Kurt Andersen is the author of the novels Heyday and Turn of the Century. Heyday was included on several best-books-of-the-year lists, and won the Langum Prize as the best American historical novel of 2007. Turn of the Century was a national bestseller. He has also written for film, television and the stage. He has written screenplays for Walt Disney Pictures and Village Roadshow. Currently, GreeneStreet Films is developing Turn of the Century as a film, for which he is serving as an executive producer. He is also developing a series for HBO. During the 1990s he was executive producer and head writer of two prime-time specials for NBC, How to Be Famous and Hit List. He was co-author of Loose Lips, a satirical off-Broadway revue. He is also host and co-creator of Studio 360, the Peabody Award-winning cultural magazine show produced by Public Radio International and WNYC. From 2001 through 2004 he served as a creative consultant to Universal Television, helping to create the Trio cable channel and to shape Universal's TV programming.
From 2004 through 2008 he wrote a column called "The Imperial City" for New York (one of which is included in The Best American Magazine Writing 2008), and contributes to Vanity Fair (where piece of his won a 2009 Deadline Club Award). He was previously a columnist for The New Yorker ("The Culture Industry") and Time ("Spectator"). He began his career in journalism at Time, where during the 1980s he was an award-winning writer on politics and criminal justice before becoming, for eight years, the magazine's architecture and design critic.
As an editor, he co-founded the legendary Spy, which transformed journalism and became profitable after three years. He also served as editor-in-chief of New York magazine during the mid-90s, presiding over its editorial reinvigoration and record profitability. In 1999 he co-founded Inside, an online and print publication covering the media and entertainment industries, and in 2004 and 2005 he oversaw a relaunch of Colors magazine. And he is editor-at-large for Random House, responsible for finding, conceiving, and overseeing non-fiction books.