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.