The new Vanity Fair — you know, the Hollywood issue, which was produced by Tom Ford, and which features cover model Tom Ford — hits New York and Los Angeles newsstands tomorrow, and it's starting to trickle onto the web today. Good ol' Jimmy Romenesko, for example, calls our attention to Michael Wolff's latest column, a 3,500-word treatise arguing that there is no good reason for Time Warner to exist. It's all pretty damning, especially when delivered in that classically, bitchily Wolffian way:
[T]he main explanation for its existence is that somehow, for better or worse, it just came to exist. The biggest media company in the world, arguably one of the world's most influential entities, is a happenstance historical by-product. ...
Time Warner, along with all the other centralized, vertically integrated, horizontally organized, multi-platform-function media companies, is just too big. The idea of agglomeration without limit turned out not to be such a good one. A no-brainer bad one. ...
The company's most recent deal was the sale to Google of a piece of AOL.... Similarly, in 1994, Time Warner began its relations with AOL, resulting, six years later, in the business world's most fabulous rout. And now, again, here we are. Google buys 5 percent of AOL for a billion bucks (AOL, formerly worth $170 billion, is now worth $20 billion). Think of it as something like a billion-dollar Trojan horse.
It almost makes us a feel a little bad for the TWers, having to sit by as their reasons for existence are so explicitly demolished.
Or, at least, it would — if anyone remembered Wolff's existence anymore, since he went to VF.