In your overblownTuesday media column: Time is a biter, Michael Wolff is an exaggerator, Portfolio is a fantasist, Newsweek is stank, and Esquire is an [expletive deleted]:
On a panel last night, media beef-starter Michael Wolff said the following things: 80% of newspapers will be dead by the end of next year, TV networks will soon have minuscule audiences, Time Warner and all other media conglomerates will cease to exist in five years, and photographers are talentless hacks. We'll throw in one: Michael Wolff will be voted "Most Popular Guy in Media" in the next seventeen minutes.
Following a disastrous first quarter, the NYT Co's CFO says that "a good part" of the company's job cuts this year are "behind us," and severance cuts shouldn't be as bad as last year. Which, upon review, means very little.
The publisher of Portfolio explains that if you think the magazine is not doing well just because it lost half its advertising and cut back to ten issues, you're not looking at the big picture: "Versus our initial audit statement, total circ is up 19 percent and paid is up 43 percent. And the rate base is up 14 percent. Our success is not judged on ad pages. The questions we respond to are ‘Is the magazine relevant? Is it becoming a part of the culture? Are readers renewing?' That's what we're being judged on." If circ ever declines, look for Li to say they're being judged on good binding, glossiness of paper, and the mere existence of the magazine.
Former Conde Nast editorial director James Truman has taken a new gig consulting for a custom publisher, but his real passion is his magic circus company. Good for him, we say!
A finance blogger thinks that Esquire will fold before the end of next year. We don't think he's right, and his reasoning is incomplete, and we'd like to defend Esquire here, but then they have to go and issue an apology for telling guys to learn how to curse well by calling someone a "shit-sniffing faggot." Which is just not acceptable in 2009, unless you can sell advertising against it.
A true outrage at Newsweek—a tipster writes: "I work in the Newsweek building on 57th street. The bathroom on my floor has a noxious odor coming from it and despite multiple complaints to building management, we have been told that they will not address it because we will be moving...in over a month. The odor is a combination of sewage and gasoline.
The building has already changed the address so that mail does not arrive and does not seem concerned that we are working in a construction zone, which requires security guards to wear face masks; but this is unacceptable. We work for 9 hours a day, and to not be able to go to the bathroom is unheard of!" Hey just hold it in, we're in a recession!