There is some evidence that Ms. Moore gets the challenge ahead.
We are a content company, OK? We create and we edit, and we aggregate the best content out there. We can deliver to you, our reader, in whatever format you want it in the future — maybe not on paper.
The "maybe not on paper" is a worrying. It’s almost certainly "probably not on paper" and that much should be clear.
But then things get a little alarming. Ms. Moore says,
One of the biggest threats to our business is this confusion in the public between real, fact-based, checked news and opinion, which is very cheap… And so, I’m really committed, as is John Huey, to really paying attention to Time and figuring out how we can hold up the price value of fact-based news.
This is a gratuitous swipe at blogging, clearly, but worse than that it demonstrates this sense that Time will continued to be a journalistic silo or citadel, with writers "in here" and readers "out there." This boundary has blurred and journalism will adapt or die.
And please don’t tell me that the value add is fact checking. Your value add, Ms. Moore, if I may presume to say so, is pattern recognition. You have some magnificently gifted editors and journalists with a nice track record. We must hope that they are still up to the task now that we live in a world where info, data, outlook mutliply like the Mayfly of a Cambridge spring.
But then things get really distressing. Steinberg askes a difficult question about John Huey, the new corporate editor in chief at Time.
Mr. Huey suggested in a recent New York magazine article that he might not read some of Time Inc.’s women’s titles if he didn’t have to. But titles like People and InStyle are the powerhouses of the operation — and also where you made your mark before becoming CEO. Do you and John need to have a little chat?
Beauty, Brian. Ms. Moore is obviously a gifted political actor and she cannot criticize Mr. Huey. But, lord in heaven, why did she hire him? This is another boundary that has coming crashing down. I refer to the distinction between "serious journalism" and "popular culture." If your editor in chief insists on the silo or citadel approac here, God help you. Two "boundary errors" of this kind, and, as Heidi Klum would say, " you out."
Thoughts on the media summit tomorrow.
Steinberg, Brian. 2006. Time’s Chief Plats A Digital-Age Transformation. Wall Street Journal. February 8, 2006. p. B3.