The big winners were the Atlantic Monthly, which took home three "Ellies" (as the copper-toned bat-wing-shaped awards are known), and the New Yorker, which won three after taking home five last year.
'National Geographic' surprise
But arguably the biggest surprise came courtesy of the National Geographic family of magazines, which won three awards -- two for National Geographic Adventure (in the categories of personal service and general excellence), and one for National Geographic Magazine Online. National Geographic Adventure, launched just three years ago, looks like its already become a National Magazine Award favorite, having taken took a Personal Service Ellie last year also.
Though the New Yorker received nine nominations this year, it did not win its category for General Excellence, surprising some onlookers. The award instead went to Vibe, scoring the biggest upset of the event.
Esquire, GQ, and Gourmet were each nominated for three awards but left the luncheon empty-handed.
Time and Newsweek each took home one Ellie, Time for best single-topic issue and Newsweek for General Excellence.
In other key awards, Print magazine won for General Excellence in the under-200,000 circulation category, Vogue won for leisure interest, Harper's won for reviews and criticism, Vanity Fair won for photography and Details won for design.
One of the night's bittersweet moments came when Jim Seymore, managing editor of Entertainment Weekly, came to the podium to accept the magazine's General Excellence award.
Mr. Seymore, who has helmed EW for a decade, is reportedly expected to be moved into a different position at Time Inc., although his title has not yet changed.
The event's most meta-media moment came when the Ellie for columns and commentary went to Michael Wolff, who chronicles the magazine and media world for New York magazine. Asked after the event if his victory represented evidence of the industry's obsession with itself, Mr. Wolff grinned and begged to differ.
"No. It's perfect objectivity," he said. '