Just received an e-mail from my former managing editor at Editor & Publisher (my exit came in January after 10 years) Shawn Moynihan: "The editorial staff of Editor & Publisher has been eliminated by its new owners, Duncan McIntosh Co. inc. As such, I’m writing to let you know I am no longer E&P’s managing editor/online editor."
One of my old colleagues in the once-sturdy VNU/Nielsen magazine unit, Tony Case, was first with the news. Top editor Mark Fitzgerald and tech editor Jim Rosenberg also were axed. The new editor works for owner Duncan McIntosh who took over in January—his other titles, based in Irving, Ca., are boating and fishing magazines. Richard Prince has a more lengthy report here.
As Prince notes, the once-vital E&P site was only a "shadow" of its former self. Ads largely disappeared. The magazine’s top writer, Jennifer Saba, left months ago for Reuters and was never replaced.
McIntosh, when he took over the magazine, vowed (in a meeting with me) that his first order of business was a complete redesign of the magazine’s once-popular and influential dinosaur of a Web site. The magazine had long advocated shifts to the Web, even holds an annual new media conference, but its site continued to lack video and comments, among other modern features, and it hadn’t gotten a facelift since 2002. The promised update never happened.
In fact, the site retreated from new offerings, giving up its podcast and its most popular blog (by a wide margin), The E&P Pub. Traffic was only a fraction of that at its high point a couple of years in the past, as McIntosh and Fitzgerald focused heavily on the business side of newspapers, not content and editorial debates over what newspapers actually produce.
The Nielsen Co. had shuttered the magazine last December, but I soon received dozens of emails from journalism outlets, foundations or investors interested in quickly reviving the magazine. Nielsen then pursued several serious offers, ultimately choosing McIntosh—which raised questions right away, given his California base and the types of publications he produces, especially since there were other offers to choose from.
A new edition of Greg Mitchell’s The Campaign of the Century: Upton Sinclair’s Race for Governor of California– and the Birth of Media Politics, winner of the Goldsmith Book Prize, has just been published.