The December 31, 2012, issue of Newsweek magazine was the last print edition.  After years of analysis and planning, Newsweek decided it was time to end an era and move to a purely online format.

Life, even crazy life, happens everywhere—including Newsweek.  Writer/Editor Ed Kosner was kind enough to share some of the crazy stories that add levity and surprise to the magazine’s eight decades as a print publication (Romano, Andrew. “‘The First Rough Draft of History’” 12/31/12, pp. 22–30):

“Newsweek had a full cast of characters whose escapades were invariably more entertaining that the copy they wrote or edited.  One back-of-the-book senior editor had a phobia about having his shirts laundered.  So he simply bought new ones when he ran short and kept the dirty ones in smelly bags piled high in his office.” (p. 27)

Yuck!  Can you imagine?

“Another insisted on keeping his office pitch black, with only a swing lamp creating a small circle of light on his desk, at which writers had to sit waiting for him to eviscerate their pieces.”

Talk about an interrogation!  Are you an editor or a detective?

“The sports editor walked out of his office one morning and was never seen again.”

Oh, the number of strange disappearances we have seen in corporate America, eh?  Hey, whatever happened to ________________?

“A back-of-the-book writer quit without telling anyone, leaving a sheet of paper in his typewriter with the lament, ‘I can’t write this story.’”

Now there’s a case of burnout if I’ve ever seen one!  Well, at least he knew it was time to walk.

“The science editor couldn’t put out his section one week because he’d fallen out of a tree and broken his right arm.”

Oh, come on now!  Give the guy a break . . . err, some understanding.  He was probably climbing the tree to do research for that very week’s science column.

“Early arrivals often found one of the magazine’s most brilliant writers curled up in a clothing closet, blissfully sleeping off last night’s toot.”

How come I’m thinking of Mad Men right now?

Well, all I can say is some things are better told after the fact—well after the fact.  Mr. Kosner has allowed us to do that today.  Don’t you just wonder what other secrets he has?

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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