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Showing posts from February 2, 2009

Si Newhouse - Admirable in a Strange, Roundabout Way

David Carr's piece in today's Times about the troubles at Conde Nast underlines just how much things have changed for Si Newhouse & Co. since my 1994 biography 'Newhouse', during the hey-day of the Newhouse empire and its cultural impact on New York and the rest of the country. It's sort of a shame, especially for those who once revelled in his largesse.
Back when my bio came out no one wanted to talk about Si Newhouse, then the true King of All Media, whose ownership of The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and especially Random House, the giant book publisher, made him off-limits for most writers in New York who were earning handsome checks from him. I, of course, became persona non grata with the Conde Nasties.
But I must say, I'm sorry for Si Newhouse on a personal level. When his dynamo father and namesake, Sam Newhouse, shuffled him off to Conde Nast, not many were expecting big things from Si. But over time, he showed a kind of ambition that would prove to…