October, 2010: lifelong media grenade-thrower Michael Wolff is appointed as the top editor of advertising industry trade magazine Adweek. April, 2011: the new Wolff-ified Adweek debuts. Our prediction at the time: "It'll go along just fine for a month or three, until the publisher starts getting calls from the advertisers, who say, 'I find all of that media reporting very interesting but by the way, we are in the advertising industry. Not the media. So I'm, you know, taking my business over to Ad Age, which really, let's be honest, covers this industry that I'm in (advertising) better than you guys do.' And that will be the end of the great media-reporting-heavy advertising trade magazine experiment!"
To Wolff's credit, he lasted a few months longer than we thought. But it might not last. Today, Keith Kelly reports that Prometheus, Adweek's publisher, is actively looking for Wolff's replacement. According to Kelly's unnamed sources, "Prometheus backer Jimmy Finkelstein, who hired Wolff to overhaul Adweek after several candidates turned him down, now thinks Wolff is a controversial highbrow who has alienated old-line Madison Avenue types."
We feel quite prescient, assuming this is all true and not some shadowy campaign of media retribution! Michael Wolff tells us, "I can't be more pleased by the new Adweek. And I'm having great fun putting it out. I hope I don't get fired. And nobody, except the New York Post, has yet told me I'm about to be."
Trade magazines are a place that writers are from. Not a destination. That has not changed.