End of an Era, Indeed
This is, perhaps, one of the more depressing stories I've seen come through lately.
Among all the turmoil in the world of newspapers and magazines, there was always one place I knew I could turn to get straight and solid information: Editor & Publisher. Now, after 125 years in business, the magazine is shutting down both print and online operations by the end of this year.
Nielsen Business Media, of which E&P was a part, has forged a deal with e5 Global Media Holdings, LLC, a new company formed jointly by Pluribus Capital Management and Guggenheim Partners, for the sale of eight brands in the Media and Entertainment Group, including E&P sister magazines Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek, Backstage, Billboard, Film Journal International and The Hollywood Reporter. E&P was not included in this transaction.
That's a lot of high-powered industry mags changing hands right there. I expect to see more shuffles like this over the next year.
When I was working for a newspaper, E&P was one of the best magazines I subscribed to. It helped me keep my niche in perspective with the larger whole of the news and print worlds. I learned a lot from reading articles on circulation and newsroom management techniques. Once or twice, I even wondered a little what it would be like to actually get mentioned as one of the notables they'd have listed--an actual old school editor or publisher.
What does it mean in the long run? I don't know. In the short term, there's going to be a vacuum that needs to be filled for the print journalism world. Obviously, that's going to be filled by one or more online resources... because starting up a new print publication to cover the faltering print industry seems a bit... flawed.
I think we're still a long way off from seeing print as a whole become an extinct industry. There's still too much of the world's population that's just more comfortable with something solid and paper-like in their hands. (Plus, what would we use to pack dishes or line the bird cage without newspapers?)
Or, maybe, the future of publishing moves away from focusing on the delivery medium and becomes fully concerned with the content on (or displayed through) that medium. There has been some good solid movement in the realm of "electronic paper" over the past year. Imagine something like Amazon's Kindle , but on an even thinner scale--something that you could actually roll up like a current newspaper.
Only time will tell. It's just too bad we won't have the century or so of experience and wisdom of E&P to watch and comment on those changes.