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Friday, January 15, 2010

UPDATED : 'E&P' Is Back -- But I Am Out

Got call from new buyer of Editor & Publisher, Duncan McIntosh, who publishes Boating World magazine and Fish Rap News in Irvine, Ca., late Thursday, telling me that I am out as editor after eight years (and 10 years with magazine). The great Joe "Scoop" Strupp, senior editor, also out, after 12 years -- a truly great loss. Only four editors/writers are left. One week ago in a meeting new owner told me flatly, repeating what he'd said twice previously, "Extremely impressed with your great work and definitely will retain you."

Much more later. My email remains: epic1934@aol.com. Twitter here. Contact Joe Strupp here. Thanks.

Thanks for more than a thousand messages of outrage and support via Twitter and emails so far. Huff Post covers here. Forbes covers here with fun "crew set adrift" by boating publisher hed. Much more to come, I hear. New owner tells Folio: "In terms of editorial direction, Duncan said E&P is and has been right on course." And oddly, after announcing it was back and going full speed ahead yesterday, E&P site has been updated today with....three short items. -- Greg Mitchell


Deborah Harmes said...

Absolutely ridiculous and short-sighted of the new owner to jettison such talent and experience.

Best of luck and please do keep us posted via your Twitter feed.

Anonymous said...

What's up with that decision? They don't want to succeed? So sorry to hear this, Greg.

Patricia Sierra

Richard LaForce said...

Maybe they thought you contributed to the demise? I would not keep any talent on that has overtly partisan public conduct in a field such as journalism. Now you will have plenty of time to think how you could have done better. Possibly it was a roll that required more maturity and balance than you wanted to give.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure there's got to be a role for you in the Obama administration... they can always use fresh partisan hacks to replace departing partisan hacks.

Anonymous said...

Richard & and the other most recent "Anonymous": Shouldn't you be out looking for Obama's birth certificate?

Anonymous said...

They should change the name to 'Edited & Published, Fishy Style'

Robert MacMillan said...

For Richard LaForce: You don't know Greg Mitchell. If you did, you wouldn't have written such crap.

Anonymous said...

The new owners probably actually had the insulting expectation of actual work from Mitchell, in addition to his past 'work,' which seemed to consist largely of the relentless hawking of his latest book...

Anonymous said...

New owner probably wants the mag to be less objective and more advertising friendly. When will the people with deep pockets realize that WE WANT content. We like to look at the ads, but we want absolute content, not mascaraded advertorial?

If I was the new Owner, I would have terminated your employment becuause I don't think E&P has been aggressive enough about covering the deminse of the printed newspaper business ... sorry, Greg. :-(

Anonymous said...

Previous Anonymous: You couldn't have been reading E&P and come away with the notion that they haven't been aggressive in covering the demise of newspapers. They've covered that aplenty, as well as publishing whatever good news there's been about newspapers.

Frances Chapman said...

Hello Greg--
I have never been a "real" journalist--only trade, alternative, and now occasional blog, but I often turned to E&P and especially valued the fact you actually responded to the e-mails of marginal folks like me. You also had the smarts to hire my friend Rob Neuwirth. The newspaper business/alternative economic entity needs advocacy more than ever and you are a loss.

Lyle said...

Only way to deal with this is to form news enterprises where decisions are not made from the top down. Easier said than done but has to be the way in this new age of "the press".

Anonymous said...


Sadly, you'll need to update your "About Me" graf with a past-tense insert. I only hope you'll find the energy and resources to write another kick-ass book. I've followed your work from Upton Sinclair forward, and no matter what the subject (and I write here NOT as your mother as or anyone with any connection at all to you personally or professionally) you find a fresh narrative and an engaging way of telling it.

(Although I must add the prospect of the new E&P owner changing its name to FISH WRAP TIMES is a natural, well, lure, for readers of his other mags.)

TenThousandThings said...

I am wondering if this is an intentionally anti-democratic move on the part of the new owner who intends to bring a corporatist agenda to E&P.

