Over the weekend, two of the nation’s most prominent newsweeklies debuted new looks under new editors. How often does that happen? It’s like your mother getting a short, modern haircut on exactly the same weekend your dad decides to finally shave off his mustache. It’s jarring! But exciting at the same time — and most of all, it’s a relief. Tina Brown’s Newsweek is peppier, more colorful, and more hip. Hugo Lindgren’s New York Times Magazine is sleeker, more agile, and more fun. Since this is such a rare occasion, we decided to measure the two up against one another — feature by feature. How do they match up?
||New York Times Magazine
|Design ||Monocle meets Cargo meets T, with some sixties flourishes. Punctuated by black (classy) and peach (hmmm) pages. ||Old Newsweek meets Blender meets Time. In a refreshing twist, photo editors opted for a stately, non-nostril-close shot of Clinton for the cover.
|Linchpin Stories ||Profiles of recently released activist Lori Berenson and 87-year-old billionaire/diet evangelist David Murdock (complete with recipes!) ||A giant feature about Hillary Clinton's secret work on behalf of revolutionaries in the Middle East and Africa. Just kidding! Women. Her public work on behalf of women. |
||Hugo Lindgren details every change in format — including the font size of the cover title. ||Tina Brown defends newsmagazines — and links her legacy (she’s Newsweek’s first woman editor) to the late Katherine Graham, whose Washington Post Company sold Newsweek for a pittance in 2010. |
|We Get the Internet! ||Hairpin sensation Edith Zimmerman writes about things that happened on the Internet last month. There's the story behind a viral video. And the letters page is called "Reply All." ||The "NewsBeast" section, which feels front-of-book but actually appears about 30 pages in, incorporates the sensibility of the Daily Beast website. |
|Shiny New Columnist ||Andrew Goldman makes the "Questions" page — now called "Talk" — less aggressive than it was with Deborah Solomon. || Kathleen Parker, the Pulitzer Prize winner who just got steamrolled out of her on-camera role at CNN (a fact that Tina kindly doesn't mention). |
|Wonkitude ||Sam Anderson devotes two whole pages to marginalia. There's something wonderfully cocky about that. ||Niall Ferguson's numbers-oriented take on the problematic boy boom in China. (Heh, "boy boom.") |
|Big Picture ||Two-page spread bird's-eye view of the USA Pond Hockey National Championships. ||Two-page spread close-up of Hillary Clinton wearing glamazon sunglasses in a limo alongside a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family. |
|Gimmick ||Story credits for editors
|on the online (but not print) versions of stories — including e-mail addresses ginned up for the occasion. |"XTRA INSIGHT" tabs that direct readers to other sources of information — half the time, on the Daily Beast. |
|The Last Page ||"Lives" survives intact — and in an extra nod to the Internet, it's adapted from a Reddit posting.
||Old Tina buddy Harvey Weinstein explains his "favorite mistake" — which, unfortunately, does not involve M&M's. |