Heart & Soul, which was purchased in January and given a big-name editor to run the magazine, is not giving off an impression of, shall we say, financial soundness.
Just before the purchase was finalized, the National Writer’s Union launched a campaign on behalf of 60 writers who were owed a collective $200,000. The contributors had been told last July that the payment process was delayed during the ownership change.
However, not only have those writers still not received payment, but the new owners are also allowing new debts to pile up.
According to Richard Prince’s Journal-Isms, the magazine has skipped its April issue. Tipsters told Prince that the issue was skipped because the magazine’s entirely freelance team (including editors) went on strike to protest lack of payment. Clarence Brown, president and CEO of the magazine’s acquiring group, responded that actually, no, the magazine is making adjustments in its publication schedule.
Among the angry writers include Sheree Crute, who wrote for the publication before the change of ownership but told Prince that the current difficulties are nothing like she’s experienced before. She’s not the only writer who is still upset. Freelance contributor Harriet Washington, who was not among the writers in the initial complaint, tells us that she is owed more than $5,000 for an article that was accepted more than three months ago (and assigned under the new regime). Since March 13, she’s received no correspondence from editor Sandra Guzman or EVP George Curry…and of course no payment.
Reached by phone this morning, Curry referred all questions to Clarence Brown, who did not respond to a request for comment as of the time of this posting.