Your daily media column is here. Today, the Great Magazine Die-Off continues, your annual "Gawker sucks now" story, Les Payne's pain, and more!
Meredith has folded Country Home, meaning 250 layoffs. The company is also "relocating the creative functions of the ReadyMade brand and Parents.com to Des Moines," which really sucks, let's be honest. An internal memo said ad revenue was down 15% last quarter, and this quarter is even worse.
Gawker, Nick Denton, and Gawker Media as a whole have finally jumped the shark, reportedly, an event which occurs with the same frequency as mustaches coming back in style. I'm a little concerned that this has happened and it's only January, though. Can we jump the shark twice in 09? Let's hope so! [Independent]
Les Payne was a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter a popular editor, and a columnist at Newsday for almost the past 30 years. The paper, which is struggling like every other paper, just dropped his column. Their grand sendoff? "The writing of former Newsday columnist Les Payne can be found at http://blog.lespayne.net/. Thank you." Meh. Learn all about Payne's distinguished career in this retrospective.
At Nielsen Business Media, home to shaky trade mags like Adweek, Brandweek, and Mediaweek, top editor Tony Case has quit. One source tells us he "couldn't take the browbeating" any more. We also hear that the masthead on each of those three magazines includes every staffer left at all three, to "make it look as if each magazine is well-populated."
The new New Books columnist at Harper's will be Ben Moser. John Leonard, who passed away in November, had written it since 2003.
There was a grenade attack (crazy) on Mexico's top television station (unbelievable) during the nightly news broadcast (totally psycho). The fact that this item is just appearing here is part of the problem. I'm starting to wonder whether Mexican narcotraffickers really believe in the First Amendment of the US Constitution, and that it should apply to Mexico. [CSM]