Well-known Chicago Poet and Editor Closes Magazine

Ron Offen

Ron Offen

FREE LUNCH: A POETRY MISCELLANY will mail its last issue this month as its long-time editor, 79-year old poet and print publishing advocate, Ron Offen, has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke.

Free Lunch cover

Free Lunch cover

Chicagopoetry.com writes that Mr Offen started publishing Free Lunch in 1989 and he soon became famous for giving free subscriptions to it to over 1200 American poets.  He is also known for tirelessly commenting on all work submitted to him, even poetry that he rejected.  “As a poet myself, I know how dispiriting it is to get a printed rejection slip with no indication as to why my work was being rejected.”

The staff has asked writers to not send any further submissions to the magazine.  Those submissions that have been received with return postage will be returned as soon as possible.

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Atlantic Media’s Mystery Website Now Has a Managing Editor

Adam Pasick

Adam Pasick

Publisher Atlantic Media (THE ATLANTIC, GOVERNMENT EXECUTIVE) has hired Adam Pasick as managing editor of a new digital media brand launching in early 2010 and “targeting global business executives,” per a press release.

This mysterious website came to light about two months ago when the publisher announced that Michael Kinsley, the founding editor of Slate, would serve as editor-in-chief of “a new digital media property launching in early 2010.”  A company spokesperson only admitted that it will be “a separate property under the Atlantic Consumer Media umbrella.”  And, it was not “The Atlantic Wire,” that the magazine then had just launched.  The current press release did not bring any more revelations, so – for now – the mystery continues.

Pasick was previously with Reuters, most recently as US editor of Reuters.com.

General Interest Business Magazine Expands Website Content

Fast Company Dec/Jan 10

Fast Company cover Dec/Jan 10

FAST COMPANY is getting an infusion of cash to freshen up the magazine and flesh out the website.

Owner Joe Mansueto is investing in some new typefaces for the magazine and adding more content to the website with technology channels, aggregated news and a focus on ethonomics (Fast Company’s buzz word for corporate social responsibility).  Editor Bob Safian says the changes are in keeping with the magazine’s mandate to focus on progress and innovation in business.

The general interest business magazine targets entrepreneurial and business people by focusing on articles about creative individuals and organizations driving change in the business world.

The company’s ad sales took a 31% plunge in 2008 and it laid off 20 staffers after merging print and digital functions.  But ad pages are expected to be up by at least 10% in the coming months.  Also, the company hopes to boost circulation through expanded distribution at airports and Barnes & Noble.

Women’s Website Folding Back into Slate

DoubleX logoDoubleX, the women’s web site, is headed back under the Slate umbrella after only six months as a stand-alone.

It was an expansion of Slate’s XX Factor blog and launched in May as an online women’s news and views site, covering politics, culture, parenting, work-life balance and other subjects of interest to women.  Slate, a unit of The Washington Post Company, characterized the move as a business decision that would reduce costs while preserving editorial content.  DoubleX – along with The Big Money about business and finance and The Root about African-American issues – were to help the company move beyond its national affairs coverage.

Publisher Peggy White is leaving the company and two of DoubleX’s three founding editors, Hanna Rosin and Emily Bazelon, will return to manage the project.  PaidContent reports that there will be no layoffs.

One Gay Magazine Closes, Another Opens

Mark's List logo411 magazine, a Florida bar guide, hit the newsstands on November 19 with its last issue.  However, using many of the same employees, another publisher will next week launch MARK’S LIST MAGAZINE, planned as a weekly Florida bar and entertainment guide.

Window Media and Unite Media, the nation’s largest gay newspaper group, shut down on November 16 and plans to file for bankruptcy.  Their holdings included 411 magazine and the South Florida Blade newspaper.

According to Steve Rothaus at the Miami Herald, Multimedia Platforms, which co-owns the South Florida-based Mark’s List web site, a gay web site with about 5,000 unique visitors daily, will launch MARK’S LIST MAGAZINE.  Rothaus reported that Bobby Blair, managing partner and founder of Multimedia Platforms, said the company hired many of 411’s employees and will also begin a new biweekly newspaper, as yet unnamed, on November 26 to replace South Florida Blade.

Meredith Wants a Health Magazine

Meredith CorpPublisher Meredith (BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS, MORE, FAMILY CIRCLE) CEO Stephen Lacy recently spoke at an investor event and confessed he longed for a health magazine.

According to mediapost.com, he said that with Meredith’s sprawling female-targeted magazine portfolio, the company could benefit from a foundation magazine along the lines of PREVENTION or HEALTH.  “What we could use is an anchor brand in women’s health and well-being.”

Any buys might be 12 to 18 months out, after the company has completed paying down its current debt.  But, he said, “there will be some very good properties that will become available.”

What health magazine should Meredith buy?  Let us know.

Businessweek Editorial Lay-Offs Have Begun

BUSINESSWEEK began laying off reporters, editors and columnists this week in preparation for the transfer to new owner, Bloomberg LP, on December 5.

Among those losing their jobs were media columnist Jon Fine, community editor Shirley Brady, 23-year veteran tech writer Stephen Baker, online Innovation Design channel writer Damian Joseph and technology columnist Steve Wildstrom.  Other columnists being let go were Inside Wall Street writer Gene Marcial and longtime Business Outlook columnist Jim Cooper.  Three of the top BW writers, Pete Engardio, Rob Hof and Steve Hamm, are gone.  Michael Mandel, chief economist, is out.  Other casualties include Lauren Young, personal-finance editor; Heather Green, tech reporter; Kenji Hall, Tokyo reporter; Jay Greene, Seattle bureau chief; Dean Foust, Atlanta bureau chief.

The online video news operation headed by James Leone was also bumped, and half of the 18-person copy desk are gone.  Many of the people on the finance team were offered jobs within Bloomberg News, but not with BusinessWeek.

Hamm told Talking Biz News: “I will miss the culture of BusinessWeek, with its smart and collegial people.  I think the acquisition is good for BusinessWeek and for its readers because it will keep serious, long-form journalism alive.  As for me, please buy my book, ‘The Race for Perfect: Inside the Quest to Design the Ultimate Portable Computer.'”