Democracy is great ... until it isn't, at which point wise authorities are obliged to foist their decisions on the masses. This maxim of benevolent dictatorship is not lost on Time which has disregarded the will of its readers by choosing Mark Zuckerberg as Time's 2010 Person of the Year. It overruled the people's choice: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
It's not like the vote was close: Assange garnered 382,206 votes in online polls, versus just 18,353 for Zuckerberg. Even if you set aside Assange's victory because of probable ballot-stuffing by his many online supporters, the fact remains that a number of other figures beat Zuckerberg handily, including Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's first Islamist prime minister, with 233,639; Lady Gaga, with 146,378; Glenn Beck, with 91,746; and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, who apparently exist in symbiotic union, with 78,145 for their fused entity.
Why Zuckerberg? Time managing editor Rick Stengel explained that the selection process takes into account an individual's previous achievements and long-term impact -- all of which would appear to conflict with the time frame implied by the designation "Person of the Year."
Perhaps a better title would be Time's Important Person? Of course, the choice hasn't always been limited to actual individuals, or even real human beings. The 1982 Person of the Year was The Computer, and 1988 was Endangered Earth -- so maybe it should just be Time's Important Thing, with a floating publication schedule, to be produced whenever someone or something feels significant enough?
Conde Nast Will Charge for Epicurious Content
With 3.5 million free downloads under its belt, Epicurious will begin charging for some online content, beginning with its Recipe Box, which will require users to pay an upgrade fee of $1.99 to sync recipes, according to Paid Content. The Epicurious app is averaging about 50,000 downloads per week. Last week, Gourmet Live, an iPad-only publication from Conde Nast, added features that require users to pay for certain downloads, including $0.99 back issues and "special collections."
Ad Pages Jump At Rodale Titles
Moving into 2011, health and fitness publisher Rodale is enjoying big increases in ad pages at some of its leading titles, according to figures from the Publishers Information Bureau, cited by Folio: for January-February issues.
In the first two months of the coming year, Women's Health is up 30.6% to 64.2 pages; Men's Health is up 22.3% to 73 pages; Prevention is up 9.2% to 57.6 pages; and Runner's World is up 1.2% to 55 pages. All of the titles also posted increases in official PIB rate card revenues. Also, Rodale announced that Margot Gilman joined Prevention as an executive editor. Her predecessor, Robbie Caploe, was promoted to executive director.
Burns Leaves Hachette
Deborah Burns, who served as senior vice president and chief innovation officer at Hachette Filipacchi, is leaving the company after 26 years. She had previously served as senior vice president for Metropolitan Home and Elle Décor, until the former ceased publication in 2009. Her departure comes amid rumors that Hachette owner Lagardere Active may sell some or all of its U.S. consumer magazine business to Hearst.
Star Jones Joins Uptown
Uptown, a luxury lifestyle publication for African-Americans, added Star Jones as an editor at large. The TV personality will write a regular column in addition to celebrity and entertainment features.