Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The story of Clay Felker and 'Adweek'

You may have seen the obituary of Clay Felker, best known as the editor behind New York magazine. I'm writing about him here because he was also, at what was an admittedly a lesser point in his career, the editor of Adweek. Much of the publication's early 1980s reputation as the cheeky upstart going up against staid Advertising Age, was due to him and his long-time professional partner-in-crime, the graphic designer Milton Glaser. I'm working to get more of a recollection from someone who was there at the time. Will update when and if I can. UPDATE: Here are a few thoughts from Ken Fadner, the current head of Mediapost who was one of the founders of Adweek: "Clay gave me my big break in publishing at New York Magazine. And, much of what was ADWEEK was inspired by him or invented by him. We all owe him a great deal -- but I do, especially." There's a reminiscence from an anonymous poster below, who also talks about Walter Bernard's role in creating Adweek.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was there at the creation -- but as editor of the Chicago version of the magazine (when there were stand-alone regional editions). Not being in New York, I had little contact with him. The people I did work with, who had day-to-day hands-on responsibilities were publisher Jack Thomas, formerly of Time and NYM; Ken Fadner, the numbers guy; and Walter Bernard, an associate of Glaser's who was the art director and carried the credit of designing the magazine. My counterpart in NY was a guy named Geoff Precourt and his assistant was named Beiser. Those are some names to start with and all NY people as far as I know. This was 30 years ago, of course, so I don't know who's still around. I will say that it was a very dynamic time and they were great people to work for. Hope this helps.

Steve Ellwanger said...

It's good to see Clay Felker remembered for those glory days at Adweek. I missed that era by a few years in the late Eighties but did get to work there when it was run by Ken Fadner, Jack Thomas and Penn Tudor. People talked all the time about how great it had been with Felker in charge and the fun they had while building a respected magazine. A lot of very talented people have passed through Adweek over the years. Felker was one of the reasons why.

Tom Messner said...

Wasn't there a predecessor back in the 60s? MAC, it was called perhaps?
An ad journal with three or four regional editions that looked something like Adweek before its redesign?

Maury Dubin said...

In answer to Tom Messner's question, there were 3 regional companion publications that were purchased by Thomas/Fadner/Tudor that eventually became Adweek. They had "cute" names -- ANNY (Advertising News of NY), SAM (Serving Advertising in the Midwest) and MAC (Media, Agencies, Clients).

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