UPDATED: Media Cover Sudden Demise of ‘E&P’ — Readers Express Shock and Broad Support — Hope Remains?

By: E&P Staff

As word spread, rapidly, on Thursday about the sudden shuttering of Editor & Publisher, after 125 years, both in print and online, by its parent Nielsen Co., major publications and Web news outlets covered the news with prominent reports.

The news made the home page of The New York Times, received lengthy reports in The Washington Post, the Associated Press, and other leading papers, along with NPR, CBS News, and other leading outlets, along with hundreds of Web sites and blogs. ?In a world full of people pronouncing and posturing and declaring about the media, E&P just kept doing good old-fashioned reporting about what was actually happening,? Geneva Overholser, director of the School of Journalism at the University of Southern California?s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, told The New York Times.

The name “Editor & Publisher” even reached No. 4 as a top “trending topic” on Twitter — beating out everyone from Tiger Woods to Santa — and remained in the top 10 much of the day, drawing wide commentary.

E&P staffers received 1,000 or more emails — many from well-known media figures — expressing shock and/or support, some pledging to send money for print or online subscriptions to keep the magazine going. E&P Editor Greg Mitchell was quoted by numerous outlets declaring that the wide show of support gave him hope that someone or some company would step forward and maintain the operation in some form.

Lauren Rich Fine, the former media analyst for Merrill Lynch who now teaches at Kent State University, said she remained a loyal E&P subscriber. “The number of people fascinated by decline of the newspaper industry is enormous, and E&P did a great job keeping them interested,” Fine said.

Here is just a small selection of the news commentary that appeared just in the first hours after the news arrived. See how to e-mail E&P’s editorial staff members, at the bottom.


Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

“As the news spreads of E&P’s sudden demise, expressions of surprise and support ‘raise the notion that the publication might yet continue in some form, ‘ E&P adds.

“This is exactly what needs to happen. Editor Greg Mitchell and his entire staff dedicate themselves to covering an industry that is in enormous flux, flooding the zone on important stories. Even the briefest interruption of their work means fewer eyes and ears monitoring threats and opportunities to such a crucial institution.”

Eric Deggans, St. Petersburg Times

“Reportedly, staffers were surprised by the move because the magazine has grown into a vibrant voice reporting on the industry and developed a Web presence with lots of influence and quality. Two of my favorite writers on media, reporter/columnist Joe Strupp and editor Greg Mitchell both work there; you know times are still tough in the newspaper biz, when even a magazine about newspapers can’t stay in business.”

Will Bunch, The Philadelphia Daily News

?Sad over loss of Editor & Publisher, great advocate for free press AND ethical media…. While I greatly mourn E&P’s passing, I want to call attention to the splendor of its final years, when it died like a supernova, with a great burst of energy….

“It’s a sad day, but in a strange way the death of Editor & Publisher gives me hope for the future of journalism. Because they showed us a blueprint, that size or technology is overrated, that a half-dozen people can make a difference just by asking the right questions and by not backing down.Because in the remarkable way that they died, Editor & Publisher showed the rest of journalism how to live.?

Michael Calderone, Politico

“Shuttering E&P is a real loss for the media beat, given that the publication has comprehensively covered the newspaper and magazine world (while breaking a lot of news in the process) for more than 100 years. Their reporters are typically the first to break down circulation numbers, while offering monthly listings of newspaper website traffic rankings and other essential information.”

Mike Melia, PBS News Hour

“E&P’s closing is yet another sign of the troubles facing the print media industry, which E&P has covered since 1901. (It later merged with a magazine called The Journalist, which traced its roots back to 1884.) Even in a world of new media platforms, Editor & Publisher has been a ‘trending topic’ on Twitter today.”

Jon Healey, Los Angeles Times

“For journalists, finding out that Editor & Publisher magazine is being shut down is a bit like discovering that a friend who’s a professional daredevil was killed in a tragic mishap on stage. It’s risky enough to be in the journalism business these days, and E&P doubled down on that bet — it was a magazine about newspapers.”

Dirk Smillie, Forbes

“If your industry’s leading trade journal disappears, what does it say about your trade? Nothing good, obviously. As if it needed another reminder of how bad things have become, the newspaper industry got word that Editor & Publisher, the longtime bible of the business, will be shuttered.”

Greg Marx, Columbia Journalism Review

“The media industry received an unpleasant bit of news on Thursday: the magazine Editor & Publisher, which has covered the newspaper industry for over a century and won acclaim and awards over the past decade for its critical reporting, will cease publication at the end of the year.”

Michael Miner, Chicago Reader

“The newspaper trade journal Editor & Publisher is shutting down immediately, its owner, the Nielsen Company, announced Thursday. It’s been around 108 years, such a fixture that word of its disappearance hits with existential force: if it’s not there to care whether newspapers exist, how will we know we do?”

“Its savvy Chicago-based editor-at-large, Mark Fitzgerald, produced valuable podcasts with senior editor Jennifer Saba in New York.”

Max Fisher, The Atlantic.com

“E&P didn’t have wide readership among general audiences, but it enjoyed a revered position among journalists and pundits, as did E&P editor Gregory Mitchell. The news of its closing on Thursday spurred pundits to mourn….”

Jason Linkins, Huffington Post

“Sad news today, as the slow demise of the traditional news business has now resulted in the closing of the institution that most comprehensively presided over the industry for 125 years. Editor and Publisher magazine, after chronicling the rise and fall of the newspaper business, is now itself fallen. After so many little deaths, a meta-death.”
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