The New Old Media

How Has "Bust" Magazine Survived?

BUST magazine operates out of a loft on 27th street and Broadway, above an awning that says Reiko Wireless Accessories. On the evening I visited, a bit before Christmas, young staffers rode up with me in the elevator, sharing swigs from a plastic bottle of whiskey. In the office they broke away, laughing and chatting, settling down at computers underneath walls covered in posters and stickers. One featured a giant image of Joan Crawford from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and the text "BUST Magazine says no wire hangers ever!"

The magazine's editor in chief, Debbie Stoller, was in a state. She waved me to the conference room in [...]


The NYT Company's Digital Advertising Income Actually Declined in 2012

"For the full year of 2012, digital advertising revenues increased 0.2 percent to $214.8 million from $214.5 million in 2011. Excluding the additional week [in 2012], estimated digital advertising revenues decreased 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter and 1.9 percent for the full year of 2012." —The New York Times Company released its 2012 results this morning, if you like that kind of thing. Lots of fun stuff, like the $4.5 million cost for a "retirement and consulting agreement" for departed CEO Janet Robinson. How do you like your buyouts now, staffers?


'Newsweek' Takes Bold Stance Against Tumblr's Struggle for Profit

The Tumblr of Newsweek, which still exists, unlike Newsweek, and which is run by the DailyBeast "senior editor for social media," announced a new policy yesterday. "You pin, we unfollow" was the communiqué—by "pinning" they mean the Tumblr commerce initiative wherein, for a small fee, one can make a Tumblr post "adhere" to the top of each follower's dashboard until each follower "clicks" upon the post to make it disappear. (By "unfollow," they meant that they would no longer choose to receive said pinners' posts in their dashboard.) "The pins are like dashboard cockroaches. Turn on the lights every morning and unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin," the [...]


Barry Diller and Scott Rudin Aren't Going to Destroy Publishing!

Mike Shatzkin, a "widely-acknowledged thought leader about digital change in the book publishing industry" (his bio), counsels that Brightline, Barry Diller and Scott Rudin's new ebook publishing company with the fun and talented Frances Coady, "would appear to be poised to compete with major publishers for major books." And: "Diller and Rudin, with their Hollywood roots, certainly have access to many of the great story-creators and storytellers." True, but they have two bad choices there in order to compete: explain the finances behind ebooks to authors who are used to being overpaid—"Hey, you get 50%! Of something between zero and infinity dollars!"—or, overpay those authors up front, and [...]


Tumblr Monetizes! Troll Away!

A wonderful new feature on Tumblr means that you can destroy peoples' lives! For just $5, you can "pin" something to people's "dashboard," and these "pinned posts" don't go away until you "unpin" them. It's basically MADE for trolls. (Also, do you think people born after 1990 know what a pushpin is?)


The Amazing Philly Newspaper Disaster

I have been beefing about the Times media desk a little recently, so it's definitely on me to say that today's story about the pending sale of Philadelphia's newspapers is AMAZING and BRUTAL. The likely buyers—who are being prevented from having any competing bidders in the sale—are former governor Ed Rendell, the owner of the Philly Flyers, a Democrat party bundler and a "parking lot and banking magnate." What could go wrong?


Slate is Free from Its Cruel Master!

Profound congratulations to Slate for finally stabbing to death its creaky, ancient, and very angry CMS. Called "Gutenberg," it was nearly as old as its namesake. The first rule of Media Club is: never build your own CMS. Someone will build it for you. Speaking of! Now someone is going to build me a Chrome extension to do for New Slate what "Ochs" does for the Times' site.


Frightening Man To Use Wealth To "Target" Women On Internet!

A "serial entrepreneur" is in "stealth mode" for his "new blog" which, he reveals, is going to "target female readers," because "so much of the new media publishing focus is still on men" and "there is a massive market failure going on right now" and "so few new media properties have tried to capture the demographic ." No, I've actually cherry-picked the good sentences

I know, it's so crazy, absolutely no one has touched the market for women online, now maybe finally someone will build a web publishing company that "targets female readers" and then take it public, because what an amaaaaazingly good [...]


Man Hates Self, Twitter

"It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment it happened — but at some point, Twitter became a dark place." lol LOL

— Shani O. Hilton (@shani_o) January 30, 2013

One Matt K. Lewis is very angry with Twitter.

But first, I'm in love with his opening sentence. "Soren Dayton and Rob Bluey — two conservative tech geniuses — talked me into joining Twitter during a lunch Ed Morrissey organized at an Iraqi restaurant in Minneapolis during the 2008 Republican convention." I've heard of maybe two of these things, if you include "2008." WHY. WHAT? But in any event, here's the story of what happened to Matt K. [...]


Anticipated Demise Occurs

The long-expected death of The Daily, the iPad publication of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, has finally come to pass. Layoffs took place over the summer, when the publication discarded 50 of its 170 workers. Eleven months ago, The Daily's plans for becoming profitable were described as such: "A $30 million tablet-only news publication… with 100,000 subscribers paying 99 cents a week or $39.99 a year, and 250,000 unique readers each month, The Daily is on target to break even in five years." The Daily cost $500,000 per week, and that was just according to the company.

