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Thread: Print publishing death watch

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  1. #1
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    Print publishing death watch

    Over the holidays, everyone always asks me how the magazine is doing. Well, as I've said many times before, the industry is on a downward spiral and we're fortunate to remain on the newsstands. Now, AsianWeek is ending it's print run and going completely digital. There may come a day when I have to write a letter like this, but I surely hope not:

    December 30, 2008
    To Our Readers:

    AsianWeek has played a long and significant role in helping develop Asian Pacific America, from publishing the first 1980 U.S. Census data on Asian and Pacific Islanders Americans, to co-publishing the most comprehensive textbook analyzing 2000 Census data with UCLA.

    AsianWeek has also changed itself to keep up with the rapidly evolving Asian American community. This includes the re-launching of AsianWeek.com as the largest Asian American news site, using the newest delivery tools for electronic media. We also have worked to bring together the increasingly diverse segments of the Asian Pacific American community, organizing events like the Asian Heritage Street Celebration and community-wide campaigns like the San Francisco Hep B Free initiative. Our news focus has shifted in turn, to reflect the growing focus of Asian Pacific Americans on their own career, professional and business development. We are also producing more special newspaper sections around issues as diverse as heritage, health issues and car reviews.

    The economy and the news business have experienced their own changes. There are fewer major newspapers, fewer newspaper readers and fewer newspaper advertisers than ever before. A faltering economy has accelerated the decline. Meanwhile, Asian Pacific Americans have led the way in the digital revolution migrating away from print media and into receiving their news and information electronically.

    To reflect these changing times, AsianWeek will cease regular newspaper publication immediately. We will continue to publish on-line and in special newspaper editions. Electronic versions of AsianWeek articles will be available free via email. We will also be more active than ever in the community, helping Asian Pacific America to grow, evolve and reach its full potential. We appreciate the support the community has given us over the last three decades and look forward to giving back to the community for many decades to come.

    James Fang,
    President

    Ted Fang,
    Editor and Publisher
    We brushed on this topic in another thread with Rolling Stone's format change and the end of the print version of Christian Science Monitor.

    What can you do? Well, you can help us by subscribing. That helps us keep our numbers up. Of course, buying us at the newsstand helps too.

    Thanks for your support!
    Last edited by KFQ Admin; 10-06-2009 at 07:00 PM. Reason: Product wrong URL
    Gene Ching
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  2. #2
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    Have you thought about making it avaialble to download, like in PDF format?
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  3. #3
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    sure

    We've been contacted by a few companies that do that, as well as considered doing it ourselves. The market is still unstable on the viability of subscription-based PDF zines, so we're watching to see if that's even viable in the long run. Most online publications are more towards the model we have now (or what AsianWeek is doing) - free access for the most part. That's tricky to monetize, but fortunately, we have built-in advertising.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  4. #4
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    Another one bites the dust

    Newspapers are having a much more difficult time than magazines. Most people are getting their news off the net. What's more, want ads, which have been traditionally a major source of income for newspapers, have all gone to the net. The most difficult part of this is that it's really hard for newspapers to monetize their websites. There are major discussions about the impact this will have on journalism as a whole as more newspapers dissolve.
    Plan to Close Chinese-Language Paper Deepens a Shadow Over the Ethnic Press
    By KIRK SEMPLE
    Published: January 22, 2009

    There is nothing overt at the modest headquarters of The Ming Pao Daily News to suggest that the 12-year-old newspaper is under siege. In the paper’s small warren of offices in an industrial building in Long Island City, Queens, the advertising and reporting staffs are still working the phones and putting out their scrappy broadsheet as if nothing were amiss.

    The Ming Pao Daily News, one of four Chinese-language dailies in New York, is set to close.

    But looming over the entire enterprise is a plan by the paper’s corporate parent, Media Chinese International Limited, based in Hong Kong, to shut it down. Though the plan has yet to be formally announced, and several of the paper’s employees said they still remained in the dark about their future, the paper’s general manager confirmed in an interview with The New York Times last week that the daily would indeed disappear from newsstands, possibly as soon as the end of the month.

    News of Ming Pao’s demise has shaken New York’s ethnic press industry, which until recently remained extremely robust but, like many other industries, has been buffeted by the nation’s economic slowdown in the past few months.

