Editors: Evolve or Die
BOCA RATON, FLORIDA—Magazine editors will not survive in today’s changing publishing environment unless they have a staff they can rely on, a panel of editors said during Monday afternoon session called “The Editor as Octopus.”
“Editors are so busy they don’t have time to do all of the things they love anymore,” said New York editor Adam Moss. “You just hope that the person that picks up those responsibilities does them in a way that’s rewarding, and maybe even in a way you wouldn’t."
Expanding a magazine’s brand and creating a successful franchise takes a lot of work. Today, new projects can range from producing live events, putting together special promotions and creating a seemingly never-ending slew of digital initiatives.
“You need to have a well-oiled machine,” ReadyMade editor Shoshana Berger said about an editor’s staff. Moss and Berger were joined on the panel by Stephen Adler, editor of BusinessWeek editor, Angela Burt-Murray, editor of Essence, and New York Times media columnist David Carr. “When your attention is taken away from the magazine, your core product, you have to know your staff can make things happen," Berger said. "You need people you can rely on.”
With so many magazine staffs taking on branding projects, editors and publishers should evaluate each project and determine if they can deliver a superior product, according to Adler. “Editors need to see each brand extension as needing as much attention as any other,” he said. “If you think you can’t do something well, don’t do it at all.”
Added Moss: "A good editor should have fairly severe A.D.D."