The editor and the executive made their marks over the years in very different ways, as was clear in their peers' comments and tribute videos.
'Stalin in high heels'
In welcoming Ms. Brown to the Magazine Editors' Hall of Fame, IAC/InterActiveCorp chief Barry Diller recalled that Jamaica Kincaid used to refer to her as "Stalin in high heels." Steve Martin used his video clip to recognize Ms. Brown as one of his "favorite people to get high with." That was presumably a joke; at any rate, the assembled magazine magnates laughed.
The commemoration for Mr. Kliger, recipient of the Henry Johnson Fisher Award, was a bit more proper -- what with remarks prepared by Felix Rohatyn, the former ambassador to France. Mr. Rohatyn was unfortunately felled by a flu, so his words were read by John Q. Griffin, the National Geographic executive who just succeeded Mr. Kliger as chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America. There were heartfelt video tributes, too, from leaders such as Time Inc.'s Ann S. Moore (who offered her congrats in a scat-like rhyme), Hearst's Cathie Black (who offered to put up a bronze statue of Mr. Kliger if he succeeds in getting advertisers to buy magazines using total audience), American Express Publishing's Ed Kelly and Conde Nast Business Group President David Carey.
Mr. Kliger pronounced the magazine industry just about the coolest thing "a kid from Brooklyn," or anywhere else for that matter, could get into. He thanked departed industry legends such as Ruth Whitney, the longtime Glamour editor, and President-CEO Steven T. Florio, who led Conde Nast through some wild times.
Hitting his stride
He wasn't in the mood to just look back, however. "I've just been hitting my stride!" he said, noting the presence of his new fiancee.
Ms. Brown, taking the stage after him at New York's Gotham Hall, summarized her magazine work, which included successful stints at Tatler, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker -- followed by the short-lived, much-hyped Talk magazine. "I think of my career in magazines," she said to some laughter, "as three weddings and a funeral."
Past recipients of the awards, from the Magazine Publishers of America and the American Society of Magazine Editors, include Thomas O. Ryder, Ms. Black, Hugh Hefner, Lewis Lapham, William F. Buckley Jr., Norman Pearlstine and Ellen Levine.