NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The magazine business presented its highest honors today to Ann S. Moore, chairman-CEO of Time Inc., and Martha Stewart, personal brand and founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
It was the first time both honors -- a Henry Johnson Fisher Award for Ms. Moore and induction into the Magazine Editors' Hall of Fame for Ms. Stewart -- went to women in the same year.
But it wasn't the first time the awards were presented during a recession, as Magazine Publishers of America President-CEO Nina Link pointed out. For whatever it's worth, the economy got more attention.
"I'm grateful in these crazy times that our readers haven't abandoned us," Ms. Moore said, showing the same positive spirit that had just led her former boss, Richard Parsons, to say she'd been "the Energizer bunny of optimism" during dark days at AOL Time Warner.
"I'm very grateful that print advertising is still very, very effective," she said. Ms. Moore then added, "Finally, I am so grateful that we are not in the newspaper business."
Even so, she said, conditions are creating nonnegotiable demands. "Everybody -- everybody -- needs to take extraordinary measures," she said.
Ms. Stewart suggested that the rough business conditions could produce some good. "Challenging times can be constructive," she said.
Digital is transforming the magazine industry, so the industry had better embrace all that it offers, she said. "When you're through changing, you're through."
Ms. Stewart received her valedictory introduction from NBC morning-news host Matt Lauer, who pointed out that they'd done endless crafting of all kinds on the "Today" show over the years. "We never had sex," he joked. "If you had put the damn glue gun down once, that might have happened."
The awards, from the Magazine Publishers of America and the American Society of Magazine Editors, were presented at a luncheon in the Grand Ballroom at the renovated Plaza Hotel in New York. Recent recipients of the awards include Hachette Filipacchi's Jack Kliger and former New Yorker editor Tina Brown; Harper's Lewis Lapham and Reader's Digest Association's Tom Ryder; and, when the presentation was still a nighttime affair, Hearst Magazines' Cathie Black and National Review editor William F. Buckley Jr.