Former George editor peddles JFK Jr. memoir

He fired contributors then for what he's doing now.

Published March 11, 2000 2:00PM (EST)

After John F. Kennedy Jr.'s private plane crashed off the coast of Martha's Vineyard last July, stunned staffers at his magazine, George, maintained a remarkable silence about their grief to the public. But now Richard Blow, the magazine's former executive editor who enforced that silence, is circulating a book proposal about his four-year experience at the magazine.

"It's his appreciation, or a reflection, or a memory, or however you want to look at it," says Blow's agent, Joni Evans of the William Morris Agency. (Blow could not be reached for comment.) While Evans did not want to give any further details about the proposal, many are wondering how deeply into Kennedy's personal life this book could go.

One insider who worked with Kennedy and Blow maintains that while the two were friendly, they weren't especially close. "They knew each other well in the sense that they worked together in the office every day," says RoseMarie Terenzio, Kennedy's former executive assistant, who worked for him at the magazine for five years. "I wouldn't call Rich an authority on the mission of George or John Kennedy."

As executive editor, Blow censured George writers who spoke publicly about the magazine's late co-founder after his death. Historian Douglas Brinkley was dismissed for going on the television talk-show circuit after the crash. And although veteran contributor Lisa DePaulo's reminiscences about Kennedy in New York magazine were warm, Blow fired her for it. "I'm shocked, but not surprised," she replied when told of Blow's proposal.

Some insiders may also be shocked because Blow, like most George employees, had signed a non-disclosure agreement when he came to work for the magazine. According to the same sources, the agreement prohibits employees from giving proprietary information about Random Ventures, George's parent company, and its joint-venture partner, Hachette-Filipacchi, or their principals. But Evans said that Blow signed the agreement only with Random Ventures, which according to him, is defunct.

Peter Olsen, the lawyer from Battle Fowler who represents (or represented) the company, would not comment, nor would Sen. Edward Kennedy's spokesman, Will Keyser, who has occasionally issued Kennedy family statements in the past.

By Craig Offman

Craig Offman is the New York correspondent for Salon Books.

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