Good luck to the cranky gang at Editor and Publisher, which officially kicked off its "E&P in Exile" blog today in anticipation of a possible revival of the 125-year-old "bible" of the newspaper business.
E&P was revered for being both industry booster and scold. The magazine simply called 'em as it saw 'em. Its finest hour: browbeating the media for blindly going along with President Bush's invasion on Iraq.
The possible last print of E&P arrived today at O'Dwyer's worldwide headquarters, containing some letters of condolences to the staff that was shocked by news last month that Nielsen Co. was pulling the plug on the venerable publication.
Diana Henriques of the New York Times urged E&Pers to hold their heads high because "for the toughest, crankiest, thinnest-skinned audience on earth, you delivered."
Michael Getler, ombudsman at PBS, wrote: "You guys have served us all very well. Hard to imagine what is happening, how fast it is happening, and how we will wind up."
Tom Lasseter, Moscow bureau chief at McClatchy Newspapers, hopes E&P "continues in a different form — the industry certainly needs your coverage during these trying times."
Eric Ebeling, executive editor of the Indiana (Pa) Gazette is "heartsick" at the news of E&P's demise. "The insight and inspiration you and your staff delivered is irreplaceable. Here’s hoping for a rebirth of E&P in the weeks ahead," he wrote.
E&P, according to its "final" editorial, was profitable for years, except 2009. Projections for 2010 had the magazine in the black again.
It blasted news of its demise as representative of the death knell for newspapers. That's hogwash. Wrote E&P: "the newspaper business is rebounding from the depths of this worst-in-memory recession and big city papers are poised for a strong performance this year. The saddest part: E&P may not be around to be the bearer of good news once again."
The 18 staffers at E&P emptied its offices last week. E&P editor Greg Mitchell says a number of potential buyers have kicked the tires but nothing has been signed. Staffers blamed tight-fisted Nielsen for not shelling out cash to update the E&P website, which wasn't retooled for five years.
Unlike the E&P in Exile blog, the former E&P site had no room for comments or videos. It was ironic that E&P maintained such a "dinosaur" website. The magazine implored newspaper and magazine publishers for more than a decade to embrace the Internet or perish. I guess the suits at Nielsen didn't read E&P, or, even worse, they paid it no heed.
Here's to a quick return from exile, E&P. The Champagne -- more likely a couple of six-packs -- wait to celebrate your comeback.