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AND THEN THERE WAS ONE: Alpha Media Group Inc. made another round of sweeping changes to its business, shuttered the struggling music monthly magazine Blender on Thursday and centered its editorial operations around the Maxim brand. The company’s co-chief executive Glenn Rosenbloom has also departed, leaving Stephen Duggan as Alpha’s sole ceo.
“Given the reality of the current economic climate, we are unable to continue publication” of Blender, Duggan said. The magazine’s April issue will be its last, and 30 employees will be let go as a result of the closure. Blender editor in chief Joe Levy will become editor in chief of Maxim. Levy succeeds Jim Kaminsky, who was editorial director of Maxim. Maxim.com editor in chief Jay Woodruff has been named chief content officer of Maxim. Blender.com will live on, and will be overseen by Levy and Woodruff.
The shuttering of Blender, first reported by Advertising Age, follows a tornado of changes since Quadrangle Group bought Maxim, Stuff and Blender from Felix Dennis for a reported $250 million and formed Alpha in 2007. Since then, the magazine closed young laddie mag Stuff and dismissed ceo Kent Brownridge after a year. It then named Rosenbloom and Duggan as co-ceo’s. In the fall, the firm relocated some back office staffers to Tennessee in a cost-cutting effort, and recently sought to turn over ownership of the company to lenders including Cerberus Capital. Business at its magazines also headed south as the recession crippled advertising spending. Through 2008, pages for Blender shrank 31 percent, to 522, and another 57 percent through April, according to Publishers Information Bureau and Media Industry Newsletter.
As of December 2008, Blender’s circulation remained at 912,739, but newsstand sales fell 18 percent, to 44,000, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations figures.