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11th-Hour Savior Appears for E&P

Jan 20, 2010  •  Post A Comment

By Elizabeth Jensen

The contraction in the print press took a shocking toll in December when one of the oldest and most-esteemed chroniclers of the story—the monthly Editor & Publisher—said it would itself cease to publish in the New Year, after some 125 years in existence.

Owner Nielsen said it would shutter the publication devoted to the print journalism business, along with book industry title Kirkus Reviews, even as it sold off other titles such as The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Mediaweek to a company called 5 Global Media.

The staff of E&P, as shell shocked as they were, stuck around through the end of the year to put out a January issue, which just hit the stands last week. Former editor Greg Mitchell said he remained hopeful that a new buyer would revive the magazine.

“Practically from the minute the announcement was made that Nielsen was shutting us down,” a great number of people expressed interest in buying the magazine, he said.

Late last week, his optimism came through: Nielsen announced that it had sold the magazine to Duncan McIntosh Co. Inc., the Irvine, Calif.-based magazine and newspaper publisher of mostly boating-related titles including Boating World magazine and Sea Magazine. Mr. Mitchell, however, posted on his blog that he is “out as editor,” after eight years, as is Joe Strupp, one its lead reporters. The new editor is Mark Fitzgerald, a 26-year veteran of the publication who most recently was its editor-at-large. Charles "Chas" McKeown will remain publisher.

The magazine’s web site announced the news with the headline “Back in Business.” In its article on the purchase, E&P quoted Duncan McIntosh as saying that he knew immediately when he heard about the folding that he wanted to keep it going. "Such a critical information source for a newspaper industry so desperately in need of help should not go away," McIntosh said. "I’ve been a reader of E&P over the course of 30 years and know its incredible value to readers and advertisers."

Terms weren’t disclosed.

In recent years, E&P had had something of a turnaround, after dropping in 2002 to a monthly publication schedule from weekly. Its web site had become a lively forum for news about the beleaguered print business, and the staff had won awards for its coverage of how the industry covered the Iraq War.

Mitchell said that he and Strupp would continue covering the industry for the time being at a blog called E&PinExile (http://eandpinexile.blogspot.com/).

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