Reporting live to you from Jazz at Lincoln Center, your go-to venue for all media prom nights:
7:45 - ASME president and Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker opens the evening by declaring that the real suspense is not who will win awards, but who will win Gawker's High-Stakes Ellies Pool. This validates our existence for another 12 hours.
7:51 - American Scholar wins for Feature Writing (Genome Tome by Priscilla Long); not sure anyone cares besides editor Robert Wilson.
7:57 -Essay goes to Vanity Fair (A Matter of Life and Death by Marjorie Williams). Graydon Carter accepts the award and is NOT WEARING A TUX. Major faux pas, but at lack of black tie is always better than a surplus of plaid pants.
8:03 - Rolling Stone scores for Reporting (The Man Who Sold the War by James Bamford). Jann Wenner proudly takes the stage (see? That party was soooo worth it!), yammers at length about Bush and the government's threat to the press. Risky argument for this crowd, buddy.
[More updates after the jump]
8:06 -The New Yorker wins for Public Interest (Elizabeth Kolbert's interminable series The Climate of Man).
8:08 - Profile is awarded to Esquire (Into the Light by Robert Kurson). EIC David Granger gives himself a mental high-five.
8:12 - Virginia Quarterly Review, the publication with the second most nominations (six), wins General Excellence for circulation under 100,000 — but this does little to ease the exquisite pain of being seated with the press. Seriously, ASME needs to hire some new party planners. That shit ain't right.
8:18 - Golf Magazine wins for Leisure Interests (The New Way to Putt). Your father is thrilled.
8:21 - Personal Service goes to Self (Keep Your Breasts, Healthy for Life). Your breasts are thrilled.
8:25 - Time wins for Single-Topic Issue for its "American Tragedy" issue on Hurricane Katrina. The room erupts in applause, presumably because most of the crowd got drunk on Time Inc.'s dime just last night.
8:28 - National Geographic Online wins for General Internerd Excellence.
8:30 - Harper's wins General Excellence for 100 - 250K. Duh — it's editor Lewis Lapham's last year, and a gold watch isn't going to cover it.
8:44 - New York for Design; New Yorker wins for Commentary.
8:45 - Virginia Quarterly Review wins again, this time for Fiction (pieces by Heathcock, Oates, and Smith). Another trek from the back of the room...
8:52 - Reviews and Criticism goes to Harper's.
8:53 - New York magazine wins General Excellence for circ of 250-500K. EIC Adam Moss confesses, "This means more to us than it probably should." It's actually very sweet — and his new retro glasses are hot.
8:54 - Meg Ryan and her lips are introducing the Photo finalists. No one in the room has any idea why.
8:58 - Rolling Stone wins Photo Essay for their Antarctica series, leaving the Brangelina W spread in the dust. Jennifer Aniston is relieved.
9:03 - Photography goes to W; Patrick McCarthy accepts.
9:04 - Backpacker wins for Section. EIC Jonathan Dorn kisses Mark Whitaker and declares that he's a guy "who actually likes Dave Zinczenko.... He works 80-hour weeks and is still the fittest guy at Rodale. We have a gym in Emmaus, and I see him in the locker room sometimes. Broad chest, flat stomach, and the best ass at Rodale. I'll be at Details tonight before the night is done." Uh, yeah, overshare.
9:11 - Esquire wins General Excellence for 500 - 1mil circulation. EIC David Granger is humble, says "every month we just make it up." Then he singles out Lapham as a mentor. Classy.
9:14 - General Excellence 1-2mil goes to ESPN, which beat out New Yorker and Vogue to remind us all that jocks can still read. EIC Gary Hoenig says, "I'm guessing nobody had us in the Gawker pool." He's right.
9:18 - Time takes General Excellence for 2 million circ. Whitaker hands Jim Kelly the Ellie and media's Santa is pronounced king. If his luck continues, he just might relocate Time's offices to Jazz in Lincoln Center.
9:21 - The Dumenco Effect has kicked in, and everyone thanked their staffs. Kelly thanks no fewer than 50 people, including flacks, assistants, old mentors, and assorted sushi delivery guys.
9:23 - Whitaker closes the show: "You can still make your 9:30 dinner reservations." And thus a everyone's a winner.