Monday, April 27, 2009

One Tough Assignment: Writing About Why You'll Soon Be Out of A Job

Portfolio Shutting Down; Blogger Jeff Bercovici Serves Up His Own Bad News

The whispers got rather loud real fast about the demise of Conde Nast Portfolio this morning on Peter Kafka's All Things Digital blog.
And now it's official.
Portfolio media blogger Jeff Bercovici confirmed to the world at large that, indeed, he and a bunch of others will soon be out of a job.
Too bad. Portfolio was a grand experiment that debuted in a perfect storm of the print media business tanking, while the recession pretty much took care of what advertising was left.
Portfolio was also a victim of its own ambitions. It paid to play to offer up quality articles -- and pay dearly, at that.
For example, Michael Lewis was rumored to have been paid a maharajah-esque sum of five bucks a word for an article in the December issue fittingly titled The End, about the passing of an era on Wall Street.
And you wondered why Conde Nast couldn't make the numbers add up for Portfolio. And now 85 people are out of a job.
Not that Lewis is to blame for the magazine being shuttered. But when Conde Nast is laying off receptionists to help its sagging bottom line, those are luxuries -- along with the endless supply of town cars and business-class junkets -- that could be done without.
Portfolio will be missed, and not just as a source of cannon fodder for Gawker.

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