    In recent weeks, two other prominent ethnic newspapers have also closed. Hoy New York, a Spanish-language daily started in 1998, published its last print issue on Dec. 30, though it retains a presence on the Internet. AsianWeek, a widely respected English-language Asian-American weekly based in San Francisco, published its last print issue on Jan. 2, though it, too, remains online.

    Ning Wang, editor in chief of The Sing Tao Daily, one of Ming Pao’s three rival Chinese-language dailies in New York, said Ming Pao’s departure would diminish the city’s Chinese-American community, which as recently as the mid-1980s supported 10 daily newspapers.

    “For the community it’s a very depressing thing,” Mr. Wang said.

    But in an interview, Ming Pao’s general manager, Thong Lai Teng, said that the news was not all bad and cast the paper’s closing as something of a new beginning.

    While the company planned to cease publication of the daily, which costs 50 cents a copy on the newsstand, it would continue publishing a free, six-day-a-week newspaper, called MP (NY) Free Daily, introduced more than a year ago.

    The Ming Pao staff has already been supplying most of the free daily’s content, Mr. Teng said. And though there would be some layoffs, he added, most of the workers would remain, ensuring that The Ming Pao Daily News would survive in substance and spirit, if not in name.

    He said the shift and belt-tightening were necessary for the company to stay alive.

    “We are here to stay!” he exclaimed, with a bit more gusto than the paper’s struggles would seem to allow.

    Circulation of the free daily has been increasing in proportion to the decrease in the paid daily’s circulation, propelled by an enthusiastic response from advertisers, Mr. Teng claimed.

    Some 35,000 copies of the free daily are distributed daily, he said. Meanwhile, he added, the circulation of the paid daily has declined significantly from about 45,000 early last year, though he did not divulge the current circulation numbers.

    News of Ming Pao’s plans have filtered out in a curious way. Two rival newspapers published thinly sourced articles in late December reporting Ming Pao’s closure. Then in an article on Dec. 31, Ming Pao published a vague article about the change.

    But when first approached about the plans last week, the paper’s staff members and managers refused to confirm the closing, deferring instead to the corporate parent company for comment. When it was pointed out to Mr. Teng that the corporation’s plans had already been reported by one of his own correspondents, he appeared confused, then insisted that the article had been printed prematurely. “The editor wasn’t in the office that day,” he said.

    Analysts of the ethnic news media say that Ming Pao’s plans, and the recent closings of Hoy and AsianWeek, are most likely a harbinger of much more contraction in this sector of the media industry.

    Until the middle of last year, analysts say, the ethnic press was largely insulated from the vicissitudes of the newspaper industry, including severe downturns in advertising revenue and circulation, which have brought many mainstream newspapers to their knees.

    Devoutly focused on local, largely immigrant communities, ethnic newspapers provide readers with news particular to those populations and reports from the immigrants’ homelands that are hard to find elsewhere. They also address the specific needs of immigrants trying to adjust to a new country and new lifestyle.

    “People don’t necessarily see themselves reflected in the mainstream media, so different cultural populations were turning to the ethnic media more and more,” said Cristina L. Azocar, director of the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism at San Francisco State University.

    In addition, advertisers are often the neighbors and acquaintances of the newspapers’ staff, creating an intimate relationship between the newspapers and the communities they serve, analysts said. Many ethnic papers have not gone online in any comprehensive way, but until the broader economic downturn, that did not much matter since much of the readership, particularly in working-class and poorer communities, may not have been connected to the Internet anyway.

    But beginning last year, growth in the ethnic press began to level off and the footing of many papers has not been secure enough to withstand the recession.

    Ethnic newspapers are now having to scramble to stay alive, cutting staff, printing less frequently and shifting to the Internet.

    “Some are finding very innovative ways to keep afloat and others are committed to operating in the red,” said Sandy Close, director of New America Media, a nationwide association of more than 2,000 ethnic media organizations.

    According to several current and former Ming Pao staff members, the paper has always struggled to find a niche for itself in the rough-and-tumble market of Chinese-language dailies.

    Ming Pao was founded in 1997 as an offshoot of a well-respected daily in Hong Kong that also publishes iterations in San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver. It has tried to cast itself as the most intellectual of the four Chinese-language dailies in New York, mirroring the reputation of the Hong Kong paper. But it has not been able to cut deeply enough into their market share, industry experts say.