Although, along with most other journalism observers following the corporate media explosion, I did not expect that progressive journals such as"Whole Earth Review" and "Utne Review" would be bought by a slick-styled, right-wing publisher, and used as an attempt to influence readers attracted to ecological and social justice issues.

In this instance, I can't help but suspect that something similar might be planned for E&P, a formerly non-partisan and sharply investigative journal.

This is bitterly disappointing, and a blow to democratic society which cannot function without an active Fourth Estate. Scholars and others who followed your outstanding investigative work on Hiroshima (and all other issues) have expressed similar shock at the closing of E&P and similar disappointment at this latest turn.

Thank you for your decades of outstanding public service journalism. We were hoping it would continue at E&P, but know it will in another form, and wish you all the best.

Jean Downey, MA, JD
Contributing Editor
Kyoto Journal: Perspectives on Asia

Bryan Welch said...

Before you start practicing your character assassination skills here, Jean, maybe you'd like to come out to my organic farm, have a cup of our Mother Earth News shade-grown, fair-trade coffee and take a look at my curriculum vitae. You obviously don't know who publishes Utne Reader. Whole Earth Review wasn't ours and hasn't published in a few years, but we do also publish Mother Earth News, as well as Natural Home and The Herb Companion from our modest offices in the Midwest. I think we'll meet your standards for authenticity. I've never before been called right-wing anything. Now, as to whether we're "slick-styled," well...

Bryan Welch
Publisher and Editorial Director
Utne Reader, Mother Earth News, etc.

TenThousandThings said...


I expected a response from Utne after I posted my comment--which was unfair, off the cuff, off point, and inappropriate in a discussion about the new buyer for E&P.

It was the result of disappointment over ever-increasing corporate consolidation of media and change in style of formerly independent (not owned by a conglomerate) media.

I apologize and acknowledge that there is much good and progressive content at Utne and other Ogden publications. All mass media magazines are similarly "slick" and must be to meet newstand distributor standards and expectations.

I shouldn't let my memories of a more raw, edgy, and critical "Utne" of its early years obscure the good journalism you're doing now--I took a look at the site and saw important and very good content.

And I'm glad it's still extant.

Losing "The Far Eastern Economic Review" a few years ago, "Gourmet" (with its great reporting on Slow Food, Fair Trade, ethical issues), so many good newspapers and now E&P, headed by Greg Mitchell and Joe Strupp--which is not going to be E&P any longer, even if the name stays the same--is grievous.

I hope you accept my apology. Thank you for the good work at Utne and your other journals on crucial sustainability, organic, fair trade, and other issues.


I also apologize to Greg for bringing this unrelated and unpleasant dimension into this discussion.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jean, that is the classiest apology I've ever read. I, too, hope it's accepted.

Bryan Welch said...

Apology accepted, Jean. And that invitation for the cup of coffee is permanently open. - Bryan

Jean Downey said...

Thank you, Bryan.

I should mention that I singled out Utne, Mother Earth (which I confused with Whole Earth), not because of the shared new owner of the first two, but because I found all 3 revelatory when a "back to the land" neighbors shared these with me me when I visited my grandmother who lived on in a traditional small farm community while growing up.

Observing the demise of that traditional culture--with its historical continuity, natural sustainable and simplicity values, and family and community orientation--was painful. Especially with the realization that wars (WWII, Korean, Vietnam) which drafted all the young men from these farms contributing to the rupture of this way of life. Mother Earth, Whole Earth, and Utne signaled a hope of healing and revitalization of culture. Of course, instead, we've seen the continued corporatization of agriculture through the 1980's--00's and, in the case of my ancestral community, devastating impacts on small farmers. But now we're entering another revitalization period--and I realize that your mainstreamed Utne and Mother Earth have contributed to this. Thank you.

I am hoping for a similar revitalization of watchdog journalism through the creation of new organizations and structures that operate from democratic values rather than trashing the best of American culture and society--simply to make the last half penny possible.


Peter Haskett said...

Frances Chapman, please speak only for yourself when claiming that your trade magazine experience somehow rules out your being considered a "real" journalist. Others of us who have made our careers in B2B do not feel that we've been marginalized by our roles. Why should you?

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