media deathwatch

Bad News for Books. And Newspapers. And Magazines. And Websites.

Today, book-publishing companies were hit hard with layoffs, which is bad news for people who like to read. If you prefer to peruse listings, your weekly city guide might see some changes, and, well, more magazines and newspapers are folding. But maybe, just maybe, Tina Brown will bail us all out. Until then, sorry guys:

• Book-publishing powerhouse Simon & Schuster has laid off 35 people in their publishing, sales, and operations departments. [Gawker]

• The new Random House, Inc. CEO, Markus Dohle, sent out a friendly, informative memo today, officially closing the company’s Bantam and Doubleday divisions. Those imprints’ publishers, Irwyn Applebaum and Steve Rubin, are “stepping down.” Also, several other imprints at Random House are merging. Effective immediately. Xoxo, Mark. [Observer]

• Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the publishing house that recently ceased publishing any new authors, has lost a few of its own: Becky Saletan, the company’s publisher, has resigned, and its executive editor, Ann Patty, has been fired, along with an unspecified number of employees that adds up to “a lot.” [GalleyCat/Mediabistro]

• Listings-heavy weekly Time Out New York is for sale, at an asking price of $40 million. The mag’s founder says he doesn’t want to sell, but its investors are pushing for a profit. [London Times]

• Even Google, the quirky company famous for treating its employees well, is cutting corners — slashing employees’ personal projects, lessening cafeteria services, and probably not renewing contracts. [Gawker]

• The Cox newspaper group (which includes the Palm Beach Post and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution), is closing its Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington bureau, founded in 1974. This means the closure of the company’s five foreign bureaus as well. [AP]

• Niche Media, which makes city-based glossies wherever rich people frolic, is folding its Atlanta mag, Atlanta Peach. [Journal-Constitution]

• Hey, someone’s hiring! Sort of. Tina Brown is rescuing laid-off journalists by turning them into freelancers for her aggregator Website, the Daily Beast. Choire Sicha and Neel Shah of the late Radar magazine and former New York Sun staffers are among the site’s (sort of) saved journalists. [Observer]

• Some previews for tomorrow and Friday’s editions of Media Deatchwatch: Troubled Time, Inc. magazine People has only gotten half of its seventeen buyouts, and is going to have get more forceful to oust the other half by the end of the week. Similar fates are hovering over staffers at Sports Illustrated (and maybe other titles) as well. [NYP]

Bad News for Books. And Newspapers. And Magazines. And Websites.