If Michael Wolff Owned New York Magazine

Michael Wolff is a columnist for Vanity Fair and the founder of news aggregation site Newser.com. He is a two-time National Magazine Award winner, and his latest book, "The Man Who Owns the News," is a biography of News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch. Wolff's work has been widely anthologized and appeared in numerous publications, including New York Magazine, where he was a long-time columnist. He has also been an entrepreneur involved with the start-up of several online businesses.
  • Transcript


Question: Do you agree with people who say your best work came while you were at New York magazine? 

Michael Wolff: I don't know why that would be. I produced some very good work at New York magazine. And if they say that, it's probably because I produced more work at New York magazine. So I was writing a column every week at New York, at Vanity Fair I write a column once a month. But I rather think that I'm producing my best work now at Newser where I write a column every day. It's bulk... is ultimately the real currency in our profession. 

Question: You failed at your attempt to purchase the magazine. What would have happened had you succeeded? 

Michael Wolff: I think I probably would have gone bankrupt as most magazines seem to be going. When that happened, I actually thought that I was going to be able to buy New York magazine right up until the moment I lost it and so my feelings afterwards were deeply conflicted. I loved New York magazine; it was a place that I felt particularly at home but I had a feeling of also of immense relief that this quixotic enterprise of buying the magazine would not end up as my terrible fate. 

Question: Do you like what New York magazine has become? 

Michael Wolff: One of the things about having worked at certain places is that it becomes very hard after you stop working at them to continue a relationship, to continue even reading them. So I must confess that I don't read New York magazine anymore. It's like a lover spurned.

Recorded on May 19, 2010
Interviewed by Jessica Liebman