The War At 'Portfolio'

The new Portfolio hits the racks today. Before we get to the actual magazine, you'll have to console yourself with gossip about Portfolio, most of it centered around EIC Joanne Lipman's recent firing of second-in-command Jim Impoco. The Observer and the Post, obviously suckling at the teat of different sources, bring you the different perspectives.

From the Lipman camp:

Even supporters of Mr. Impoco will use words like "pugnacious," in describing him, and one staffer said that he had been "sparring publicly" with Ms. Lipman for some time.
In a recent editorial meeting, Mr. Impoco harshly challenged her, belittling one of her story ideas as "breathless." As one staffer said: "I think the people who are not the greatest fans of the boss were taken aback by that."

And few fail to mention Mr. Impoco's support of Kurt Eichenwald, the embattled investigative reporter who spent two decades at The New York Times before joining Portfolio a year ago.

From the Impoco camp:
Lipman's management problems are said to be deeper than just a personality clash with Impoco.

One source said that she has never put out a magazine before and doesn't seem to have clear ideas of what she wants. And while she has many veterans across the editorial, design and photo departments, she doesn't defer to anyone.

"She thinks she is 100 percent right, 100 percent of the time," said one insider, who said the disaffection runs deep. "She just isn't very collegial. The dissatisfaction is spread across all departments."

That said, she is not prone to shouting matches or temper tantrums.

"It's definitely a Captain Bligh thing going on, but she has that permanent Joker smile," said the insider, referring to both the taciturn captain from the book "Mutiny on the Bounty," who was tossed over board by his crew, and to one of Batman's foes.

This one will probably play out for a few more days until everyone actually reads Portfolio and realizes that the idea of a Vanity Fair for finance, instead of, you know, an actual finance magazine with news, is a deeply flawed concept. Still, good news: According to Keith Kelly, the third issue will carry 121 ad pages, only one down from the current issue. So Portfolio we will have with us for at least a brief while.