With the fall issues on the newsstands, some magazine pros cross their fingers concerning planned ‘reorganizations’
Morning Brief: Several major magazine companies have already announced staff reductions, reorganizations or title closings, others wait for word on plans for 2017
The September issues have been long closed, they are on the newsstands, and most magazine companies are already concentrating on 2017. Unfortunately, it is also budget time, a time when executives are looking for expense reductions in light of decreased revenues.
In other words, it is a dangerous time for many in the business.
Time Inc. recently announced its reorganizations, proceeded by staff cuts that were not as publicly announced. Yesterday Time Inc. UK announced a consolidation of digital responsibilities, though no mention of cost reductions were mentioned, though the word “consolidation” does have that connotation.
Condé Nast has been in the news, as well, though as a private company it is unlikely that they will be announcing much.
The fact is that these are tough times for many print titles. While the leading brands have enjoyed amazing September issues, that success has not trickled down to all other titles.
I boarded a plane yesterday and the woman in front of me held a suitcase in one hand and the September issue of Elle in the other. The airline attendant joked that the woman would have to gate check that issue of Elle in order to board.
But I had to inform a friend of mine that soon he won’t be receiving one of his favorite magazines each month. Bonnier is reportedly shuttering its print editions of slands, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, and Caribbean Travel & Life, a decision that was a complete surprise to my friend, but not to me when I saw the latest issue.
This is something TNM has been warning about for a long time, that the rise of digital platforms will not mean the end of print publications, just the end of some. We can all pretend this situation doesn’t exist, but it only does a disservice to those in the profession.
What I have argued for consistently is that print titles need to imagine life without their print editions and plan for it. In the best case scenario, beefed up digital media efforts can combine with print, in worse case scenarios solid digital media efforts can be the lifeboat of a title. One cannot produce a PDF replica of a print edition when the print edition has been shuttered.
Latest iOS 10 related app updates:
Amazon Prime Now: iOS 10 support and bug fices.
Spotify Music: Update to version 6.5.0 adds support for Czech language.
TuneIn Radio: A bug fix update follow-up to their iOS 10 support update from last week.
Zillow Real Estate: iOS 10 support, plus added 3D Touch support.
AccuWeather: Follow-up to last week’s iOS 10 update, this one fixes crash issues.
Right wing media is up in arms over another of those firings that the Trump campaign has called simply PC gone amuck. Unfortunately, there is occasionally some truth in it.
A columnist for The Maneater was fired for supposedly sparking controversy. The Maneater is the campus paper for the University of Missouri at Columbia.
I’ve read both the column and the explanation for the firing and I am at a loss for what the editor is talking about. The column by Chris Vas, the paper’s conservative columnist and VP of Mizzou College Republicans, was about Black Lives Matters and argued that BLM’s stance on police violence is wrong because the organization should do something about the “breakdown of the black family.”
It’s a silly argument since that is not the mission of the organization. The equivalent argument would be that police shouldn’t stop crime because they aren’t social workers. It’s not their job, it is to police.
But as weak as the position may be, was it enough to be fired over? It was an opinion column, after all.
“We did not dismiss him from our staff over a difference of opinion. We fired him because we cannot have members of our staff actively seeking to spark controversy rather than foster healthy discussions,” wrote Jared Kaufman, editor-in-chief of the paper.
I had to read that sentence a few times to believe it was written. But the paragraph that followed was worse.
“Vas’ opinion column in question was just that — an opinion column, not a reported piece of journalism from our news department. The Maneater instituted strict policies earlier this year separating our news department from our opinion department. Staff writers cannot, under any circumstances, act as both an opinion columnist and a news reporter. The opinions expressed in the opinion section’s columns have no bearing on our ability to produce honest and unbiased journalism.”
Honestly, I don’t know what Kaufman is trying to say here. Yes, columns are different than news stories. But wasn’t the piece by Vas a column? Sure looked like it, it was labeled as such.
Is this an issue of being too PC, as some on the right claim? No, actually, it is an example of poor quality journalism, of not understanding the profession and making an illogical decision. Columnists write controversial, unsubstantiated columns all the time. If they didn’t the NY Post would have nothing to print.
I don’t think the firing reflects badly on the University of Missouri at Columbia, it reflects badly on the school’s journalism program. Maybe The Maneater, like many campus papers, is completely independent of the university and therefore independent of the journalism department. But one would assume that those that edit the paper go through that department in order to get staff positions.