Misty Water-Colored Memories of the Way Kent Was

It's tough to decide on our favorite bit in WWD's profile today of outgoing Wenner Media honcho Kent Brownridge.

It might be one of the simple, anonymous snipes at the beginning of the piece, that of course this isn't a voluntary retirement. Perhaps:

"No way was this a planned retirement," said one former high-level Wenner employee. "He was definitely forced out."

It could also be the anonymous snipes from the end of the piece, that Jann can't possibly run his company without Kent. Perhaps:

"This is a disaster," agreed another insider. "Kent is very shrewd, very realistic and pretty reasonable and practical. Jann is none of those things."

But we suppose we'd have to go with anything from the long middle of the piece. That's where you find great anecdotes like:

Several insiders claimed Brownridge would go over expense reports personally; when one aroused his suspicions, he would call restaurants to investigate whether employees were claiming phantom lunch companions in order to get around strict per-person limits on meal expenditures.

And:

[A]nother former employee recalled what happened when a Wenner editor sent staffers home at lunchtime last New Year's Eve. When Brownridge found out, he took the half day out of the truant staffers' vacation days, and docked pay from those who had none left.

"They won't find another Kent," a former Wenner CFO says. One can only hope.

Charting Wenner After Brownridge [WWD]