    An employee smoking a cigarette outside Ming Pao’s offices in Long Island City last week said he was unsettled by the possibility of layoffs, but he was also philosophical about the matter. The economic malaise, he pointed out, was ubiquitous. “It’s happening to everybody,” he shrugged. “Not just us.”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  5. #5
    My wife bought me a two year subscription for Christmas. I haven't received the first one yet, but I figure it will be the issue I already own.... the Shaolin Special for 09. I did get the t-shirt though!

    Can't wait to get them at the door instead of waiting (and sometimes forgetting) to pick them up at the store.

  6. #6
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    Alas, we'll probably see the end of them as we know them in the next ten years. There is no denying the power of the digital media.
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    Pre-order Kung! Twisted Barbarian Felony from your favorite comic shop!

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    Chief_Suicide

    If your wife got you a sub for Xmas, you got a great wife.

    Your probably subscription won't start with the Shaolin special issue. Those were actually shipped out in late November. It should start with the new Mar/Apr 2009 which was shipped out a week or so ago, and will be hitting the newsstands Feb 3rd.
    Gene Ching
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  8. #8

    AnCo forced into Chapt. 7

    Hi Gene,
    Wow, I had not been following the distributors case. Looks very bad for Anderson. See this Publishers Weekly piece from a few days ago:

    http://www.publishersweekly.com/arti...&rid=468490239

    Yikes, what are "we" doing to do?

    take care,
    Brian

  9. #9
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    A new reader demographic?

    This goes all sorts of ways in my mind. None of them are flattering to our readers, and I want to cater to our readers, so I'll just leave this here.

    Stop monkeying around, time to study! Chimpanzees enjoy reading magazines in China

    Two chimpanzees were spotted reading magazines in a zoo at Chongqing, south-west China
    The magazines are all about photography and internet knowledge, according to the zookeeper
    Visitors were surprised by the act of the two animals and the pictures were widely shared in China

    By TIFFANY LO FOR MAILONLINE
    PUBLISHED: 05:38 EST, 29 December 2016 | UPDATED: 07:30 EST, 29 December 2016

    These two chimpanzees might just be the most diligent animals yet.

    The pair of animals have been spotted reading magazines in a zoo at Chongqing, south-west China this week.

    According to Huanqiu.com, an affiliation to People's Daily Online, the caretaker put a few copies of magazines in the room to see if the chimp will be interested. Soon after, visitors found the two chimps picked up the magazines and started reading.


    Self-study: The chimpanzees showed some serious interests on these magazines in a zoo in China


    'If the chimps start reading books and magazines, it's time for me to get back to my study!' One visitor commented

    'The magazines are all about photography and internet knowledge,' said one of the caretakers.

    Pictures of the amusing scene, taken on December 27, were quickly shared on Chinese internet.

    'They didn't hold the magazines upside down. They are really smart animals,' Liu, one of the web users said.

    Chimpanzees are often referred as human's closest primate relatives and have high intelligence in learning and adapting new environment.


    Sshh! Time to study: The chimpanzees showed a huge interest in photography magazine as it appears in the picture


    Unexpected: Chimpanzee caretakers put the magazines in the room and was surprised to see the animals reading them


    The two chimps are living in Yongchuan Wildlife Animal World, Chongqing, south-west China

    The chimpanzees are residents of a zoo inside Leheledu Holiday Resort, in Yongchuan, Chongqing.

    The zoo was opened in 2000 with more than 430 animal species, including some endangered and protected species such as snow leopard and Strawberry tiger.

    Later, the zoo expanded to Leheledu Holiday Resort with restaurants and accommodations.
    BTW, I started a 2017 Year of the Fire Rooster thread.
    Gene Ching
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  10. #10
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    Naked is normal

    More on Playboy on this thread here. Taking nudes out of Playboy would be like us taking out weapons....err....I mean 'practice tools'

    Playboy Brings Back Nudes
    Hugh Hefner's son Cooper says, "Not so fast," promises to return Playboy to its sexually liberating roots.

    By Greg Dool :: February 13, 2017



    It seems that not enough people read it for the articles, after all.

    A year after Hugh Hefner's legendary men's magazine made waves by dropping the nude pictorials that defined its brand for six decades, Playboy revealed today its decision to call off the experiment and return to its roots with a March/April issue bannered, "Naked is normal."

    “I’ll be the first to admit the way in which the magazine portrayed nudity was dated, but removing it entirely was a mistake,” read a statement released on social media by Cooper Hefner, who took over as Playboy's chief creative officer in October. “Nudity was never the problem, because nudity isn’t a problem. Today, we’re taking our identity back and rediscovering who we are."

