That (as the ULA's Adam Hardin has exposed) Paris Review's Poetry Editor Richard Howard over the years has been handing out poetry awards to his former students is only a small part of their problem.
The real dilemma the rag faces is a limited talent pool to draw on in order to run and promote itself. Instead of being an anything-goes lit journal like those of the Lost Generation of the 20's (George Plimpton's original inspiration), Paris Review has chained itself to today's culturally in-bred and harmless literary aristocracy.
There is no one available anymore with Plimpton's charisma to run the journal, sympathizers like Charles McGrath bemoan! Of course not-- not among the department-store mannequins in the Ivy League temples they adore. Their day is over-- the charisma, artistic hunger, and imagination is with the underground.
The ULA can sit back and laugh at whoever PR chooses as new editor-- we know it'll be some well-groomed well-bred toady inocuous enough to meet with Robert Silvers and Company's approval-- with scarcely the thought and nary the visceral drive to make that museum relic of a publication exciting.
Remember that I met their staff when the ULA was in its infancy, when we hardly had our feet on the ground. Combined they had not the energy of their aging now-departed leader, much less of the undergrounders who stood in front of them. Since then the ULA has gotten better and stronger, with ever-growing skills at editing, writing, graphic design, p.r., and marketing. We lack only the Paris Review's reputation and money-- which is fine, because we don't want our ultimate victory to come too easily; we hope to have some competition from the powdered aristocrats, no matter how feeble.