OLD Media Moves

Still dissension at Portfolio?

March 25, 2008

Ryan Tate of Gawker reports that there is still widespread discord among the editorial staff at business magazine Conde Nast Portfolio, with editor Joanne Lipman still part of the reason why journalists are unhappy.

PortfolioGawker posts a lengthy e-mail from a staff member that reads in part: “Many magazines develop into factions. At Portfolio, the factions are quite lopsided. It’s every last person at the magazine versus Joanne Lipman, Amy Stevens, and Kyle Pope. (With new managing editor Jacob Lewis, who came over from The New Yorker, bewildered and privately neutral, but loyal to Joanne because that’s his job.)

“There’s nothing new about Joanne’s infuriations. What’s troublesome is that Conde Nast allows them go on and on and on. The only thing predictable about Joanne Lipman is that nobody has a frigging clue what she wants. She orders up one thing and condemns the editors for delivering it. She can’t explain her story judgment, and no one knows whether that’s because she has none, or because her mind is so internally confused that even she doesn’t know what she is thinking from day to day or hour to hour.

“Worst of all: outside of finance and advertising, she knows squat about business, and maybe finance and advertising too. The result is a mess of a magazine. What’s it supposed to be? If the readers don’t know, and the advertisers don’t know, it’s because the staff doesn’t know, and if Joanne knows she’s not doing a very good job of explaining it.”

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