Thursday, 24 July 2008

T Magazine - the future?

If you like T you'll like this:

Is the Future of Newspapers Glossy?

Meet Andrew Essex, during the nineties he was a hot, young, journalist thing with an impressive career trajectory until he ditched it all for a lucrative job in advertising. Is his path the way of newspapers in general? It certainly looks that way judging by all the newspaper glossies set to hit newsstands this fall. (The Observer calls them "very pretty publications...with heavy paper stock, big perfectly bound spines, and shiny pictures of spinnakers and gourmet chocolate.")

Behold: The Wall Street Journal is launching WSJ; WaPo is delving into the fashion market with FW; the Los Angeles Times is reintroducing its magazine, and then there's Manhattan.

Why is an industry that is plummeting towards its doom focusing on the luxury market?

According to Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio, the publisher of WSJ, "Our economy has grown so much through the luxury space that it just makes sense that there is more of a highlight on that sector in [publishing] as well."
And what price all this gloss? There is some concern that the line between advertising and editorial is being crossed, that the editor has merely become a well-connected affable businessman, and luxury advertisers will begin to dictate content.

Not true! says Asmodeo-Giglio. However, as Andrew Essex points out, "The editor's to keep a book alive...It is not to massage semicolons. Now some people at ASME or Mr. Ross or Mr. Shawn may vomit at that statement, but it's better than not having any book at all."

Firstly, I'd agree with that statement about the book (although I have blogged about my issues with T, quickly corrected by a word from some IHT insiders).

Secondly, as to why an industry that is "plummeting towards its doom is focusing on the luxury market"? That seems pretty obvious to me.

Because that is where the money is, and no Internet advert I have ever seen has the shelf-life, impact and jump off the page 'impression' than a full-colour advert in a well-produced glossy. Which is why so many of the (non-newspaper) glossies are doing relatively well.

It's all about following the money, and as long as the IHT keeps reporting the income disparity behind the elites that are interested in these glossies and the rest of us, that's fine by me.

If you have a well-documented, good demographic readership already there, which takes out ALL of the start up costs traditionally associated with new launch glossies, then why on earth not?

And if a load of old bollocks about $5,000 bottles of perfume pays for my daily IHT, I'll live with it.

P.S "Our economy has grown so much through the luxury space" - my word, the ability of senior media execs to still speak in ever evoloving BS language is quite remarkable.

International Herald Tribune
New York Times

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