    That's quite a backpedal from the October 2015 assessment by then-CEO Scott Flanders, who spearheaded the magazine's non-nude makeover in an effort to reach younger audiences.

    “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free," Flanders told The New York Times, contemplating Playboy's place in an increasingly digital world. "And so it’s just passé at this juncture."

    Flanders stepped down as CEO in May after six years at the helm, and just three months after a Wall Street Journal report indicated that the elder Hefner, alongside majority shareholder Rizvi Traverse Management, was exploring a sale. That same report indicated that while the company's media assets remain lucrative — pulling in $38 million in revenue in 2015 — far more valuable is its brand licensing business, accounting for nearly 60 percent of overall revenues. Then-chief creative officer Cory Jones was let go in July.

    Early returns indicated that the decision to pull nudity was a prudent one; single-copy sales jumped 28 percent in the first six months of 2016 over the same period the year before, according to data from the Alliance for Audited Media. Unfortunately for Playboy, subscribers account for the overwhelming majority of its circulation, which tumbled 23 percent in the same period, to 816,926. To put those numbers in greater context, Playboy sold 7.2 million copies of its November 1972 edition, and its circulation topped 3 million as recently as 2006.

    To Cooper Hefner's credit, the 25-year-old heir says he was averse to the decision to cut nudity from the start.

    "I do not agree with the decisions and the direction that the company is currently going in," said Cooper in a candid interview with Business Insider last week, before heavily implying that he was isolated from the company board due to disagreements with Flanders.

    "Millennials and Gen-Y didn't view nudity as the issue," Hefner elaborated. "The issue was the way in which nudity and the girls were portrayed."

    In a lengthier editor's letter posted on Playboy.com, Hefner details his father's role in America's sexual revolution before seemingly equating the magazine's celebration of nudity to other cultural norms being threatened in the modern climate, like religious tolerance, healthcare rights, and preserving the First Amendment.

    The March/April issue, on newsstands now, features cover model Elizabeth Elam, as well as a profile of CNN commentator Van Jones, interviews with Scarlett Johansson and Adam Scott, and an essay by Hefner's fianceé, actress Scarlett Byrne.

    Whether or not Cooper Hefner will extend his efforts to pulling the Playboy Mansion off the market remains to be seen.

    Meet the Author
    Greg Dool
    @gregdool
    Greg Dool is Folio:'s senior editor.
    Gene Ching
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  11. #11
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    This article affects me personally

    I claim to be a publisher and I fit this author's criterion, but I'm no Hearst, Luce, Pulitzer or Nast. No even.

