Suffering Fashion Mags... Richer Readers...

It was an ugly 2008 for the entire magazine industry, and the major fashion and luxury titles couldn't escape the blows of the broader economic decline.

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CAN YOU GUESS THE PERSON OF THE YEAR?: Even if Barack Obama is considered a shoo-in for Time magazine’s Person of the Year, at least a lunch panel gathered to discuss the possibilities got some zingers out of the experience. NBC anchor Brian Williams and “Saturday Night Live” head writer Seth Meyers tried to out-quip each other, and Meyers took a good-natured shot at his NBC colleague when Time editor Rick Stengel referred to actor John Slattery as the panel’s “heartthrob.” Said Meyers, “The only thing I enjoyed about your heartthrob comment is that it hurt Williams more than me.” On last year’s honoree, Meyers asked, “Does Putin know it’s not a lifetime appointment?” He also proclaimed Sarah Palin “certainly the comedy writer’s person of the year,” adding he’d opt for Tina Fey as a runner-up person of the year, “just ’cause that would be the best chance I’d be mentioned in the article. And it is about that for me.” Williams alternated between grave statements on the economy and ribbing Stengel for the Mylar mirror that illustrated 2006’s person of the year, “You.” He said the country needed a little less “You” after the turn the economy’s taken. In that vein, fellow panelists Elizabeth Edwards and Suze Orman were less chipper, particularly the latter, who said the American consumer deserved to be recognized — for bringing down the world economy. “Shame on us,” Orman said. Meyers more or less agreed: “What I would want to know is, is [Obama] going to give this message that we have to start paying for what’s happened? And people hate paying. Being in television, it’s amazing how many people say to me, ‘Oh, I hate commercials.’ That’s paying…that was the deal, you watch commercials to pay for TV.”

— I.C.
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