It takes flair and a certain amount of years in the media business to execute the following maneuver, during an informal job interview, with a billionaire:
Over lunch, Mr. Biglari asked [Glenn O’Brien] what he would want in order to consider the job [of Maxim editor]. “I said, ‘I’d like to have total authority and no responsibility,’” Mr. O’Brien recalled. “He laughed really hard for a minute. Then we started talking turkey.”
Ha ha. O’Brien, in the wake of being bounced as GQ’s Style Guy, chose in the NYT article by Alex Williams not to reveal his age. For fear, he said, of ageism.
O’Brien’s artifact-packed NoHo loft, which figures prominently in the NYT piece, is also the subject of the latest episode of the Nowness Web series My First Apartamento. That video tour suggests that perhaps a more apt Maxim job title for O’Brien is editor living large.
Either way, we are intrigued to see where O’Brien takes the magazine and how it all sits with aforementioned new owner Sardar Biglari. In terms of Maxim reclaiming some solid footing alongside the endless scroll of content lads are today thumbing through on smartphones, O’Brien seems with this NYT observation to have the right idea:
“A magazine is not where you get the news. My idea of a good magazine is one that you keep. It’s like a book that comes in volumes. It’s a record of the culture at that time.”
P.S. We’re not going to reveal our age either. However, we will say that we were indeed “old” enough to get it when O’Brien read in My First Apartamento the passage: ‘And Jesus said unto Burt Bacharach, “I am the way to San Jose.”’