American Pie 07.11.05

Do women reporters and writers get the short end of the stick when
it comes to assignments and bylines? A survey here suggests they do.
Ruth Konigsberg, a deputy editor at Glamour magazine, has been
tabulating the bylines in such magazines as The New Yorker, the NY
Times’ Magazines, Vanity Fair, the Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s.. She
discovered that since the beginning of September the magazines she
surveyed carried 324 male bylines but only 69 female ones. She
conducted her survey after a report earlier this year that men’s
bylines in most big newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and the
New York Times. outnumber those of women. Most editors such as David
Remick of The New Yorker (98 men to 21 women) Lewis Lapham of Harper’s
(28 to six) and Gerald Marzorati of the NY Times’ Magazine (103 to 36)
declined to comment.: Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair, insisted
that assignments at his magazine were not based on gender – but said
they would in future try to balance assignments between the sexes., A
spokesman for Atlantic said they were aware of the problem and would do
their best to correct it. At Conde Nast, the company for which Ms
Konisberg works, a spokeswoman would only say “We’re looking at it.” At
the same time – and this may or not be related to by-lines – male
readership of magazines here is said to be on the decline. Maybe men
have other distractions these days – but according to Anne Moore, CEO
of Time Inc., there was no gender gap five years ago. One theory is
that men spend more time on the “new media” It’s one reason its said
why Hearst has shelved a plan to launch a new weekly men’s mag on the
lines of Nuts.. Keith Blanchard, formerly of Maxim, was even hired to
create a prototype. Said Kathie Black, president of Hearst Magazines
“All things that succeed in the UK are not necessarily a success in the
US”, Maxim and similar lad mags are in no danger of vanishing, but
their news-stands sales are far off their previous peaks.

Circulation
of British newspapers may be declining, but in most cases not as much
as their US counterparts where 18 of the top 20 American papers report
a drop. The latest sales figures show that the circulation of the San
Francisco Chronicle, for example, is down over 16 per cent (to 400, 000
copies), the Los Angeles Times is down over six per cent, the Orlando
Sentinel down 11 per cent, the Chicago Tribune down almost three per
cent and the Baltimore Sun over eight per cent. Even the Washington
Post is down four per cent. USA Today, the biggest selling daily these
days, slipped half a per cent to 2,296.335. One of the few papers to
report a gain is the NY Times, which showed a tiny gain of 0.4 per cent
on weekdays and 0.1 per cent on Sunday. The Wall Street Journal had a
slight increase in on-line subscriptions but overall its circulation
dropped about one per cent to 2.083.000. Those arch rivals the NY Post
and NY Daily News also lost circulation (the Daily News by 3,.7 per
cent to 688.,000) and The Post by just 2 per cent to 662.,000. The
Post’s Sundays sales were down over six per cent to 425,000. Gloomy
figures all around.

Rupert Murdoch is still on the acquisition
trail . Business Week this month even suggested he is at the moment on
a multi-billion dollar buying binge. But the one publication he still
covets is the Wall Street Journal. But he knows it’s not for sale. .At
least that’s what he told the Wall Street Journal itself in a
far-ranging interview in its new Saturday edition. In it he said he
believes the WSJ is America’s greatest newspaper of record –
outclassing the NY Times. As for himself he laughs when he is pictured
as journalism’s greatest villain who controls the news around the
world. He says one recent story portrayed him as a protégé of Lord
Beaverbook. “I never was” he insists.. As for suggestions that he and
his family put themselves above the company, he insists that too is not
true. “That;s bull —-” : he averred. “My family’s never taken
anything out of this company. Until the last two years I’ve taken a
very low salary myself” The WSJ interview ended with the suggestion
that although he is 74 Murdoch is showing no sign of slowing down.

Give
up smoking – or pay more in medical insurance.. That’s what employees
of Gannett, one of the largest newspaper publishers in the US, have
been told . The company has sent out letters to the 40,000 employees at
its almost 100 daily papers, which includes USA Today, telling them
that starting in the New Year they will have to pay an extra $50
(almost 30 pounds) a month in health insurance if they don’t give up
the habit.. Alternatively they can enroll for free in a company-
sponsored quit-smoking programme. The company is also considering
enforcing no smoking rules at work and hopes all its offices – even its
news rooms – will be smoke free by Jan 2007.

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