Old Arab-hating literary tycoon Marty Peretz is putting his beloved Washington treasure The New Republic — the "in-flight magazine of Air Force One," according to a movie about how much of its content was completely fabricated — on the market, again. Who should purchase this esteemed leftist journal of moderately regulated capitalism and hella warmaking?
• Marty Peretz, former owner of the New Republic, is buying back the mag with a group of investors led by former Lazard exec Laurence Grafstein. [Politico]
• The New York Times Co. has successfully raised $225 million by selling off 21 floors of its Eighth Avenue office building. [NYT]
• "Was last week the worst one in CNBC's 20-year history—or the best?" asks the Times today. Thanks in part to Jon Stewart, we're pretty sure it was its worst, but ratings are up so CNBC execs aren't complaining. [NYT]
• Carl Icahn is stepping up his effort to take control of Lionsgate. [Variety]
• McClatchy, which publishes 30 daily newspapers, says it plans to slash 1,600 jobs, or 15% of its work force, as well as cut salaries across the board. [WSJ]
• Mag covers with Barack Obama have performed well, by and large. [NYP]
• Watchmen was No. 1 at the weekend box office, grossing $55.7 million. [EW]
• The Tribeca Film Festival announced its May lineup today. [THR]
Reading-born necklace eater Simon Doonan is passive-aggressively grumbly this morning in the Observer about how all the city's media internships have been swarmed by "fancy-pants progeny" like CBS CEO Les Moonves' daughter Sara (a Vogue and former Teen Vogue intern, beside whom Doonan was seated at a recent industry event, poor man) and Evgenia Peretz, daughter of longtime New Republic editor Marty Peretz and former Vanity Fair intern, who now writes for the magazine full time. These people might not have their fancy jobs were their parents not famous, he's noticed!
Today on the New Republic website, retired blogger Elizabeth Spiers reviews the second issue of Portfolio. Spiers finds the title pretentious and lacking in substance. Her suggestion? Replace editor Joanne Lipman with former New Yorker head Tina Brown, who will bring both flash and purpose to the title. Surely Tina, who is currently sitting on her ass awaiting royalty checks from that Princess Diana book, would go for it. But what would happen to poor Joanne? We've come up with a plan that requires a little editorial shuffling throughout the media world, but ends up with everybody comfortably ensconced in positions for which they might be better suited!
This morning, as we thumbed through the latest issue of the New Republic (56 pages!), a thought came to us. Since Marty Peretz promised that the magazine was going to be twice as long (80 pages!) because it was coming out half as often (once every two weeks, instead of weekly!), we wondered: Could subscribers sue? To find out, we turned to Gawker's foremost legal authority, KarenUhOh.
When Marty Peretz announced that the beleaguered New Republic was going "fortnightly," he promised that even though there would be fewer issues, the magazine's new publishing schedule would allow for "deeper writing on truly significant matters. Again, on politics, with penetrating thinking in very literate prose. Domestic affairs and foreign relations, confronting the deep breaches in our own society. Culture is not a step-child." How's that working out?
Hey! Remember a few weeks ago, when New Republic editor-in-chief Marty Peretz and his henchman Frank Foer made a big deal about the magazine's redesign, and how subscribers would be getting half as many issues, but they'd be twice as long? In fact, we believe he actually pinpointed how many pages the magazine would be: 80, instead of 40. This was supposed to assuage angry subscribers who had paid for 44 issues, but would now only get 24. (Math!) Anyway, imagine our surprise when we opened up the latest issue to find only 64 pages! (And that includes the Spring Books section!) Does this mean they're planning on doing 36 issues per year? We demand answers. Are things not going well under the new CanWest full-ownership scheme?