Dealmaker, Lazard Ltd. CEO and New York magazine owner Bruce Wasserstein died yesterday at age 61. News of his untimely death filtered through the media world yesterday afternoon, resulting in many tributes and remembrances from those on the media beat.
Not surprisingly, New York magazine’s Daily Intel blog had the most touching tribute to Wasserstein, saluting his commitment to journalism and his love of the publication that he took ownership of in 2004:
“Unlike the private investors who often buy publications like New York, Bruce had no interest in using the magazine to advance a personal agenda. On the contrary, he had a journalist’s curiosity and took pleasure in the provocative. At monthly meetings with the magazine brain trust, he wanted to talk as much about the latest news, or politics, or shifting currents of all kinds as he did about New York itself.”
Over at The New York Times‘ blog Media Decoder, David Carr reflected on Wasserstein’s New York deal:
“Many of the bidders thought they had the magazine in the bag, but then Mr. Wasserstein, as was his habit, came swinging in out of nowhere and took the prize off the table. None of the bidders knew more about the use of leverage and muscle than Bruce Wasserstein, so it was assumed that it would become one more accessory used to personal ends.
It became a great magazine instead.”
The New York Observer has gathered some reactions from Wassersteins former associates and friends, including Carl Icahn:
“It’s sad, it’s a sad thing. He was a good friend and he was one of the few real bright guys on Wall Street. I always respected his views.”
The Observer also asks what will happen to New York following Wasserstein’s death. The paper reports that the magazine was owned by a family trust, so New York will be passed along to his wife and children. Will one of them become the magazine’s new owner, or will they sell the property?