David Remnick, Superman

The New York Times today pounds out a love letter to New Yorker editor David Remnick—a fairly regular occurrence. To summarize: David Remnick is a journalist with no flaws. Really? Well. As close as you'll find at Conde Nast.

Despite having a humongous staff that includes many of the most self-impressed journalists in the world, Remnick managed to avoid last year's across-the-board budget cuts at Conde Nast. A simple case of Si Newhouse having a man-crush? Not totally! Consider, according to Stephanie Clifford:

  • Last year, The New Yorker's ad pages fell by 24%, but the magazine still managed to make a profit.
  • He's raised circulation by nearly a quarter in the past decade, while also doubling the cover price.
  • He's also raised the renewal rate during that same period.
  • He rides the subway, unlike that fancy queen Tina Brown.
All that means that Remnick is better prepared than any of his Conde peers for the end of the lavish times in magazine land. Remnick is one of the most talented reporters of his generation, and *by Conde Nast standards* he's practically blue collar: the story goes out of its way to note that he deigns to eat at Ouest, a rough-and-tumble UWS hole in the wall where gritty characters down $33 pan roasted squab.

Remnick is perfect for his time and place in the industry. He's no-nonsense, budget-conscious, and a wise cultivator of talent; he's also a Princeton man and a willing cultivator of The New Yorker's insular traditions. The New Yorker will never have a gonzo, burn-the-house-down, Matt Taibbi type as an editor—which we'd love to see, but for juvenile reasons. Remnick is the best that anyone could hope for (which is to say, he's excellent). We're even willing to indulge his determination to write another fucking Obama book. Just one word of warning, David: watch out for that snark. It will destroy you.