Ding, Dong, Deborah Solomon Is Gone

In your finally Friday media column: you won't have Deborah Solomon's Q&A's to scoff at any more, more evidence of Sam Zell's intolerability, Hachette waits on its layoffs, and magazine newsstands are dinosaur-like things.

  • Hugo Lindgren's remaking of the New York Times Magazine continues: Deborah Solomon, the mag's cranky asker-of-questions, is leaving (to work on a book), no doubt with the encouragement of Lindgren. Deborah Solomon's best quality as an interviewer was that she was immune to the saccharine charms of power and celebrity that render most Q&A's vapid and worthless. Her worst quality was her relentlessly sour disposition, often unredeemed by any wit or insight. And also how she often tended to waste precious interview space with these real important people by asking them questions that were basically about herself. And also how she used to dishonestly edit her column.

  • Oooo, the WSJ has a look at some information that got redacted in documents surrounding Tribune Co's bankruptcy. What do we learn? Nobody wants to be called "Sam [Zell]'s guy," for one thing.

  • As soon as Hearst bought Hachette Filipacchi this week, we heard rumors that Hachette staffers were terrified of huge layoffs coming down soon. Today, Keith Kelly hears the same thing: "Out of a workforce that numbers about 600 people, at least 120 are expected to be gone by the time the Hearst takeover closes early in the third quarter."

  • Hey, how are magazines doing these days? Well, in the second half of last year, newsstand sales continued their inexorable downward slide. I mean, there were a few exceptions. But mostly, come on, it's a dying business.