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Bad news and good news for magazines

February 23, 2009 | 11:25 am


The American Magazine Conference, scheduled to take place in October in Boca Raton, has been canceled. “This is just in response to the difficult economic climate," said the organizer, the Magazine Publishers of America. "Members are going to be reluctant to get in planes, and we didn’t feel that having a big, festive conference was aligned with the mood of the times." Reporting on the cancelation, Mediaweek notes that American Media (publisher of Star and the National Enquirer), Hachette Filipacchi (publisher of ELLE, Popular Photography and Car and Driver) and New York Magazine had all pulled out of the conference.

The literary magazine Oxford American has been in trouble since around this time last year, when its operations manager was arrested for embezzling $30,000. Her trial has not yet begun, but an accounting firm, in reconstructing the magazine's books, has turned up deeper financial difficulties -- including $57,000 in unpaid payroll taxes. Hearing that the magazine might have to close its doors, an anonymous donor came forward with a $100,000 gift. Publisher Warwick Sabin called it "an extraordinarily generous gesture." The magazine, which started out in Oxford, Miss., is now a quarterly nonprofit associated with the University of Central Arkansas.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Robert Couse-Baker via Flickr