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Don’t Try to Be a Publisher and a Platform at the Same Time
January 20, 2015

In the wake of digital disruption, new media companies are seeking scale and legitimacy, while old media companies explore new business models.

The "platform" is a new media company model that has been perfected by the tech industry. Platforms can easily scale to serve gigantic audiences, and their lucrative possibilities beckon to established players that are often called "publishers." Meanwhile, many publishers have solid brand identities that are alluring to platforms. So publishers and platforms are experimenting with new combinations - but is it really possible to combine a publisher with a platform

Lots of Insurgencies at the Ellies, But Two Stalwarts Hold On
January 19, 2015

Historically, New York magazine and The New Yorker tend to be among the biggest heavyweights at the annual glossy back-patting bonanza that is the National Magazine Awards.

So it should surprise no one that they are leading the pack of this year's finalists, announced Thursday afternoon, with 10 and six nominations respectively, including in the categories for general excellence (the latter) and magazine of the year (the former).

More notable and more interesting, perhaps, are the newcomers and first-time nominees who've managed to crash the gates of the magazine world's equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize.

More on The Huffington Post’s New ‘Features’ Section
January 13, 2015

In early December, Greg Veis and Rachel Morris resigned from The New Republic, along with dozens of their colleagues, in protest of masthead decisions made by owner Chris Hughes and chief executive Guy Vidra.

On Sunday, Veis and Morris, along with their former T.N.R. colleague Jonathan Cohn,landed at The Huffington Post.

Veis and Morris, who served as T.N.R.'s executive editors, are helming a new longform features section for the site, and Cohn, a former T.N.R. senior editor, is writing full-time.

How Alan Taylor, Online Photography Pioneer, Is Rethinking The Atlantic’s Photo Site
January 12, 2015

starting today, Taylor will be able to mix in shorter quick hits with the long photo essays he's been known for, as The Atlantic launches a redesigned photo vertical, now known as The Atlantic's Photo section. The shorter posts will be housed in a new subsection called Burst.

This is the latest example of Atlantic Media shifting around the branding and structure of its constituent sites. Last October, for example, it brought The Wire (née The Atlantic Wire), its quick news aggregator, into the main Atlantic site. Earlier, The Atlantic Cities became CityLab.

The New Republic Makes First Hires Following Staff Walkout
January 8, 2015

Following last month's staff exodus, The New Republic has begun to fill some of its vacant editorial positions. Today, the magazine's recently appointed editor in chief, Gabriel Snyder, announced in a staff memo that TNR had made four new hires.

Jamil Smith will join TNR Jan. 26 as a senior editor. He previously worked at MSNBC as a producer for The Rachel Maddow Show and as a segment and digital producer for Melissa Harris-Perry. At TNR, Smith's coverage will include race, politics and gender.

Facebook, Apps and Video: Publisher Piglets and the Trough of Disillusionment
January 7, 2015

Newspaper and magazine publishers have adopted many tactics for surviving the big bad wolf of disruption threatening to blow down their carefully constructed houses, but over the last couple of years the media industry seemed to identify two key areas as built more of bricks than straw. 

Facebook cemented itself as a primary way to drive traffic to newsbrands, while apps remained a key way of developing more engaged audiences, and perhaps even getting people to pay for content.

But as we roll in to 2015, the big challenge for publishers

What Does It Mean to Run “Product” in a News Organization? Hayley Nelson’s Big Challenge at Wired
December 31, 2014

In 2012, boy-wonder Scott Dadichbecame editor-in-chief of the magazine. The following year, Dadich hired the magazine's first ever director of product management, Hayley Nelson. "There was no product organization when I got here. They didn't really know what product meant," says Nelson. "That's the product manager's legacy - you're always evangelizing. 'Here's what I do! I'm at this unique intersection between tech and sales and edit. I try to triangulate and listen to what everyone wants to do and make it all go forward.'"

The Readers We Can’t Friend
December 18, 2014

When a story does well on Facebook or Twitter, it's become natural in a newsroom to fist-pump: Yeah! Thousands of shares, hundreds of comments!

It feels like a victory to us, because journalists are the most social-media savvy profession out there (other than whatever you call the cottage industry that works for Kim Kardashian). We use Twitter as a news feed, Facebook to judge virality.

But while these platforms are indispensable to us as newsgatherers and as distributors, they also have their limits. Facebook, Twitter, and several other social media platforms

Deception? Price Gouging? Subscription Scam? Top Magazine Titles Won’t Say a Thing
November 24, 2014

In mid-October, I wrote about the New York Times offer to refund overpayments to customers who fell for an unauthorized third-party renewal solicitation. The Times also warned subscribers in print and via e-mail not to fall for the scam. I noted that the same company had been blanketing magazine subscribers with these notices for years before broadening to newspapers as well in 2013 and 2014. I couldn't immediately get a comment from magazines. Three inquiries later, spokespersons for top publishers Time Inc. and Conde Nast are still stonewalling me.

Vice Media adds science fiction section called ‘Terraform’
November 19, 2014

Vice Media tech vertical Motherboard has launched a science fiction section called Terraform, Publisher's Weekly reported this morning. Terraform, which will be co-edited by Motherboard senior editor Brian Merchant and futures editor Claire Evans-is publishing four stories today: "Targeted Strike 2: Judgement Database," by Adam Rothstein; "Huxleyed into the Full Orwell," by Cory Doctorow; "The Overview Effect," by Evans; and "The Brain Dump," by Bruce Sterling. A new story will be added to the site every Monday, Merchant told Capital.