media deathwatch

The Media Climate Gets Hotter and Hauter

In today’s media (bad) news, Condé Nast is facing some very ugly ad-sales tumbles, and the New York Times is running front-page ads for the first time. But Haute Living San Francisco has just been, inexplicably, unveiled. And as always, the media is the first to report on news of its own demise!

• There’s a more “austere” tone in today’s publishing houses, signs of an industry eschewing, as the Times puts it, “cultural swagger and pure Manhattan high life” for meetings held by webcam. Authors’ cash advances are also now under strict review. But Michael Korda, former editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster, says New York saw many of the same changes in the seventies, and expense-account-covered lunches at the Four Seasons have proven resilient. [NYT]

• Speaking of dwindling glamour (and dwindling Glamour), Condé Nast’s ad sales, unsurprisingly, took major blows last year. While the average American magazine is down 15 percent in ad sales, Condé’s Wired is down a heinous 47 percent from a year ago; Vogue and not-so-Lucky, 44 percent; Portfolio, 35 percent; and Teen Vogue, 29 percent.

• Rumors are circulating that the ailing Condé company will cease publishing Men’s Vogue altogether, rather than the promised two issues a year. [Media Is Dying/Twitter]

• Related, those of you readers who subscribed to Mogue will be getting Portfolio for the rest of your paid time. Again, Condé Nast completely misunderstands the Men’s Vogue market. [Cut]

• But fear not, superrich: Haute Living magazine has not only not folded, but is adding another city to its list of publishing locations, releasing Haute Living San Francisco! The publication will now be guiding wealthy San Francisco residents to all the “hautest” offerings in their city, as it does in Haute Living New York and Haute Living Florida.

• 8020 Media, on the other hand, an innovative company publishing user-generated, cult-favorite magazines like JPG and Everywhere, is shutting down and folding its titles. (Unless they find a last-minute buyer.) [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro]

• “In its latest concession to the worst revenue slide since the Depression, The New York Times has begun selling display advertising on its front page,” reports the Times today, depressingly, in true meta-media fashion. Today’s paper, the first to run the front-page “commercial incursion into the most important news space,” as the paper puts it, displayed a CBS ad below the fold. [NYT]

• The New York Times is banking on Obama to sell their newspapers. Watch out: Men’s Vogue tried that tactic. [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro]

• Phil Bennett has stepped down as managing editor of the Washington Post. He plans to work on a project “relating to the future of the news,” but he’s “pulling for [them].” Pull hard, Bennett. [Romenesko]

The Media Climate Gets Hotter and Hauter