Monday, January 22, 2007

Changes at TIME

This article explains a lot about the changes in TIME magazine:
"Time Inc. management, on the advice of consultants from McKinsey, is trying to cut costs, reflecting the brutal realities of the mass magazine business. At the end of the month, there will be significant layoffs at the magazine division, and it will not be limited to cuts among Time's 280 editorial employees. Other magazines in the Time Warner division will re-engineer and cut as well.

At Time, [managing editor Richard] Stengel has moved swiftly. In the past six months, the huge rate base of Time magazine has been cut by almost 20 percent, the street date has been moved, and at the end of the month, the standard editorial model — a centralized, well-paid cadre processing every bit of copy that appears in print — will be kaput, replaced by a leaner enterprise built on star voices who will presumably get less editing.


To do this, [Stengel] is prepared to eschew Time's historically Olympian editorial voice, and its penchant for cover articles that track trends in lifestyle, and instead present point-of-view journalism, booking 'revered economist Jeffrey Sachs' and 'great modern historian and Harvard University professor Niall Ferguson' as contributors."

This is really, really sad, since I liked TIME magazine the way it was just a few weeks ago, when it had news articles about things I was interested in instead of a bunch of essays by people I don't know of about things I don't care much about. I can't imagine that many of TIME's readers were complaining that the magazine had too many news articles and not enough opinion pieces. I guess it shows the complete illogical nature of the corporate world, where it's all about money. So much so that they'd dismantle the traditional format they've had for so many years and go with something completely different.

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