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During the past year, David Carey has enjoyed a string of positive press since becoming chief executive officer of Hearst Magazines, but early Monday evening, it was his former colleagues at Condé Nast who had reason to celebrate, as they took home four Ellies at the National Magazine Awards while Hearst was shut out — as was Time Inc. for the third year in a row.
GQ won for design, snapping Wired’s (and ex-creative director Scott Dadich’s) three-year winning streak; W, under new-ish editor in chief Stefano Tonchi, won for photography; The New Yorker received its only award, for public interest with a story by Atul Gawande (despite nine nominations), and, in one of the more emotional victories, Vanity Fair won for columns and commentary, for three columns by Christopher Hitchens, who recently wrote about his lost voice due to cancer.
Rodale editors will be toasting late into the night as well, since Women’s Health picked up the award for general excellence, print (fashion, service and lifestyle magazines), while sister publication Men’s Health won for personal service.
Last year’s big winner, New York, walked away with two Ellies, for general excellence, print (for news, sports and entertainment magazines), and for magazine section, for its “Strategist.” Editor Adam Moss’ crosstown competitor, The New York Times Magazine, also walked away with two prizes, for news and documentary photography and profile writing, for “The Man the White House Wakes Up To,” a profile of Politico writer Mike Allen by Mark Leibovich.
National Geographic picked up the most coveted award of the evening, Magazine of the Year, for work in print and digital. The title also won in the single-topic issue category, for “Water: Our Thirsty World.” And regional magazine Los Angeles scored a couple of Ellies, for general excellence, print (special-interest magazines), and feature writing.
Harper’s Magazine, which had a rough year amid a slew of high-profile defections, including its editor Roger Hodge, won the reporting category for its March 2010 story “The Guantanamo ‘Suicides.’ ” In that category, Harper’s upset Rolling Stone’s controversial piece on General Stanley McChrystal.
The Virgina Quarterly Review, which suspended publication briefly last year after its managing editor committed suicide, prompting an internal investigation on workplace bullying, won the Fiction category for a story by Paul Theroux.
The National Magazine Awards switched locations for a third straight year. Last night’s dinner took place at 573 Park Avenue, at the corner of 63rd Street, a Christian Science church that’s used as an events space. Last year, the event was at Alice Tully Hall on 65th Street, and the year before it took place at Jazz at Lincoln Center.