Looking For Good In Today’s Depressing Media Ink Column: Modern Luxury On The Auction Block, Life & Style Layoffs, And OK! Tries To Save Money

hey_worry_not_4.28.10.jpgThere’s quite a bit of disheartening news in Keith Kelly’s Media Ink column today. Here’s a Kleenex as we parse this, together, and attempt to look for nuggets of gold in a pile of poo, or perhaps a metaphor that makes more sense.

First, Modern Luxury Media, right on the heels of its San Francisco magazine winning a National Magazine Award for General Excellence, is placing itself up for auction.

Company CEO William Cobert said they’re looking for a new buyer in order to “support the future development of our company,” and made sure to mention in his letter to staffers that the company has already been approached with offers from interested buyers.

In fact, a spokesperson has told Folio: that the impending sale is a sign of good things happening at the company: “A sale is being contemplated now because the business has strengthened and there have been multiple expressions of interest.”

So wipe off that gold nugget and place it gingerly in your pocket.

In other news, Life & Style magazine recently let go of nearly 20 percent of its staff. A spokesperson for the company said the layoffs were not due to downsizing, but, rather, the result of new focus at the magazine – more news, less fashion.

It seems like an odd move for a magazine ostensibly focused on life and/or style in a sea of similar, albeit celebrity gossip-heavy, tabloids. Perhaps the magazine was inspired by In Touch‘s recent ownership (/PWNership) of the Sandra Bullock / Jesse James / Michelle “Bombshell” McGee story, effectively making In Touch the “little tabloid that could.” Or maybe the powers that be at Life & Style don’t see a valuable, viable business model in covering fashion, despite a recent slew of reporters that People StyleWatch is doing amazingly well by focusing on just that.

The magazine has missed its rate base (of 400,000 copies) 50 percent of the time so far this quarter, so, you know. Something was going to have to change. Possible gold nugget?

Meanwhile, at OK! HQ(!)… The gossip magazine won’t replace publisher Lori Burgess, who left OK!, and New York, for The Hollywood Reporter and LA. In order to cut costs, the magazine will instead promote Eastern ad director Mary Beth Wright to “associate publisher.”

So. Hey. She gets a shiny new title, and OK! gets to save money as it raises its cover price to $3.99. Silver lining. (Or dirty gold nugget. Be clichéd if you wish.)