Blog Post

Salon Seeks New Identity; Can Anybody Pull Off Long Form On The Web?

Faced with net losses and retreating ad revenues, Salon CEO Richard Gingras wants to recast the “online-only magazine.” As he tells Poynter’s NewsPay, that means less long-form magazine-like pieces and more quicker, real-time posts.

For web publications, calling themselves a “magazine” may have certain benefits in terms of attracting advertisers and users, as it conveys a note of credibility and authority. But acting like a “magazine” may be harmful to a site’s health. Some 753 sites now call themselves “online-only magazines,” up from just 124 five years ago, according to MediaFinder. Most print magazines share some very basic attributes — paper on ink, has a set publishing schedule, with heavily edited pieces that require some lead-time. But “online-only magazines” can be all over the map. MediaFinder found some online magazines had original content and some didn’t, for example, while some had advertising, and others didn’t. Since many of those qualities could also apply to a blog, the whole notion of an “online magazine” is increasingly meaningless, NewsPay argues.

Salon’s sinking fortunes have forced it to rethink its identity. Last month, Bnet examined the publication’s troubles, which culminated in the layoffs of 20 percent of its workforce. In Q2, Salon

One Response to “Salon Seeks New Identity; Can Anybody Pull Off Long Form On The Web?”

  1. This is the long overdue content shift for mags that newspapers faced first. We see how well they have done. I hope magazines with their naturally narrower content and specialized readerships can do better than papers, but we're seeing so many broken business model mentalities in this country try and dictate to consumers how they will consume content, that I am cheering for any media niche no matter how inconsequential to blaze the way to show the rest how it should be done. The WSJ and a rare few others are getting there, but alas, it seems no one is paying attention. Good luck Magazines!!