American Pie 05.07.01


It’s bad enough that advertising is on the decline, but there’s worse news for newspaper publishers. A survey indicates that Americans aged 55 or older -in the past the most loyal newspaper readers – are now turning to the internet for their news. An astonishing 57 per cent regularly log on to their computer for the news of the day compared to 37 per cent who still rely on newspapers. The survey commented: "While newspaper readers haven’t stopped subscribing in big numbers yet, they are spending less time reading the paper edition. They spend significantly more time each day getting information from the internet." Ironically it’s not newspaper websites that are benefiting. Three-quarters of those seeking the news electronically go to magazines sites and web columnists.


Another survey suggests that miscalling the presidential election result last November did more harm to the media’s image in the US than anyone thought. Belief in the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of the press in the US, has declined significantly.  Eighty per cent of those polled said TV networks should not be allowed to declare a winner in an election until all polls have closed.  That’s a 10 per cent increase over a year ago. At the same time, the percentage of people who believe the First Amendment goes too far in protecting the rights of the press jumped to

39 per cent from 22 per cent a year ago.


The merry-go-round keeps on turning. To replace Glenda Bailey, who was promoted to editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar after the firing of Kate Betts (Press Gazette, 8 June), Hearst Magazines has tapped  Lesley Jane Seymour, editor of Redbook, to be editor-in-chief of Marie Claire. Now Redbook needs a new editor.


While the turmoil in the fashion mag world has raged around her, Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, has been putting the finishing touches to her book, A Field Guide to Fashion, which is now making the publishers’ rounds.


One more sign of the bad times: to save money, The Washington Post is now closing the staff cafeteria at 6pm. So that late-working journalists won’t go hungry, the paper has equipped the newsroom with a kitchenette, complete with fridge, microwave and a list of local restaurants that will send in food.  

In a reshuffle of top management at Time Inc, People magazine is now the company’s ‘flagship’. Time executives now report to a woman, Ann Moore, who is president of the People/In Style group. She has also been given the title of executive vice-president for all of Time Inc and is tipped to take over the top job when the present chief executive officer, Don Logan, retires next year.


Rosie O’Donnell was right! Despite the misgivings of some staff, the issue of Rosie with the talkshow hostess-turned-editor on the cover displaying a heavily bandaged finger and without make-up turned out to be one of the magazine’s best-selling issues,  

Hot off the rumour mill: Rupert Murdoch is reportedly holding takeover talks with the Knight Ridder group, the second largest newspaper chain in the US. All that a spokesman for the group, which owns 32 newspapers, including the Miami Herald and the Philadelphia Inquirer, would say was: "I can’t comment."

By Jeffrey Blyth

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