What is Social Media Doing to Magazine Employment?

18 04 2010

Innovations in social media have and continue to take a toll on the employment within the publishing industry.  Many companies are feeling the effects of digitizing print and cross-branding.  As mentioned in a previous post, Cross-Promotion: Good or Bad?, the latest trend in publishing is cross-branding into other mediums such as kitchen appliances and cell phone accessories.  The question posed then was what happens to those employees with careers specific to the magazine industry?

Well, with the latest layoffs at Meredith, Inc., the answer is becoming more clear.  Meredith Inc.  in its second round of layoffs for the year, cut 20 employees mainly in the editorial section of the company.

Another company taking the initiative to switch employment up is Hearst Publishing, who has moved some of it’s top Editors around, giving them different positions at different companies.  The switch was a reaction to Hearst’s ‘Town & Country’ and ‘Veranda’s’ decreased advertising revenue.  By moving editors to different publications, many employees were left to take lower positions.

Print and digital groups within magazine companies are merging more and more, and many companies have begun placing the two in the same category.  Because, the two areas work so closely together now, companies such as ‘Newsweek’, have started to take that grouping to the employment spectrum.  ‘Newsweek’ just put their editorial director, Mark Miller, in charge of both print and web areas of the company.  Now employees working for the print and web section, both report to Miller.

This goes to show just how much the publishing industry is changing and evolving into something that was once unthinkable.  Due to social media, employees are being downgraded, cut, and merged.  With the development of digital applications and an opportunity to gain more revenue, do you think the employment will get better or remain stable?  What do you think the effects will be when it comes to gaining profit that had been lost over the past few years due to free content on websites?

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2 responses

18 04 2010
Amy Morgan

I think that in answer to your first question, that the employment problem will get worse before it gets better in some areas, but other areas may not take the hit so bad. In the print sector, I think that people are going to have more problems finding jobs because the ones that are still being kept are filled by people already in the business. On the other end, however, jobs in the digital market may start to grow a little because of the growth that market is currently undergoing. In answer to your second question, I do not really know. I think that some publications will begin to charge, but companies that do that need to be very careful because the information that they are charging for could easily be free somewhere else on the web so they need to make sure that if they do charge, they are filling a niche that does not already exist.

18 04 2010
Taylor Scott

I think employees in the print sector should definitely be worried about losing their jobs. As the magazine industry begins to have more and more of a presence on the Internet, their digital sector employees will reap the benefits; and it is obviously apparent that every industry, including magazines, are moving forward with their Internet components. Like Amy said, however, as they move toward the web it is imperative that they establish themselves as a unique commodity to avoid becoming one of many sites fulfilling the same niche.

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