Yes: The New Yorker’s Nick Denton Profile is On The Way


Earlier this week, after New York magazine published a profile of Gawker Media owner/blog kingpin Nick Denton in their “Who Runs New York?” issue, it was asked by the New York Observer’s Nate Freeman: “Did New York Scoop The New Yorker with its Nick Denton Profile?” Freeman noted of the forthcoming New Yorker profile of Denton by Ben McGrath (that we shed light on here a few months back):

So, if McGrath really did reach out to so many people about Nick Denton, where is this mythical piece? Is it still on the docket, or has it been killed? And now that we have another old-media-versus-new-media article on Denton that ties together his Fleet Street past with his hankering for Balthazar bread, is another profile of the Gawker kingpin really necessary?


1. It’s on the way, possibly as soon as this weekend.
2. See the first answer.
3. Actually, possibly: yes.

We’ve now heard from multiple people that The New Yorker has started reaching out to some of those interviewed for fact-checking on Ben McGrath’s definitely forthcoming piece on Denton. [Full Disclosure: I spoke with McGrath for the piece, but haven’t been called for fact checking, which on some level, is relieving.]

The piece was originally slated to run in this year’s New Yorker Money Issue, and last year’s Money Issue came out around the first week of October, so it might show up as soon as this weekend.

If anything, McGrath’s piece will make for an interesting side-by-side with Michael Idov’s Denton profile for New York, which anyone familiar with the material could read as a well-told but ultimately revelation-lacking narrative. For one thing, Idov certainly wasn’t as in-depth as McGrath, who we heard definitely shadowed Denton around the Gawker Media stronghold for some time. For another, the advantage of firing second is that David Remnick and Ben McGrath now know everything they have that’s already out there, and that’s been missed. The question of whether or not anybody cares about a profile of Denton after one’s already been out there — or even from the onset — is almost moot if, like any other compelling magazine story, it’s good enough. If anything, watching competing stories about the same subject come out within weeks of one another is like watching two dancers do the same routine: no matter what, one’s gonna be a more compelling performance. This should be — god willing, will be — interesting. Because unless he’s caught murdering baby animals for sport, after this, it’s pretty safe to say that if he wasn’t before, Nick Denton is now officially overexposed.


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