Memo Pad: Change Agent... For Those Who Weren't There... Lovely Kitty...

Is another magazine already haggling to become a partner with "Project Runway" once its contract with Elle runs out?

When Backpacker won for General Excellence, preventing New York magazine from winning the honor a third year in a row, Jonathan Dorn, the editor in chief of Backpacker, confessed Adam Moss had been haunting his dreams, taunting him with the word "threepeat." And when Rolling Stone won for columns and commentary, the announcer boomed that Jann Wenner was accepting the award — except he was noticeably absent. "That's not the Jann I know," presenter Charlie Rose blurted out. A spokesman for Wenner said he had a long-standing family commitment, and Will Dana accepted in his place.

When Tina Brown handed Graydon Carter the award for profile writing, those with long memories wondered about long-standing rumors of ill will. (Carter, who succeeded Brown at Vanity Fair, may have excerpted her Princess Diana book years later, but he also published a parody of it.)

Brown's successor at The New Yorker, David Remnick, accepting his one Ellie for General Excellence after leaving the ceremony empty-handed last year, remarked, "I kind of forgot what you're supposed to do."

As for Condé Nast Portfolio editor in chief Joanne Lipman, she received perhaps the biggest endorsement of the night. After accepting the magazine's award for best section, Advance Publications chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr. — who sat beside her throughout the ceremony — gave her a big hug as she returned to her seat.

At an after party at Porter House drawing top New Yorker and Portfolio staff, plus corporate brass, The New Yorker's Ellie eventually ended up on the floor in a corner — it was, after all, its 47th. Lipman, group president David Carey and publisher William Li dined on sliders and seafood, Landmarc and Stone Rose being already full of other after parties and nonaffiliated drinkers. People staffers, including managing editor Larry Hackett, gathered at the front bar of the restaurant.

A few blocks north, Jim Nelson — who had partially dedicated his award to GQ's longtime editor in chief, the late Art Cooper — corralled his staff to a private room at Bar Boulud to celebrate GQ's win for General Excellence. The Ellie sat in a lit cubbyhole until the party broke up at 1 a.m., and the after-after party moved to the Emerald Inn. Upstairs at Bar Boulud, Gourmet toasted its win for photography, its third since 2004, and editor in chief Ruth Reichl had the Ellie as the centerpiece of the table. New York magazine celebrated its Ellie for Leisure Interests at The Spotted Pig, and the staff from National Geographic celebrated its relative sweep with Champagne and dumplings at Shun Lee. Their Ellies sat clustered in the middle of the table — until the food came.
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