October, 2010: lifelong media grenade-thrower Michael Wolff is appointed as the top editor of advertising industry trade magazine Adweek. April, 2011: the new Wolff-ified Adweek debuts. Our prediction at the time: "It'll go along just fine for a month or three, until the publisher starts getting calls from the advertisers, who say, 'I find all of that media reporting very interesting but by the way, we are in the advertising industry. Not the media. So I'm, you know, taking my business over to Ad Age, which really, let's be honest, covers this industry that I'm in (advertising) better than you guys do.' And that will be the end of the great media-reporting-heavy advertising trade magazine experiment!"
The layoffs we heard about earlier today at Adweek have been confirmed by the company—sort of. An Adweek story and a statement to PRNewser confirm Nielsen Business Media's, ahem, "Reorganization," which will consolidate the staffs of Adweek, Brandweek, and Mediaweek, while leaving them all as separate brands. Layoffs are taking place, though the company doesn't go into details (we heard around 20, and UPDATE: Folio says 19 total—11 in the Adweek group and 8 from other publications). It's a sign that trade mags are no safer than their consumer-oriented peers in this awful economic climate. And it offers some truly classic examples of fact-free corporate jargon:
Nielsen Business Media—which publishes Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek, Editor & Publisher and the Hollywood Reporter—is laying off "between 40-50 staffers," including people from the editorial departments of all of those publications. :( We've known Adweek's in trouble. They've cut back to 36 issues a year, lost staffers they haven't bothered to replace, and suffered under the regime of cruel editress Alison Fahey. Any more info on who's been hit? Let us know. [Folio, Agency Spy]
WE HEAR that Adweek editor in chief Alison Fahey—known for her skill in coldly berating her staff members until they leave the magazine in droves—is being promoted to a corporate position, out of knife-throwing range of the editorial staff. The "weekly," which recently switched to a 36-issue per year schedule, now has headhunters poking around the industry for a suitable replacement for Fahey. Although the consensus seems to be that her unique style of personnel management will be hard to duplicate. Any further info, email us.
Yesterday Adweek, the Nielsen-owned trade magazine that competes with Ad Age, relaunched both its print edition and its website. Its ad campaign (natch) scored respectful coverage from New York Times ad beat guy Stuart Elliott, who goes on and on about its funny ads, and quotes executives explaining how changing technologies, attitudes, the interweb, blah blah blah make it just vital to relaunch the "weekly" at this time&mdash with only 36 issues per year. Not mentioned, though, either in Elliott's article or in the cheeky ads, are Adweek's staffing problems; at least nine editorial staffers have left in the past two years, and less than half have been replaced. Some of that exodus was made up of people who decided they simply couldn't continue to work with Adweek editor Alison Fahey. Why? Well, she's not one for being overly complimentary. Take, for example, the way she chose to motivate all her reporters last fall as they were scrambling to finish a long-forgotten assignment on time; One got the carrot, the rest got the stick. Full email after the jump.
See that classy little widget? Cond Nast wants all you blushing bridezillas out there to stick it on your MySpace profile; that way, you'll be able to simultaneously help them promote their Brides.com site and count down the moments that remain until your Specialest Day. The Nast also wants you to help them out by using your profile to host a "bridal quiz" that determines whether you're a "modern, classic, or glamorous" bride. It's an intriguing strategy on their behalf — after all, why MySpace? Well, according to a spokeswoman,
Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter, in a lengthy Mediaweek profile following his "Editor of the Year" award by Adweek, says, "I have a fashion readership. I have a political readership. I have a literary readership. I have New York's social scene, Hollywood. I have America. I have Europe." What he left out: "I have a readership that consists entirely of baby boomer divorcees who drive matching Astrovans in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. I have two guys in a cocktail lounge in Michigan who think the In-and-Out list is "very cheeky." I have a soccer mom in Des Moines whose four-year old slipped the February issue into her shopping cart while she was in the checkout line at Walmart. I have half the Rotary Club in Geneva, Illinois. I have a young woman in the Bloomberg administration who circles my editor's letter references to the smoking ban with a yellow highlighter. And, oh yes, my mother reads it...most of the time."
AdWeek Magazine's Editor of the Year: Graydon Carter [MediaWeek via IWantMedia]