Backpacker, Esquire, New Yorker, Wired Lead Subdued Ellies
Few surprises, somber mood at 44th annual National Magazine Awards program.
RELATED: FOLIO:'s Ellies Twitter StreamÂ
NEW YORKâThe 44th annual National Magazine Awardsâa normally boozy, raucous affairâwere held during a gala ceremony at Jazz @ Lincoln Center here Thursday.
But unlike other years, given the seemingly endless waves of layoffs, magazine closings and reports of hemorrhaging ad pages that have rocked the industry in the last 12 months, this didnât feel like a celebration.
Backpacker, Esquire, Wired and the New Yorker led the awards field, winning three Ellies each.
Jimmy Fallon, host of NBCâs Late Night, presented the eveningâs first two awards, for excellence online. Backpacker editor Jonathan Dorn, in accepting the Ellie for Backpacker.com, said he hoped it would allow him to keep his job for a year, âmaybe two.â
âThis gives us air cover,â he said.
Chris Anderson, accepting Wiredâs third Ellie, apologized for his sudden ubiquity: âThis is usually the part where [New York magazine editor] Adam Moss or [New Yorker editor] David Remnick start apologizing.â
Anderson also thanked his boss at CondĂ© Nast, Si Newhouse, for approving a cover he told Newhouse would "tank." "Si said, 'Oh, it doesn't matter.'"
Four of the magazine industryâs iconic editorsâRolling Stoneâs Jann Wenner, Tina Brown, and Vogueâs Anna Wintour and Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter (left to right, above)âpresented photographer Annie Leibovitz (center) with a general excellence Ellieâthe first ever to be awarded to an individual, not a magazine.
Wenner accepted Rolling Stoneâs award for a profile of the late writer and novelist David Foster Wallace, who committed suicide last fall. âDavid won a National Magazine Award for a piece he did for us years ago,â Wenner said. âHe was one of the true talents.â
Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith delivered the best acceptance speech of the night, thanking everyone from George W. Bush and Karl Rove to âchainsaw-wielding murderersâ and Willie Nelson, for making the job of covering the state of Texas an âeasyâ one. (Texas Monthly won for general excellence, 250,000 to 500,000 circulation.)
Despite its elder demographic, AARP the Magazine won an Ellie for best interactive feature online, taking out National Geographic, Salon and Wired.com.
After Bicycling won an Ellie, its editor, Loren Mooney, said: "Bicycling? Seriously?!?"
There were few other surprises, albeit big ones: Field & Stream won a general excellence award (1,000,000 to 2,000,000 circulation), beating the New Yorker, Vogue and Popular Science.
Readerâs Digest, nominated for the first time in 20 years, won a general excellence awardÂ (over 2,000,000 circulation), beating Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, National Geographicâwhich won three Ellies last yearâand Time.
Said editor Peggy Northrop: "This is for all of my friends who said I was crazy for taking this job."
SEE ALSO: FOLIO: Q+A with Northrop
[PHOTOS: Steve Friedman]
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