- Tom Silva
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It’s -30- for Editor & Publisher
The long-time bible of the shrinking newspaper industry, Editor & Publisher, has announced that it will cease publication both in print and online at the end of 2009. Announcement of the end of the venerable publication, whose roots extend back to 1884, was met by surprise and outpourings of strong support. Ironically for a publication that is 125 years old, word of E&P’s demise hit # 4 as a Twitter trending topic.
Greg Mitchell, E&P’s editor since 2002, highlighted the publication’s staff, dozens of major awards and its strong internet presence. Some staff writers and editors have been with E&P for 25 years. According to Mitchell, “I’m shocked that a way was not found for the magazine to continue in some form – and remain hopeful that this may still occur.”
Editor & Publisher’s demise is just one symptom of the difficulties the publishing industry is facing. Other casualties include venerable magazines such as Gourmet, Metropolitan Home and Modern Bride. Fortune is cutting the number of issues it publishes annually, and Business Week was sold for a bargain $9 million. Although 92 percent of American adults read magazines, most are obtained via deeply discounted subscriptions rather than paying full price at the newsstand. According to the Publishers Information Bureau, magazine ad revenues fell 18 percent in 2009. A major part of the problem is that although magazines still are relevant, the economic model that sustained them has deteriorated as advertisers have switched to the Internet.
“I think the paradigm is shifting, and magazines have to keep up,” according to Brad Adgate, with the media buying firm Horizon Media. Many magazines are adapting to the new publishing reality by entering the digital age with Facebook pages, iPhone apps and Twitter feeds.