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Michael Wolff on New ‘Adweek’: ‘We’re Not Re-Writing Press Releases Anymore’

Today is the big day. Say good-bye to Mediaweek and Brandweek. Those publications have been rolled up into Adweek, which today released its re-designed print and digital formats. For those PR professionals that are looking for a “friendly” trade publication relationship, be sure to proceed with caution.

Adweek Media editorial director Michael Wolff told PaidContent:

Let’s put it this way, we’re not re-writing press releases anymore…We’re not a mouthpiece for the industry any longer…The trade industry model is no longer relevant. If we are anything, we are a ‘business vertical.’ For us, value and relevance means insight and good storytelling.

The comments should come as no surprise to those who have kept up with Adweek recently.

Many industry executives have noted that Adweek‘s tone has shifted since Wolff took the reigns. However, none of these executives wanted to share these observations on the record with PaidContent’s David Kaplan, perhaps for not wanting to adversely affect their relationship with the publication.

In his note to readers today, Wolff calls the new format a “reinvention,” and elaborates on the editorial mission:

This is the proposition of the new Adweek: In minute-by-minute reporting on the Web and in close analysis and profiles in the magazine, we will tell the story of the uncertain transformation of our business. We need to be more Tolstoy than trade reporter.

And yet, one thing, in an almost humbling sense, remains constant: Seller must meet buyer. Almost every transformative permutation of the media model still relies on advertising; almost all methods and theories of branding still rely on reaching and influencing audiences. But, alarmingly,  never before have media practitioners and marketing professionals been so remote from each other.

Stay tuned for more coverage of Wolff and the changes Adweek Media this week on mediabistro.com.

[Disclosure: This PRNewser contibutor's employer, Buddy Media, has advertised with Adweek Media in 2011 and 2010.]

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