BIG BASH: The last time Alpha Media Group assembled at the Cellar Bar in the Bryant Park Hotel, it was to toast its new ownership for the first time as a company. But while staffers mingled that late August afternoon, Maxim editor in chief Jimmy Jellinek was told he would no longer helm the magazine. The party held Tuesday night had a much happier vibe — Alpha chief executive officer Kent Brownridge gathered the Maxim staff together to celebrate the largest issue of the magazine in five years. The December issue closed with 137 ad pages, thanks to 11 new advertisers. Meanwhile, Blender may be getting a new look soon — the magazine hired creative director Dirk Barnett, formerly of the New York Times' Key and Play magazines. Barnett replaces Andy Turnbull, who will leave the company at the end of next month.
— Stephanie D. Smith