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Posts Tagged ‘Henry Luce’

A Ripp-Roaring Time Inc. Yarn

There are more than a half-dozen standout quotes in the dog-days-of-print examination by Gabriel Sherman in this week’s New York magazine. Two of the zingers belong to Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp and, in both cases, connect the company’s august history with the disruptive challenges currently being sorted through.

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“If you have a church and nobody shows up, it doesn’t work so well,” Ripp tells Sherman at one point, referring to the appointment of Norm Pearlstine as chief content officer and a new reporting structure that has removed the wall between church (editorial) and state (advertising). Later on, when the specter of company co-founder Henry Luce is brought up, Ripp has this to say:

“You know the great thing about Henry Luce? He didn’t have to worry about what Henry Luce would have done. He wasn’t held to his past.”

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Hookers Get an Unexpected Boost from Time Magazine

NortonSubHedHow can there be, at press time, only five reader comments to the time.com op-ed “In Defense of Johns.” While we essentially agree with comedian Jim Norton‘s take on prostitution, there are no doubt a bunch on the Henry Luce side of the fence who would be outraged by such a published pronouncement. Time Inc. spinoff notwithstanding.

Norton angles into the essay with, as you would expect, one-liner style. He explains that when he first heard about an August 5 law enforcement round-up, he misunderstood the effort to be a celebratory “National Day of Johns:”

I envisioned myself being carted down New York City’s Fifth Avenue on the back of a flatbed truck, waving to cheering fans as confetti rained down on me and my disappointed parents hid behind a mailbox. A silly (yet understandable) mistake on my part, as the National Day of Johns was a celebration of the arrests of hundreds of men in a series of sex stings in 15 states.

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Henry Luce and the Beginning of Time

Fast Company recently took a look at Henry Luce, the co-founder of Time Inc., and the origins of its flagship title, Time, and its worth a read. The piece by Steven Rosenbaum examines how Luce first imagined Time – a weekly news source for the middle and upper class – and the method by which the magazine achieved that:

As Luce biographer Alan Brinkley tells the story–there were sliced-up copies of The New York Times and piles of foreign magazines everywhere around the offices. Luce’s idea, and that of his business partner, Briton Hadden, was to condense all the news busy people needed to know into one weekly read.

In other words, Time started as a blog, much like FishbowlNY. It aggregated news, briefly analyzed it, and put it all in one spot.

Rosenbaum notes the irony here: Now the very system that brought Time along threatens to destroy it.

Of course, FishbowlNY doesn’t agree that magazines and blogs can’t coexist, it just takes a little finagling, some patience, and a method to the madness. Or a madness to the method, either way.

Time, Fortune Put Detroit On The Cover

time detroit.jpgAs if buying a house in Detroit to house a bureau there wasn’t enough, Time Inc. is featuring the Motor City on the upcoming issues of both Time and Fortune.

Time Inc. Editor-in-Chief John Huey explained the move in his letter to readers, featured in both magazines:

“Not all that long ago, Detroit was one of the richest places in the country, the citadel of the auto age, the ‘arsenal of democracy,’ the nexus of technology and innovation. Today it struggles for its life…Our challenge is to bring a sense of surprise, discovery, enlightenment, horror, joy, inspiration and fun to the reality of Detroit. And that reality is that Detroit, like all other cities, is human. Beneath the statistics and the headlines, people live there. They struggle with profound change, they fight to raise and educate their families, they mourn the past, and they hope for a brighter future.”

Time‘s cover story, written by Detroit native Daniel Okrent, focuses on the city’s rich history and its hope for the future.

Fortune, which focuses on General Motors, highlights the impact the auto industry had in the growth of Detroit, and takes a look at GM’s management under new president and CEO Fritz Henderson. There’s also a strange kinship between Fortune and GM:

“General Motors and Fortune have grown up together too. As Time Inc. founder Henry Luce was creating the modern business magazine at the end of the 1920s, GM was passing Ford to become the world’s largest automaker.

In 1930, when — Depression be damned — Luce launched Fortune, GM showed its grit by introducing the first Cadillac with a 16-cylinder engine. When GM’s legendary CEO Alfred P. Sloan published his landmark memoir, ‘My Years With General Motors,’ in 1963, the title page bore the name of his collaborator, a Fortune editor named John McDonald.”

With Time Inc.’s Assignment Detroit well under way, we’re probably going to see many more stories about the city in the future, shining a light on a struggling city in the midst of change. Good journalism and good stories are never a bad thing. As Huey says, “After spending a couple of days there…we found that you could not throw a rock in Detroit without hitting a good story.”

We look forward to reading lots of them.

Earlier: Time Inc. Launches Assignment Detroit