    Who Deserves to Be Called a Publisher?
    By Scott McDonald



    What does it mean to be called a publisher? In an earlier era, the term called to mind the entrepreneurial titans of print journalism. William Randolph Hearst. Henry Luce. Joseph Pulitzer. Condé Nast (the person, not the company). These were legendary publishers who established vast media enterprises. These were powerful publishers who found their ways into the hearts and minds of the masses, whom politicians feared or respected.
    More recently, the term seems to have lost its meaning. Companies that used to call themselves “publishers” are now more likely to call themselves “cross-platform content creators” – anodyne and generic though that may sound.
    The term “publisher” also has come to describe fewer and fewer jobs in the industry. Indeed, within the last year, Time Inc. and Condé Nast, both estimable companies built on foundations of print media, have all but eliminated “publisher” as a job title, recognizing that by 2016 those functions had become little more than glorified ad sales directors.
    At the same time in a different context, the term “publisher” has grown to encompass vast numbers of others who previously would not have laid claim to the title. In the argot of the digital advertising marketplace, all producers of professional-caliber content (whether words, photography, graphics, video, audio) are classified as “publishers” regardless of whether or not they have ever produced anything on a printing press. In present parlance, being a publisher connotes being a content creator who displays a degree of professionalism and who (usually) accepts advertising. So in this context, TV broadcasters are publishers, as are digital-only magazines (like the one you are reading). In this broad and encompassing definition, most bloggers would count as publishers. So perhaps would controversial YouTube stars and purveyors of fake news.
    As we recently learned, Cameron Harris fabricated a fictitious but professional-looking story about the discovery of thousands of fraudulent ballots pre-marked for Hillary Clinton, promoted it until it went viral on social media by appealing to those already pre-disposed to dislike Clinton; what’s more, Harris earned $5,000 from Google for the automated ad placements that resulted. Professional-looking content + ad revenue. Does he deserve to be called a publisher?
    Perhaps our definitions need to be reconsidered in a way that restores some honor to the title of publisher. Perhaps we need some kind of quality scale that rewards good behavior. Does the website have explicit standards of journalistic verification and fact checking for the content it produces? Does it screen its suppliers and its content partners to uphold those standards? Can it honestly claim that most of its traffic comes from “organic” sources – ie. humans who really want that content. Does it buy traffic from third parties in order to meet advertising obligations (a notorious source of fraudulent ad impressions).Does it employ strong bot filters? Does it submit to frequent audits from industry accreditation bodies like the MRC and the AAM? Does it use any form of copy acceptance to screen out abusive misleading ads or phony content recommendations (e.g. “Trump authorizes new mortgage lending”) designed to tempt unwary consumers to click through. Can it demonstrate real consumer value by getting people to pay for the content they consume?
    This is just a partial list, but you get my drift. There are very specific, auditable criteria that could separate quality publishers from nefarious bad actors in the content creation business. How many of the top 500 or the top 100,000 in the Alexa list would pass muster with such a quality scale?
    In the past few months, we have seen many articles commenting on the “flight to quality” taking place both among consumers and advertisers. In the wake of the populist-inspired Brexit vote in the U.K. and the election of Donald Trump in the U.S., the “quality media” in both countries have seen an enormous upsurge in paid consumer demand. The New York Times ended 2016 with 1.6 million digital subscribers, up 47% for the year. The Washington Post reported a 75% gain in subscribers in 2016, more than doubling their revenue from digital subscriptions. Similar upticks were reported by such publications as The Guardian, Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
    On the advertiser side, the “flight to quality” was prompted as some advertisers discovered, to their horror, that their programmatic ad buys had inadvertently been funding terror sites or the propagation of fake news. Already alarmed at the continued presence of fraud and junk in the digital advertising supply chain, these more recent discoveries added insult to injury. Hence, demands for probity and quality rang loud and clear at recent industry meetings.
    It’s time for a re-set. It’s time to restore a bit of honor to the term “publisher” and thereby restore more trust and comity to the digital advertising marketplace. More explicit and transparent indices of quality are needed.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  12. #12
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    Like a Rolling Stone

    Rolling Stone, Once a Counterculture Bible, Will Be Put Up for Sale


    Jann Wenner, left, and his son, Gus, in a portrait taken at Rolling Stone’s headquarters last year.
    JESSE DITTMAR FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
    By SYDNEY EMBER
    SEPTEMBER 17, 2017

    From a loft in San Francisco in 1967, a 21-year-old named Jann S. Wenner started a magazine that would become the counterculture bible for baby boomers. Rolling Stone defined cool, cultivated literary icons and produced star-making covers that were such coveted real estate they inspired a song.

    But the headwinds buffeting the publishing industry, and some costly strategic missteps, have steadily taken a financial toll on Rolling Stone, and a botched story three years ago about an unproven gang rape at the University of Virginia badly bruised the magazine’s journalistic reputation.

    And so, after a half-century reign that propelled him into the realm of the rock stars and celebrities who graced his covers, Mr. Wenner is putting his company’s controlling stake in Rolling Stone up for sale, relinquishing his hold on a publication he has led since its founding.

    Mr. Wenner had long tried to remain an independent publisher in a business favoring size and breadth. But he acknowledged in an interview last week that the magazine he had nurtured would face a difficult, uncertain future on its own.

    “I love my job, I enjoy it, I’ve enjoyed it for a long time,” said Mr. Wenner, 71. But letting go, he added, was “just the smart thing to do.”

    The sale plans were devised by Mr. Wenner’s 27-year-old son, Gus, who has aggressively pared down the assets of Rolling Stone’s parent company, Wenner Media, in response to financial pressures. The Wenners recently sold the company’s other two magazines, Us Weekly and Men’s Journal. And last year, they sold a 49 percent stake in Rolling Stone to BandLab Technologies, a music technology company based in Singapore.

    Both Jann and Gus Wenner, the president and chief operating officer of Wenner Media, said they intended to stay on at Rolling Stone. But they said they also recognized that the decision could ultimately be up to the new owner.


    A special exhibition in honor of the 50th anniversary of Rolling Stone at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The exhibition opened in May.
    DUANE PROKOP / GETTY IMAGES

    Still, the potential sale of Rolling Stone — on the eve of its 50th anniversary, no less — underscores how inhospitable the media landscape has become as print advertising and circulation have dried up.

