In your meaty Tuesday media column: rumors of coming layoffs (and a die-off?) at OK! magazine, a golf magazine is killed, advertising plummets, media companies may default, and Americans don't know a damn thing:
We hear that OK! Magazine is, sadly, well on its way to becoming a mere shell of the grand publication it once was. A tipster tells us that more layoffs at the celebrihappy rag may be coming down this week, because the big bosses in London "are not feeling the New York City staff, and feel their stories really are full of bunk" (see also this on the nature of sources, for balance). OK! still has not found a full time replacement for departed editor Kent Brownridge—we hear that interim editor Sarah Ivens is still doing the job from Kentucky, in a perfunctory fashion. Supposedly OK!'s billionaire British publisher Richard Desmond is disgusted enough with the whole operation to let his London people supervise it from afar, as it slowly fades away. [Email us with additional details or denials]
Great Magazine Die-Off news: Travel + Leisure Golf is dead. American Express Publishing folded it after nearly two decades due to weak ad sales. My utmost sympathy goes out to each and every staffer who lost their job, but there's no mourning the loss of a golf magazine.
A new report predicts that "media revenue generated through advertising" will fall for three straight years—last year (by a little), this year (by a lot), and next year (by a moderate amount). Sucks.
Moody's has released a new list of the companies it considers most likely to default on their corporate debts. Are media companies on it, you ask? Of course! Including Allbritton (owner of Politico), Univision, and Clear Channel (likely to be added next month). Basically any company that was bought by a private equity firm for a huge sum in the last couple years is fucked.
An NPR investigation of five years of business reporting finds: "The nation's best news organizations didn't exactly fail to report on these financial weapons of mass destruction. Maybe they just didn't trust their own reporting enough to hammer it home - at least not to the point where people who were reading, and watching, got the message." On the other hand, the majority of Americans knew plenty about the NFL during each of those years. Ray Lewis is a weapon of mass destruction to quarterbacks, baby yea! USA.