Just last month, Fortune reported on how investors are still bullish on green technology. And there's plenty in its pages about the bright future of online media. But Fortune's accountants must not read the magazine! Fortune has laid off two reporters on the cleantech beat, and all but one of its New York- and San Francisco-based online reporters, who wrote primarily for the magazine's website.
Marci Albother has written the Times' Shifting Careers column since 2007. Yesterday, the NYT allowed her to explain that she's become the newspaper's latest job cut. I was going to 100-word her long goodbye, but Peter Kafka's post at AllThingsD is a better take on the situation at the Times. I'm so bummed about everything that I'm not even picking on AllThingsD today.
Why, God, why? PC Magazine was such a nice, safe publication. It never hurt anyone. It sort of kept to itself around the neighborhood, but it seemed perfectly normal. Not at all like those rowdies at Infoworld. Ziff-Davis, the publisher, has already gone through bankruptcy. Wasn't that enough ? In a word: No. Seventy percent of PC Mag's revenue now comes from the Internet, according to Ziff's CEO. Valleywag alum Nicholas Carlson has a tidy little reblog of the whole situation.
Have you spent years building your reputation as a reporter? Are you a bit anxious, because you read a rant by Jeff Jarvis that says you're now unemployable for life? Never fear. Smug-faced Six Apart CEO Chris Alden is here to save you with The TypePad Journalist Bailout Program. How it works: You send Six Apart a link to "your last piece for a newspaper, magazine or broadcast journalism venue." Six Apart gives you a free TypePad blog. You get to keep a few pennies of the couple of bucks per month Six Apart will make from ads they'll run on your blog. Most important, the inept, self-aggrandizing management team at Six Apart gets to brag about all the storied journalists they've now got blogging for them. Thanks for the offer, Chris. But I'd rather saw my own head off.
Ending a longstanding internal split that dates back to the days of the first dotcom boom, Forbes Media is merging the staff which puts out the conservative-leaning business magazine and its online component, which run separately and with a ludicrous amount of mutual suspicion and jealousy. (Valleywag had gotten wind of these plans last month.) An internal memo sent by CEO Steve Forbes to staff says that print and online sales and marketing will be immediately integrated, reporting up to an "office of the chairman" which includes Forbes.com publisher Jim Spanfeller, whom rumors had previously pegged as the head of the combined operation. Integration of the Web and print editorial staff won't happen until early 2009. Translation: No one in the newsroom will know what's happening to their job until next year. Here's the memo:
You've probably never heard of Bob Cohn, but he played a major role in saving Wired from running aground in 2001. As executive editor, Cohn was the low-key second-in-command to Chris Anderson. He pushed editors and writers to abandon Wired's too-insidery voice and craft a new kind of tech journalism aimed at curious outsiders. Trust me, that sounds great until you try to do it. Starting in January, Cohn will take editorial charge of TheAtlantic.com, reporting directly to editor-in-chief James Bennet. "It's a great website," Bob told me via cell phone just now. Translation: Change a-comin'!
The Christian Science Monitor has been a guilty pleasure among secular humans since 1908. It's a solid, reliable news source, whether or not it adheres to the hidden agenda of the Church of Christ, Scientist. Starting in April 2009, the CSM will stop printing ink on paper every day, switching to a weekly format. The New York Times reports that daily circulation has dropped from 220,000 in 1970 to 52,000 today. Geez, that's Valleywag territory. Cheap advice to the Monitor: Get yourself a gossip columnist for the Vatican. His audition clip is after the jump.
David Churbuck, the founder of Forbes.com (and sweaty prep-school wrestling partner of Fake Steve Jobs blogger turned boring Newsweek columnist Dan Lyons), has weighed in on the chaos enveloping his former employer, the investor-friendly, snarkier-than-thou business magazine. Churbuck, like many Forbes alumni, seems to know more of what's going on than its current employees. The publication, now backed by Silicon Valley investment house Elevation Partners, is colliding together its Web and print editorial teams, and the result could be nuclear, as editors and writers scramble for position in the new order. Churbuck observes that the split between print and online had its roots in a plan to spin off Forbes.com in an IPO during the go-go late '90s; even after plans for an IPO were scrapped, the division persisted. Now, Elevation is pushing to consolidate the staffs, Churbuck says. Separately, a tipster reports several personnel moves happening at Forbes. Are they coincidence, or a sign of people positioning their own careers for the coming upheaval? Hard to say.
A high-profile New York magazine company handing control of its flagship print property to a Web executive would be a great story about the transformation of media. Normally, writers at Forbes would be all over it — if it weren't happening to them. Yesterday's rumor about Forbes Media merging the magazine and Forbes.com — two distinct operations, housed in separate offices, whose managers don't get along — and tapping Forbes.com chief Jim Spanfeller to run the combination has provoked a collective wave of head-scratching from current and former Forbesians. Could it happen? One writer tells us that Forbes management has denied the rumor so unconvincingly that workers there are all concluding it must be true. "I work at Forbes. I'll be the last to know," says one. He disputes the idea that Forbes and its website don't work well together, giving several examples of Web and print writers crossing the line — but the fact that those are notable, rather than routine, just highlights Forbes's lack of cooperation. His note:
Most magazines keep their Web and print staffs apart, a legacy of petty rivalries, bureaucratic turf wars, and a fear of change. But Forbes Media has elevated balkanization into an art form. The two sides of the company barely speak to each other. The Forbes family tolerated this, but Elevation Partners, the Silicon Valley private-equity fund which counts Bono as a partner and now owns 40 percent of Forbes is not so patient. A tipster tells us that a "big shakeup" is coming, with the editorial staffs of both magazine and website getting "smashed together."Literally, in the real-estate sense. In New York, Forbes is housed at 60 Fifth Avenue, while Forbes.com is at 90 Fifth Avenue. Now, the publisher is said to be taking a floor at 60 Fifth to house the dotcom reporters, while it clears out "deadwood long-timers." The new mandate: Everyone will write for both Web and print. Which sounds sensible — unless you work at Forbes. What Forbes is not planning to announce: What sounds like a merger is really a takeover — by Forbes.com. Jim Spanfeller, the publisher of Forbes.com, will run the combined operation. "It's a massive coup, one that print people have long seen coming and long feared," says our tipster. As well they should: The editors of Forbes have long looked down on their Web brethren. Now they will be working for them.
My constant raving about The Examiner is has paid off: The Chronicle now magically appears on my doorstep, 13 floors up, every morning. My neighbor doesn't get it, just me. Influencer marketing, or is the Chron trying to pump up its subscription numbers in Pacific Heights? I hate to admit it, but I might actually open the paper if I knew Violet Blue was hiding in there.