    “There’s a level of ambition that we can’t achieve alone,” Gus Wenner said last week in an interview at the magazine’s headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. “So we are being proactive and want to get ahead of the curve.”

    “Publishing is a completely different industry than what it was,” he added. “The trends go in one direction, and we are very aware of that.”

    The Wenners’ decision is also another clear sign that the days of celebrity editors are coming to a close. Earlier this month, Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair and a socialite and star in his own right, announced he planned to leave the magazine after 25 years. Robbie Myers, the longtime editor of Elle, Nancy Gibbs of Time magazine and Cindi Leive of Glamour also said last week that they were stepping down.

    Anthony DeCurtis, a veteran music critic and a longtime Rolling Stone contributing editor, said he never thought Jann Wenner would sell Rolling Stone.

    “That sense of the magazine editor’s hands on the magazine — that’s what’s going to get lost here,” he said. “I don’t know who’s going to be able to step in and do that anymore.”

    Wenner Media has hired bankers to explore its sale, but the process is just beginning. BandLab’s stake in the company could also complicate matters. Neither Jann nor Gus Wenner would name any potential buyers, but one possible suitor is American Media Inc., the magazine publisher led by David J. ****** that has already taken Us Weekly and Men’s Journal off Wenner Media’s hands.

    The Wenners said that they expected a range of opportunities, and Jann Wenner said he hoped to find a buyer that understood Rolling Stone’s mission and that had “lots of money.”
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
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  13. #13
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    continued from previous post


    Gus Wenner, 27, the president and chief operating officer of Wenner Media.
    ANDREW WHITE FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

    “Rolling Stone has played such a role in the history of our times, socially and politically and culturally,” he said. “We want to retain that position.”

    Jann Wenner tried his hand at other magazines over the decades, including the outdoor lifestyle magazine Outside and Family Life. But it was Rolling Stone that helped guide, and define, a generation.

    “Who lives through the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s and cannot be somehow wistful at this moment?” said Terry McDonell, a former top editor at Rolling Stone who also ran other Wenner magazines.

    Rolling Stone filled its pages with pieces than ran in the thousands of words by standard bearers of the counterculture, including Hunter S. Thompson — whose “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” was published in the magazine in two parts — and Tom Wolfe. It started the career of the celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, who for many years delivered electrifying cover images, including an iconic photograph in 1981 of a naked John Lennon curled in a fetal position with Yoko Ono.

    Music coverage in all of its forms — news, interviews, reviews — was the core of Rolling Stone, but its influence also stretched into pop culture, entertainment and politics. A bastion of liberal ideology, the magazine became a required stop for Democratic presidential candidates — Mr. Wenner has personally interviewed several, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — and it has pulled no punches in its appraisal of Republicans. In 2006, Rolling Stone suggested George W. Bush was the “worst president in history.” More recently, the magazine featured Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, on its cover with the headline, “Why Can’t He Be Our President?”

    The magazine also published widely acclaimed political stories, including one in 2009 on Goldman Sachs by the writer Matt Taibbi, who famously described the company as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.” The next year, the magazine ran a piece with the headline, “The Runaway General,” that ended the career of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal.

    But that was perhaps the last Rolling Stone cover piece that gained significant journalistic acclaim. And the magazine’s reputation as a tastemaker for the music world had long since eroded, as Mr. Wenner clung to the past with covers that featured artists from his generation, even as younger artists emerged. Artists like Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan have continued to secure cover spots in recent years.

    Rolling Stone suffered a devastating blow to its reputation when it retracted a debunked 2014 article about a gang rape at the University of Virginia. A ****ing report on the story by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism cited fundamental journalistic failures. The article prompted three libel lawsuits against Rolling Stone, one of which led to a highly publicized trial last year that culminated with a federal jury awarding the plaintiff $3 million in damages.


    Rolling Stone’s botched story in 2014 about an unproven gang rape at the University of Virginia badly bruised the magazine’s journalistic reputation.

    The financial picture had also been bleak. In 2001, Jann Wenner sold a 50 percent stake in Us Weekly to the Walt Disney Company for $40 million, then borrowed $300 million five years later to buy back the stake. The deal saddled the company with debt for more than a decade, preventing it from investing as much as it might have in its magazines.

