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The Road Ahead Looks Bumpy

A good deal of the pessimism is prompted not just by the 90 or more editorial jobs cut by Source Media International but by the 6,000 jobs it slashed by closing its once profitable Source Interlink Distribution operation. Keith J. Kelly, writing in his New York Post Media Ink column, May 30, describes the truly drastic situation the magazine business is in. He says, “magazine publishers end up shredding the bulk of the magazines — perhaps as much as 70 percent — produced for sale at retail outlets.”

Richard Truesdell’s Facebook posting takes off from Kelly’s column to bemoan the broken business model of magazine publishing. But it doesn’t stop there. “The buff-books are dying and the car blogs are right behind them” according to Bertil Schmitt in his Daily Kanban rant of May 30. A veteran of decades in the automotive communications trenches, he is critical of just about every dimension of the auto-writing scene: the current crop of auto bloggers, their writing, their relevance and their pay or lack thereof. He backs his opinions by citing rankings of major car blogs, that “mostly have been going sideways in 2013, a trend that could be observed for the last few years . . .” A trend he likens to drowning on the Internet. The one exception to the trend he attributes to its eager catering to “an underage demographic where ‘penis’ is a hot search word.” Schmitt predicts that car companies are already searching for ways to bypass the blogger middlemen and take their product messages directly to the public.