But that only starts to get at the kind of nastiness directed at Meacham in the media world. While many of the lobbed spitballs were aimed at Newsweek (“The [conventional wisdom] is that, if the Washington Post Company … couldn’t make it work, then Newsweek doesn’t have much of a future,” said media critic Howard Kurtz during an interview with Meacham), some used the opportunity to offer blunt, personal critiques of Meacham, who declined to comment for this article.
Vanity Fair media columnist Michael Wolff — well known for unleashing his sharp tongue at media personalities — called Meacham “a perfect example of media insularity and self-congratulation.” Then Friday he berated him some more for turning the magazine “ into a middle-brow thumb sucker, reminiscent of Norman Cousins’ Saturday Review—a magazine that went belly up several generations ago” and said he should have been replaced long ago by New York magazine’s editor, Adam Moss.
The New York Times’ David Carr said, “[B]eyond helping its editor, Jon Meacham, get on television and sell some books, it hard to tell what the brand is really worth at this point.”…
The Daily Beast described a meeting where the results of a reader focus group on the Meacham-inspired redesign of the magazine were presented, and quoted one “insider” as saying: “’There was hardly anything positive about the magazine. The recurring themes were dull, boring, like doing your homework. Everybody was thoroughly depressed.’ Both because of this overhaul and also his hectic professional schedule that veterans liken to being an ‘absentee landlord,’ Meacham has drawn plenty of criticism throughout his term.”