Frogs. In a Pot. Possibly Boiling / by Dana Wood

From the looks of the original draft date on this post, I've been thinking about this topic - the dire state of my chosen profession, print journalism - since January. 

Why the long wait between idea and execution? I guess I didn't want to cloud the generally sunny vibe of this shiny new blog with buckets of doom and gloom.

Besides, it's not as if the decline of print hasn't been happening for quite some time now.

In fact, in September 2014, I touched on it, albeit in a decidedly cheerier fashion, in this post. 

And then I kinda circled back to it, here, in this post. 

So clearly, it's on my mind, although the degree to which I'm focused on it ebbs and flows - for one very specific reason: Since relocating to Florida from New York, I'm not punching in at a staff job at a magazine anymore. 

While I miss my former colleagues a lot, as well seeing the people in the beauty + wellness biz on a regular basis, I absolutely do not miss that sense of foreboding, that sword-of-Damocles feeling that virtually everyone at a legacy magazine publisher has to deal with today. 

And for good reason; just in the past three weeks - at Conde Nast alone! - we've seen the revered Editor In Chief of Allure, Linda Wells, get traded in for a younger model, deep staff cuts at GQ and SELF, and Details get shuttered entirely.

Even if you're on a storied, successful book (Vanity Fair, InStyle, Glamour, etc), you're feeling the heat today. It's pervasive. 

And while it's shitty to refer to them as "wait to get fired" jobs, that's essentially what they are. 

(That's where the creepy title of this post comes into play; evidently frogs - or is it lobsters? - won't hop out of a slowly simmering pot of water until it's too late. I don't think I need to spell out what I mean by "too late," right?) 

Faced with plummeting newsstand and subscription sales, magazines - and the people who produce them - are essentially those frogs.

As such, mags have had to shift gears mightily, contorting themselves into digital powerhouses, mega-event planners, even purveyors of logo merch. (Teen Vogue bedding anyone?) 

The good news - and yes! yes! there's good news! - is that most mags are pivoting extremely well to these other (non-print) revenue streams. 

I'm not the least bit surprised about that. They're staffed with fleets of really brilliant, creative, tough-minded people.

Princes and princesses rather than frogs. 

This pic: Not a slam-dunk for this post. 

This pic: Not a slam-dunk for this post.