At Magazines, It's 2.0 Steps Forward, 1.0 Step Back

What You Should Have Read, Dec. 17, 2008

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At Magazines, It's 2.0 Steps Forward, 1.0 Step Back

The New York Observer reports on magazines cutting their web staffs as a way to stave off the downturn and keep the print issues afloat. The web team at Time Inc.'s Fortune has been all but disbanded. There were roughly a half-dozen layoffs at the web site, and now it's left back in the hands of the good people at CNN Money, the parent web site that fortune.com used to be folded into. Portfolio, a magazine that had one of the boldest web sites in the Condé Nast empire, let that experiment go two months ago when it dismissed 25 of the 30 people who worked full time and as freelancers for the magazine's site. "You're never going to get the traffic that really matters," said one publisher at Condé Nast. "So it's a traffic thing, but also, how do you monetize the traffic that you have? It's impossible." The operating policy now, particularly at Condé Nast, basically reads: Revenue first! Future later.

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