Is SPIN really circling the drain?

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sold for $5M?

Holyshit, they really WERE circling the drain

don weiner (don weiner), Wednesday, 1 March 2006 19:52 (8 years ago) Permalink

Andy Pemberton new EIC?!

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Wednesday, 1 March 2006 20:45 (8 years ago) Permalink

SPIN was a hero to most
But it never meant shit...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 1 March 2006 20:48 (8 years ago) Permalink

the pemberton move is such a strange one. now we will have three blenders!

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Wednesday, 1 March 2006 21:10 (8 years ago) Permalink

Whoo--is Andy Pemberton? I liked Keith Harris's review of Rehearsing My Choir. That's like the Spin I remember!

Rip Van Winkle, Wednesday, 1 March 2006 21:28 (8 years ago) Permalink

Your loss, then.

Zwan (miccio), Wednesday, 1 March 2006 21:33 (8 years ago) Permalink

i have really fond memories of spin in the early 90s. "sorry"

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Wednesday, 1 March 2006 21:37 (8 years ago) Permalink

Also just saw that Chuck Klosterman is jumping ship ... kind of amazing he was still there, all things considered.

Chris O., Wednesday, 1 March 2006 21:44 (8 years ago) Permalink

five million before factoring in subscriber liability: the cash price was probably closer to one (or zero) millon.

dan (dan), Wednesday, 1 March 2006 22:04 (8 years ago) Permalink

Hell, we all should have bought it. ILM THE MAGAZINE.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 1 March 2006 22:16 (8 years ago) Permalink

Letters (From Random Googlers) to the Editor

"Dear ILM,

"Ur criticism of 3 Dors Down was complete Bullsiht..."

Cunga (Cunga), Wednesday, 1 March 2006 22:21 (8 years ago) Permalink

Kayne West could have a montly Q&A column!

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Wednesday, 1 March 2006 22:29 (8 years ago) Permalink

Cascading style subscription cards

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 1 March 2006 22:31 (8 years ago) Permalink

I just hope the new Spin features even more unreadable marginalia. That'll attract the kids.

In the near future every pop culture magazine will be so short and snarky it really *will* be like reading ILM the magazine.

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Wednesday, 1 March 2006 22:38 (8 years ago) Permalink

the black metal guys would have their own lil corner

latebloomer: where dignity goes to die (latebloomer), Wednesday, 1 March 2006 22:42 (8 years ago) Permalink

methinks the new owners are rilly green, b/c they must not have done any due diligence. I worked for AP at blender, and he did nothing except express naked contempt for Americans and display willful ignorance towards American culture. what's more, he hated Spin— the wonky music crit tendencies of most of the people there would ensure a vomitous reaction to one of his lectures. hence the bloodbath there today and yesterday…

Spin has been in trouble for a long time, but his hiring will only hasten its demise. It was Ap's second-in-command who did all the heavy lifting. AP has no interest in the international web (or at least he didn't when I worked for him)— if he thinks he can get young uns to add Spin to their diet of MYSpace, he is sorely mistaken.

check this out this interview with Mediabistro…he didn't get it then…

Do you think that the Internet is inhibiting the sale of CDs?
People don't want this stuff for free. There are a few people in colleges and stuff who get a thrill out of downloading stuff illegally, but most people will pay 60 cents for a song they download. It's only 60 cents, and most people are more than happy to pay for it. Before record labels endorsed music licensing, people were downloading music for free because there were no other options. It was a great piece of technology. I mean iTunes is successful, and that seems to be the way things are going, record companies are finally realizing that they can be involved in websites that charge for tunes and still be financially viable. Regardless, the CD will still exist, just in reduced circumstances. It will perhaps be similar to movies. You can experience a movie in a variety of formats—at the cinema, on DVD, or VHS.

http://www.mediabistro.com/articles/cache/a991.asp

veronica moser (veronica moser), Wednesday, 1 March 2006 23:46 (8 years ago) Permalink

it was easy money for Klosterman and he was basically either shitting out columns or getting SPIN to grant him vanity articles. Which was fine with me, actually.

