Karl Lagerfeld took aim at Newsweek and Tina Brown yesterday, telling reporters at a press conference in Tokyo that "Tina Brown’s magazine is not doing well at all," and that Brown was "dying.” He went on to say that he felt "sorry" for Tina Brown, "who was such a success at ‘Vanity Fair,’ to go down with a shitty little paper like this. I’m sorry.” All of this in response to a question from a reporter about a (quite thoughtful) article Robin Givhan wrote about Lagerfeld in which she called him "overrated" and "spread too thin."
So are Newsweek and Tina Brown actually dying? Not so much.
We reached out to Newsweek and they responded with the following statement, packed with stats indicating the magazine's success:
In the past year since Tina Brown took over as editor in chief of Newsweek, newsstand sales have increased 30% year on year, advertising pages have seen a 27% increase for the first quarter of 2012, we have over 2.2 million people engaged in our social media communities and perhaps the most telling indicator of the renewed vitality of Newsweek, subscription renewals, in a consistent state of decline since 2005, rose by 3% last year.
They didn't offer anything more like, "eff off Lagerfeld," as we might have felt inclined to say...