Thursday, December 4, 2008
Fear and Trembling in the Time Mag Tower of Doom as Axes fly
Only six of the required twenty staffers have stepped forward for the chop at the New York headquarters of Time, an inside source informs us. The cullout starts today for the end of the year adjustment required by the Time Warner beancounters, who seem intent on bleeding out most of the magazine's talent. Dark Week is approaching. Managing Editor Ricky Stengel is said to have rhetorically volunteered to sacrifice his own job "if it would make any difference", but steadfastly remains at the top of the masthead.
Insiders say Stengel hankers for a place in Obama's administration and has few regrets about presiding over the ransacking of Time, Inc. A celebratory game of hoops with the Prez-elect would cheer him up immensely and is his deepest desire. (See Stengel's line of questioning in a candidate Q/A over a year ago!) This is a man who likes to be liked. So he's leaving the firing to his more coldblooded cronies such as Brit Mike Elliott, the foreign editor, who has been busy racking up frequent flyer miles for the past few years as scalps fly, and Condi Rice groupie Romesh Ratnesar, who has a stronger work ethic than flair. (Is he a wannabe Fareed Zakaria? No one wants to be that guy, even Fareed himself.)