I was shocked--shocked--that it went for $5M although given that it's bleeding $3M per year and the subscriber liability noted above, I had no idea things were this bad.

I don't find the Pemberton move at all unpredictable. I wouldn't want to work for him, either--thanks for chiming in Veronica, so I don't have to relay my own stories.

Who else got booted there today from the staff (other than the publisher and EIC yesterday)? I heard some names that were likely to be gone by the end of the week...

don weiner (don weiner), Wednesday, 1 March 2006 23:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

apart from CK, its two that I know of— I don't think that i should name them.

I'm sure that he will fire most Spinvolk— I predict he will attempt to staff it with Brits, altho' I doubt the new owners will be willing to spring for multiple green cards. he'll have to staff it with Americans—if they know of his rep, they would have to be masochists or truly desperate, and there sure are a lotta people like the latter these days. the freelance pool will be almost exclusively british.

he does need a consigliere, like Blender's CM, but one who will be loyal and not say to the owners "he does nothing; I do everything, fire him." he has been a consultant since being fired from Blender, so he may very well have learned something, altho I doubt it.


veronica moser (veronica moser), Thursday, 2 March 2006 00:08 (8 years ago) Permalink

that tiger is not going to change his stripes. no way.

I can only assume that hiring AP is a huge signifier of the short term brand strategy of the new owners. Which is sad, because that mag needs some serious babying and given the long term outlook of music glossies, investors are probably not going to have much patience watching that thing bleed cash.

Is Blender doing 12 issues a year yet?

don weiner (don weiner), Thursday, 2 March 2006 00:19 (8 years ago) Permalink

blender's been at 12 since year two, i believe.

i can't think of anyone currently on-staff who would do well under ap. spin has definitely lost its way (really? another my chemical romance cover?) but ap is not the one to right it. yr right don about the long view. last fall they had an issue with two great travelogue pieces: simon on grime in london and caramanica on houston hip-hop. finally spin read like something other than How to Live in NYC on Drink Tickets. i really felt like that would be a good (if expensive) direction to go: the music travelogue. clearly that will not be the case.

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Thursday, 2 March 2006 00:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

i would guess that they actually paid next to nothing in cash, that they overpaid, and that they do not fully understand the economics of maintaining a file of 500,000 subscribers on a magazine where the actual subscriber demand is a wee fraction of that. eventually the new york office will shut down (except for a small ad sales presence) and then it will go from 12x/year to something lower. the new owner (sf chronicle heir) probably has a lot of money so i could be wrong on the last two.

dan (dan), Thursday, 2 March 2006 00:35 (8 years ago) Permalink

I rather like the NY-snarky-centric version of the mag, just not the one that appears fascinated with celebrity status and starfucking (hi dere Spitz.) Plus it has a somewhat serious side to it, one that seems to be a true writer's forum. Where now?

I wouldn't be so sure they overpaid or that they got had; Hartle Media are not strangers to the magazine world at all and run the Northwest sales offices for SPIN and Popular Mechanics. It's just that hiring AP is not really a vote of confidence that they are going to nurture this thing into something special over the long haul. Hiring him makes it look more like a flip getting ready to happen.

don weiner (don weiner), Thursday, 2 March 2006 00:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

Where have you gone, Bob Guccione Jr.?

Okeigh, Thursday, 2 March 2006 02:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

Woo woo woo?

Okeigh, Thursday, 2 March 2006 02:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

I thought the AP quotes in this NYPost piece (reg required) were quite rich.

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Thursday, 2 March 2006 14:32 (8 years ago) Permalink

i'm still utterly mind-boggled that spin sold for only $5 million bucks! i bet if everyone on ILM had donated some dough, we could've bought it ourselves and made "ILM: The Magazine"!

geeta (geeta), Thursday, 2 March 2006 14:45 (8 years ago) Permalink

yeah, but it would have gone under in record time. what with the 30 page sugababes retrospectives and xiu xiu cover shots.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 2 March 2006 14:52 (8 years ago) Permalink

I miss Option.

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:10 (8 years ago) Permalink

i was going to do an entire contents page for a hypothetical issue of ilm the magazine but i'm not quite bored enough

ham'ron (dubplatestyle), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:20 (8 years ago) Permalink

For sale: Once-fun cultch mag laid waist by THEE INTERNET. Asking $850,000. Will thro in 5 mil in debtz.

