Welcome to the latest edition of Ad Age Publisher’s Brief, our roundup of news from the world of content producers across digital and print. Got a tip? Send it our way. Joining us late? Here’s the previous edition.
Food for thought: Back in April, The New York Times announced that it would be launching a new two-day fall event called The New York Times Food Festival, featuring the paper’s chief food editor Sam Sifton and fellow Times foodies including Melissa Clark, Kim Severson and Pete Wells. The goal: to “bring together the food world’s leading chefs, restaurateurs and industry thought leaders to deliver a one-of-a-kind culinary experience for consumers across New York City.”
Today, it got real: The Times is putting tickets up for sale for everything from its October 5-6 takeover of Manhattan’s Bryant Park, featuring food stands from Frankies Spuntino, Frenchette, Superiority Burger and more ($25 for a one-day pass), to lectures at TheTimesCenter with titles such as “The Secret Sauce of Success” and “Bourdain and Beyond” ($45 each).
When the paper tentatively announced the event in the spring, Sebastian Tomich, the global head of advertising and marketing solutions at the paper, said, “We have a broad ambition to create festivals that showcase our editorial leadership and innovative way of bringing stories to life with a variety of topics”—and food was the “obvious choice” for the first festival. Mastercard was announced as the presenting sponsor.
Now the event has a full slate of backers, including Uber Eats, liquor brands Bulleit and Don Julio, Smirnoff Seltzer and kitchen-appliance brands Wolf, Sub-Zero and Cove. More details here.
Fit: Hearst Magazines continues to crank up its video offerings, today launching its first SVOD (subscription video-on-demand) service in the form of All Out Studio, a fitness app and streaming service with footage sourced from various Hearst magazines. The $15-per-month (or $100-per-year) app is expert-focused, with workout sessions conducted by more than two dozen professional trainers, including Hannah Eden, Eric Leija, Don Saladino and Men’s Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel.
Beyond the SVOD angle, All Out Studio is also a way for Hearst Magazines to experiment with integrating its wellness-related video offerings from various brands, including its longtime women’s flagship Cosmopolitan, as well as Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Runner’s World and Prevention—four titles it picked up when it acquired Rodale in January 2018. The product is available today as a mobile app on iOS and Android, plus Apple TV. (It’s set to launch on additional services including Roku this fall.)
Elsewhere in the Hearst Tower: Carol Smith is adding Elle and Marie Claire to her portfolio as a Hearst Magazines senior vice president and publishing director who already oversees Harper’s Bazaar, a Hearst spokesperson tells Ad Age. She’s taking over some of the duties of Kevin O’Malley, who is retiring in August.
Windfall: “Condé Nast seems to have walked away from its investment in Farfetch Ltd. with a nice payday and a rare win in the turbulent world of e-commerce,” Keith Kelly reports. The New York Post media columnist crunched the numbers in the wake of Condé’s recent exit from its major ownership stake in the globally-focused luxury fashion retail platform. Kelly thinks that, depending on exactly when Condé Nast sold its shares, it may have netted as much as $411.5 million (the publishing giant is declining to comment).
Earlier: “Vogue publisher Condé Nast walks away from Farfetch” (The Times of London)
The Epstein chronicles: The Hollywood Reporter’s Kim Masters jumps into the fray of journalistic hindsight regarding accused child sex-trafficker (and former Trump pal) Jeffrey Epstein. The bottom line: On Monday, The Daily Beast, reacting to Epstein’s arrest, updated a previously published story by Vicky Ward headlined “I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003” (subhead: “When Vicky Ward profiled Jeffrey Epstein for Vanity Fair, allegations of his attempted seduction of two young sisters were excised from the final piece”). In response, the then-editor of Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter, gave a statement to Politico this week: “In the end, we didn’t have confidence in Ward’s reporting. We were not in the habit of running away from a fight. But she simply didn’t have the goods.”
THR sums up Masters’ take thusly: “Having seen my own articles nipped and tucked and altered for reasons that seemed to have nothing to do with journalism, I trust Vicky Ward’s recollection, writes Hollywood Reporter editor-at-large Kim Masters.” Keep reading here.
See also: “Did Google Remove Photos of Bill Clinton With Jeffrey Epstein From Search Results?” from Snopes. The fact-checking site gives the Twittersphere-fueled rumor a “false” rating. As Snopes’ Dan Evon writes,
Photographs of Epstein with Clinton were not scrubbed from Google’s search results, because images of Clinton with Epstein don’t seem to exist. Or if they do, they haven’t ever been widely disseminated online. We also checked right-leaning websites such as Breitbart, the National Review, and the Daily Caller to see if they had published any pictures of this pair together, but yet again we came up empty-handed. In fact, the only image of Clinton with Epstein we managed to find was a manipulated image based on a photograph that originally showed Donald Trump with Epstein.
Mad lad: The Week serves up a rather sad remembrance of Mad magazine from Jacob Lambert, a longtime Mad writer, cartoonist and editor (who is now the photo editor of TheWeek.com). Lambert’s essay begins,
One day, when I was 8 years old, I stayed home sick from school and my father bought me a copy of Mad magazine.... I sat in my parents’ study, the TV now shut off, and turned the newsprint pages, growing steadily elated at what I was seeing there: takedowns of Bruce Springsteen and wrestling, Ronald Reagan and Steven Spielberg. It was simultaneously smart and dumb, well-crafted and junky, its humor delivered with a smirk. I didn’t know it then, but by the time I did the Fold-In on the magazine’s final page, my life’s course had been changed.
Keep reading here.
And finally… Bloomberg Businessweek takes a deeply personal look at the morphing global workplace in its new cover story, on newsstands tomorrow. As the magazine describes its approach, “From street vendor to call-center manager, from Brooklyn to Suqian, we sat down with 10 workers weathering a global economy that, quite simply, has never evolved at such a reckless pace.” Read the feature by Vauhini Vara, titled “Workers of the World on Getting By in an Era of Wrenching Change,” here.