Opinion: The latest editor and publisher to go belly up
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For journalists, finding out that Editor & Publisher magazine is being shut down is a bit like discovering that a friend who’s a professional daredevil was killed in a tragic mishap on stage. It’s risky enough to be in the journalism business these days, and E&P doubled down on that bet -- it was a magazine about newspapers. Now, its reporters and editors (for both the print and online editions) will experience first hand the disruption they’ve been chronicling for more than a decade. It appears that they received three weeks’ notice.
Even if it wasn’t completely unexpected, the end of E&P is sad on a number of levels for folks like me. I remember pouring through E&P’s want ads when I was looking for my first newspaper job in 1980. The pickings were slim back then, thanks to a slow economy and an oversupply of would-be Woodwards and Bernsteins. I eventually found a spot at The Daily and Sunday Register of Shrewsbury, N.J., which proved to be a foretaste of things to come. During my three-year tenure, the paper was sold twice, went through a couple rounds of layoffs and rolled back salaries. (It would eventually shut down in the mid-1980s.) I moved to the Winston-Salem Journal in 1983, and within a year or so its owners shuttered the town’s afternoon paper, the Sentinel. I could go on, but you get the picture. I used to check the want ads in E&P regularly, watching them grow and shrink along with the industry’s business cycles. Soon, that barometer will be gone too.
E&P has been around since 1901, but it apparently grew out of a magazine called The Journalist that had launched in 1884. So its demise comes after 125 years in business, which is a pretty nice run, all things considered. The magazine’s editor isn’t giving up hope that a way will be found to keep the brand alive, and I wish him luck.
-- Jon Healey