    At the same time, Rolling Stone’s print advertising revenue and newsstand sales fell. And as readers increasingly embraced the web for their news and entertainment, Mr. Wenner remained skeptical, with a stubbornness that hamstrung his company.


    Wenner Media was already a small magazine publisher. But the sale of Us Weekly and Men’s Journal, which together brought in roughly three-quarters of Wenner Media’s revenue, has left it further diminished.

    Regardless, the sale of Rolling Stone would be Jann Wenner’s denouement, capping his unlikely rise from dope-smoking Berkeley dropout to silver-haired media mogul. An admirer of John Lennon and publishing mavens like William Randolph Hearst, Mr. Wenner — who invested $7,500 of borrowed money to start Rolling Stone along with his mentor, Ralph J. Gleason — was at turns idealist and desperado, crafting his magazine into a guide for the counterculture epoch while also gallivanting with superstars. He once boasted that he had turned down a $500 million offer for Rolling Stone, more than he could ever dream of getting for the magazine today. (BandLab invested $40 million to acquire its 49-percent stake in the magazine last year.)

    Though he said he still cared deeply about Rolling Stone, Mr. Wenner has placed the magazine’s fate firmly in Gus’s hands, and he appears content to let someone else determine its path forward.

    “I think it’s time for young people to run it,” he said.

    Sitting in his second-floor office surrounded by a collection of rock ’n’ roll artifacts, Gus Wenner expressed hope that a new owner would provide the resources Rolling Stone needed to evolve and survive.

    “It’s what we need to do as a business,” he said. “It’s what we need to do to grow the brand.”

    Then, as only someone who had spent his life around rock ’n’ roll could, he gestured confidently to a tome of Bob Dylan lyrics on his desk. “If you’re not busy being born,” Mr. Wenner said, “then you’re busy dying.”

    Ben Sisario contributed reporting.
    When a publishing icon like Rolling Stone makes a move like this, you know there are changes coming for us too.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,029

    Print publishing death watch

    If you don't know Blitz, it was a fine English-language magazine from Oz. Sad to see it go.

    From Wikepedia
    Blitz Magazine, or Blitz Australasian Martial Arts Magazine was an Australian magazine covering karate, martial arts, and combat sports. The headquarters is in Melbourne.

    It is owned by Blitz Publications & Multi-Media Group which went into liquidation on the 1st of March 2018 and is no longer producing the magazine.[1]
    From the Blitz Publications website:
    Blitz Martial Arts
    Since its launch in 1987, Blitz Australasian Martial Arts Magazine has become the leading martial arts publication in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere. On a monthly basis, Blitz covers both the domestic and international scene, self-defence strategies, training and fitness advice, combat psychology and the ever-popular action entertainment genre. With 35,000+ copies going out around Australasia and a whopping 91,000+ readership, Blitz has enjoyed steady growth over the past five years. Visit the website, download the app for iPad® or subscribe to the print magazine. You can even browse the latest articles from your mobile!
    Threads
    Print publishing death watch
    Blitz Magazine ceases publication
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,029

    RIP Village Voice

    Our recent shift from bimonthly to quarterly reflects the plummeting print economy. I will hold on as long as possible but can only do it with your support - please subscribe or pick us up at the newsstands.


    The Village Voice, a New York Icon, Closes



    The storied independent publication, which made its debut in 1955, dropped its print edition in 2015 and has not had an editor since May. Credit CreditMark Lennihan/Associated Press
    By Tyler Pager and Jaclyn Peiser
    Aug. 31, 2018

    When Peter D. Barbey bought The Village Voice in 2015, he vowed to invest in the storied alternative weekly, saying it would “survive and prosper.” But last August he shuttered the print edition, and on Friday he closed the operation altogether.

    The end of the left-leaning independent publication was an anticlimax, given the many empty red plastic Village Voice boxes that have been scattered like debris across the sidewalks of Manhattan in recent years.

    “This is a sad day for The Village Voice and for millions of readers,” Mr. Barbey said. “The Voice has been a key element of New York City journalism and is read around the world. As the first modern alternative newspaper, it literally defined a new genre of publishing.”

    Staff members said they were not surprised that the end had come. The paper’s last editor in chief, Stephen Mooallem — the third top editor to serve under Mr. Barbey during his three-year tenure as owner — left in May and was not replaced.

    Some staff members will stay on to make the paper’s print archive digitally accessible; the rest will be out of a job at a time when the local news industry finds itself in crisis.

