Times editor Russ Stanton emailed the newsroom today with his take on the conversion of the LAT's Sunday magazine into a non-editorial venture. He suggests that today's New York Times story is wrong about Annie Gilbar being tapped as editor and says the magazine continues to lose money, even as a monthly. Gilbar's resume, by the way, includes the '90s relaunch of L.A. Style, I'm told by a local magazine veteran. [* Mediabistro posts that she has gotten the editor job and that Rip Georges is creative director.]
Memo from Stanton follows, via the LAT's Readers' Rep blog (Also, London bureau chief Kim Murphy is returning to the Seattle bureau.)
By now you've likely heard that the company is rethinking the future of the Los Angeles Times Magazine, which has lost money for years and is on track to post another significant loss in 2008.
I have come to the reluctant conclusion that, even as a monthly, the magazine is something we cannot afford to continue at a time of diminishing newsroom resources. So the editorial department will stop producing it after the July issue, and we'll be looking to find jobs for the magazine staff within the paper.
At the same time, the company has been looking at possible ways to continue to publish a magazine, but outside of the direction of the editorial department. The Los Angeles Times Media Group publishes several other titles outside of our newsroom, including Hoy, MetroMix and the Times Community Newspapers. Contrary to reports, it is my understanding that the group has yet to hire a staff for this publication, including an editor.
As a new business model for the magazine is developed, we have been in discussions with David Hiller and Jack Klunder about ways to make clear that the magazine is being produced outside of our own newsroom. We want to make sure that the public -- our readers and the subjects of the stories included -- are not confused about who is producing the content of the magazine.
We expect to get more details about this arrangement soon, which we'll share with you.