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Waiting for 02138

This New York Observer piece has the fullest accounting yet of life at the much celebrated, but still unpublished 02138 magazine being bankrolled by Atlantic Monthly and National Journal boss David Bradley. You've certainly gotta give these guys credit for creating pre-launch buzz. But frankly, some of the infighting between the young 02138 upstarts sharing quarters with a few dispirited stragglers left after the Atlantic moved to D.C. is pretty sad. Here's an example from the piece: (P.S. -- Mr Kim is the magazine's founder and president.)


When Mr. Kim and his growing staff moved into the offices being vacated by The Atlantic’s production department in January, a turf battle broke out, according to Atlantic sources. “There was confusion about things like supplies and printer paper,” one Atlantic staffer said. Mr. Kim further antagonized the Atlantic contingent by printing up stationary for 02138 bearing The Atlantic’s Boston fax number—a line that was supposed to be transferred, along with the accompanying machine, to D.C.
 
Later that month, Mr. Kim moved a gray couch that had been outside the office of The Atlantic’s then art director, Mary Parsons, into the office of his incoming managing editor.
 
“It was her personal couch,” a staffer said. “It wasn’t an Atlantic couch.”
 
The next morning, the couch was returned. (“It’s just confusion,” Mr. Kim said. “We wanted to be very sensitive.”) Following the incident, Atlantic office manager Robert Moeller affixed labels to Atlantic staffers’ items and boxes reading “You Touch, You Die.”
 
The Atlantic’s Boston outpost is now down to four employees. When the lease on the current office ends next year, both operations will move on to a space somewhere outside the North End. In the new offices, The Atlantic and 02138 will likely have separate entrances.
 
Meanwhile, according to one Atlantic source, 02138 has seized control of the in-house supply of coffee beans.

Fighting over coffee beans? Sounds like the famous strawberries scene from The Caine Mutiny.

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