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Posts Tagged ‘Interviews’

Senior Editor of MAD on Pitching the Magazine

JoeRaiolaJoe Raiola has a job many covet, and few could imagine: He’s one of a handful of full-timers in charge of MAD magazine. He’s also created one of only two officially sanctioned John Lennon tribute concerts. Along with his radio appearances and stand up comedy work, Raiola has been with MAD magazine for 28 years. He insists that working there shouldn’t be considered a proper job: “If you mature, you get fired. It’s a place where you stay perpetually young or silly or both.”

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Raiola talks about The Beatles’ MAD connection, the atmosphere at mag’s headquarters and his first pitching experience:

What advice do you have for readers interested in pitching MAD?
MAD has always been freelance written. We’re always looking for new talent and new writers. Pitching stuff to us now is pretty easy; you can do it via our website. And we’re actually foolish enough to review everything that comes in. Writers don’t need to include illustrations. When I sold to MAD for the first time in 1984, I didn’t have any skills as an artist at all. I suggested a couple of art notes and had some ideas as to how I thought something could be done, but that was about it.

To learn more about Raiola, including info on his upcoming performance in New York, read: So What Do You Do: Joe Raiola, MAD Senior Editor and John Lennon Tribute Executive Producer?

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Former Newsweek President Mark Edmiston Explains the Magazine’s ‘Disaster’ First Quarter Ad Sales

Exclusive: Things haven’t been looking so great for Newsweek lately. While other newsweeklies gained ad pages last quarter, Newsweek was down 31 percent. And the latest issue had just six ad pages!

“But it’s a bit too soon to really tell what is going to happen,” said Mark Edmiston, former president of Newsweek, in an interview with FishbowlNY last week.

Edmiston, currently the CEO of the subscription-based digital magazine venture Nomad Editions, held several top positions at Newsweek from 1972 to 1986, and was involved with buying and selling magazines for 18 years. He gave us his take as to why the new Newsweek‘s figures have looked so grim — and it’s not because of Tina Brown.

“One of the worst things that can happen to advertising sales is having a publication for sale,” said Edmiston.

In the key selling season for 2011, into the fall of 2010, Washington Post had sort of abandoned [Newsweek]. Salesman, I’m sure, were going out and making calls, but advertisers were saying, “Well I’m not sure who’s going to own this thing, what if it’s bought by one of the Rusisian oligarchs, who knows what it’s going to be like next year,” etc.

So what they do, as does anyone in a situation of uncertainty, is put their money back in their pocket. So I’m not at all surprised at the first quarter being a disaster, and it is. But the first quarter was sold in September / October of last year, and it clearly wasn’t sold. It’s a bit too soon to really tell what is going to happen… The evidence to date doesn’t point to anything yet, including the six pages.

Edmiston told FishbowlNY that while Newsweek has certainly taken a different direction since his time there, he doesn’t connect the current sales with Brown’s new reign.

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