VITAL Source is NOT calling it quitsJanuary 5th, 2009 |
So Rick Romell, who I was told was one of the best business reporters in the newsroom over at the ailing Journal Sentinel, posted a news brief on their website this evening that was cause for concern in several areas:
1. It was embargoed until Monday – a BIG journalistic no-no
2. It was grossly inaccurate in both spirit and fact
3. This guy pulled my chain for 30 minutes on the phone doing an interview, then basically condensed a statement I’d sent the paper, editing for length by removing important pieces of the truth and substituting some sort of sloppy interpretative dance version of of the facts. I know I’m not supposed to be rude, being a comrade in arms in the so-called journalism brotherhood, but hey, he shot at me first. And if it was an accident, well, I’m still bleeding, so if I poke him in the eye it was self-defense.
I’m so angry I could spit, and I let their deputy business editor know it. In fact, that’s a direct quote from my email to Jim Nelson. Jim asked that I not be too quick to judge Rick personally, as it could have been the copy desk who took his story and dramatically changed it. The specifics of who did what don’t matter to me; the fact remains that this is some seriously sloppy, potentially damaging “reporting.”
So what’s really going on? Here it is, in plain English. Just the facts. I’m pasting the press release itself so you can decide whether we’re going out of business by evaluating the same information received by the professionals.
And the media wonders why nobody believes a word they say…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jon Anne Willow
January 5, 2009
VITAL Publications, LLC to cease printing VITAL Source Magazine; move will strengthen other business lines
[MILWAUKEE, WI]—The majority partners in VITAL Publications, LLC, announced this morning that, effective with the current issue (January 2009), the company will no longer print local culture magazine VITAL Source. The company will continue to provide media distribution and creative services (including design, writing and copy editing) to Milwaukee businesses and non-profit organizations, and to operate its popular website, vitalsourcemag.com, which will relaunch in early February with a new focus and feature set to better meet the needs of its audience. Further information on the new site will be available soon.
Though the magazine had a record year in 2008 and the company as a whole is expected to turn a profit for the first time since it was founded in late 2001, the recent sudden downturn in the economy has dramatically changed the magazine’s revenue forecast for 2009.
According to the owners, the reduction in overhead realized by taking VITAL Source out of production will keep the company cash-positive and positioned to continue its growth trajectory.
“This is what makes sense right now,” said Editor in Chief and co-Publisher Jon Anne Willow. “It breaks our hearts to think we won’t be putting VITAL on the streets every month, but we’re doing some very exciting things with our website to position ourselves well in the Milwaukee media mix, and the other divisions of the business are still stable and growing.”
VITAL Source will still hold its Fearless Leaders Awards ceremony on January 22 at the Eisner Museum, as well as its Gallery Night event, “Uncovered,” a retrospective of VITAL Source cover artists, on January 16, in its space at 133 W. Pittsburgh. More information on both events can be found at vitalsourcemag.com. All Fearless award money will still be donated to the charities of the winners’ choices. The owners expect to hold the Awards again in 2010.
“This may seem like a step backwards,” said co-Publisher Mehrdad J. Dalamie, “but we believe it’s the best way to keep ourselves and the business in a position of relative strength during these difficult economic times. Our primary objective is to still be here, and be strong, when conditions improve.”
1. VITAL Source will keep its office space at 133 W. Pittsburgh Ave.
2. VITAL Source will not trim any office staff; we will need fewer freelancers for at least a few months
3. All current student interns will complete their semesters with us
4. Our new thing is going to be pretty interesting