Some familiar magazines may be sold as Time Inc. balances priorities

Now that you’re weighing careers in the media industry, you should be paying attention to the owners and actors as the digital revolution continues.  To put it simply, it’s important to know who owns what — and where media companies are going.

As this piece in AdWeek reports, parent company Time Inc. is leaning toward selling a few well-known magazines as publishers shift their thinking — and investing — toward video production.  Why?  Well, partly because they expecting to find more growth in digital brands’re realizing that consumers will endure ads on video clips more than they’ll seek out ads on printed pages.

That said, we should note that Time owns a bunch of magazines and isn’t offering to sell some other favorites like People, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Travel + Leisure.

Time Inc., of course, is always changing to adjust to markets.  It acquired both Southern Living and Sunset magazines about a decade ago.  Sunset is the West Coast version of this sort of lifestyle mag.  Developed by family-run Lane Publishing, it was a must-have on many living-room tables as I was growing up in California.  At issue: Will this genre last with its regional travel, food and home how-to-do-it articles?

You can follow industry news by bookmarking and reading sources like Adweek and Advertising Age, which cover media organizations as well as business that advertise with them.   And, of course, you can find many more sites.


Podcasting: A new form to study and learn

Artwork by Zak Bickel / Katie Martin / Paul Spella / The Atlantic

We often imagine that writing occurs where we read words, such as in ink on paper or pixels on screens.  Let’s consider now a relatively new form, the podcast, in which we don’t read the words — we hear them.

But many of those words are written long before we hear them.

Media analysts claim that podcasts are likely to become a standard form in a digital world.  In a society rich with headsets and earbuds, we like to listen as well as tune out the noise we don’t need.  Podcasts fill the needs.  They give us chances to seek out special information and interesting voices.  They also give advertisers another means of aiming their messages at precisely the groups they seek.

Can you write for a podcast?  You can weigh your prospects by answering a few questions: What does it take? How are podcasts structured?  What sorts of research and interviewing go into their creation?  And ask this: How does the requirement to write for the ear influence the way we compose sets of words and sentences?

You can check out this compilation of The Best Podcasts of 2016 as offered by writers for The Atlantic, a monthly magazine and an everyday website that appeals to young and educated folks.  Pick a favorite and test yourself:  What will it take to be part of a team creating compelling podcasts.