Sign of Time’s Print Demise

Mick Gregory

TIME magazine, which has been coming out every Monday for over 36 years, hit the streets last Friday instead. The Wall Street Journal has trimmed down it’s large broadsheet size. Most Gannett and Hearst newspapers made that change seven or more years ago.

The WSJ launched its new design last week with a narrower, 48-inch web width. With the smaller page size and fewer columns, ads have new prominence, especially on section fronts. Improved typography, charts/graphics, Web “links” show the shift to the Internet.

These are signs that real MBAs have been put to work in the print industry that has been anti-management for all these years, “run” by editors.

“I believe that getting the magazine on newsstands on Friday helps us set the news agenda,” explained Richard Stengel, the managing editor.

NEW YORK TIMES media columnist David Carr takes the opportunity to rain on TIME’s first weekend parade:

“At the end of the month, there will be significant layoffs at the magazine division… In the last six months, the huge rate base of Time magazine has been cut by almost 20 percent, the street date has been moved, and at the end of the month, the standard editorial model — a centralized, well-paid cadre processing every bit of copy that comes in the door — will be kaput…”

Carr explains: ‘A tremendous amount of effort has been expended on TIME’s new Web site, which makes its debut Monday.”

Carr knocks the print magazine: “In its current state, a thin weekly on increasingly thin paper, TIME magazine is not much of a thing to behold.”

Mr. Carr, that is called managing. You make adjustments to the organization to save on expensive coated paper and move more resources to the Web. That’s the future. You might want to sign up for a night school course on Managerial Accounting.

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