Thursday, December 10, 2009

E&P magazine shutting down after 125 years

Editor and Publisher, the trade journal that has covered the newspaper industry for 125 years, is being closed by the end of the year, staffers were told today.

The magazine and website, along with Kirkus Book Reviews, were not included in the sale of a clutch of business publications announced today by their parent, Nielsen Business Media.

Most of the Nielsen business publications are being acquired by e5 Global Media Holdings, LLC, a new company formed jointly by Pluribus Capital Management and Guggenheim Partners. But E&P and Kirkus were not included in the deal, leading to the decision to cease operations at both orphaned publications.

With the pending shutdown of the authoritative trade magazine and the reduction in the last few years in the number of securities analysts covering publishing, there will be scant independent reporting and commentary on the troubled industry at a time it most needs objective and honest feedback.

Although the next issue of E&P is just 10 days from press, the magazine’s New York-based staff was told in a hastily called meeting this morning that their publication would be shut and their jobs would be eliminated as of Dec. 31.

The full memo on the shutdown is at Romenesko and reaction is in the popular Fitz and Jen blog at E&P's website. Mark Fitzgerald and Jennifer Saba, the authors of the blog, are among the staffers who will lose their jobs.

A staff member who is being laid off said there are five editorial and three advertising employees at E&P. Staffers were told E&P was losing money and had not made budget since August, 2008. The extent of the operating losses were not revealed.


Anonymous Adam Levy said...

Well that is depressing. The more that the Murdochs of the world attempt to destroy whats left of the news business, the more integral places like E & P become. Sad news indeed.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not the Murdochs of the world who are destroying the news business. It's the Dan Rathers who fake the news for political purposes.

Driving away half your potential audience is not a viable strategy in an environment where alternatives are available.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not much of a loss here, IMHO. For years, E&P reliably filled the secretarial role of running uncritically company press releases. The last two years saw considerable improvement with the appearance of more critical and thoughtful pieces, but I don't think they did a good job documenting the decline of newspapers. I am one reader who won't miss it.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Chronboy said...

Regardless of the copy and the content, it was at least a regular look at the industry. There are plenty of reporters out there with good memories of one of the few places that ever had classified ads from people actually looking for newspaper people. It was one of the only magazines that was almost always read from the back forward. And there were plenty of us back in the pre-Internet day who depended on the yearbook for the addresses for our job applications.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous AWOL from Titanic said...

Sad to say, I have to agree with Anonymous, "Not much of a loss here ... ." Over a 40-year period the only content I ever found to be of any real value or interest to me was the classified section, namely jobs offered. Like Chronboy, I read the back pages first, and I put that yearbook to good use a time or two.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Chuck Gehman said...

If no one is reading it anymore, no one buys it (the pub or the company), it can't make money, why does it matter? The whole problem with the Newspaper industry, it appears to me, is that it thinks it is a much more important institution than it actually is, rather than looking at what it does as a business. Rupert Murdoch seems to be the only one who actually gets it, and can create high quality products that also generate revenue. I was once a fan of the New York Times, but the WSJ just keeps getting better and it gets worse. It's really a fascinating historical time, with all that is going on.

4:36 AM  
Blogger Eric Schult said...

I owe two of my biggest career moves in newspapering to employment ads in E&P.

I wrote a couple freelance articles for E&P back in the late '90's, on production and operations developments.

I feel like I'm losing an old colleague to forced retirement.

8:31 AM  

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