Entertainment Weekly lost a quarter of its staff to layoffs last year, but Time Inc. will continue publishing the magazine, even though it maybe considered axing its print edition. Risky.
Sure, the title made $10 million last year, according to Keith Kelly at the Post. And it has new leadership (Kelly reports) in managing editor Jess Cagle, a People and former Time editor who spent 10 years at EW following its launch. (Fortune vet Rick Tetzeli, the former M.E., was kicked upstairs.)
But the magazine's profits are a fifth of the $50 million they recently were. If 2009 plays out as expected, EW could slide into the red on the cost of printing 1.6 million copies each week.
Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore is betting an editorial turnaround will prevent that, as will lower costs, thanks to the loss of 30 of 120 editorial staff and plans to share staff with other publications. But Moore should be ready to pull the plug quickly if the magazine starts losing money. EW never quite made its mark, and Time Inc.'s last round of 600-or-so layoffs was actually not that deep given the magazine group's 10,000 employees.
If the company has to fire more people, it should not be to sentimentally extend a failed experiment.