The advertising depression has hit the area’s fattest magazine: Mpls.St.Paul laid off senior editors Brian Lambert and Bill Swanson today, among others. Survivors saw pay cut 5 percent across the board.
I’m told this was strictly a money move; neither Brian nor Bill has a ton of responsibilities in the ad-driven parts of the ad-stuffed title. But it’s a whole lot of experience and journalistic talent out the door.
Swanson is MSP’s resident novelist-in-mag-writer’s clothing, a total class act who penned and edited some of its top-drawer features. Such things may be a luxury at a luxury title these days.
Lambert’s reputation precedes him; the media swashbuckler was lured away from Rake Magazine 14 months ago to put some kick in the front of the book and, via “Lambert to the Slaughter,” on MSP’s website.
“They made me an offer to continue the blog on a freelance basis; I’ll consider it” says Lambert. “There’s something else I’m interested in, but I’m not going to talk about it right now.”
For the past month or so, he adds, “there was a vibe in the air. We knew the numbers were just cratering. I don’t fault these guys; they’ve run it for 30 years, they don’t want to see it founder now. They’re going to focus on their core areas, food and dining. And Stephanie March brings a web-intensive focus.”
Other survivors include Adam Platt, Steve Marsh and Christy DeSmith. DeSmith just replaced longtime lifestyle editor Jayne Haugen Olson, who moved to Delta’s in-flight magazine. Apparently there were no layoffs at one of MSP’s sibling titles, Twin Cities Business.