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CROWING RIGHTS — AT LEAST FOR NOW: There were no multiple onstage moments for New York magazine's Adam Moss or The New Yorker's David Remnick this year at the National Magazine Awards Thursday night at Jazz at Lincoln Center — probably much to the relief of their rivals. While each category is judged by different groups, they all seemed to decide to spread the love around this time, avoiding the numerous wins by the two New York-named titles of past years.
In fact, they each only received one award apiece, with National Geographic being this year's big winner with three — for General Excellence, Reporting and Photojournalism. Vanity Fair won two, for Profile Writing ("Pat Dollard's War on Hollywood") and Photo Portfolio (again, its Hollywood one), but other than that, no single magazine dominated. Condé Nast, which also owns WWD, had the biggest presence of any company, with seven awards. But a significant number of small or single-title companies, such as The Nation (for Public Interest), Harper's (for Fiction), The Atlantic (for Reviews and Criticism), New Letters (for Essays) and Backpacker and Mother Jones (both for General Excellence) also were recognized, New Letters for the first time.
The New Yorker, flatly shut out last year despite nine nominations, had a major win for General Excellence, joining Condé Nast stablemate GQ, which won that award in the 500,000-to-one million circulation category (the only fashion title to win anything). New York, which took home five awards last year, picked up its Ellie for Leisure Interests. (Moss had been quietly lowering expectations after last year's sweep.)
And, while it's clearly a coincidence, David Willey, editor in chief of Runner's World and ASME's newly elected president, is kicking off his tenure with his magazine's first award — fittingly, after an inaugural speech recognizing digital challenges, it's for General Excellence at runnersworld.com. Parent company Rodale also won in the Interactive Feature category with bicycling.com, also a first-time win for the title.
After a launch year that turned skepticism about its purpose and execution into an official media sport, Condé Nast Portfolio gets to crow a bit with its first nomination and win for Magazine Section (for its front-of-the-book section called "Brief"). Radar and Domino, two other first-time nominees, were not as lucky, and The New York Times Magazine and its spin-offs, T and Play, which scored six nominations in their first year of eligibility, also went home empty-handed.