Can you remember any recent news or stories about a new print magazine or newspaper that launched in the last few years, and became a massive success? Me neither. Meanwhile, more and more magazines have announced plans to shutter their operations. Today comes news that Conde Nast will fold its Portfolio publication (which recently tried to make a stab at newsstands with Sarah Palin on the cover). However, paidContent reports that the magazine's online component may live to see another day. Anne Thompson also posted some thoughts about the rebirth of defunct magazines online, with special attention given to Movieline, Premiere, and Life:
It makes me crazy when I think about how Hachette Filipacchi threw away their Premiere brand, first by refusing to invest in the online site that could have saved the print magazine, then ditching the global chain of movie mags in favor of a puny underfunded Premiere.com. Where are those rich Premiere celebrity archives? Nowhere to be found.
Rumors have circulated for months that Entertainment Weekly will also give up on its print edition in favor of a more robust online offering. Which brings to mind a panel discussion I moderated on Sunday afternoon about indieWIRE (and its new parent company, SnagFilms). I specifically asked editor Eugene Hernandez how the site survived the dot-com bust of 2000. They almost didn't, but by keeping their operation lean, they pulled through. And, while indieWIRE has dabbled in print intiatives, perhaps the secret to its longevity has been the fact that it was always primarily a Web site. Other online news destinations have kept themselves in check by sticking to a business model they know best, which is why you don't hear rumors of Cinematical or Ain't It Cool News having a hard time staying afloat. Plus, you have new sites popping up to compete with The Huffington Post, sites such as The Wrap or The Daily Beast. Hell, even Film Threat is still active these days, and their place in the market has diminished signficantly (though, personally, I'd love to see them make a comeback).