Updated: Mark Cohen confirms his departure. See statement at the end of this post.
For the second time in as many weeks, it looks like a Dolan Media editor-in-chief is out. This time, it’s Minnesota Lawyer EIC Mark Cohen.
Company spokesfolk aren’t returning calls, but Cohen’s name has been removed from Minnesota Lawyer’s masthead and Wednesday night Dolan posted a help-wanted ad for a managing editor. This was the same pattern when the bosses fired Finance & Commerce editor-in-chief Scott Fagerstrom nine days ago.
Cohen has been with Dolan for 12 years. I haven’t been able to reach him.
Since execs aren’t talking, I can’t tell you exactly what’s behind all this. To be sure, downgrading the top content position from editor-in-chief to managing editor carries the whiff of cost-cutting. As I noted last week, Dolan’s titles (including Politics in Minnesota) have become pay-walled, so there may be revenue-side pressure, too.
Eyes will now turn to Politics in Minnesota, which Steve Perry runs on a day-to-day basis. I’ve heard zero indicating Steve’s in trouble. He’s a relatively recent Dolan hire, has been in charge of staffing up the publication for the pay wall era, and fortunately for him, already carries the “managing editor” title.
Update: Mark Cohen sent me this statement:
I will confirm for you that I have indeed parted ways with the Dolan Company. I leave behind at Minnesota Lawyer the best staff of legal journalists that any editor (managing or otherwise) could hope to have, so I would therefore expect to continue to see great things from the publication and its numerous online offerings.
Twelve years doing the same thing is a longtime — and in today’s journalistic climate, it’s more than a lifetime. I am looking forward to new challenges (I am also a lawyer and have an MBA). Ben Franklin left his publishing business at my age and managed to have a pretty interesting career afterward.
Other than that, the only thing I would just add what a great honor and thrill it has been for me to serve the state’s amazing legal community for so long in this capacity. The people of Minnesota are truly blessed to have such a vibrant and caring group of lawyers and judges serving them.