Saturday, February 7, 2009

Everything is Free, Vol. 3: New Yorker Edition UPDATED

Near the end of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass begins to read and later subscribes to the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator. The paper, Douglass writes, became his "meat and drink." As readers of this blog may have noticed, the New Yorker serves much the same function for me. Lately, too, the magazine's various blogs have also occupied my attention. It seems to me that the New Yorker is especially adept at using the web to augment its offerings. 

So I was a bit surprised and very dismayed to read these two blog posts, which suggest that the magazine may be endangered (along with, seemingly, every other print publication these days). I suspect that there may be some alarmism here. Somehow the New Yorker seems too solid to crumble so quickly. I hope that's true.

Kate from Chicago, in a comment on a previous post, provides a link to this interesting article from Time that calls for and tries to imagine some ways that newspapers and magazines might reap some needed profits from Internet readers.  

***UPDATE***

The NY Times is reporting that Conde Nast has named a new publisher for the New Yorker and moved the former publisher to head Internet ad sales for the entire company. The article also notes that the magazine was operating in the red by the end of 2008. Not good.

2 comments:

emiss said...

Here's an article from Slate about what successful pay sites deliver that makes people pay for them. Interesting stuff.

http://www.slate.com/id/2211486/

Wonder what you think the New Yorker could do with its website along the lines this article lays out.

framiko said...

Interesting article. The New Yorker is definitely putting a lot of thought into its website: a bunch of their heavy-hitters (Packer, Hertzberg, Coll, Surowiecki) have blogs on the site, and they've even started up a book club (they did 2666 as a trial run, and have now moved on to Revolutionary Road). They're definitely enticing people to go to the website. And if you want access to the entirety of a week's issue, or of their entire archive, you can pay for it online. Are these strategems helping to keep the revenue streaming in? I don't know.