Portfolio Editor Taken To Point Of Ecstasy By BossAn online staffer has written in with a fairly lengthy account of the continuing discontent inside Condé Nast business magazine Portfolio. The anonymous tipster said that "every last person at the magazine" except new managing editor Jacob Lewis is lined up against editor Joanna Lipman, deputy editor Amy Stevens and senior editor Kyle Pope. (And the ungrateful hacks wonder why they are being pushed out the door!) But the anger may only be strengthening Lipman's position. Condé Nast patriarch Si Newhouse has a big fan in Lipman, who recently told staff her initial meeting with the Advance Publications CEO left her "so happy she could have been hit by a truck." Now Newhouse is said to have embattled Lipman's back. Email from the Portfolio.com insider after the jump.

Morale has always been low here, but it's never been

lower, and the downcline (to quote our Treasury

secretary) is steepening.



The only reason there's been no mass exodus is because

the pay is good, nobody else is hiring, and the

economy is at the abyss.



Many magazines develop into factions. At Portfolio,

the factions are quite lopsided. It's every last

person at the magazine versus Joanne Lipman, Amy

Stevens, and Kyle Pope. (With new managing editor

Jacob Lewis, who came over from The New Yorker,

bewildered and privately neutral, but loyal to Joanne

because that's his job.)



There's nothing new about Joanne's infuriations.

What's troublesome is that Conde Nast allows them go

on and on and on. The only thing predictable about

Joanne Lipman is that nobody has a frigging clue what

she wants. She orders up one thing and condemns the

editors for delivering it. She can't explain her story

judgment, and no one knows whether that's because she

has none, or because her mind is so internally

confused that even she doesn't know what she is

thinking from day to day or hour to hour.



Worst of all: outside of finance and advertising, she

knows squat about business, and maybe finance and

advertising too. The result is a mess of a magazine.

What's it supposed to be? If the readers don't know,

and the advertisers don't know, it's because the staff

doesn't know, and if Joanne knows she's not doing a

very good job of explaining it.



It's all too bad because Portfolio could have been so

good. "The Vanity Fair of business magazines" is an

idea that sounded great to most of us who joined up

here. But the opportunity is being pissed away.



Joanne gave a speech a week or so ago in which she

revealed that after she left her first meeting with Si

Newhouse, before she was hired, she was so happy she

could have been hit by a truck. This was interpreted

here as a plea to Si not to throw her in front of that

truck now. (Her kids must have been pleased to hear

that she regards a lunch with Si as the highlight of

her life.)



People tell me that calls for Joanne's head will

ensure her continued tenure, because Si will dig in

his heels.



But Si, you're a smart business person. She's wrecking

your magazine. Talk to the staff, they'll tell you.

You need to do something about it, before it's too

late for everybody.