Tuesday, January 27, 2009

ACP shuts down New York office

Today I became a statistic. I found out that I no longer had a job, along with the other 35,000 people in New York.

ACP Australia has decided they can no longer afford their offices in New York and that means we were all made redundant, effective Friday - as in, in just four days.

Who knows, perhaps this will lead to bigger and better things (it will certainly make me try harder for that elusive job at Harper's Bazaar), but this afternoon I couldn't help but wonder - what does all of this mean for magazines in general?

It is no secret that the magazine industry is falling apart, with advertising and circulation down across the board, and entire editorial and advertising departments being 'let go' like a bunch of bad eggs. But what a lot of people are unaware of is how much it actually costs to produce your weekly fix of Woman's Day or US Weekly.

Last week I found myself bidding for a photo of Kylie Minogue skiing with some unidentified man pal that cost more than my annual salary. Yes, you read correctly, one image. All in the hope that it might be the image that will make you, dear readers, want to buy the magazine and therefore help boost circulation.

Even though this seems a little warped to me, I know magazines are just trying to stay alive - albeit a little frantically. Doing so requires an unenviable tightrope act: while trying to hold onto upmarket advertisers, they must remain fun, diverting and subtly escapist, and at the same time not alienate readers whose own wallets have become as thin as this years issues of Vogue.

Editors are in a constant tug-of-war, unsure whether to give readers an escape from the bleak economy through the sparkly lives of celebrities and beautiful couture, or give practical and sage advice, like "100 Perfect Outfits That Are Already in Your Closet". But let's face it; this is just a fancy way of saying "wear the same clothes you've been wearing for the past 10 years." How very depressing.

Perhaps I should try my luck in the one publication category that will never be dowdy or depressing: the food magazine. I've always wanted to be a food critic. Or I could turn my talents to paparazzi photography, which seems to be the only sturdy career choice at the moment. $5,000 for a photo of Blake Lively eating a burger? Sure! Watch this space.

1 comment:

  1. Oh no, sucks big time. Hey, email me, I want to hear more about what you're doing over there! zoe.walker@nzherald.co.nz