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

Changing faces at Time

Posted on | May 18, 2007 | No Comments

Every time I come across a copy of Time or Newsweek it’s like seeing an old relative you haven’t seen for a while and are surprised is still kicking. Why they’re both around (and U.S. News and World Report) when the Economist has been conquering North America is beyond me. Time and Newsweek long ago dumbed down and graphicked-up their pages, and, in retrospect, that general publishing trend has to be seen as the beginning of the end for those guys.
Time killed Life two months ago and Managing Editor Richard Stengel (above, in YouTube video) cut 50 people and shuttered three bureaus (including L.A.!!) Now he’s in hiring mode.
In an article passed on to me by my colleague Christian Fahlen, The Washingtonian reports this week:

Stengel, who took over the reigns of Time earlier this year, hired David Von Drehle and Michael Grunwald from the Washington Post. He took Mark Halperin from ABC News.

The piece continues:

“What do we do as journalists?” Stengel asks. “We write, we report, we think. In terms of people who do these things, David and Michael are as good as anybody anywhere.”

That probably makes the 50 former employees thrilled, but hey. Could it be, in the end, that writing and reporting ACTUALLY MATTER STILL?? Might it attract smart, high-income readers instead of grocery-store-line browsers who want to show tonight’s cocktail crowd they’re up in events?

Be still my heart.

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No Responses to “Changing faces at Time”

  1. Anonymous
    May 18th, 2007 @ 4:30 pm

    Brian — what was interesting to me as well was that the hirings seemed to signal a move away from a news-oriented mission and more towards an Economist-style “essay and column” approach.

    — Christian

  2. Loring
    May 21st, 2007 @ 10:02 pm

    But keep in mind, Christian, though it’s done in essay format, The Economist contains exponentially more news than any of the trad weeklies, owing to the dumbing down Brian spoke of. You can adopt that format and still slip in more news in a week than an average American receives in a year.

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