Editor-in-chief of Newsweek, The Daily Beast opens Bryan Series

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Editor-in-chief of Newsweek, The Daily Beast opens Bryan Series

Douglas Reyes-Ceron

Douglas Reyes-Ceron

Douglas Reyes-Ceron

“Do you carry a binder full of men?” asked an audience member.

“Absolutely. I’ve always carried a binder full of men.”

This was just one of the questions that Tina Brown, the first Bryan series speaker of the year, answered during her speech on Oct. 23.

Brown is a world-famous journalist and author, and Forbes named her as one of the 100 most powerful women of 2012.

She has received four George Pole awards, five Overseas Press Club awards, and 10 National Magazine Awards. She is also a regular contributor to “Good Morning America” and “Morning Joe.”

“She has a remarkable career as an editor and has a lot of insight from those experiences,” said Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing Ty Buckner. “She has a keen interest in understanding women’s leadership in business and other arenas. She has a firsthand experience in how our media is evolving from the printed page to online.”

Brown’s experience also extends beyond the world of journalism.

In 2010 she launched the Women in the World summit. The summit brings together powerful women from around the world to celebrate their accomplishments and work toward advancing women and promoting equality.

At her speech, Brown opened up about her lengthy career and the experiences that led her to becoming one of the most influential women in the journalism world.

Her career as an editor began when she headed the revival of the British publication Tatler magazine at the age of 25.

“(I was) both completely inexperienced and lucky enough to have something of my own,” said Brown.

After four years at the Tatler, she accepted a position as editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair.

“Vanity Fair was one of those titles with instant magic,” said Brown. “At Vanity Fair, we owned Hollywood.”

During her eight-year tenure at Vanity Fair, Brown increased circulation from 250,000 copies to 1.2 million.

After leaving Vanity Fair, she became the fourth- ever editor-in-chief of The New Yorker, and the first woman to hold the position, which proved to be a challenging one.

“The New Yorker writers and editors saw me as the Antichrist,” said Brown.

Although her staff was initially resistant, she managed to once again increase sales, this time by 250,000 copies.

Despite her illustrious career, she admitted she was not immune to making mistakes.

In her speech, Brown shared her experience with her self-created magazine Talk.

Even though it was not a success, she still benefited from her “experiment” and now draws from it when giving advice about rolling with the punches and persevering.

“Be careful,” said Brown. “That was very good for me to learn because I had always been very impetuous.”

She turned the failure of Talk into an opportunity to take a break from editing and return to writing.

In 2007, she published “The Diana Chronicles,” a work that synthesized 250 interviews in what she referred to as a “jigsaw puzzle” of the life of Princess Diana.

Most recently, she transitioned from print to web journalism when she became the editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast in 2008.

“There was a tremendous amount of scoffing that a print maven like me could go digital,” Brown said.

In 2010, Newsweek and The Daily Beast converged to form The Newsweek Daily Beast Company. Brown was named editor-in-chief.

“(Newsweek and the Daily Beast) are the same reader in a different mood,” said Brown. “We live in these two tempos, and they’re complementary of each other.”

On Oct. 18, Newsweek announced that it will be going completely digital in 2013.

“We find that our content online does the most amazing traffic. … Basically it seemed to us the inevitable end of magazines (will be) in the next few years,” Brown said.

After her speech, Brown took questions from the audience and shared her opinion on a wide range of topics.

One question pertained to the relationship of media coverage and political campaigns.

“I think the media coverage is a disaster,” said Brown. “Candidates are just killed by these flying sound bites that are flung into the media.”

Another attendee asked her opinion on increasing reliance on portable electronics for accessing the news.

“Whenever I walk through airplanes now, everyone is reading screens,” said Brown. “It really is a fact that you’re not just competing with words on a screen, but also games.”

During her short time on campus, Brown left a positive impression on students and faculty alike.

“Tina Brown is a smart, pioneering editor in the current journalism revolution,” said Professor of English Jim Hood. “I want my FYE students to have the opportunity of hearing a world-shaping journalist talk about where media is headed in this 21st century.”

CCE student Pamela Rhyne attended both the speech and an informal session that Brown held with select students and faculty earlier that day.

“I think it’s just a really unique opportunity,” said Rhyne. “We’re lucky Guilford offers us this kind of experience, especially that intimate experience.”

Tina Brown will be followed in the Bryan Series by Tom Brokaw, Geoffrey Canada, Caroline Kennedy, and Thomas Friedman throughout the year.

Brokaw will visit on Nov. 29.

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