Today on the media- bistro.com Morning Media Menu podcast, hosts Jason Boog of GalleyCat and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven were joined by novelist and newspaper columnist Michael M. Thomas to talk the morning’s media headlines.
The first topic tackled was the news that magazine publisher Condé Nast had hired consulting company McKinsey & Co..
“What management consulting companies are there to do is to protect the people…who hired them,” Thomas said. “When I heard that Condé Nast had hired McKinsey, I have to say, based on my own experience…I am both surprised and not optimistic. Unless McKinsey can deploy literally millions of consultants around the country to get people to start reading newspapers again, I can’t see what good they would do at a creative outfit like Condé Nast.”
According to Thomas, Condé was once a thriving company thanks to the “healthy cash flow” produced by the newspaper side, which was then invested into Condé’s popular magazines. “Si Newhouse is undoubtedly some kind of genius when it comes to magazine publishing,” Thomas said.
However, as the newspaper industry started to fail, Condé faltered, closing a handful of titles in the past year — including business mag Portfolio, Domino and Men’s Vogue — and cutting costs, and staff, across the board. But Thomas said he doesn’t think McKinsey will be able to do much more than dispatch more staffers. “There are just business problems that you can’t consult your way out of,” he said.
Also discussed: the future of the book industry and Thomas’s book, “Love & Money.” “There’s nothing in this book that couldn’t happen and, in some cases, came very close to happening,” he said.
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