Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

Troubled in mind

Posted on | March 27, 2007 | No Comments

They’re going down like trees in a hurricane.
One of the most legendary of all publishing titles, Life, is dead. You’re probably saying “I thought it was dead!” Well, yeah: effectively it’s been dead since the 1960s, when television took center stage in American life. But Time Inc. kept it on life support for a long-long time until Monday. Everything has its time, so to speak, and Life’s is over. Is Time next? Time will tell. (Sorry).
Next up is trouble at the Chronicle, according to a number of bloggers.
Tim O’Reilly heard rumors and that was picked up by a bunch of writers, including Doc Searls, who offered an Rx for newspapers. Rumors of layoffs abound. Not surprising given that the Chron has one of the fastest-falling circs among American dailies. Assuming something pops on this soon, you can expect the Chron to spin it as media disaggregation blahblahblah. The fact of the matter is the paper, since Hearst took it over, has shifted way left from page 1 all the way through the often incomprehensible Datebook section. Readers don’t want preachy. You can get that in the blogosphere. Maybe if Phil Bronstein gets back to basics, things will turn around, but given his legacy as the scrappy guy who was always No. 2 when he ran the Examiner, that’s not likely.
I’ve read it since my childhood, and while the Chron was never a top-tier publication, it evolved into a pretty good read in the late ’80s and early ’90s before Hearst swooped in.
It reminds me of the lyrics to the old song Jerry Garcia covered:

I’m troubled, I’m troubled
I’m troubled in mind
If trouble don’t kill me
Lord I’ll live a long time

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