media deathwatch

Media Wins Some Battles Against Death

As our own magazine features the boys who are making the Times new again, it seems the media is finding some new faith in itself. Okay, there were still layoffs and foldings today. But some editors are staying put — excitedly, even — and new websites are launching. We’re not sure when simply not being fired meant things were good, but, you know, in this economy…

• The Times’ executive editor, Bill Keller, has been plagued by rumors of an imminent retirement, as the media’s been relentlessly speculating on his paper’s demise. But not so! says Keller. “Where do you get this bullshit?” he asks Gawker, pretty fairly. “I think 2009 is going to be the most interesting year in newspapers and I’d like to be here for it.” [Gawker]

• Hearst’s company’s president, Cathie Black, is staying put, re-upping her role with a three-year contract. A company flack says Black is “truly creating the magazine company of the future,” but given Hearst’s recent financial struggles and difficulty translating to the web, that could be worrisome. [NYP, Mixed Media/Portfolio]

• The Times is talking back to the Atlantic, posting an open letter saying last week’s dead-by-May piece “leaves a lot to be desired from the standpoint of … well, journalism.” This is turning into a media face-off fit for a different tag. [Romenesko]

• It still wouldn’t be a media roundup without some sadder news: The Financial Times laid off 80 staffers. Sigh. [Guardian UK]

• Though more folks are reading, fewer of them are reading magazines that they bought at a newsstand. Could be the whole Internet phenomenon. But apparently even fiction is on the rise. [Mediaweek, NYT]

Plenty, a green-minded environment magazine, has actually folded, after a series of efforts to save it. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]

•, a Boston-based foreign-news website, has officially launched. The site plans to feature international reporting by independent journalists, lamenting the sudden dearth of such journalism in today’s media. [Boston Globe]

Media Wins Some Battles Against Death