This year, no star-studded lunch planned for Time ‘Person of the Year’ rollout
Time magazine is gearing up for its annual Person of the Year rollout, in which the newsweekly anoints a public figure who "for better or for worse has done the most to influence the events of the year."
This year's festivities, however, will lack a key component: After more than a decade, Time has decided to scrap its Person of the Year luncheon, Capital has learned.
The early- to mid-November gathering at the Time & Life building has traditionally been a bold-faced affair in which reporters and industry-types listen to a panel of celebrities, politicians and other famous people discuss and debate potential Person of the Year honorees. (The winner is revealed with a special issue every December.)
Last year's edition featured Bryan Cranston, Padma Lakshmi, Newt Gingrich, Matt Lauer and Michael Nutter; the year before that, it was Brian Williams, Mario Batali, Anita Hill, Grover Norquist, Jesse Eisenberg and Seth Meyers; and in 2011 (when the event was held as a cocktail reception), Meghan McCain, Wyclef Jean and Joe Trippi were among those on the bill.
Asked why there will be no 2013 luncheon, a Time spokesman, Daniel Kile, said the magazine had decided to "pivot its event focus."
In October, Time hosted a special dinner in London for its other major franchise, the Time 100. A similar dinner is being planned for February in Hong Kong. Chivas signed on as the sponsor for both of them, whereas the Person of the Year luncheon was never a sponsored event, said Kile.
Time is also in a state of transition, with Nancy Gibbs having just replaced Rick Stengel as managing editor and a major web relaunch on tap for December.
The first Person of the Year lunch was held in 2002.
"We reserve the right to start it up again," said Kile.