2006 Ellies: Rodale’s Sweet-Ass Gym and Other Notes

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We blanketed the 2006 National Magazine Awards cocktail hour last night at Lincoln Center in search of the juiciness of the previous evening’s Time 100 party, also held there. Little did we know some of the juiciest moments would be reserved for the awards ceremony itself.

Notes from the cocktail reception:

  • Before we could even get a drink, a fellow contestant in Gawker’s High Stakes Ellies Pool sought us out to tell us there was “no way you’re gonna win with Glamour — they’re not going to give it to them when they won it last year.”
  • We spoke with newly-elected ASME president and Glamour editor Cindi Leive about the awards in general, and noted that our entry in Gawker’s High Stakes Ellies Pool hinged on her magazine winning the general excellence award.
  • In fact, just about every conversation we had veered to our chances of winning the Gawker pool. We were steadfast in our confidence.
  • Esquire‘s David Granger told us that he “makes it up” every issue. “No, really,” he said. He’d later say the same thing while accepting one of Esquire‘s two Ellies.

    Notes from the awards presentation:

  • Outgoing ASME president and Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker, in introducing the awards, mentioned the Gawker pool as the evening’s real contest. Maybe next year ASME should just replace the Ellies with the Ellies pool.
  • Robert Wilson, editor of the American Scholar, in accepting the first Ellie of the evening, for feature writing by Priscilla Long: “[The piece] was unsolicited and require very little edit.” He then cited a fellow editor for pulling it out of the unsolicited pile, which drew laughter. Ad Age‘s Simon Dumenco had addressed the absurdity of such acceptance speeches earlier in the week. We kinda had a feeling this would be a theme tonight.

  • But The New Yorker‘s David Remnick and other editors seemed to be answering Dumenco’s complaint in their acceptance speeches. Said New York‘s Adam Moss: “It’s ridiculous for me to be up here by myself.”
  • Anderson Cooper presented the reward for excellence in reporting, which went to Rolling Stone. He made a couple of forgetable pop culture jokes and was clearly in a hurry to get through the teleprompter copy. It’s not like he had anything better to do.
  • Jann Wenner accepted the award wearing a powder blue tie and a “Gonzo” symbol pendant on his lapel — a tribute to the late Hunter S. Thompson.
  • VQR‘s Ted Genoways, in accepting the Ellie for general excellence, recounted his first trip to New York that included a stop at the offices of Spy magazine.
  • Did the Atlantic Monthly get shut out because of its controversial move to D.C. from Boston? We don’t know, but there might be something to that.
  • Remnick: “The last 6 years have been as miserable for the country as any but [it’s been] a boon for commentary.”
  • Harper’s Lewis Lapham said he was “proud of all these magazines that share the love of words.”
  • Granger toasted Lapham while accepting Esquire‘s GE nod.
  • Jon Dorn of Backpacker, which received the biggest ovation of the evening, used his speech time to reflect on, among other things, fellow Rodaler David Zinczenko‘s ass. No, really. Dorn, who said he observed Zinczenko in the company gym: “He has the best ass at Rodale.”
  • Jim Kelly appeared broken up while accepting Time‘s first general excellence award since 1985.
  • Our informal tally had WWD’s Jeff Bercovici winning the Gawker pool.

    Notes on the post-awards reception:

  • We chatted with Meg Ryan, one of the evening’s presenters about, about our common threads in our Connecticut upbringing, power naps on Metro North and David Blaine.
  • We got to hold one of Adam Moss’ Ellies so he could drink a glass of champagne. It’s actually quite heavy.
  • The ReadyMade staff didn’t win an Ellie, but they’re plentycool to hang with.