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“Long-Term, We Are Always Fucked”: Agita at New York Magazine as Pam Wasserstein…

by Ace Damon
“Long-Term, We Are Always Fucked”: Agita at New York Magazine as Pam Wasserstein...

"I think the answer to that kind of thing is always: We're fucked, because in the long run, we're always fucked." That's how a New York official summed up the initial internal reaction Wednesday morning to the abrupt announcement delivered the night before. through the New York Times, which the 51-year-old magazine's parent company was acquired by Jim Bankoff's Vox Media. Soon after the news, another commented to me: "I suspect this is a bad omen." The New York Union put a statement deploring the "disrespectful manner" with which employees were informed of the acquisition, "after the story of the New York Times was published and after the press release."

As for the latest digital players, Vox Media is seen as one of the best. Bankoff, who climbed the AOL ladder before running the company that would become Vox in the late 1990s, is often seen as a smart, seasoned executive – an adult who (and that's rare in digital media) doesn't beautify his own hype, as well as some of your flying colleagues. The company has slowly expanded and widely diversified its revenues, which are expected to exceed $ 300 million this year. Brands like Verge, Eater and Recode give it a certain premium glow (although some sites have definitely diminished). The bigwigs tend to go out for Bankoff's intimate dinners at SXSW, from Mark Cuban and Katie Couric to Bill de Blasio and AOC – who stayed up early on this year's soiree, sipping wine on the rooftop patio and chattering in the bass with who he is. who featured prominent journalists in publications such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and so on.

Whatever it means on paper, Vox hardly looks like the worst home for an independent media entity that supposedly lost more than $ 10 million a year before a recent recovery. But in the increasingly painful modern journalistic economy, where takeovers, kills and closings seem less the exception than the norm, the New York Media team cannot be blamed for feeling less than immediately optimistic about the sudden change of ownership, no matter the editor in chief David Haskell and CEO Pam Wasserstein remain, Wasserstein as president of Vox Media and a board member of the company.

Wasserstein and Bankoff tried to calm nerves during a midday meeting at the New York Media Canal Street offices, highlighting things like common "cultural" DNA and business synergies, emphasizing that New York Media's editorial operations would retain their autonomy. (Other departments, such as sales and ad technology, will be consolidated after the deal closes.) Bankoff talked about reading New York magazine as a child in Bergen County, New Jersey, and repeatedly emphasized that Vox Media is "committed to print, ”which was music to the ears of a weekly publication that has already been reduced to twice a month and eventually may be monthly after that, who knows.

At the end of the Q&A section, an anonymously asked question was read aloud: "I swear I'm doing it in good faith: why should we trust you?" Bankoff said there were many business reasons why the two companies work well together, and that & # 39; & # 39; let's fuck & # 39; & # 39; occasionally. But he also promised to proceed as respectfully as possible. "The general feeling is that something was about to happen, and that may be the least bad outcome," one source said. “I think Bankoff looked charming and, most importantly, on the mission of journalism, which matters most to people. Most people feel safe.

. (tagsToTranslate) media (t) New York magazine (t) vox (t) politics

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