Graydon Carter Doesn’t ‘Even Subscribe’ to Time Magazine

Graydon Carter.
Graydon Carter. Photo: Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images

Though he got his start working an unrecognizably luxurious writing job at Time magazine in the late 1970s, legendary editor Graydon Carter wants you to know he has no desire to return to the publication — in fact, he’s unafraid to admit that he “[doesn’t] even subscribe.”

Carter slips in this gratuitous burn in guest column in The Hollywood Reporter, where he waxes poetic about the time when “the magazine influence was still potent”: expenses were unlimited, stories were typed on “giant Underwood type­writers,” and desks were fully staffed. “Time paid for everything,” he writes, recalling one specific assignment where a researcher wrote down every word of his lunch interview with a famous Italian actress. “The actress ordered truffles on everything.”

But, he writes, by the time Carter left Vanity Fair in 2017, media was “fraught,” and that it only worsened in the eight months he was away from New York (he was “in the hills along the southern tip of Provence”): “distinguished editors of a handful of magazines stepped down or retired altogether,” and Time Inc. was sold. So, when two parties approached him about running Time if they were to have bought it, he writes that he “had no interest in either offer.”

And then: “I don’t even subscribe to the magazine anymore.”

But in his time away, Carter has come to accept the current state of media, and now finds the internet, which he once thought of as “a problem,” exciting! He’s even preparing to launch a digital weekly newsletter that he describes as a “weekend edition of a nonexistent daily newspaper,” in July.

Wonder how many Time employees will be subscribing!

Graydon Carter Doesn’t ‘Even Subscribe’ to Time Magazine