Ten years ago, Tina Brown’s Talk magazine launched with a lavish party. But the way things are going, we’re probably never going to see another big magazine launch again.
That’s the gist of David Carr’s sobering media column in The New York Times, remembering the bloated industry that led up to the launch of Talk, and the downturn it preceded — perhaps even predicted.
Ten years ago, journalists, long the salarymen of the publishing economy, began gorging on big contracts and options from digital start-ups like shrimp at a free buffet. With coveted writers commanding $5 for every typed word into magazines that were stuffed to the brim with advertising, there was a fizziness, some would say recklessness, in the air. The industry was drunk on its own prerogatives, working a party that seemed as if it would never end.
Think about it: magazines bursting with advertising, seemingly endless edit pages and luxurious launch parties filled with more celebrities than bloggers. It was only a decade ago, but it might as well have been another planet considering how far the industry has fallen since. As Brown herself said, “It seems like that happened in the 18th century.”