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Jul 16, 2012

Today's Guest: Kurt Andersen, public radio host, "Studio 360," co-founder, Spy magazine, novelist, True Believer

Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience of short-fingered vulgarians, Martha Stewart wannabes, Walter Monheit, the publisher of Vanity Fair, two guys who insist they were not Separated at Birth™, and people who can no longer squint hard enough to read the fine print… in the NEW new media capital of the world… St. Petersburg, Florida!

True Believers: A Novel, Kurt Andersen
Order True Believers from Amazon.com by clicking the book cover above!

Kurt Andersen has one of those careers that makes him the envy of a lot of folks in media. The guy has had a fairly golden touch, starting with the birth of the late great humor magazine, Spy, which he co-founded with Graydon Carter and Tom Phillips. He’s also been a columnist for The New Yorker and editor in chief of New York. And he currently hosts public radio’s popular “Studio 360,” which has won a Peabody Award.

KURT ANDERSEN audio excerpt: "Graydon Carter and I are exactly the kind of people Spy reveled in taking down a peg." 

All that and he tells a pretty fair story on the fictional side, too, first as the author of Heyday and Turn of the Century and most recently with the just released True Believers.

Spy: The Funny Years, Kurt Andersen, Graydon Carter, George Kalogerakis
Order Spy: The Funny Years from Amazon.com by clicking the book cover above!

I wanted to hate True Believers just because Andersen does too many things too well. But it just wasn’t possible. It’s a really cool read on multiple levels; for starters, the narrator is a sixty-ish woman once under serious consideration for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. That, by itself, is a neat trick for Andersen; he’s telling his story – her story – in Karen Hollander’s voice.

Kurt Andersen, host, Studio 360, Mr. Media Interviews Kurt Andersen, host, "Studio 360"
KURT ANDERSEN audio excerpt: "Dave Eggers and I are friendly. We got to talking about putting out a one-shot, printed magazine that would pretend as if Spy had never gone out of business, that Might had never gone out of business. Then at some point they had merged into a magazine called 'Spite.' I love the idea." 

And then there is all the bouncing back and forth between the current day – actually, a time sightly into the future – and back to 1968, a time in which Karen was quite a different person. One with a pretty big secret. It’s an easy book to recommend, and it’s a pleasure to welcome its author to our world for the next half hour.

Kurt Andersen WebsiteFacebookTwitterStudio 360Spy magazine archive on GoogleOrder True Believers from Amazon.comOrder Spy: The Funny YearsListen to Studio 360 on your iPhone or Android mobile device with the Stitcher app

Kicking Through the Ashes by Ritch Shydner, Mr. Media Interviews
Kicking Through the Ashes: My Life As A Stand-up in the 1980s Comedy Boom by Ritch Shydner. Order your copy today by clicking on the book cover above!
Mean Business: How I Save Bad Companies and Make Good Companies Great, Albert J. Dunlap, Chainsaw, Mr. Media Interviews "Mean Business: How I Save Bad Companies and Make Good Companies Great" by Albert J. Dunlap with Bob Andelman, available in print, e-book or digital audio. Order your copy now by clicking on the book cover above!

 

 

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