The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) has released the list of finalists for the 2012 National Magazine Awards, and Condé Nast led the pack, racking up a total of 24 nominations. Hearst followed with 10 nods while Time Inc. came in third place with seven.
Not surprisingly, The New Yorker and New York magazine are each front-runners again among individual titles, with six nominations each.
The New Yorker received two nominations in the reporting category. One was for "Getting bin Laden," a play-by-play by Nicholas Schmidle of the Navy SEALS raid that led to the death of the al Qaeda leader and which was criticized for failing to disclose that the reporter didn't speak directly to the SEALS. The New Yorker also nominated for its massive and widely praised "The Apostate" by Lawrence Wright on filmmaker Paul Haggis' struggle with the Church of Scientology.
In what will likely be seen as a fitting tribute to the famed writer and critic, Vanity Fair was nominated for columns by Christopher Hitchens, who died in December.
Some of the awards categories were shaken up last year to reduce the chance of incongruent magazines competing with each other, but the new definitions have created their own mismatches. This year, under the header of Which One of These Doesn't Fit With the Others, Vice was nominated for print general excellence among general interest magazines, along with The New Yorker, New York, Bloomberg Businessweek and GQ.
Twenty-six other magazines received multiple nods, including GQ, with five; and Wired, which had four. Three first-time Ellies finalists made it onto the list, all nominated for General Excellence awards in their categories: Vice (general interest), Country Living (lifestyle) and The Fader (active and special interest).
Finalists for the Ellies’ top honor, Magazine of the Year, will be announced April 5. At the awards ceremony, which will take place May 3, ASME will also induct Time Inc. Sports Group and Sports Illustrated editor Terry McDonell into the Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame.
To avoid a repeat of last year's uncomfortably long awards presentation, there won't be multiple celebrity presenters at this year's event; NBC newsman and funnyman Brian Williams will host the awards.
Read the full list of nominees here.