SOLD.

So they paid $850,000 for the right to try to recoup $5 million in standing debt. E.g. "We can make it work." There hasn't been a full ad in SPIN in over a year - everything is either a co-brand tie-in or a huge discount. And I think I saw maybe three, four ads in that span that weren't explicitly music-related. Once upon a time SPIN had ads for clothes, food and movies. My question is, why do you throw the editorial staff in the blender when it's so clear that ad sales killed the mag?

Chris Ott (Chris Ott), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:20 (8 years ago) Permalink

aren't they really just buying the brand? not that spin means much to that many people anymore, but it is a recognizable name and people always pay money for that. like the national lampoon.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:24 (8 years ago) Permalink

Bob Guccione Jr., 1985: "I think the world could use a younger version of Rolling Stone"

Andy Pemberton, 2006: "I think the world could use a younger version of Rolling Stone."

ng-unit, Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:33 (8 years ago) Permalink

scott! you and me! let's buy spin!

geeta (geeta), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:34 (8 years ago) Permalink

i'm still utterly mind-boggled that spin sold for only $5 million bucks! i bet if everyone on ILM had donated some dough, we could've bought it ourselves and made "ILM: The Magazine"!

But but but I said that already upthread! (It is nice to see you agreeing with me though. ;-) )

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:35 (8 years ago) Permalink

i would mandate that all record reviews now be 3,000 words each.

and all the articles would be 6,000 word travelogues with tons of photos. scott would do the 'scott page', which he could fill with whatever he wanted, and his baby rufus would do the DJ chart every month. jess would have a drum'n'bass column, and woebot would have a ten-page full-color laminated gatefold pullout every month to fill with whatever his heart desired. i would write the "berlin page" every issue, with lots of goofy photos of 6 am clubbing action. simon r. would have a column to enthuse about his favorite early ardkore records. matos would do a cdr-go column every month. and every issue would come with a mix-CD curated by optimo, encased in an edible sleeve printed on blotter.

geeta (geeta), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:43 (8 years ago) Permalink

(Can I have a half page where I post nothing but smiley faces and "Astounding!")

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:45 (8 years ago) Permalink

oh, and mark s and jel would be the art directors! and tom ewing would have the NYLPM column.

geeta (geeta), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:46 (8 years ago) Permalink

ned, you can write record reviews for our reviews editor (who would be ian penman)

geeta (geeta), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:47 (8 years ago) Permalink

I would be more than content with that. :-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:47 (8 years ago) Permalink

I'm in, Geeta! Gosh, imagine if someone actually put out a magazine that was fun to read.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:48 (8 years ago) Permalink

I want a free jazz column.

pdf (Phil Freeman), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:49 (8 years ago) Permalink

and in place of chuck klosterman, our star staff writer will be tim finney

geeta (geeta), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:49 (8 years ago) Permalink

:-D :-D :-D

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:50 (8 years ago) Permalink

:-/

,,,,,,,,, Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:51 (8 years ago) Permalink

phil can have the free jazz column. and we'll include a special limited-edition borbetomagus 7" with the first issue.

BTW phil, check yr email...

geeta (geeta), Thursday, 2 March 2006 15:52 (8 years ago) Permalink

i don't know if the new spin will ever be able to top the 14 page falloutboy lay-out in this month's rolling stone.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 2 March 2006 16:03 (8 years ago) Permalink

rolling stone's got nothin' on us now that hunter s. thompson's bit the dust.

geeta (geeta), Thursday, 2 March 2006 16:08 (8 years ago) Permalink

scott, i want you to do a feature on the hell's angels.

geeta (geeta), Thursday, 2 March 2006 16:09 (8 years ago) Permalink

k-punk would have a column called "why theory?"

geeta (geeta), Thursday, 2 March 2006 16:11 (8 years ago) Permalink

Why not save $5mil and do an online, freeform, interactive magazine of sorts?

Dave will do (dave225.3), Thursday, 2 March 2006 16:11 (8 years ago) Permalink


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