Friday, 18 July 2008

The Owlet

Over the years there have been many in-house organs for the International Herald Tribune. I fondly recall now-publisher SDJ introducing a glossy quarterly called IHT Tid-Bits (or something like that) - not sure if it's still alive or what the latest incarnation is.

Under Lee Huebner there was something called The Owlet (named after the owls that famously decorated the no-doubt climbable facade of the New York Herald building; one of which was retrieved and sat in the IHT's publisher's office and probably still does).

If anyone has complete back copy sets of either of these journals I'd love to hear from you.

Here's a taste of the engaging content of The Owlet from December 14, 1992, reporting on the latest monthly managers' meeting:

"Innovative ideas which met with success provided the recurrent theme for his meeting. The first to be discussed was the '1992' supplement series, just ending this year after five years and some 20 million francs in added revenues. Lee Huebner congratulated Bill Mahder, Axel Krause and everyone else involved in this impressive accomplishment."

Yes, the days of the franc, of Axel, of Bill before he turned into an accountant, profits even.

Which were generously spent on big annual global sales bashes, which sadly, the cost-cutting Peter Goldmark put an end to.

(His first vain-glorious move was to end the employment of the publishers' 24/7 standby chauffer, something I believe only Suzy Menkes now has).

I think the last really interesting venue for these sales conferences (before we all ended up, as a result of a barter deal, at a shockingly awful hotel at EuroDisney) was Istanbul.

I failed to attend much of the conference but spent a few very enjoyable days exploring Istanbul. This I must confess.

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