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Publishers commit “mass suicide” by prematurely folding titles

26 May 2009

Influential magazine commentator Samir Husni has declared that magazine publishers are committing “mass suicide” by prematurely shutting titles and giving away content online.

“It’s what I call the shovel policy— everything I have, I give it to you for free on the Web site and charge you for print. I have to be stupid to continue buying your print product, so we have nobody to blame but ourselves when we offer this great content that we create for free.”

However the University of Mississippi professor tempered his comments in a recent interview, reported at by telling publishers that despite everything that is “crazy about this industry” now is the best time to launch a print magazine.

“It’s going to take one or two years for that magazine to evolve and establish itself,” said Husni. “Then you hope in two years, the economy will pick up and you are ready for the marketplace. Historically speaking, some of the best magazines [in the USA] were started in the worst of times. Fortune started in the midst of the Depression in 1930; Reader’s Digest and Time Magazine in the ‘20s; Esquire and BusinessWeek in the ‘30s during the war.”



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