At CRMA Conference, a Founder Reflects on State of the City-Magazine Genre
Lipson apparently has had a rough history with his editors, a topic Fennell explored early in the interview with Lipson who ultimately downplayed that reputation. "I seem to have a reputation for firing a lot of editors," said Lipson, who added that perhaps the public relationship between a publisher and editor amplifies what otherwise is simply a necessary business decision. "When you break relationships with an editor it’s unlike any other business," Lipson said. "It creates a lot of news because editors globally will pull their wagons in a circle and dump on the publisher."
Over his 54-year history in the regional magazine business, however, Lipson noted he has worked with six editors. "That’s not a lot of editors," he said.
Though Lipson did indicate that an editor’s time is up when he fails to change with the audience. "The magazine keeps evolving. The audience needs change and unless we change with it, we’ll expire."
Lipson stressed the importance of investigative stories in a regional magazine’s edit mix and while the "best of" service journalism that regional titles thrive on is "almost punishment" to assign an editor, the readers love it. "We have to keep reminding ourselves, we do it for the readers."
Problematic for the industry, aside from what Lipson identified as a proliferation of media, is the regional luxury category. "One of the things that drives me crazy are these luxury magazines. I think it’s a threat to the way we do business," said Lipson. "It’s a threat to the standards and the ethics of the business." He added that he thinks they lie about their circulation numbers and believes they trade edit for advertisers. "The biggest thing is they prostitute their editorial and they make us all look bad."