Say it ain’t so? wwd.com (scroll down – 4th item) is reporting the NY Time’s magazine-beat reporter, and the rexblog’s most linked-to reporter (125 times), David Carr, is “moving into a different role, one that could be preliminary to his moving off the media beat altogether.”
Times cultural news editor Jonathan Landman said Friday that Carr is expanding his scope beyond the business of media. “He wants to be able to spread his wings a little wider, and I think that’s fine,” said Landman, who was recently tasked to quarterback an overhaul of all of the Times’ cultural coverage. “David’s a guy with huge talent.” Landman did not specify how Carr’s role will change except to say that he will write for both the business and culture sections, reporting to a new editor within the culture department who will be named by the end of the summer.
(Flashback: David Carr talks about his job with his hometown magazine.) (via Romenesko)
Businessweek on “the vanishing mass market”: An amalgamation of “the end of mass-marketing” mumbo-jumbo from the past decade, all wrapped up convienently in one article:
Print, the oldest mass medium, has been “niching down” for decades but appears to be bumping up against the limits of its adaptability — at least when it comes to creating themed newspaper sections or demographically targeted editions of magazines. Time, the prototypical mass magazine, long has been able to craft an almost limitless number of ad-customized versions of its national edition. “We’ve done as many as 20,000 versions, but that’s not something we want to do every week,” says Publisher Edward R. McCarrick. Even so, no more than 35% to 40% of Time’s ads are targeted, on average, and McCarrick does not expect this percentage to increase much, if it all. “The vast majority of clients want to run national ads,” he says. One of the most financially successful of last year’s class of startups is W Jewelry, a monthly spun out of Fairchild Publications’ high-fashion weekly W, which has a paid circulation of 469,000. Fairchild created W Jewelry by creaming off 75,000 W subscribers who spend at least $60,000 a year on jewelry. Filled with glossy ads from the likes of Cartier and Saks Fifth Avenue, W Jewelry turned a tidy profit in its first year. “It used to be that the mass magazines made all the money,” says Mary Berner, Fairchild’s president and CEO. “Now, it’s not size that counts most, but the ability to deliver someone elusive to advertisers.”
Show off: The NY Times’ David Carr profiles John F. McDonald who knows a thing or two about running successful, popular restaurants and popular, award-winning magazines…and how the two endeavors are different.
“It’s tougher than the restaurant racket because there are circulation and distribution issues that are out of your control,” he said. “And if you open up a restaurant and something doesn’t connect, you know right away and you are done. Publishing is a much longer-term investment. It takes endurance.”
Red herring about Red Herring? Since Rafat Ali is continuing to play the part of lead skeptic regarding the dejazine plans of Red Herring, this weblog will merely add, “What he said.”:
The magazine will possibly be a weekly (you’re serious, are you?), and priced at a yearly subscription of $48, though the publisher Alex Vieux would not confirm the frequency. An announcement is expected during the next 10 days. The trouble signs: So far, the publisher only has 10 editorial employees in place. During little more than a year of planning the relaunch and running the Website, Vieux has burned through three top editors with strong pedigrees. The magazine, like the website, will have no bylines, taking away any ounce of motivation that the writers may have. As the story says “A good dose of skepticism about the future of the Red Herring may be healthy, at least until an editor stays on the job for longer than a cup of coffee.”
Here’s the rexblog’s prediction (guesses): There is no way Red Herring will be a weekly. No way. (Take that to the investment bank.) It will likely begin with a “premiere issue” this fall that will carry no date on the cover. The “premiere issue” will be used to shop the concept for investors or, better yet, to sell. (A strategy used by others but made famous by Jake Winebaum of Family Fun fame.) After the “premiere issue,” there will be a “launch issue” (still not dated) sometime next spring. If the magazine survives past that issue, it will begin regular publication as a bi-monthly (6x annually), or, if someone is feeling especially eager to lose lots of money, a 10x schedule (no Jaunary or August issues).