While no one questions the accomplishments of the two women, the timing seems, well, off. This week, the Magazine Publishers of America and the American Society of Magazine Editors honored Ann S. Moore, the chairman and CEO of Time Inc., and Martha Stewart, the founder and presiding domestic goddess of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia--following weeks of layoffs and magazine closures across the industry, which have contributed to a general sense of impending apocalypse.
Moore was named the recipient of the MPA's Henry Johnson Fisher Award, in honor of the founding publisher of Popular Science. Martha Stewart was inducted into ASME's magazine editors' hall of fame. The prowess of both women is undoubted.
First as executive vice president and then as chairman and CEO since 2002, Moore has steered one of the world's largest magazine publishers through good times and bad. Similarly, Martha Stewart has established herself as a leading taste maker for middle-class American women, turning her domestic genius into a multiplatform media juggernaut.
Still, it's probably just about the worst timing imaginable. In recent months, the magazine industry has sustained a series of blows without precedent in recent years, including Time Inc.'s announcement that it will cut about 600 positions across the company. Overall, ad pages are down 8.5% through September, compared to the same period last year, according to MIN Online, and Time Inc.'s total pages are down 9.3% through September, according to TNS Media Intelligence. In November, Time Inc. announced that it was closing Cottage Living, heralding a spate of closures by other magazine publishers.
Rick Warren To Launch Publication
Mega-evangelist Rick Warren will indeed be launching a new magazine inspired by the editorial spirit of his best-selling book, "The Purpose-Driven Life." The magazine will be published by Reader's Digest Association, according to Folio, with the first test issue due out in Fall 2009. The magazine, with the working title Purpose, will be edited by Joe Treen, formerly of People and Discover.
LAT Magazine Names Jones Publisher
Penn Jones has been named the publisher of the new LA, Los Angeles Times Magazine. In addition, Nora Gervais has been promoted to associate publisher. The launch of the new magazine has stirred some controversy: The previous incarnation was shut down earlier this year, and the new magazine--essentially a replacement--launched under the control of the LAT's business operations, rather than its editorial staff.