retail news in context, analysis with attitude

It is, in its own way, yet more evidence of the death of traditional media.

Numerous sources tell MNB that Nielsen Business Publications has decided to cut and merge the editorial staffs of two of its food industry trade publications, progressive Grocer and Gourmet Retailer.

The sources say that Stephen Dowdell, editor-in-chief of PG is leaving the company, and that Michelle Moran now will serve as editor of both publications.

KC's View:
First of all, condolences to my journalistic brethren. Been there, done that…and I know it isn’t fun.

The simple fact is that the world is changing, and that old world business models that depend on print publications and run-of-press advertising buys simply may not make sense anymore. Sure, I have a vested interest in talking and writing about such changes – I’d be willing to bet serous money that MNB gets more email in a week from its highly engaged community than most traditional trade publications get in a year or more. And clearly I think that new models with a differentiated perspective – the ones that stretch to be unusual and provocative - are going to be the ones that not only survive, but thrive.

This isn’t just a trend affecting trade publications, of course. There is hardly a newspaper or magazine out there that isn’t trying to figure out the new media world, and there are a lot of them that are facing enormous changes. (The Detroit papers have started cutting out home delivery on certain days of the week…which is a move that has a feel of desperation to it.)

These problems have been long in the making, and have occurred largely because a lot of companies simply didn’t see or ignored what was happening around them.