Chaunce Hayden, fameball editor of gloriously trashy Jersey nightlife rag Steppin' Out, has not laid off a single worker in 21 years. By email, we asked him how to save print media, starting with flailing news weekly Newsweek.
After we penned a guide to Steppin' Out's "trashiest" issues last week, Chaunce wrote an email expressing his gratitude for the recognition. His email, in part:
It's funny, people always give us a hard time, but I think you get it... (and a few others). We've been publishing for 21 years, every single week. I have so many friends who "worked" for Conde, Bauer and Time and most don't have jobs now. We never had to fire anyone in 21 years.... 30 people on staff (including drivers) .. No we don't have 29 drivers!!! haha
Impressed, I asked Chaunce what his recession-dodging secret was. Penny-pinching and the presence of Chaunce Hayden, says Chaunce Hayden:
The secret is not being Vanity Fair... People laugh at us for being the worst magazine... When in fact, we're the best penny saver. We don't depend on Pepsi and other fortune 500 corps to keep us alive. In bad times print advertising is the first to go.... And the mag dies. We cater to the bars, clubs and liquor companies who seem to thrive in bad times.... Thus we thrive. Also, we print weekly... Weekly mag = weekly billing. We also don't have a crazy Manhattan rent. We are uncomfortable close per sq ft, but we try to take hourly walks outside lol. Another key to making it 21 years... No glossy (accept the cover). Keeps us affordable....
Finally the most important key to our longevity...... Me. Haha.
Its funny, in 1990, Howard Stern made fun of us on a daily basis.... Here we are in 2010... And websites are making fun of us... The internet didn't exist when we started….
I wondered what else the Chaunce Hayden magic could do. Could he save Newsweek?
There's no saving Newsweek because there's no market value for it. By that I mean, why does anyone need it? What do they offer that's not online or in several other more popular newspapers.
But it's not hopeless. Here's how Chaunce advises Newsweek to alter its coverage of the oil spill plaguing the Gulf coast:
Cover idea: Courtney Love grabbing her crotch with both hands: (Headline: How to stop a leak the old fashioned way!)
I just made the oil spill sexy, interesting and maybe even came up with a good idea how to fix it... Courtney Love knows how to dry up a hole better than anyone.... no pun.
I jest, but try it and see if more people buy Newsweek with my cover/headline than a photo of a murky ocean.
And there you have it: How to save Newsweek, the Chaunce Hayden way. Jon Meacham, let me know if you want an introduction.
Previously: Meet Steppin' Out, Trashiest Magazine in America