September 15, 2017 Last Updated 11:54 am

Spain looks to cut off Catalan finances to prevent Oct. 1 vote; Media reporters ponder the exit of four big name editors

Morning Brief: Fall means budgeting and forecasting for the new year — and in today’s magaziune publishing environment, it often means making tough cost-cutting decisions, as print ad revenue continues to fall

The crisis in Spain and the Korean peninsula heated up yet again this morning, while in London an explosion in the underground caused 22 people to be taken to the hospital, though deaths have as yet been reported in the incident that police are calling an act of terror. Yes, the weekend cannot come fast enough.

Catalan officials sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, with a copy to the king, to try and reach an agreement on the referendum. But the Spanish government appears to have no interest in seeing Catalans vote on independence, and today sought to free the regional government’s money, to prevent Catalunya from being able to pay for the October 1 election.

For background: Carles Puigdemont, mentioned below, is President of the Generalitat of Catalonia. Ada Colau ios the mayor of Barcelona.

El País, Ana Pantaleoni and Mar Rocabert Maltas:

Puigdemont and Colau ask by letter to Rajoy and the King to agree the referendum

The letter, advanced by RAC1 and also published in the Financial Times, notes that “political conflicts are resolved in democratic systems, through political proposals that are the result of negotiations and dialogue.” They add that “between Catalonia and the Spanish State exists a clear political conflict that comes from a distance and that we have tried to solve with the maximum agreement.”

…The document, 16 days after October 1 , explains that “the response has always been a negative or, worse, an unsustainable regressive reaction. “When the Constitutional Court overturned the Statute, which had previously been voted by the Catalan and Spanish parliaments and passed in referendum by the citizens of Catalonia, broke the constitutional pact of 1978.”

The Spain Report:

Spain Finance Minister Announces Central Government To Take Control Of Catalan Finances

Spain’s Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, announced on Friday afternoon that the central government in Madrid is taking control of “most” payments in Catalonia faced with the “manifest illegality” of the separatist referendum and to “guarantee public service as much as possible”.

“It is a payment control system, it does not affect the powers devolved to the Catalan government”, he said: “we are guaranteeing that no payment”, “not one euro”, “goes towards that illegal activity”.



North Korea today fired yet another missile, flying it over Japan once again.

Like a Donald Trump tweet, there will be a vocal reaction, then some meetings, and then everyone will move on until the next missile is fired. Some will call for a military response, but squeezing North Korea feels like a better, and more mature way to handle the situation.

The Telegraph, Chris Graham, Danny Boyle and Neil Connor:

North Korea fires second missile over Japan as US tells China and Russia to take ‘direct action’

North Korea has fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile that flew over Japan before landing in the northern Pacific Ocean. It was the second aggressive test-flight over the territory of the close US ally in less than a month and it followed the sixth and most powerful nuclear test by North Korea to date on September 3….

…Sirens sounded and alerts were issued in Japan as residents were warned to take shelter while the missile passed over Hoakkaido.

“We can never tolerate that North Korea trampled on the international community’s strong, united resolve toward peace that has been shown in UN resolutions and went ahead again with this outrageous act,” Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, said.

The Washington Post, Fareed Zakaria:

Kim Jong Un — smart and strategic?

I am sometimes asked what world figure I most want to interview. For me, the answer is obvious: Kim Jong Un. The general impression around the globe continues to be that the North Korean leader is crazy, provocative and unpredictable, but I think that he might well be strategic, smart and utterly rational. Because I am unlikely to get that interview, I have decided to imagine it instead…

Q: So will you come to the negotiating table? Will you agree to denuclearization in return for the lifting of sanctions?

A: Yes and no. We will readily come to the table. But we will never give up our arsenal. We’re not stupid. It’s all that is keeping us alive. Look at Saddam Hussein — and we never forget that North Korea was named as part of the “axis of evil” a year before the United States invaded Iraq. Look what happened to Moammar Gaddafi in Libya after he agreed to give up his nuclear weapons program. Look at what’s happening to Iran right now.



The magazine business rarely gets much press unless it is when a big name magazine folds. But this week the magazine business is in the news as the editors of some of the nation’s largest magazines have decided it is time to go.

Most media reporters are right pointing to the fact that the big magazines can no longer afford expensive, celebrity editors these days, and so the exit of so many big name editors is to be expected. But it is also true that some of the publishers involved are less interested, and also less knowledgable about magazines and are looking elsewhere for their futures. In the meantime, while they pivot to video or whatever, they are doing what they know best: they are cutting costs.

NY Post, Keith Kelly:

Why the days of the ‘celebrity editor’ are now over

So what’s going on?

Well, for one, it is planning time for all the big publishers and, with big budgets cuts said to be looming at nearly every company, heads are likely to roll. For some editors, the face in the mirror had a bull’s-eye on it…

…The celebrity editor — the ones with Town Cars, big salaries and wonderful perks — have actually slowly been disappearing for years…

“All these top cats will be replaced by top kittens, less expensive than they are,” said a magazine veteran.

CNN, Brian Stelter:

Why the exodus of four top editors marks the end of an era for the magazine industry

Why have four of the magazine industry’s best-known editors stepped down in the past week? It’s not a coordinated exodus. But it’s not entirely a coincidence either.

The transition from the print age to the digital age has been grueling. Major publishers have been making hard choices about cuts. And analysts expect even more cost-cutting in the near future…

…Another factor was the financial health of the magazine’s parent company Condé Nast. “Condé Nast is looking to make major cuts,” and that was “a factor that contributed to Carter’s decision to depart,” a Condé insider told CNNMoney.

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