Farewell Mr. O’Brien
July 29th, 2009
When The Block sat down with recently-returned (and much-ballyhooed) Interview editor Glenn O’Brien, we had no idea that it would be O’Brien’s last interview while at the helm of the magazine. As we went to print, O’Brien was unceremoniously ousted after a scant 18 months at Brant Publications (Interview’s parent company) and replaced by former editor Fabien Baron.
But he sure didn’t go softly into the night; instead, O’Brien gabbed freely to the media, suggesting that he quit (the old “I dumped you first” game), and saying not-so-nice things about his former employers. “It’s been horrible for months,” he said to the New York Post, citing Interview’s inability to pay its contributors brought on by fiscal irresponsibility. The wave of departures after O’Brien’s termination – including the publication’s art director and creative directors – suggests O’Brien’s claims might carry some weight. “It’s like a Greek tragedy. Like watching a company going insane, instead of a person,” he vented to WWD. As for Baron’s return, O’Brien suggested that the reappointment was motivated by “revenge.”
Brant Publications wasn’t too keen on O’Brien talking about them behind their backs, though, and hit him back with a lawsuit. It turns out that all of O’Brien’s badmouthing was a breach of contract, as he’d signed a confidentiality agreement when he took the Interview post. Whoops. “I think this is a big joke,” O’Brien told WWD “I guess they need a distraction from their problems. They had a great magazine. What are they going to have now?” We don’t know what’ll happen to Interview, but we bet Sophocles might have some ideas. In the meantime, for a glimpse at what life was like at Interview before all the daggers came out, check out Susan Locht’s pre-scandal interview with Glenn O’Brien.Tweet