Automobile Magazine Cuts 50% Staff And Fires Editor

Interesting | May 29th, 2014 by 10
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For automotive journalism today is a sad day. Michigan-based Automobile Magazine has closed its office, 50% of its staff has been let go, and the …

For automotive journalism today is a sad day. Michigan-based Automobile Magazine has closed its office, 50% of its staff has been let go, and the Editor-in-Chief Jean Jennings has been fired.

Earlier this year, Source Interlink, which owns Motor Trend and Hot Rod magazines, has shuttered Modified magazine, and is rumored to continue this trend.

Jennings told Jalopnik that Automobile will close its Ann Arbor offices, leaving only a handful of employees, moving a few “cherry picked” people to an office in Royal Oak and moving the magazine to be closer to MotorTrend. Deputy Editor Joe Dematio will remain in the advertising office with a few other staff, while Mike Floyd will take over as Editor-in-Chief.

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A group of former employees of Car and Driver led by David E. Davis founded Automobile in 1986 with support from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Total circulation in 2013 was 563,635.

Unfortunately for many years print publications have been struggling to keep up with the ever-changing automotive media landscape and online publications have become the default medium of car news. Often limited in size and space, print magazines have a tough fight against online media and tablet-based content, and with most of the readers coming these days via referrals from social media and Internet searches, attracting a large audience is quite challenging.

On top of this, the cost to run an online magazine, blog, forum, is far lower, and with the right staff, many of those online entities delivered quality and professional content.

Moving forward we expect to see more traditional magazines focusing exclusively on online content with others betting on tablet format for their news.

10 responses to “Automobile Magazine Cuts 50% Staff And Fires Editor”

  1. CDspeed says:

    I used to subscribe to Automobile, Car and Driver, and Road & Track. But I found that I got a lot of magazines I didn’t read, only due to interest, like minivan comparison tests. And they just can’t beat the internet when it comes to automotive news. A car manufacturer can premiere a car on the internet and it goes global in a matter of minutes, whereas a monthly magazine can only print so much news, and it’s updated once a month. But I do still buy plenty of car magazines, especially for the road tests, the road tests still have value in a magazine. I think magazines should focus on thorough, and in some cases, exclusive road tests.

    • Horatiu B. says:

      Yes, but online magazines do amazing road tests also. So no extra value in print.

      • CDspeed says:

        Yes, I know, I’m not saying it’s extra value for print magazines, but it is the only thing of value left in them. You can never have enough road tests, opinions still matter, but they really aren’t a source for automotive news anymore. They of course can write articles on the latest automotive news, but sometimes that news can be more then a month old by the time it hits the news stand.

    • Otto says:

      And Horatiu should know it.
      Why do you think car makers announce premieres days or weeks before the actual release ?

      There’s always an embargo on new model photos, specifically meant not to discriminate paper media.
      Even internet “leaks” are more and more often done by the makers themselves. MB does it quite often for instance.
      the ONLY thing you might get on internet before the paper are spy shots.

  2. Roadkillrobert says:

    This blog and all the other great online info are the reasons this is happening, print magazines just are not able to run at today’s pace, like others have said, it is pretty much old news once you read it in a magazine these days.

    • Horatiu B. says:

      Prolly true. But at the same time, we do try to offer magazine quality. Especially when it comes to test drives and photos. Not always easy for a small publication to do it all.

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