Wow, people really cared about Condé Nast’s epicurean magazine Gourmet, huh? Not only did our readers vote it the saddest magazine closing in 2009, but also the biggest media misstep (by 39 percent) made in a year that was chock-full of wrong turns and dead-ends.
Surprisingly, nobody thought BusinessWeek‘s sale to Bloomberg LP was the biggest mistake (except for former BusinessWeek employees, of course), while only 4 percent thought that The New York Post‘s firing of editor Sandra Guzman after speaking out against its controversial cartoon was the biggest blunder. In fact, what about the cartoon itself, which we didn’t put on our poll but certainly belongs in the Top 10 “D’oh!” moments of 2009.
Meanwhile coming in second place was our all-encompassing reference to “Everything the Tribune Co. has done this year,” which ranges from endlessly pushing back their filing of a Chapter 11 reorganization plan while their lenders grew impatient, to letting some of their best writers and editors go over to the Chicago News Cooperative. All of those things lead to 24 percent of our readers shaking their heads at the many, many mistakes of Sam Zell and Tribune Co.
With 12 percent of the votes, readers chose to pick Rupert Murdoch’s war with Google as the biggest mistake of the year…although since Murdoch has yet to act on his threats, and the move to Microsoft’s Bing might actually be beneficial to Murdoch and other news companies in the long run, we’ll have to wait to see how that pans out.
Coming in with four percent was Long Island newspaper Newsday‘s decision to put up a pay wall for its Web site, so have fun paying for your news next year, guys. Also given four percent of the vote was Reader’s Digest‘s bankruptcy filing, though the publisher’s decision to shut down Purpose Driven Connection was probably one of the best moves of the year.
And of course, nine percent of our readers decided to be contrary and choose “Other.” Maybe they were thinking that the government’s lack of a bailout for the media was the biggest misstep we saw in 2009?