Steve Jobs' death was not entirely unexpected, but it sent the news world--television, print, online--into scramble-mode to cover it.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek had been working on a special issue since late August, when Jobs stepped down as chief executive of Apple. Josh Tyrangiel, the magazine's editor, and 10 members of his staff started preparing the biographical issue two months ago to "capture the life of one of the most important innovators of our time."
When news of Jobs' death broke Wednesday, Tyrangiel decided to pull a planned cover story on Rick Perry and run its Jobs issue--ad free--instead. Going ad free was "right thing to do," a Bloomberg spokeswoman said.
The entire staff was called into the office at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, working through the night until the issue closed at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday. The 64-page issue, devoted entirely to Jobs, will hit newsstands Friday. (Ironically, BusinessWeek national correspondent Josh Green, who wrote the Perry story, boasted earlier this week that he had "just pulled my first all-nighter since grad school"--for the shelved Perry cover.)
Newsweek is planning a 72-page special issue on Jobs--to be published Monday--that will also be free of advertising.
Time magazine literally stopped the presses to produce a commemorative issue on Jobs.
The magazine, which is usually put to bed on Wednesday and published on Fridays, devoted 21 pages to Jobs' life, including a six-page essay by Walter Isaacson, the ex-editor of Time who has written a forthcoming Jobs biography. Jobs was "the greatest business executive of our era, the one most certain to be remembered a century from now," Isaacson writes.
Time's Harry McCracken and Lev Grossman go even further: "Steve Jobs remade the world as completely as any single human being ever has."
It's the seventh time Jobs has been on the cover of Time, "which puts him in the category of presidents and other world leaders," editor Rick Stengel writes.
For the cover, Time used a vintage a photograph of Jobs--sitting in his living room with what you might call the world's first laptop computer--taken by Norman Seeff in 1984.
"We were just sitting, talking about creativity and everyday stuff in his living room," Seeff recalled in a post on Time's photography blog. "I was beginning to build a level of intimacy with him, and then he rushed off, and came back in and plopped down in that pose. He spontaneously sat down with a Macintosh in his lap. I got the shot the first time."
Seeff added: "I didn't pick up any arrogance or superiority—he was just being himself, having a great time. It felt like, when we were hanging out, chatting in that lounge, that we were old time buddies, without any hierarchical relationship. As a photographer, I do give direction, but Steve was up for doing anything. We ended up lying on the ground, drinking beer and the images created themselves."
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