These are challenging times for print journalism. The Boston Globe, which the New York Times acquired in 1993 for $1.1 billion, recently sold for $70 million (or perhaps negative $40 million, as Matt Yglesias suggests). Jeff Bezos just bought the Washington Post for $250 million, a fraction of its former worth (and he may have paid four times its true value).
But print journalism was good to many people for many years. In the glory days of magazine writing, publications would pay several dollars a word for features that were thousands of words long. These generous fees might explain how a prominent magazine journalist amassed enough cash to buy a four-bedroom apartment Manhattan, which he recently sold to a law firm associate for just under $2 million.
That’s a sizable chunk of change for a young lawyer. How many sixth-year associates can afford $2 million apartments? Let’s learn more of the facts….
The journalist in question supplemented his income through screenwriting. Here’s the scoop from the New York Observer:
Journalism has never been the most remunerative field, but Stephen Schiff figured out a way to make it work for him: write a Hollywood screenplay. Lolita and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps may not have been the most critically-acclaimed films of all time, but they seem to have done well enough for the former New Yorker journalist — he just sold his four-bedroom Hell’s Kitchen pad for $1.9 million.
Schiff might have made a lot of money from his Hollywood work, but he has serious journalistic chops, as noted in his Wikipedia entry:
[Schiff] began his writing career at The Boston Phoenix, where he became the chief film critic and film editor (succeeding David Denby), and hired and trained such critics as Owen Gleiberman and David Edelstein.
In 1983, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism. Later that year, he was named Critic-at-Large of Vanity Fair, a post he held until 1992, when he became a staff writer at The New Yorker, specializing in cultural profiles, many of which appeared under his rubric, “Cultural Pursuits.” His subjects included Steven Spielberg, V.S. Naipaul, Stephen Sondheim, Oliver Stone, Muriel Spark, and Edward Gorey.
Schiff left the New Yorker in 2003 to become a full-time screenwriter, working on such films as The Deep End of the Ocean, True Crime, and Unfaithful.
According to the Observer, Schiff sold his apartment at 325 West 52nd Street to Andrew and Lauren Cutson Janian. At the time of their 2007 wedding, which got written up in the New York Times, Lauren Cutson Janian was a 3L at Washington University in St. Louis and Andrew Janian was a software designer at Scottrade. They met as undergraduates at WUSTL.
Both have moved on to more lucrative employment. Lauren Janian is an associate at Davis & Gilbert, the well-regarded midsize firm known for its strength in serving the marketing communications industry, where she practices in the Private Client Services Practice Group (trusts and estates). She previously worked at Paul Weiss. Andrew Janian is a senior vice president at Two Sigma Investments, where he oversees the firm’s high-frequency trading platform.
So her hedge-fund husband might be doing a lot of the financial heavy lifting here, but Lauren Janian is certainly doing her fair share for the household. Her salary can easily cover the $2,100 monthly maintenance on the apartment and also contribute towards the mortgage.
Now let’s take a look at the Janians’ roomy new home….