A True 'New York' Kind of Night

City Mag Sweeps the National Magazine Awards

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- New York magazine's success was spectacular at today's National Magazine Awards as the title won for general excellence in its circulation category -- for the second year in a row -- and collected four other prizes throughout the night. And in a big reversal of fortune, perennial favorite The New Yorker didn't win a thing.
New York magazine

New York magazine, edited by Adam Moss, took home five awards, including General Excellence.

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Even Those Who Aren't Adam Moss

The judges said New York, which Editor in Chief Adam Moss led to its first general-excellence award last year, had demonstrated that city books can provide a lot more than event listings and restaurant reviews. "From probing the tortured negotiations behind the city's 9/11 memorial and the embattled nerve center of The New York Times," judges said, "to the buzzy, reconfigured 'Intelligencer' and the innovative 'Strategist' service sections, New York revels in the diversity, sexiness and intensity of the city it covers."

New York won in five of the seven categories in which it was nominated; in addition to its general excellence win, it took home prizes for profile writing, magazine section, design and, via NYMag.com, interactive feature.

It slowly became clear that the night would belong to independent titles in general and New York magazine in particular. Upon collecting the third award for New York, Mr. Moss apologized to the crowd. "Sorry if you're way too sick of me already," he said.

It wasn't much longer that Mark Whitaker, the former editor in chief of Newsweek, said, "I guess if brown is the new black, Adam Moss is the new David Remnick." Mr. Remnick, of course, is usually the one wearing a path in the floor to the podium.

After collecting his magazine's fifth and final prize, Mr. Moss said: "You will never give us one of these again."

New Yorker keeps its seat
Conde Nast Publications' New Yorker, with a staggering 46 wins over the years, typically plays the role of the New York Yankees at the National Magazine Awards. Its eight nominations this year had seemed to give it a good shot at more, but it got no calls to the podium.

The awards, nicknamed Ellies for the elephant sculptures that serve as trophies, were presented by the American Society of Magazine Editors, in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, during a black-tie evening ceremony for about 1,000 guests at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. While ASME officers gave out the coveted general excellence awards, a smattering of boldface names were in attendance to give out some of the prizes, including actor Kevin Bacon, actress/author Carrie Fisher, NPR's Ira Glass, "Sopranos" Edie Falco, director John Waters and actress Aisha Tylor. Also appearing in taped video segments were talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, and America Ferraro as "Ugly Betty," TV's most famous editorial assistant.

Some of the celebrity presenters were not shy about looking for love from magazine editors and publishers. In a video presentation, Ellen Degeneres poked through a magazine rack, cracking wise and adding, "I don't publish a magazine, but I might if anyone's interested ..."

Later Kevin Bacon joked, "Since you're all here, I might just mention that I haven't gotten a cover since 1982."

Edie Falco, presenting for columns, took a different tack. "I once read in a column how my show was hurting the country because it promoted violence. ... I don't know what happened to that writer. Just a word of advice."

She then went on to present the Ellie to the editor of Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter, for columns by Christopher Hithchens. Mr. Carter then told the audience what Mr. Hitchens current assignment is: a piece on self-improvement that included going for a manicure today. "So he comes back from the manicure and asks me 'What's next?' Mr. Carter related. "'Waxing,' I told him. 'Well what would I wax?' he asked. I told him, 'Well there's such a thing as back, crack and sack.'" Mr. Hithchens paused before replying, "Ah well, in for a penny in for a pound."

No magazine approached the success of New York this year, but National Geographic and Vanity Fair each won two awards, including a general-excellence win for National Geographic among titles with circulations of more than 2 million.

General excellence
The remaining general-excellence winners were Wenner Media's Rolling Stone, for titles with circulations from 1 million to 2 million; Conde Nast's Wired, for books with circulations from 500,000 to 1 million; Foreign Policy, for titles with circulations between 100,000 and 250,000; and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for magazines with circulations below 100,000.

There were first-time winners, too: Departures, from American Express Publishing, for single-topic issue; O, The Oprah Magazine, published by Hearst Magazines, for leisure interests; The Paris Review for photojournalism; McSweeney's for fiction; and Beliefnet.com for general excellence online.

But the 2007 winners included more magazines that had won a number in the past, including Hearst's Esquire, which raised its total to 19 awards; National Geographic, which got to 15; New York, which now has 14; and Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, whose wins over the years now number 13 each.

The 2007 National Magazine Award winners:

National Geographic for General Excellence (over 2,000,000 circulation)
Rolling Stone for General Excellence (1,000,000 to 2,000,000 circulation)
Wired for General Excellence (500,000 to 1,000,000 circulation)
New York for General Excellence (250,000 to 500,000 circulation)
Foreign Policy for General Excellence (100,000 to 250,000 circulation)
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for General Excellence (under 100,000 circulation)
Glamour for Personal Service
O, The Oprah Magazine for Leisure Interests
Esquire for Reporting
Vanity Fair for Public Interest
GQ for Feature Writing
New York for Profile Writing
The Georgia Review for Essays
Vanity Fair for Columns and Commentary
The Nation for Reviews and Criticism
New York for Magazine Section
Departures for Single-Topic Issue
New York for Design
National Geographic for Photography
The Paris Review for Photojournalism
City for Photo Portfolio
McSweeney's for Fiction
Beliefnet.com for General Excellence Online
BusinessWeek.com for Interactive Service
Nymag.com for Interactive Feature
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