Entertainment Weekly is preparing to move closer to the film stars and TV personalities it covers. In March it plans to leave the company's headquarters across from 1 World Trade Center and relocate to Los Angeles, moving into offices that also hold People magazine's West Coast operations.
The move, announced Wednesday, comes amid company-wide efforts to cut costs and sell titles, as parent company Time Inc. continues a rocky transition from a onetime print advertising powerhouse to a digitally-focused operation. The publisher put itself on the block in March and then decided not to sell itself in April. It was spun off from Time Warner as a publicly traded company in 2014.
A spokeswoman said that around 40 to 45 of the publication's 66 New York staffers are expected to make the move west. Some editorial employees who don't want to move will be able to continue working from New York, or will be reassigned to other brands at Time Inc. Others will leave the company.
A spokeswoman said that the decision to relocate Entertainment Weekly—known as EW—had nothing to do with costs. She pointed out that in L.A., in addition to being within shouting distance of talent, studios and networks, the publication will have access to Time Inc.'s new studio for producing original TV and video programs.
Nonetheless, the move struck veterans of the magazine as another sign of a changing media landscape, in which New York is less and less the center of the universe. Although the city's film and TV sector is growing, it is still dwarfed by Hollywood's.
"It makes a lot of sense in that covering TV is primarily what we do," one staff member said, adding, "When the magazine was started, you couldn't conceive of having a national publication based anywhere but New York."
In the second quarter of this year, advertising revenue was down 12%, to $374 million, compared with the same period a year ago.
--Matthew Flamm is a senior reporter covering media & technology at Crain's New York Business