S.I. Newhouse Jr., media mogul, dies at 89

Powerhouse magazine publisher, Si Newhouse, died at 89 on Sunday, Oct. 1. Photo by screenshot/Inform

Oct. 2 (UPI) — S.I. Newhouse Jr., a powerhouse in the publishing industry, died Sunday at 89. Newhouse’s family confirmed his passing.

Samuel Irving “Si” Newhouse Jr. oversaw some of the most famous titles of American newsstands, including Vogue, the New Yorker, GQ and Vanity Fair.

“Today is a day of emotion, of genuine loss, for our family and for Si Newhouse’s extended family at Condé Nast. Si loved Condé Nast. He was proud to publish the finest magazines in the world and to offer exceptional content on every digital platform,” the Newhouse family said in a statement.

Newhouse and his brother Donald inherited their father’s media conglomerate, Advance Publications, and grew it into one of the most successful publishing companies in the country. In 2017, Forbes ranked Advance Publications as the 40th largest privately held company in the United States.

Bloomberg most recently estimated Newhouse’s net worth at $12.7 billion, making him of the 100 richest people in the United States.

Newhouse, responsible for developing the slate of magazines organized under Condé Nast and owned by Advance Publications, was credited with hiring and developing star editorial talent and growing the cultural cache of magazines like Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair.

Advance Publications’ holdings also included a variety of newspapers, such as The Long Island Daily Press, The Star-Ledger, The Cleveland Plain-Dealer and The St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

Though there were exceptions, few of the company’s magazines and newspapers were revered for their journalistic prowess. Newhouse was criticized for his magazine‘s focus on the rich and famous, but as sales skyrocketed under his leadership, other publications copied the approach.

While Newhouse was known for firing editors without hesitation, he also was credited for his hands-off approach. If Newhouse’s magazines took new directions in style and content, it was because Newhouse had yielded creative freedom.

“He owned the operation, paying the salaries and the rent, but he did not touch the magazine’s pages; he never suggested a story, he never revealed his political inclinations, he never gave advance instructions or retrospective criticism of an issue,” David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker since 1998, wrote on Sunday.

Newhouse was born in Manhattan on Nov. 8, 1927, to Sam Newhouse and Mitzi nee Epstein. He briefly attended Syracuse University before leaving school to work for his father. He served for 40 years as chairman of Condé Nast. He retired as chairman emeritus in 2015.

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