Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Death of Magazines

I received a letter from Portfolio magazine, announcing that they were ceasing publication. I'm only mildly surprised and mildly disappointed. Surprised only because it joins a list of magazines that I had paid subscriptions to, which folded, or turned into ezines. Red Herring was a favorite of mine, but it disappeared years ago. I became a convert to Business 2.0. It didn't really get my attention at first, but over time I began to look forward to it. It closed a couple of years ago; I still don't think Time Warner gave it a fair chance.

More recently, PC Magazine converted to a net-only product. In all three cases, it was obvious that advertising was down as once-fat magazines full of ads became as thin as a supermodel, but not as rich. I occasionally go to PC Mag online, but for me it just isn't the same.

And I'm only mildly disappointed in that I had paid for issues I'll never receive. I'd already decided not to renew my subscription. In an attempt to stand out from Business Week, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, etc. the editorial tone was a little snarky. The columnists took a bit of a left-wing position (certainly different than one expects for a business-oriented publication). I don't recall one good investment idea, or business concept that I thought I could apply.

Further, it was too caught up in scandals, with feature articles on the mysterious disappearance of an executive with a Dillards Department Store supplier, and the fight among the heirs to the estate of the founder of an ice cream company.

So, no great laments for Portfolio. I've noticed my Fortune and Wired becoming quite thin. I hope that they are not next...

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