Builder and Public CIO took Magazine-of-the-Year Honors while PCWorld.com won Web Publication of the Year.

Cover image: Builder magazineBuilder magazine and Public CIO took honors as the Magazines of the Year, and PCWorld.com was named Web Publication of the Year at the 29th Annual Azbee Awards of Excellence presented by the American Society of Business Publication Editors. The ceremony was held at New York City’s Roosevelt Hotel Thursday, the first day of the 43-year-old organization’s two-day National Editorial Conference.

The Stephen Barr Award for feature writing went to David McClintick, an investigative reporter and author, for his feature article “How Harvard Lost Russia” in the January 2006 Institutional Investor.

McClintick examined Harvard University’s disastrous contract to help privatize financial markets in parts of the former Soviet Union.

Azbee Awards are given in 56 print, digital, and multi-platform categories, for editorial and graphic excellence, recognizing both large and smaller publications. This year, 41 Golds were given to organizations in editorial fields, and 31 Golds were awarded for graphics.

The biggest winners included CFO magazine, CIO magazine and Computerworld, with 11 national awards each. CFO took home an evening’s record nine Golds in categories from print editorial and graphics to Website to multi-platform.

Magazines of the Year and Web Publication of the Year

For its work in 2006, Builder was recognized as the top magazine among those of 80,000 circulation or larger, while Public CIO, a was honored in the under-80,000-circulation category.

Large-circulation magazines given honorable mention in the Magazine of the Year category were BusinessWeek and Teacher. In the under-80,000-circulation category, ASBPE gave honorable mentions to QSR, a magazine covering for those in the quick-service restaurant industry, and Residential Architect.

The judges said Builder is “editorially challenging — takes gutsy approaches to issues — examines major national issues and their affect on readers — transcendent reporting — meets its mission well — great typography.”

Of Public CIO, the judges said “Top tier — compelling information everyone has an interest in — brings ordinary subject matter to higher level — goes above and beyond — great magazine without flaunting itself — appears effortless — reader friendly.”

For honorable mention in the Web Publication of the Year competition won by PCWorld.com, ASBPE named CFO.com, eWeek.com, and Macworld.com.

Judges called PCWorld.com “well-organized, authoritative, informative, and entertaining. Inventory of how-to videos is a big plus. The presence of video for describing tips, test drives, and case studies, coupled with interactive attributes such as polls and tips from readers, enable PCWorld’s Web site to be one of the most useful Web sites of its kind.

“Clean look backed by solid content.”

This year ASBPE added categories recognizing excellence in digital Web publications, e-newsletters, digital magazines, and blogs. Another category likely to serve as a harbinger of the future was Multi-Platform General Excellence, won by CFO, honoring excellence in coordination of print with other mediums such as Web sites, e-newsletters, blogs, Webinars, or podcasts.

New categories were also added for print newsletters, which now vie for top honors for best feature article, how-to article, or original research.

Photo: David McClintickDavid McClintick, the Stephen Barr Award winner, is the consummate investigative reporter, known for works like 1982’s film-industry study Indecent Exposure, and for definitive magazine reports written for such publications as Forbes and Vanity Fair.

His story for Institutional Investor took readers back to the 1990s, when Russia stumbled toward establishing a free-market economy in Eastern Europe. The January 2006 piece focused on the depths of global political intrigue and corruption, but taught as much about the heights of hubris — at Harvard. The university had let professors engage, unchecked, in self-dealing as they became tangled in the malaise.

Emerging for Institutional Investor readers was Harvard’s “apparently limitless arrogance,” as one judge put it.

ASBPE’s fourth annual Stephen Barr Award, accompanied by a $500 cash prize, is named for a CFO reporter who died in 2002 at the age of 43.

“Last year was a great one for business-to-business publications,” said Roy Harris, ASBPE’s national president and a senior editor of CFO. “Winning entries helped readers understand such things as corporate recovery from a devastating storm like Hurricane Katrina, proper management of a company 401k plan, and the challenging life of a chief information officer.”

At the Azbee Awards banquet, famed magazine designer and author Jan White accepted the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award.