    Tom Robbins, a former longtime investigative journalist at The Voice, said, “It’s astonishing that this is happening in New York, the biggest media town in America.”

    Now on the faculty at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, Mr. Robbins added, “I think it really helped so many people sort of figure out everything they wanted to know, from where to find an apartment to what show to see to what scandal they wanted to dig into.”

    The Voice was founded as a nickel weekly in 1955 by three New Yorkers, Dan Wolf, Edwin Fancher and Norman Mailer. They assembled a crew of writers who engaged readers with their wit and provoked them with their penchant for argument. Later owners included Rupert Murdoch and the pet-food magnate Leonard Stern.

    The paper gave a start to the theater critic Hilton Als and the novelist Colson Whitehead, both recipients of the Pulitzer Prize. Its resident muckraker, Wayne Barrett, took aim at New York developers and politicians for nearly 40 years, and his obsessive work on Donald J. Trump has become a resource for reporters covering the president today.

    It gave a home to the investigative reporters Jack Newfield and James Ridgeway, and the music critics Lester Bangs, Robert Christgau, Ellen Willis and Greg Tate. Nat Hentoff focused on jazz and First Amendment issues from 1958 to 2009, and the nightcrawling columnist Michael Musto wrote on celebrities, drag queens and club kids, with wisecracks thrown in, for more than 30 years.

    Steven Wishnia, who has freelanced for The Voice on and off since 1994, said he stayed up until midnight on Thursday, putting the final touches on an article about the return of residents to their building on the Bowery after they were ordered to vacate it because of safety hazards. On Friday, Mr. Wishnia received a link to his article along with a note from his editor, Neil DeMause.

    “So the good news is that you have the honor of having written the last news article ever for The Village Voice,” Mr. DeMause wrote. “The bad news is also the good news.”

    Mr. Barbey is an heir to a Pennsylvania retail fortune. With a net worth estimated at more than $6 billion by Forbes, the Barbey family has a stake in brands like North Face, Wrangler and Timberland. For generations the family has also owned The Reading Eagle, a Pennsylvania daily newspaper. Mr. Barbey has been its chief executive since 2011.

    He first read The Voice as a boarding school student in Massachusetts and was drawn to its coverage of the mid-1970s New York rock scene and the film criticism of Andrew Sarris. On Friday he became the media mogul who was shutting it down.

    “I began my involvement with The Voice intending to ensure its future,” Mr. Barbey said in the statement. “While this is not the outcome I’d hoped for and worked towards, a fully digitized Voice archive will offer coming generations a chance to experience for themselves what is clearly one of this city’s and this country’s social and cultural treasures.”

    The death of The Voice occurred in a bleak economic climate for local journalism. Print circulation has plummeted for two surviving New York tabloids, The New York Post and The Daily News. In July, Tronc, the owner of The News, laid off half the paper’s editorial staff, which had already been severely reduced.

    Turning a profit in the digital realm is a code not many news organizations have cracked. DNAinfo and Gothamist, two news sites in New York, were shut down last year by their owner, Joe Ricketts, the billionaire founder of TD Ameritrade. Gothamist has since re-emerged under new ownership. On Friday, it broke the news of The Voice’s closing.

    The film critic Bilge Ebiri said that Voice staff members were not anticipating Mr. Barbey’s announcement, but were “prepared for the worst” after his decision to eliminate the print publication.

    Mr. DeMause, who wrote for the paper for 20 years before becoming one of its top editors two years ago, said, “I’m deeply saddened as a consumer of media and a little bit scared as a New Yorker and an American that we are losing all these journalism outlets at a time when we need them more than ever.”

    Before Craigslist and other online services shoved printed classified ads into irrelevance, The Voice was thick with apartment listings that helped fund the work of its argumentative reporters and editors. For years, the weekly’s pages also included advertising for phone-sex and escort services, a practice that came to an end under Mr. Barbey.

    Mr. Musto said The Voice was unique in the latitude it allowed its writers. “Each writer was given their beat and allowed to run with it and inject their personal style in every syllable,” he said.

    Hired in 1984 and laid off in 2013, Mr. Musto returned when Mr. Barbey took over in 2015. He said he still felt the freedom he knew from the days when he was starting out.

    “We can’t afford to lose an important media outlet,” Mr. Musto said. “It does leave a hole, but on the bright side, this sort of idiosyncratic rebellious spirit of The Voice has been subsumed, in a way, by the mainstream. It’s sort of everywhere.”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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