media deathwatch

Communications-School Graduates Receiving Grim Messages

Today, Ad Age columnist Simon Dumenco railed against Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications for honoring Arianna Huffington with the Fred Dressler Lifetime Achievement Award at the upcoming Mirror Awards luncheon. “Really, the school — which exists to train journalists — should know better than to honor a woman who thinks journalists should work for free!” he wrote. In other news, Hearst defies all industry odds in the staggering economy by increasing page size and raising prices, while The New York Times Magazine gives in to the dying trend by cutting paper size.

The New York Times Magazine, considered the top revenue producer of newspaper Sunday magazines and often ranking among the best ad-revenue magazines in the country, is cutting its size by 9 percent, according to a Times spokeswoman. The smaller version of the glossy magazine will debut in two weeks with the June 14 issue, according to magazine editor Gerald Marzorati. [Editor & Publisher]

• And another one bites the dust. Tom Shroder, editor of The Washington Post Magazine, will be taking the paper’s latest buyout offer. “It seems significant changes in the magazine are inevitable, so I feel now is the right time to explore other options,” Shroder said. [Politico]

• In a sudden change at TV Guide, new owner Open Gate Capital has replaced Scott Crystal as president, and tapped Michael Clayton, the company’s executive vice-president, as his interim successor. [NYP]

• In the worst quarter in modern history for American newspapers, advertising sales fell by an unprecedented 28.3 percent in the first three months of 2009, plunging sales by more than $2.6 billion from the prior year. Statistics posted on the website of the Newspaper Association of America show that print-ad sales fell by a historic 29.7 percent to $5.9 billion in the first period of this year, and that online sales fell a record 13.4 percent to $696.3 million. [Newsosaur]

• In the face of problems confronting the entire newspaper industry, the Eugene Register-Guard in Oregon is spending $1.2 million to alter its press to print a smaller version of the paper beginning Monday. [AP]

• Barbara Ehrenreich gives a bleak commencement address at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. “You are going to be trying to carve out a career in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. You are furthermore going to be trying to do so within what appears to be a dying industry,” she intoned. “Welcome to the American working class … You’ll be living some of the problems you report on — the struggle for health insurance, for child care, for affordable housing.” [Gawker]

• The Portland Newspapers Guild has agree to take 10 percent pay cuts and accept some layoffs in order to save the Blethen newspapers through a sale to a private company. [MaineBiz]

Communications-School Graduates Receiving Grim Messages