Yesterday New York magazine laid off Gael Greene, a food critic there for the past 40 years. Apparently the recession is hurting New York like everyone else—not as drastically as everyone else, of course, but enough to have to pare down their fat roster of restaurant reviewers. So is this just a longtime employee being pushed out, or a sign of something worse under the surface?
New York is owned by billionaire Bruce Wasserstein, the CEO of investment bank Lazard. Does he have money problems? Well, let's see:
Not so good! Like everyone else in the financial sector. And New York is not a cheap mag to own. Editor Adam Moss has been hiring top-notch talent at relatively high salaries for years now. It's not surprising they're trying to trim staff costs, and the fact is that a veteran restaurant reviewer is a cut that won't hurt as bad as lots of others might. Regardless of how talented she may be! New York is a great magazine in its own way, but it's not a magazine that's set up to own the coverage of our new, post-financial-apocalypse society. New York is a magazine for the new rich. Watching them try to shift gears and tell us how to save money is like watching a country club try to recast itself as a sod farm. So New York will make it through, with some shrinkage. Wasserstein will be rich, but not as rich. But New York won't really be back on its game until all of its readers can afford those holiday gift guide items once again.