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2010 September 13

The Reign of King David

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Hearst Magazines honcho David Carey Hearst Magazines honcho David Carey
Frank Veronsky
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The key problem there was the timing. When that project was green-lighted in 2006, business and hedge-fund executives were the heroes of the day. Two years later, those same people were the ones everyone hated—their names were pejorative phrases. The magazine might as well have been called Subprime! No one could have predicted that. When people ask me what I would have done differently, I say I wish we had taken all that money and shorted the market. The timing, which seemed ideal for a short period, just proved to be very wrong. But try predicting that kind of cultural shift ahead of time.

Who’s your favorite designer?

Most of my suits are Ralph Lauren. I travel a lot, so I look for clothes that can hold up to a fair amount of abuse, and I’ve always been quite taken with what he does.

How do you spend your weekends? Any hobbies?

No, I have four children—chasing them around takes up a big chunk of my time.

What about golf? Did you play before you ran that group at Condé?

I started playing about seven years ago. I don’t get to take anybody’s money on the course, but I do like to play with my two sons. We usually try to do nine holes on Sundays.

You seem quite mellow for a former Condé publisher. Is the Mr. Big over?

I think that era was maybe overdramatized anyway. Within the organization the focus was always on knowing how to run your business. Sometimes people had larger public profiles, sometimes lesser, but the important thing was competence. Is it over? Ten years from now, someone perhaps more flamboyant than I am will be talking to The Daily. Anything is possible. Personally, I have always preferred a lower-key strategy.

Have you been media-trained?

Not really. I guess for TV stuff a little bit, but I don’t do a lot of that. I try to play it straight. You’ll find that the sin factor with me is very low. CHRISTOPHER TENNANT

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