Memo Pad: Memories Are Made Of This... Tommy's "Oprah" Debut... Signing Off...

In a heavily scripted evening, an off-the-cuff comment stirred people up. At Tuesday's National Magazine Awards, guests at Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center were surprised to see that perennial favorite New Yorker editor in chief David Remnick

-- Told a few minutes after the ceremony that this year had already been dubbed the year of the independent magazines, with wins by the likes of City and McSweeney's, Moss replied, "Is that what we're calling it?" Moss, who took over New York three years ago after editing the New York Times Magazine and who recently moved up in the officer ranks of the ASME board to secretary, said he would push for the award eligibility of Sunday magazines like his old home. He said he wanted to change policies to allow, say, writers and photographers to accept the awards their work wins. (By his fourth or so trip, Moss was apologizing and laying on the sheepishness.)

-- Shortly after taking the stage, ASME president and Glamour editor in chief Cynthia Leive promised not to refer to the event as the "Oscars of the magazine industry." And yet guests agreed it was the most highly produced and boldface-studded event yet, only the second ever held at night. In a pre-taped segment, Ellen DeGeneres pored over magazines — some with iconic covers upon which she'd superimposed her own face — and attempted to submit a poem to The New Yorker. Ugly Betty made a cameo. Kevin Bacon helpfully reminded the editors in the room that he had not been on a cover since 1982.

-- Leive's mention of Whitaker's new gig was a surprise to anyone who hadn't seen the official announcement earlier that day — including New York Post media columnist Keith Kelly, who jumped out of his seat at the comment and darted for a side door. That apparent urgency might also explain why he erroneously wrote the following day that Leive had been "the first to announce" Whitaker's move — and the newspaper misspelled her first name.

-- Former ASME president Cyndi Stivers, who left her executive position at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to start a new green media venture, was in attendance but stayed close-lipped about her new project, which even her former boss, Martha Stewart chief executive officer Susan Lyne, professed to know little about. Stivers explained her silence by saying she saw no advantage in publicizing what she had in the works (the anti-Portfolio, perhaps?). As for enlightening the media folk sipping Champagne all around her, Stivers said, "I've invested enough sweat in the people here….I know I can call them any time."
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