The Buzz

By Published on .

The top guns at the American Society of Magazine Editors are in for an interesting lunch. The hot topic at a Sept. 9 dinner gathering of over 80 women's magazine editors was a long-simmering topic: How women's magazines get short-shrifted by ASME's National Magazine Awards in favor of multithousand-word stories on male-skewing topics (war, sports, more war) in male-skewing titles. Essence editor-in-chief Diane Weathers ended the evening corralling other top editors, like Hearst Magazines' Amy Gross of O, The Oprah Magazine and Lesley Jane Seymour of Marie Claire, to air their concerns in a sit-down with ASME officials.

"This is, obviously, a lot of women getting a little wild and crazy after a few drinks," said one attendee of the Mediabistro event. Some suggested quitting ASME, a notion Weathers dismissed. But Seymour jestingly proposes a post-ASME handle: ASCME-American Society of Commercially Successful Magazine Editors, where unprofitable titles need not apply.

ASME President Susan Ungaro, whose day job is editing Gruner & Jahr Publishing USA's Family Circle, touted last year's formation of a general excellence award for two-million-plus circulation titles, and tweaked guidelines in key categories.

But those changes don't mollify some editors. "Brevity might be the soul of wit, but it doesn't win you an ASME award," sighs Gross. Weathers and others mull rethinking awards criteria, segmenting, perhaps, the Best Reporting award by story length. However, Ungaro warns against having ASME "slice and dice the categories." Nor would more awards thrill those feeling ASME's annual awards luncheon already seems marathon-esque. Speaking of brevity...

In this article:
Most Popular