Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More on Snooze's last snore

In response to my post about the demise of U.S. News & World Report, one of my old colleagues just sent me several of his fond recollections of the place, including one that I had unaccountably forgotten from my time there.

During my twelve years at the magazine the proprietor, one Mortimer B. Zuckerman, went through no fewer than five different editors; the shortest-lived was Roger Rosenblatt, who lasted a scant year. Roger came in with a whirlwind of energy and humor and was a wonderful person to work with in many ways; in retrospect it should have been clear that he was not going to last long from the way he almost immediately began making remarkably indiscreet — though invariably hilarious — cracks about Mort.

The magazine had been nominated for a National Magazine Award and Roger had gone up to New York to sit with Mort at the awards luncheon where the final winners would be announced. As soon as the lunch was over Roger called one of the other top editors back in Washington.

 "I have good news and bad news," said Roger.

 "Give me the bad first," the editor said.

 "We didn't win. Conde Nast Traveler won in that category."

 "Too bad. What's the good news?"

 "Mort shot himself."