in the evening, after a very long talk by Mr. Woodward, that Ms. Couric quipped, "I can see why none of you went
into television.
Yes, there was even a dog. David Zinczenko, Editor-in-Chief of Men's Health, thanks his canine presenter for an Ellie in the Personal Service category: "I Want My Prostate Back" by Laurence Roy Stains.
Mary Melton, Editor of Los Angeles Magazine, won for General Excellence in Special Interest Magazines. Michael Hastings presented. "You can't imagine how exciting it is to take one of these home to your staff, said Ms. Melton. Katie Couric tries to prop herself up during the long evening. It's after 10 pm and we haven't even gotten to Tom Wolfe.
The New Yorker's David Remnick received what would be the magazine's only Ellie for Atul Gawande's article "Letting Go," which appeared in the August 2 issue. The category was Public Interest, honoring journalism that illustrates issues of local and national importance.

I was rooting for this nominee because I believe Dr. Gawande has written the most important piece ever published dealing with end of life issues. I hope you will all read it.
Sarah Reinertsen and Runner's World Editor David Willey were up next as presenters.

Sarah is a very old friend of mine, having been one of the twelve children featured in my book How it Feels to Live With a Physical Disability. When she was seven, her left leg was amputated above the knee because of a tissue defect she had at birth.

In 2005, She was the first female leg amputee to complete the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.

Sarah told me she was leaving for China the next day to run on The
Great Wall.
These four photographs are of Sarah Reinertsen and are among the many that appeared in my book, How It Feels to Live With a Physical Disability, published by Alfred. A. Knopf.
"I was born with a birth defect called proximal focal femoral deficiency -- or, more simply put, an underdeveloped thigh. What happened is that even before I was born, I didn't have enough tissue in my left leg to stimulate growth."

After several operations, and amputations, Sarah got a new leg when she was seven.
Sarah with her prosthetist, Michael Joyce. Because she was still growing, and growing quickly, her artificial leg had to be constantly readjusted, which was an insurance nightmare.
The average amputee uses two or three times more energy to walk or run. Every six months Sarah took a test measuring her oxygen intake. As Sarah walked at different speeds, her heart rate was measured by physical therapist,
Ann Barr.
Sarah competed in every track event for which she could qualify, but being only 14 was a problem. Most competitions required entrants for track-and-field to be 16 years old.
Left: Photographer Lynsey Addario's work was cited with TWO nominations in the category News and Documentary Photography. Her work appeared in National Geographic (December) and Time Magazine (June 14). The Ellie went to The New York Times Magazine.

Ms. Addario recently appeared on Charlie Rose talking about her days in captivity (with Tyler Hicks) in Libya

Above: Normally in combat boots, Ms. Addario was decked out in Gucci for
the evening.
Lynsey Addario's Ellie-nominated layout in Time Magazine for the story "The Perils of Pregnancy: One Woman's Tale of Dying to Give Birth," by Alice Park.
The May 16th issue of New York Magazine featured Lynsey Addario along with other photojournalists who risk their lives so we might know what is happening around the world. The story was titled: "You Never Forget That First Taste of War -- The photographers that Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros left behind."

You can bet on this feature being a nominee next year.
New York Magazine's Adam Moss winning for "Strategist" in the category honoring a regularly published, clearly branded front-or-back-of-the book department or section. Sarah Reinertsen backstage with another presenter, Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Illusionist David Copperfield holds the envelope with the name of the next Ellie winner. ... and the winner's name rises magically into the air. It went to National Geographic for its Single Topic Issue: "Water: Our Thirsty World."
There was a video about Tom Wolfe by Oscar Corral, director and producer of the forthcoming documentary: Tom Wolfe: Zoom With Your Feet.
The Man in White ascends to the podium ... ... and strides across the stage.
Wolfe acknowledges Bryan Dobell, Clay Felker, Jann Wenner, and his family and reminds us that television gets 95% of the news from printed media. Man in White watches Man in White.
Tom Wolfe's wife and kids listen to his speech. Byron Dobell and his wife Alex Mayes Birnbaum (daughter of the great Herbert Mayes, editor of McCall's). Ms. Birnbaum edits the Birnbaum's guides, started by her late husband Steve Birnbaum.
The men in white hug one another at the conclusion of Wolfe's remarks. A warm encounter backstage.
Sophie Geidt, who put together the Tom
Wolfe video.
More Ellies -- This one to The New York Times Magazine's Hugo Lindgren. The category: Profile Writing. The piece cited: "The Man the White House Wakes Up To," by Mark Leibovich.
Claudia Malley, world wide publisher of
National Geographic.
Chris Johns, Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic, who would later win the big enchilada: Magazine of the Year.
The New Yorker's Susan Morrison. Ms. Morrison is the magazine's Articles Editor and has worked there for fourteen years. Daniel Zalewski, an editor at The New Yorker. Mr. Zalewski edits Jane Meyer and George Packer, among others, for the magazine.
Vanity Fair's David Friend and Cullen Murphy. Stefano Tonchi, editor of W, accepting an Ellie
honoring overall excellence in Photography.
By the time Richard Stolley got to the stage to present the second to last award of the evening (General Excellence in News, Sports and Entertainment Magazines), the place had cleared out as you can see by this totally abandoned table in the foreground. It was almost midnight.
The candidates for Magazine of the Year.
David Remnick and Monica Ray, The New Yorker's Executive Vice President of Consumer Marketing. With midnight approaching, they are waiting for the last award to be announced since The New Yorker is one of the contenders. It went to National Geographic.
Jonathan Dorn, Editor-in-Chief of Backpacker Magazine, a finalist for Magazine of the Year, applauds the winner, National Geographic. Chris Johns, National Geographic's Editor-in-chief, accepts the final award of the evening from Katie Couric: Magazine of the Year!
Christopher Bonanos is a Senior Editor for New York Magazine. Mr. Bonano is writing The Story of Polaroid for Princeton Architectural Press, and as you can see he is shooting with an old 1963 Polaroid camera. David Remnick and Henry Finder. Mr. Finder edited Atul Gawande's Ellie-winning piece for The New Yorker.
Sue Hovey, Executive editor of ESPN. The magazine won for Feature Photography: Bodies We Want." John Gluck, Deputy Editor for New York Magazine holding Adam Moss's Ellie, with Sid Evans from Garden & Gun.
Maria Masters (Associate Editor) and John McCarthy (Managing Editor) of Men's Health. The magazine won an Ellie for "I Want My Prostate Back," by Laurence Roy Stains. At long last! A cigarette break for Digo RockZtar and Sia-Alika Battle. Mr. RockZtar writes for Columbia News and Ms. Battle works for Harlem News.

Earlier in the evening when I had stood on this sidewalk, the sun was shining. It was now after midnight.
In July of 1999 I photographed Tom in his Manhattan apartment. His desk, situated at one end of the large living room, had been custom-made by the cabinetmakers, Smith & Watson. It had a built-in ship's clock, a 1977 Cadillac Seville radio dial chosen for its school-of-mahogany knobs and a pair of round brass grilles for the stereo speakers below the surface.

What you can't see: The calculator and the tape recorder on mahogany leaves that slide out of the bays; The four brass-rimmed holes to receive lamp wires and another hole to receive the telephone jack; And the sunken electric pencil sharpener.

In plain sight: Two desk lamps that look like white hats.
This photojournal is dedicated to the late Jim Bellows who hired me in 1964 as a staff photographer for The New York Herald Tribune. It was there that I learned that a photograph without a caption is worthless and so is a photograph that doesn't arrive on an editor's desk in time for a deadline.

Text and photographs © by Jill Krementz: all rights reserved.