Our best goes out to people who are losing their jobs [...]


Nerds Studied

"95 percent of users on Svbtle are men, while is 94 percent male and Medium has a slightly more generous division at 72 percent. It seems the virtual ladies' room is still line-free."


"Atlantic" Dives Boldly into Some Tech out of "Swordfish"

"Using a smartphone app, [Atlantic] print readers will be able to scan select pages of the magazine, giving them access to video interviews and other multimedia content typically only available to website and tablet readers…. Readers must either interact with or skip a quiz-based ad from Prudential every single time they scan a page." — *Gets out print magazine, gets out iPhone, downloads app, holds app over magazine, watches ad* Um… no offense, and thank you very kindly, but I will PASS on this exciting opportunity.


Some Fellows Make Surprising Job Changes

Very excited to be joining @peretti, @scottlamb,@mattstopera & to hire some great reporters to build the first true social news organization

— Ben Smith (@benpolitico) December 12, 2011

If two's a trend, then holy cow. Ben Smith is leaving Politico for Buzzfeed and Don Van Natta is leaving the Times for ESPN (after 16 years!). (Bonus: from just the other day, here is a Ben Smith blog post about Don Van Natta.) This means a thing, and it's different from recent hires like "Tina Brown offering people oodles of money" or "Bloomberg View offering people oodles of money," but I can't [...]


'Washington Post' to Shutter Nine Local Bureaus

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A sad day at The Washington Post, with the news that we're closing all of our local bureaus except Richmond and Annapolis.Thu Sep 01 18:24:20 via webAmy GardnerAmyEGardner

First they came for… etc.

In late 2009, the Washington Post closed its last U.S. bureaus outside of the D.C. area, including Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. (It also closed bureaus in Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro and Berlin.) But what of its 11 D.C.-area bureaus? Now there will be two.


'NY Times' Admits You're All Journalists, Even You Cosplaying Pro-Ana Tumblr Teens

What a long way we've come in the last ten years! "Anyone with a Tumblr, Twitter or YouTube account is practicing journalism in its most authentic form," Times deputy editorial page editor Terry Tang told some college students the other day. From sneering at blogs to embracing the pamphleteer model of social media, well, we've all come a long way, baby. The joke's on someone though. (Probably "all of us.")


Big—And Little–Changes at 'The New Republic,' Which Is a Magazine

In a dramatic move under new tiny millionaire owner Chris Hughes, The New Republic has redesigned its website to take a strong stand against em dashes. Simply everyone is talking about it: sometimes presented as two adjacent hyphens, sometimes replaced by a misused en dash, but always using a type treatment that shortens both em and en dashes, perhaps related to the use of double-justified text, this typography is both innovative and disruptive. As is its daringly large linespacing. Also they eliminated advertising.


It's a Miracle of Self-Restraint that Times Employees Haven't Gone on Strike

Congratulations to the 592 current and former New York Times employees, from the dudes in security to customer service representatives to a few brave news assistants to web producers to editors to critcs, who signed the open letter to Arthur Sulzberger Jr. at the behest of their Guild. It is now 19 months since the Guild's contract expired at the paper. Yesterday, the Times dismissed a Guild offer and—this is a good one!—the Proskauer lawyer who represents the Times suggested to the union that they "waive collective bargaining rights." The session was scheduled for four hours and lasted 30 minutes. So that's going well! As we know, [...]


Would You Like 'New York Times' Platinum Executive Status? (Yearly Joe Nocera Lapdance)

This "brainstorming about what the Times should do" is largely accurate. People love membership, when it doesn't suck. The idea is to go more MoMA or BAM and less NPR. Look at the BAM Cinema Club membership levels, which are (sorry!) better executed than MoMA's. But also, then look at airline frequent flyer programs. People love belonging. But more than they love belonging, they love having status. Scratch even the most socially liberal person and you'll still find a person that loves convenience, if not outright status snobbery. (Just speaking from personal experience!) (Photo credit.)


Bunch of Newspapers About to Needlessly Hit the Skids

This time it's Newhouse/Advance's turn to destroy a newspaper: the New Orleans Times-Picayune, to be specific, which will fire a bunch of people, stop publishing daily and generally be suckier. (Also: "a new company, NOLA Media Group, will run the newspaper and its website, and another new company will print and deliver the paper." Innnntriguing.) Enjoy your new life blogging on this hot mess! Your move, McClatchy! Oh wait, Jake Gyllenhaal's uncle has got the destruction covered, okay, great. The whole thing about corporate reorganizing is most interesting: "Tribune and Advance are creating subsidiary companies for their newspapers." Hey, that's what I would do if [...]


Blog Gives Itself Blog-to-Book-of-Bloggings Deal

Now you can get your Grantland blog posts from August in book form, to be delivered in November, for $19.95, with "a cover that looks and feels like you're holding a football." Only 81 shopping days until Christmas!