The Media Today

The media today: Remembering Si Newhouse

October 2, 2017

An unassuming owner who hired iconic, charismatic editors, S.I. Newhouse, Jr. built Condé Nast into a magazine powerhouse. His death on Sunday marks the end of an era in the magazine world.

That phrase, ’end of an era,’ has been getting a workout since Graydon Carter—an editor Newhouse hired—announced his departure from Vanity Fair last month. But with Newhouse’s passing, after four decades at the helm of Condé Nast, it’s appropriate.

Tributes for Newhouse, known as Si, poured in from around the media world. The New Yorker’s David Remnick remembered him as a sort of platonic ideal of an owner: “In a world of meddlesome owners, worrywart owners, mercenary owners, owners who use their publications as instruments of political influence or social positioning, he bought The New Yorker because he enjoyed what it had been and he wanted it to go on being true to itself, even as it modernized and reached readers in new ways­­.”

Politico’s Michael Calderone writes that when he started covering media a decade ago “there were no other names—save, perhaps, for Sulzberger and Murdoch—that warranted as much attention” as Newhouse. In a warm tribute, Vanity Fair’s Carter called Newhouse, “the last of the great visionaries of the magazine business.”

Below, more on the passing of Si Newhouse.


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Other notable stories

  • Developing: A gunman opened fire at a Las Vegas concert last night, killing at least 50 people, in what appears to be the deadliest mass shooting in modern* American history. Updates here from The New York Times. 
  • The Times’s reporters in Puerto Rico spent 24 hours reporting scenes from one day in the life of those experiencing Maria’s aftermath. 
  • The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan says the real crisis facing journalism is financial, and she looks at the efforts of some newsrooms to adapt. 
  • After Harvey made landfall, Texas Monthly editors scrapped their planned issue and started from scratch on an attempt to tell the stories of those who lived through the storm. CJR’s Meg Dalton goes behind the scenes of how to build a magazine in 10 days. 
  • In a time of protests on football fields and college campuses, The New Yorker’s Jill Lepore has a brief look at the history of free speech fights, from the 1960s to today.

*An earlier version of this newsletter referred to the events in Las Vegas as “the deadliest shooting in American history.” As a statement from the NABJ points out, there have been previous mass killings directed at African Americans, specifically the Colfax Massacre of 1873 and the East St. Louis Massacre of 1917. 

Pete Vernon is a former CJR staff writer. Follow him on Twitter @ByPeteVernon.