AMC Coverage, Part 3
Attendance at this afternoon’s session was markedly lighter, no doubt a result of some people’s decisions to forego MagaBranding in favor of golf and tennis here in beautiful Boca. Still, the afternoon’s programming was engaging, kicking off with a keynote presentation by Beth Comstock, president of NBC Universal’s Integrated Media, whose chat was titled “What magazines can learn from TV.” Her appearance at AMC today happened to coincide with the launch of Hulu, a collaborative effort on behalf of NBC and News Corp. that some have dubbed a “YouTube killer.”
Multi-platform Editors Doing More Than Ever
Comstock was followed by a panel of editors who discussed, among other things, the challenges faced by editorial staffers being asked to do more than ever in less time than ever. Steve Adler, whose BusinessWeek went through an extensive redesign only a few weeks ago, admitted his staff now refers to its readers instead as users. He acknowledged that quality control of BusinessWeek’s online content is probably his most difficult challenge, as the quantity and frequency of copy prohibits him from seeing everything that gets posted on the Web.
Adam Moss, editor-in-chief of New York, said the environment editors find themselves in may well suit them more than they realize. Great editors almost have to have ADD, he said, adding that this new environment “rewards that.”
Angela Burt-Murray, editor-in-chief of Essence, summed up the discussion with simple advice to her fellow editors: “Evolve or die. … Remember who brought you to the dance. Everything you do should revolve around the reader.”
Either/Or Argument Is No More
Upstaging all of the afternoon’s presenters was Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post. Huffington stated plainly that the “either/or” argument is no longer valid with regard to publishers having either a print or a Web strategy. It’s clear now that publishers absolutely need to have both. Huffington’s line—”It is like France. You can have your wife and your mistress too now,”—brought the afternoon’s loudest laughs and managed to drive home her point.
I Thought They Said ‘Sex Sells’
At least that’s what Brian Farnham was banking on earlier this year when he published his second “sex issue” since taking over as editor in chief at Time Out New York 18 months ago. As a matter of fact, the issue did sell … and sell well. But it also brought a significant number of angry letters and even subscription cancellations which, Farnham said, wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. He argued that a sex issue that doesn’t incite a negative response to some degree probably isn’t a good sex issue. He challenged editors to be unafraid to “exceed the boundaries” and “not be afraid to take your readers outside their comfort zone.”
It must be working. Time Out’s newsstand sales are up for the first time in six years, and its Web site’s page views have doubled in the last 12 months.
More from AMC tomorrow.