“The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.”

This quote from famed American humorist, writer and Algonquin Round Table member, Robert Benchley, proves that not much has changed for freelancers in the 80 years since he said it.

Pity the poor freelancer, coping with unpaid invoices, unanswered pitches and 1099 tax forms, trying to maintain some semblance of organization and still have time to actually write.  But an LA startup company is attempting to make things easier.

Meet Assignmint.com, a new pitch-to-payment cloud workflow system, with the optimistic tagline, ‘We’re going to fix freelancing.’

Designed to target the most frequent and pervasive issues, writers will be able to manage pitches, editorial calendars, contracts, assignments, invoices, payments and expenses.

Co-founder and former New York Press editor Jeff Koyen says editor-side tools also will be built into the site, allowing them to “filter incoming pitches, issue assignments and then handle all related fulfillment right from their dashboard.”

Plans are in the works to add a clip and algorithm service, capable of matching freelancers with potential new clients, and to offer a variety of premium and custom services.

Initially the site will only serve writers and editors, but later in 2013 will expand to freelancers and employers in other fields such as IT, financial services, academia and fashion marketing.

A private beta launch is planned for June, and anyone who is interested in taking the new system for a test drive can sign up at www.assignmint.com.

Friday News Round-Up for April 27th

It’s the last Friday in April, which in many states is Arbor Day.  So in memory of Johnny Appleseed and the great writer Shel Silverstein, we hope you were kind to a tree today.  Inhale that oxygen, people, and while you do, check out the news.  Magazine titles with an asterisk* are included in our helpful Wooden Horse Database.

LOUISIANA COOKIN’ magazine has been acquired by Hoffman Media, which plans to boost circulation to 75,000, ten times its current volume…

WOMAN’S DAY* executive editor Ellen Breslau, in her post since 2006, has left the magazine…

WOMAN’S DAY* hired Annemarie Conte, aconte@hearst.com and @annemarieconte, as the new executive editor.  She comes to the magazine from SEVENTEEN*, where she was deputy editor…

HEALTH* magazine lost senior fitness editor Su Reid-St. John…

BRIDES* will welcome new online associate editor Alyssa Wells, alyssa_wells@condenast.com and @alyssa_wells, beginning in May…

MANHATTAN* magazine Editor-in-Chief James Heidenry has left the publication.  A search is underway for his replacement…

STAR* magazine will welcome James Heidenry, jheidenry@amilink.com, as the new editor-in-chief beginning April 30…

STAR* magazine named Tim Plant, tplant@amilink.com, as the new executive editor…

OK! WEEKLY* moved out Editor-in-Chief Richard Spencer and named him as celebrity magazine group editorial director…

OK! WEEKLY* appointed Ryan Pienciak, ryan.pienciak@ok-magazine.com, as the new editor-in-chief…

OK! WEEKLY* named Leah Ginsberg, leah.ginsberg@ok-magazine.com, as the new executive editor…

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER* named Seth Abramovitch, seth.abramovitch@thr.com and @SethAbramovith, as website deputy editor…

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER* hired Erin Carlson, erin.carlson@thr.com and @erincarlson, as a staff editor for the website…

LA WEEKLY* promoted Amy Scattergood, ascattergood@laweekly.com and @AmyScattergood, to food editor…

Muy buena! Cosmo debuts its long-awaited Latina edition

COSMOPOLITAN FOR LATINAS, a new stand-alone print spin-off from COSMOPOLITAN* magazine, will hit newsstands next week on May 1.

Targeting English-speaking Latinas, the women’s lifestyle glossy will offer articles, tips and features on style, beauty, entertainment, ‘manthropology,’ relationships, career, finances, family, food, entertaining and culture, all tailored to bilingual, bicultural Hispanic women.

The magazine will be published twice in 2012, with plans to increase the frequency for 2013.  An initial circulation of 545,000 will be distributed nationwide, with a strong emphasis on top Hispanic markets in the US.  Editor-in-Chief Michelle Herrera Mulligan, mmulligan@hearst.com, is leading the publication.  For more information visit www.cosmopolitan.com/cosmo-for-latinas-premiere-issue.

Wednesday News Round-Up for April 25th

It’s either feast or famine at The Horse.  No news one week followed by an avalanche of news the next.  So dive right in and get the good, the bad and the OMG-you’ve-got-to-be-kidding.  All titles with an asterisk* are included in our Wooden Horse Database.

LADIES HOME JOURNAL* and BETTER HOMES & GARDENS* publisher Meredith Corp will eliminate another 80 jobs, affecting all titles in the company’s stable.  Meredith’s year-over-year revenues declined 9% in the first quarter of 2012…

ESSENCE* magazine removed managing editor Michael Bullerdick after it was discovered that he had been posting right-wing news, opinion pieces and derogatory caricatures, some with racial overtones, on his Facebook page.  Bullerdick has been transferred to Time Inc’s book division, and no replacement has been named for his previous position.  As a magazine targeting African-American women, Essence created a stir last year when it named Bullerdick, a white male, as a top editor…

ESSENCE* publisher Time Inc is now working with its top editors to develop a social media policy for employees.  The move comes in the wake of publicity about the Bullerdick incident at Essence…

