At right is the first issue of Spin sans Andy Pemberton; notice, if you will, the complete absence of any sort of bootylicious celebrity, providing a small relief in our national media nightmare. FishbowlNY notes that the issue is published without an editor's note (honestly, what's left to say?) and that executive editor Doug Brod is at the top of the masthead. Aside from their non-exclusive Thom Yorke exclusive, the mag returns to some actual music coverage, with album reviews aplenty. Granted, this progress is all marred by a by the inclusion of a "College Guide." But that's OK: after Beyonce, it's baby steps.
• Time Inc. to launch SI Edge, fitness mag that won't offer abs tips. Retorts Zinczenko: "[W]e promise not to point out that he's naming his magazine after a shaving cream." [NYP]
• Hey, remember the big USA Today expose on how the phone companies were colluding with the government to create a big database of all sorts of domestic phone-call records? Yeah, well, the paper's still convinced about the database, but it's not so sure anymore the telcos played along. [USAT]
• Was Pemberton's Spin too much like Blender? Plus, a Detailser leaves to become — wha? — a morning-show DJ. In Oregon. [WWD]
And so it is done: Ad Age's Nat Ives is reporting that Andy Pemberton has resigned — not be fired, notably — as Spin's editor-in-chief. The theory all along had been that he was holding out to get fired, so he could collect some sort of severance — perhaps even the balance of his contract. So what does resignation mean? Does he get nothing? Did they give him some cash to walk away? Theories — whether informed or merely idle speculation — welcomed.
One look at the cover of permanently beach-going Andy Pemberton's first (and last) issue of Spin, and you completely understand why he was so quickly sacked. Beyonce? Beyonce. Last we checked, this publication was for Fall Out Boy fans and a handful of optimistic readers hoping for a dollop of Drive-By Truckers coverage. Are those people just not reading anymore? Did Pitchfork win? Apparently so. Beyonce. Beyonce.
So Women's Wear reported yesterday morning that Spin EIC Andy Pemberton was about to be fired. Yesterday afternoon several sources informed us that, yup, he had indeed been canned. Minutes later, Fishbowler Dylan Stableford reported that he had a source telling him likewise. Indeed, even the quasi-threatening emails Pemberton sent us last night — far too late last night, when he should have been out drinking (we certainly were) — didn't so much say, "Um, guys, I still work here," as quibble with one of our source's characterization that his sole Spin issue was "a giant shitball." (That's opinion, dude, and therefore not actionable.) But Pembie explains all the confusion in today's Women's Wear.
Now it's done: As WWD predicted this morning, Andy Pemberton has been booted from his brand-new gig as Spin's EIC. This comes on the heels of a near-complete turnover of the mag's staff since new owners purchased it three months ago, sacked Sia Michel to bring in Pemberton, and showed most of the incumbent staff to the door. He'd produced only one issue, but, as a tipster points out, said issue "was indeed a giant shitball." No word on a replacement.
It's a big day today for Women's Wear's media column, which not only reports the likely name of the eventually forthcoming Conde Nast business mag but also suggests — which we almost missed in our excitement over Quote — that Andy Pemberton is on his way out at Spin. He was brought in as editor-in-chief, to succeed Sia Michel, when the mag's new owners finally bought it and started wiping out the old staff — just three months ago. Pemberton's no stranger to unceremonious dumpings, but we do hope this time he didn't bother to unpack his executive desk toys.
Karma certainly seems to be working in favor of Andy Pemberton. The former Blender editor, who launched the music title for Dennis only to be unceremoniously canned a few years later, has just been named the new editor-in-chief of Spin, which is finalizing its sale today (no, for real this time) to San Francisco's McEvoy Group and Hartle Media. The two groups are co-owning the publication through the newly formed Spin Media LLC and are said to have acquired the title from Miller Publishing for as little as $5 million — approximately the cost of maintaining former editor-in-chief Sia Michel's luscious locks, which (along with former publisher Jake Hill) are now unemployed.