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December 14, 2009

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Paul Riddell

I love the comment "there's been a winnowing of the weak ones". She meant "there's been a winnowing of the magazines that only exist as workfare for the publisher's alma mater," right?

Seriously, if there's any one good thing I've seen about this crunch, it's the number of publishers who look at their subscribers as something other than RealDolls. Ten years ago, two-thirds of the magazines to which I subscribed would get their subscribers' copies out anywhere between two weeks to a month after the newsstands got theirs. (In fact, I was working for one of those in 2000, where I got my contributor's copies a full four weeks before I got my subscription copy, and the editor effectively told me that the subscribers should be thankful that they got their copies when they did. Of course, this was also a magazine where the "30 days to payment" clause in its contract really meant "If you get your check in six months without having to hold the publisher hostage, you're obviously the golden child on staff.") Now? The only magazine in my household list that still pulls that crap is "ReadyMade", and that's only one of the many reasons why my wife is letting the subscription lapse.

Anonymous

Paul,

Who are you and why do you have a huge story-like comment for every article here? You sound very bitter. Let it go.

msbpodcast

"No man but a blockhead wrote but for money" said ol' Samuel Johnson.

Then again, to quote A. J. Liebing: "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one."

The number of writers and editors will keep on growing, but the number of publishers, people who controlled access to a printing press, will decline and then disappear.

The Media, being print, in all its forms, radio, the movies and television, are coalescing into the single internet which can carry all the disparate forms, are currently in disarray as the disintermediation accelerates.

The "Freedom of the press" Liebling referred to is literally access to a printing press and access to the distribution of printed matter.

I would extend that to radio, movies and television.

These are extremely expensive things, guarded by cohorts and protected by legion from unauthorized access.

But they are not protected from being passed over and ignored by another medium: The Internet.

Eventually, this site and the NewspaperDeahWatch will stand as mute testaments to the hubris of scarcity in the face over overwhelming plenty.

Paul Riddell

Bitter? Anything but. I just look forward to a day when the dregs of journalism give up on magazine publication and go for careers in fields more suitable for their talents, interests, and aptitudes. Child pornography, for instance.

Paul Riddell

And if this weren't already so funny, MediaWeek reports that Conde Nast plans to make up lost revenue by raising cover prices: http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/content_display/news/magazines-newspapers/e3i719dc07a203bf2ec443a662b601030a1
I think we can all agree that this is going to have the effect we all expect: the Reaper is going to have a VERY happy Christmas.

Shannon

A photo of a veterans cemetary was used to depict magazines not being published anymore. Anyone else see that as grossly inappropriate?

NYC Editor

Paul,

I'm sitting here in midtown Manhattan, where I work for one of the big publishing companies. Over the past couple of years I've seen dozens of my friends and colleagues lose their jobs as magazine after magazine has downsized or gone out of business. These are people who got into the magazine business for all kinds of reasons--because they liked reading and writing when they were kids and become English majors. Because they thought magazines were a cool medium for entertaining and informing. Because they liked putting out something creative. Because it's no more or less important than making TV shows or designing clothes or building cars. For whatever reason, they had jobs they had worked hard at, jobs that brought a lot of people who subscribed to their magazines some enjoyment and pleasure.

And as every one of these people loses a job it brings on a crisis, sometimes big, sometimes small. There are editors and writers who can't pay their mortgages, who can't see their families over the holidays, who are losing their health insurance. Maybe the magazines they made didn't change the world, but to some people they mattered.

Maybe not you, but clearly you're a dick.

Thanks.

Another NYC Editor

Don't you have something to do, Paul? Get a life, go get yourself a hobby, anything but taking it out on everyone else because of your issues with the field. Going by your self-afflicted mistakes, why would anyone listen to you?

Chris

Paul. You are a toolbag. No one owes anyone a living. Magazines promote themselves as aggressively as any other product.

No subscriber. No magazine. That simple.

Why no subscriber? The answer is in front of you.

This morning I read the newspaper, got my weather report, looked at some porn, watched a funny video and didn't pay shit for it.

The magazine industry will eventually be reduced to convenience charged paid content (if at all) on mobile devices like the ipad. Staff will get smaller. Content providers will consolidate.

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