Publishing: The Day The Talk Died Out

Amid the worst magazine climate in decades, a legacy of the late-'90s media optimism calls it quits

Few events captured the willful hubris of the late '90s like the summer 1999 launch of Talk magazine. The hype-driven, bicoastal venture of Hearst Magazines and Miramax Films began life with a celebrity editor, Tina Brown; with the requisite '90s whiff of "synergy" (articles becoming books becoming movies becoming magazine covers!); and with a party, complete with fireworks and paparazzi, at the feet of the Statue of Liberty. It ended life last week with a whimper, as Brown tearfully broke the news of its closing to her staff, followed by a subdued dinner.

Talk is the latest casualty of an atrocious...

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