Thursday, April 30, 2009

Publisher-Be-Gone

Tauntaun Press has eliminated the position of publisher in its magazines, according to a report in Folio:. That might sound like a drastic move, but if you read the entire article, you see that there's been a lot of re-titling and duty distribution at the company.

The fact is, titles are kind of science fiction in the publishing industry. They mean what one wants them to mean. For example, at some magazines, the managing editor is the person who assigns and rides shotgun on each issue of the magazine, under the guidance of a far-away editor-in-chief who's mostly out meeting with advertisers and journalists. At other magazines, the managing editor is largely a production person nursing along each issue. At still others, the managing editor is basically the sole content editor.

In some places, the publisher is negotiating printing contracts and helping set the tone of the magazine. At others, the publisher is basically the ad sales director.

A title means what an employee and employer agree that it means. (I'm an editorial director, with duties that in many places mix editor-in-chief and publisher roles. So what?)
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