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WHO’S INNOVATING IN A RECESSION?: Out with the conference, in with the summit. The New Yorker has jettisoned its two-year-old, two-day Innovation Conference, held at a symbol of more flush times — the Frank Gehry-designed InterActiveCorp. building — with an equally exuberant price tag of $1,200. Instead, the magazine will host a $350, one-day summit on President Obama’s first 100 days, with New Yorker writers interviewing the likes of Howard Dean, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, special envoy Richard Holbrooke, former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, author Naomi Klein, and economist Jeffrey Sachs.
“These are different and unusual times we’re in, and I wanted the magazine to respond directly,” said director of special events Rhonda Sherman, adding, “It’s not going to be about glamour. It’s about information and what we need now to deal with the times we’re in.”
Both New Yorker editor David Remnick, who is writing a book about Obama and race in America, and Washington correspondent Ryan Lizza, who is writing a book about Obama’s first year, are participating, and Malcolm Gladwell is giving a keynote.
Like most titles, the magazine (which is owned by WWD parent Condé Nast) could use the revenue stream: Media Industry Newsletter reported its ad pages were down 31 percent, to 189, through March 17. The New Yorker recently scrapped plans to have 10 days of events as an extension of the annual New Yorker Festival in October, in its 10th anniversary this fall. The extra events were said to be the idea of then-publisher Drew Schutte, who left for a corporate digital role and was succeeded by Lisa Hughes.