Layoffs At Cottages & Gardens Show No One Safe

Ryan Tate · 10/21/08 10:56PM

Remember how magazines targeting the rich were going to be "largely immune to the problems" besetting the economy in general and publishing in particular? Well, that was way back in March, and if the ensuing seven months have taught us anything, it's that every last one of us will end up a hobo or die in the ensuing revolution. What this means in the meantime is that there is no such thing as a safe publishing niche. To wit, shelter magazine Cottages & Gardens, serving the rich from the Hamptons to Connecticut to Palm Beach, is poised to let "a lot of people go," a tipster informs us. Staff this week were reportedly told that money on hand will fund their salaries for just two more weeks, unless a bigger company swoops and acquires the magazine. This should sound very familiar:

City Magazine Layoffs Real, Widespread

Ryan Tate · 10/14/08 11:35PM

Tuesday afternoon we asked about rumored layoffs at Niche Media, publisher of socialite city magazines. From what we've heard since, it sounds like the bloodletting does, indeed, go well beyond Philadelphia Style and is in fact related to the Wall Street meltdown and advertising recession. "Top management is on it's way to Miami to repeat the same," one tipster writes. "Slash up the staff at Ocean Drive." Another writes, "There were more layoffs on Monday at [DC-based] Capitol File. The senior editor and two sales reps were let go." It should come as little surprise that plummeting real estate values and stock market contraction should sharply curb the number of people who think of themselves as affluent, and who thus read these sorts of magazines, particularly in recently fast-growing cities like Miami and DC. CEO Jason Binn made things worse by expanding to aggressively, one tipster claims:

'Massive' Layoffs At Niche Media?

Hamilton Nolan · 10/14/08 02:55PM

Yesterday, we started hearing rumors of big layoffs on the way at Niche Media, that stable of glossy, journalism-free socialite-focused city magazines across the country. Today the Philly Daily News confirmed that Philadelphia Style had "much of its editorial and creative staff" laid off yesterday. But that may have been just the beginning; another tipster tells us that there are "massive layoffs" across the company, and "people are getting fired with no notice from editorial on a lot of different magazines — Hamptons, Boston Common, Philadelphia Style, LA Confidential..." Is Niche CEO Jason Binn's company the latest entrant in the Great Magazine Die-Off? If you have more specifics on the cuts, email us. [We're also hearing that the rumored looming layoffs at Viacom could actually be coming next week—stay tuned.]

Magazines Without Editors

Nick Denton · 02/06/08 01:28PM

Jason Binn's Niche Media has discovered a winning commercial formula for Hamptons and its other magazines: print party photos of socialites; invite advertisers to parties at which said personages are supposed to be present, but usually aren't; and get them to spend on advertising to this largely fictional audience. (Much like the rest of media, but more so.) The greatest cost-saving innovation of all: journalism is a superfluous function. As Binn has demonstrated by appointing his wife and chief salesperson to top editorial positions.

Payola Six: Some Kind of Spinning Away

Jessica · 04/11/06 02:40PM

Despite the appearance of trauma and drama, we suspect Jared Paul Stern is a very happy man right now. Sure, he was caught on videotape allegedly trying to shake down billionaire Ron Burkle, but the press is slowly starting to let up on Stern himself, at least in that it's increasingly probable that Burkle masterminded some sort of set up. The most significant pieces of press in Stern's favor have come from ABC News, which was the first to report Stern's defense; yesterday they also reported that the FBI did not have enough evidence to make an arrest.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Niche

Jesse · 03/22/06 09:15AM

A report from the office of Gotham magazine, the Manhattan outpost of Jason Binn's rich-people-friendly Niche Media empire:

Media Bubble: Nielsen Goes to College

Jesse · 02/20/06 11:33AM

• Nielsen Media Research finally starts including college students in ratings, which should be good news for young-skewing networks like MTV and Fox. Should also be good news for that sweet "Girls Gone Wild" informercial that's always on and fuckin' kicks ass, dude, and is just — wait, is that the pizza? [NYT]
• This week, Simon Dumenco hates Google. (And again we say: Told you so.) [Ad Age]
• Jason Binn shuffles editors at Gotham and Hamptons. Which makes sense — one can only give blowjobs for so long before the jaw starts to ache. [NYP]
• We cut out a bit early on one Friday, and of course that's the day Jann Wenner fires his RS publisher over the location of the mag's 1,000th-issue party. Only at Wenner Media, kids, only at Wenner Media. [Mediaweek]
• Group of journalism bigwigs signs petition asking annual newspaper conference to look into the industry's willingness to help save refugees during the Holocaust. Because when an industry's future is so secure, it can afford to spend time worrying about things that happened 60 years ago. [NYT]

Jason Binn Births 'Boston Common'

Jessica · 09/20/05 09:07AM

Make no mistake: Jason Binn is the most virile man this side of Abraham. The Niche Media publisher has been been spreading his luxury magazine seed all over the damn place, most recently with last week's launch of Capitol File magazine, a D.C.-centric title that weighs more than its inexplicable covergirl, D.C. non-resident Ashley Judd. This week brings yet another new title, Boston Common, which is described as "a 352-page doorstop filled with glossy ads for things you can't afford — diamond-encrusted watches, fabulous homes — and puffy, party-oriented proto-journalism."