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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Elitist Newhouse

Advance's newspapers prop up
the magazine side of the business

"S.I. NEWHOUSE SR. WOULD HAVE BEEN horrified by the utter extravagance of it ..."

For $1.72+ shipping you can buy "Citizen Newhouse: Portrait of a Media Merchant", (1998) by Carol Felsenthal, at

Excerpts from the Publishers' Weekly review:

"Felsenthal's work is filled with unflattering descriptions of the men and women found in the top circles of New York's magazine and book publishing scene. She begins, however, with a lengthy history of the media empire - Advance Communications - assembled by Newhouse's father, Sam, a self-made newspaper tycoon born on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The elder Newhouse added Conde Nast to his holdings in 1959; it was these magazines that drew the attention of the younger Newhouse, who, after Sam's death in 1979, left the running of the newspapers to his younger brother, Donald. As Felsenthal charts Newhouse's rising influence in the world of publishing, particularly through his acquisitions of Random House and the New Yorker - trophy companies, she says, meant to increase his prestige among the media elite - she denounces his business style, reporting that under Newhouse's ownership the quality of both the publishing house and the magazine declined dramatically, as did their profitability. It is Advance's newspaper and cable holdings, she contends, that prop up Newhouse's side of the business."

from, read Chapter One and the review from 12/20/98 by Tom Goldstein, dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Part 1 in a series: "Getting to know The Oregonian's owners"

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