Print Is Dead
It's what we called, at my first post in business journalism, a "job hop."
As reported on Ad Age, Time's worldwide publisher, Kimberly Kelleher, is quitting to join SAY Media of San Francisco as its president.
This would have been unimaginable back in 1983, when I left the Atlanta Business Chronicle to seek work as an online freelancer with cards reading "Have Modem, Will Travel." But print is dead; long live the Web.
In the world of print journalism, Kelleher is a superstar, Ad Age's "publisher of the year" for 2011. Before Time, Kelleher published Sports Illustrated and, before that, Self magazine for Conde Nast.
Why would the most powerful woman in print run off to join a blogging outfit?
I have used SAY's blogging platform, Movable Type, for my personal blog at DanaBlankenhorn.com since 2005. But under Matt Sanchez, who ran an online ad network called VideoEgg before acquiring the platform's parent in 2010, the ambition is to become "the next great media company."
SAY Media now has two dozen Web titles, which it calls "channels." The best known may be Techdirt and ReadWriteWeb, which cover technology. Most cover food, fashion or lifestyles, subjects Kelleher would be familiar with from her days at Conde Nast. Some are still owned by their publishers, and Sanchez reportedly has a $30 million venture funding war chest to buy more.
Still, this is no Time, Inc. SAY Media has about 400 employees and just $100 million in revenue. Again, the question occurs, "why?"
To understand that set the Wayback Machine to the year 1994.
My editor at a TV magazine jumped to a start-up that was supposed to cover two-way cable, and asked me to join him. My job involved a daily news page, published online, and after I spent six months finding nothing but Internet stories, his print publication was re-focused on this new World Wide Web thing.