Alan Rusbridger will leave his position as the editor in chief of The Guardian this summer, but before he goes, he plans to run an “unprecedented,” six-month series of articles about climate change. Working with the environmental activist organization 350.org, Rusbridger will conclude with a campaign called “Keep it in the Ground,” which will, among other things, call for the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation and the Wellcome Trust to cut their ties with fossil-fuel companies. The Guardian Media Group announced today that it is selling off all of its fossil-fuel assets, making the company’s investment fund the “largest yet known to pull out of coal, oil and gas companies.”
The judges for the 2015 National Book Award have been announced.
A 2002 book about Robert Durst, A Deadly Secret: The Bizarre and Chilling Story of Robert Durst by Matt Birkbeck, is being updated and rereleased as a paperback on April 14.
The contract that HarperCollins signed with Amazon is about to expire, and according to a report at Business Insider, the publisher is “refusing to sign an agreement with the new terms” that Amazon is demanding. According to Amazon, the new contract is the same one recently signed by Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan. The Business Insider headline is certainly grabbing: “A major publisher may withdraw all its books from Amazon.”
Time Out New York will become a free publication on April 15.
At the Daily Intelligencer, Carrie Battan has written a profile of Ellis Jones, who was named editor-in-chief of Vice in February (she’s the first woman EIC in the magazine’s twenty-year history). Jones says she wants to change the magazine’s old reputation as a hipster’s “lad mag,” but more important is how she will manage to keep the print publication vital now that Vice has become a billion-dollar media company. So far, Jones has abolished fashion coverage in Vice, run fiction by Believer co-editor Heidi Julavits, and hired contributing editors like novelist Clancy Martin and journalist Ken Silverstein (who recently resigned from First Look Media, citing “dishonest” leadership). She bristles, though, at the idea that Vice has grown staid, noting that “people still have beers at their desk at 6:30.”
Stephin Merritt, the deep-voiced depressive behind the band The Magnetic Fields, has upset literati with his blunt comments during the Tournament of Books. The contest, hosted by the Morning News, is usually a good-natured discussion about—and promotional vehicle for—worthwhile literary fiction. It is hard to imagine the Morning News didn’t know what they’d get from the famously cantankerous Merritt, but still, his dismissive reports on Roxane Gay’s The Untamed State and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See were called “irritating and infuriating” by the tournament’s organizers. Merritt’s criticism of Gay, in particular, has rankled, with Jonathon Sturgeon of Flavorwire reviving the old charge that Merritt is racist.