New York's Worst Bosses: Robin Cembalest

With your help, we've ID'd 14 of the potentially worst bosses in New York. We'll be parading them in front of you daily, and when we're done, we'll all decide together who's the worst. Feel free to shout out your suggestions if any of these tales joggles a traumatized (or happy) memory!

According to Jossip, ARTNews executive editor Robin Cembalest is the defender of the "bitchiest non-famous editor" title. But you don't have to take their word for it!

ARTNews, according to their website, is "the oldest and most widely circulated art magazine in the world," and has a circ of 200,000 internationally. Cembalest reports to ARTNews editor and publisher Milton Esterow, who has been with the magazine for three decades. As our tipsters have it, Esterow "has relinquished all but token oversight," leaving Cembalest running the show. Some people aren't so enthusiastic about the way she's running it, though: rumor has it that one young employee was so truamatized by her tenure there, she had to be committed! But why?

Maybe it's because of Cembalest's verbally abusive management techniques, which one tipster likened to those used to train dogs. Or maybe it's because frequent firings are part of Cembalest's signature style. Specifically, "So many firings ... that sluice grates should be installed underfoot to catch the spilled blood," which seems apt if it's true that, as we hear, the body count includes one managing editor, one senior editor, four associate editors, one copy editor, and one editorial assistant within the last two years. This doesn't sound impressive until you realize that there are only ten people on ARTNews's entire editorial staff. And it's not clear why those who've stuck around have chosen to do so: one former employee terms Cembalest an "unreasonable, irrational, bipolar, psychotic bitch. And that's on her nice days." Also, it's ARTNews. Seriously, is it worth it?



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