Kennedy's George bows out gracefully

George's farewell issue arrived on newsstands March 1, offering a list of the 50 most powerful people in politics. But news that Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan is in control is not what makes the issue memorable - it's the features looking back at the magazine founded by JFK Jr. His desire to make politics appealing resulted over the years in a celebrity-driven blend of Hollywood, history, and the Washington Beltway. The final issue offers a taste of that mix, with a collection of "The Best of George, 1995-2001," including covers (like the first one, with Cindy Crawford dressed as George Washington, the magazine's namesake) and writing by Norman Mailer, George Wills, Madonna, and Kennedy himself.

"He believed that if the magazine made politics accessible and entertaining, more and more people would feel energized to participate themselves," writes editor Frank Lalli in his column. In the end, George had a circulation of more than 500,000, but not enough advertisers to sustain it. It will now be a Web-only publication (

McCall's is gone, too

Women's magazine McCall's is also saying goodbye, ending a 125-year run with this March's issue. The magazine - which once had Eleanor Roosevelt as a columnist, and President Bush's maternal grandfather as publisher - is scheduled to reappear in a new form next month as Rosie, with talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell at the helm.

Ballots? What ballots?

Readers across the US charged newspapers with having a liberal bias last week for burying news about the Florida recount that favored Bush. On Sunday, ombudsmen from The Sacramento Bee, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, and The Washington Post wrote columns explaining why their papers downplayed or delayed results of a media review of uncounted Miami-Dade County ballots. The review found Al Gore would not have gained enough votes to win the state. Some editors reasoned that the findings - from an ongoing study by the Miami Herald, Knight-Ridder, and USA Today - were only from one county. Others delayed the news by mistake. The Post says it would only put a media recount story on Page 1 if it had helped analyze the data. Another ballot review by a media consortium, including the Post, is due in April.

A mag of their own

Next to teens, the 76 million baby boomers are the ones calling the cultural shots in the US. The latest example is My Generation, the new bimonthly magazine for boomers from the American Association of Retired Persons. The debut March/April issue offers celebrity profiles and features on travel, technology, and taking risks. "Most magazines drop you when you're over 32. Our goal is to fill the void," says editor in chief Betsy Carter in an interview. Mailed to AARP members 50 to 55 years old (but targeted at 45 and ups), the magazine has a circulation of 3.1 million and is expected to hit 4 million by next January. It's also available on some newsstands.

'I want my GoodTV' is hoping to influence the craving for reality TV with its "I want my GoodTV!" campaign, which started last month and runs through March 15. To counter the prevailing reality TV themes of backstabbing and breakups, the site is searching for ideas for constructive shows, the best of which it plans to pitch to networks. " 'Temptation Island' is sort of why all this came about," says CEO Barcy Fisher. So far, the Seattle-based site has received about 1,000 ideas, among them suggestions for shows that improve inner cities and promote teamwork.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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