SALON.COM* unveiled a redesign, comparing the new look to “red lipstick and a simple black dress.”  More changes arrive next month with the debut of Salon Studio, which will include original video series, music shows and art galleries…

INDIANAPOLIS WOMAN* has been sold by Weiss Communications Inc to an anonymous private investment group, and the entire staff of 14 was let go.  The May issue of the magazine, which has a circulation of 45,000, is the last one to be released under the current publisher.  The investment group hopes to find a buyer…

Daniel Salem, former Conde Nast International chairman from the 1960s to 1991, has died outside of London at the age of 87.  He began at Conde Nast in the 1950s, after fleeing the Nazis in France as a young man, and was credited as the architect of Conde Nast’s international success…

LUCKY* brought in Dabee Kaye, dabee_kaye@condenast.com, as eecutive beauty director…

THE HUFFINGTON POST* snapped up Kate Palmer, kate.palmer@huffingtonpost.com and @katepalms, as national editor…

PREVENTION* welcomed Hannah Woit, hannah.woit@rodale.com and @hannahwoit, as an editorial assistant…

JEZEBEL* managing editor Kate Abney stepped down…

LATINA* brought in new online editor Samantha Leal, samantha.leal@latina.com and @samanthajoleal…

SKIING* magazine said goodbye to digital editor Heather Hansman…

SKIING* magazine named Gavin Gibson, gavin.gibson@bonniercorp.com, as the new digital editor,…

POWDER* magazine snagged Heather Hansman, heather.hansman@sorc.com and @hhansman, as the new online editor…

CHICAGO MAGAZINE* bid farewell to senior editor Nora O’Donnell.  No replacement has been named…

PLAYSTATION: THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE hire Mikel Reparaz, mreparaz@futureus.com and @wikiparaz, as executive editor…

NATURAL FOOD MERCHANDISER named cristine Kapperman, ckapperman@newhope.com and @KappermanC, as managing editor…

A new Berkshire regional tries where others have failed

BERKSHIRE MAGAZINE, a new regional glossy, will launch with a June/July issue.

Covering culture, the arts, fashion and style in the Berkshires, the editorial content will come from writers and photographers based in the local area.

Berkshire will be published eight times per year by Morris Media Group, and joins five regional sister publications in Connecticut and New York.  Geoffrey Morris, gmorris@morrismediagroup.com, will serve as publisher and editor-in-chief.  Anastasia Stanmeyer, no email available, has been named editor.  Visit www.townvibe.com for more information.

A new trend? Going the ‘1099’ all-freelance route to save a magazine

Is it an isolated incident, or a new business model for publishing?

OUT* magazine this week laid off its entire editorial staff, giving them the slim cushion of one month’s severance pay.

But not to worry; Editor-in-Chief Aaron Hicklin says he plans to hire back “most” of the 12 staffers—as contracted freelancers.  Of course, the newly transformed positions carry no full-time paychecks or benefits.

The move comes as Hicklin’s fledgling company, Grand Editorial, assumes the magazine’s operations as a contractor for embattled publisher Here Media, a division of Regent Entertainment, which acquired the title in 2008.

On the plus-side, Hicklin puts a positive spin on things by pointing out staffers will have “flexible hours,” and the opportunity to work on other projects for his new editorial agency.

Despite Hicklin’s insistence that the job changes are not a cost-cutting measure, it’s well known that Out faces the same financial pressures afflicting most magazines.  How long before other mid-size publications take a glossy page from Out’s playbook?

Friday News Round-Up for April 20th

Kudos!  You’ve made it to the weekend.  Check out the latest, and if you have time, scroll down and view previous posts on new magazines and other news.  All titles with an asterisk* are included in the Wooden Horse Database.

BACK STAGE weekly will roll out a redesign for the print magazine and the website.  The magazine will be looking at how readers use Back Stage, and will expand those areas they most use…

PARENTS* magazine hired Jessie Wohlgemuth, Jessie.wohlgemuth@meredith.com, as the new features editor.  Wohlgemuth comes to the magazine from AMERICAN BABY*, where she was an assistant editor…

MONEY* promoted Beth Braverman, beth_braverman@moneymail.com and @bethbrav, to social media editor and senior reporter.  She has been with the magazine since 2008…

CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS* ousted Editor-in-Chief Xana Antunes…

CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS* named Glenn Coleman, gcoleman@crain.com, as interim editor-in-chief…

INSIDE FITNESS welcomed Rico Marques, rico@ifmmedia.com, as the new editor-in-chief.  He comes to the magazine from AMERICAN CURVES…

ALL THINGS DIGITAL now has Mike Isaac, mike@allthingsd.com and @MJ_Isaac, as a senior editor.  Isaac comes from WIRED, where he was a staff editor…

TV GUIDE* lost Denise Martin, executive editor for the website…

DIRECT MARKETING NEWS said goodbye to senior editor Juan Maritnez…

DIRECT MARKETING NEWS promoted Ryan Joe, ryan.joe@dmnews.com, from news editor to senior editor…

MAGAZINE ANTIQUES welcomed Laura Beach, lbeach@brantpub.com and @LauraBBeach, as deputy editor for special projects…