Monday, May 27, 2024

Bad Media News Week as NY Magazine Lays off 32, People Editor Leaves, Vanity Fair Loses Top Online Editor


It’s not been a very good media week.

On Monday, New York Magazine laid off 32 people, 16 full time, 16 part time. The print edition of New York only comes out twice a month now. Editor in chief Adam Moss left after 16 years, I guess knowing the layoffs were coming. More are probably on their way. Adam did a great job until he couldn’t anymore. What a mess of a story New York has become. Bruce Wasserstein bought it, then died. His family took on his responsibilities, and we should be thankful they didn’t just sell it or close it. Once upon a time, New York was everything. No one could live without it. Everyone read it. I know, I wrote the Intelligencer column once, and was proud to be there. But times have changed.

Then comes news today that Jess Cagle has been tossed as editor of People and Entertainment Weekly. Jess and I were at EW in 1990, right after it started. His office was next to mine. (This was before I was at New York.) So he’s been there almost 30 years. Is that possible? Jess has done a great job following Larry Hackett at People, taking on the two jobs, and bridging the change from Time Inc. to Meredith Publishing. But you know, Meredith is publishing these magazines not from New York. Jess’s time with them could not have been easy. People and EW are like every other publication now. They are things of the past.

And the latest news today is that Jon Kelly is leaving The Hive website at Vanity Fair. Jon started as Graydon Carter’s assistant. He’s the son of famed writer Sheila Weller. He made the Hive buzz, launched a lot of writers, and knew what he was doing. But you see, Vanity Fair wants to get rid of anyone who was there when the magazine was successful. So many left when Graydon took flight, and I’m sure more of them will follow. No one is reading Vanity Fair. Their circulation is way down, even on line, although Vogue is doing worse online. So that’s some consolation.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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