About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Dude, Where’s My Job Opp?
Wednesday, July 26, 2006

As a hardened journalist very little can scare me, but I would be lying if I didn’t say the current climate in the magazine industry, especially in entertainment, didn’t worry me a little bit. Yes, new mags seem to pop up every month or two, but for the most part those mags either don’t pay their writers, or don’t last very long. The one very good thing I could always rely on was that I was working towards a hazy goal. I’ve never been completely sure of where I want to work, but I’ve always known that a staff position at a well established magazine is something I’d be very interested in. Unfortunately there is bad news today, Teen People is folding. What’s even more unfortunate is that Time Inc. shutting down Teen People is less a singular incident and more of a developing trend. A trend that has me seeing less and less big time opportunities as I slowly realize that, at least in the magazine world, I may be better off being a freelancer than a staffer.

The loss of Teen People isn’t as big a deal as it could be to me, they never accepted any of my pitches, but I was still pitching them and they were one of those established mags I was hoping to get a feature in. Apparently teen girls don’t like to read, though, as not only is Teen People leaving magazine racks everywhere but YM was shut down in 2004 and just a few short months ago Elle Girl folded. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Adam, you write for music mags and men’s mags, why do you care about teen girl mags closing up shop?” Well, there are a few reasons for my concern.

With numerous mags closing at once it’s a pretty bad sign for the industry in general. It’s not panic button material but seeing magazines folding doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy feeling. Second, I’m constantly looking to expand and I always thought my celebrity interviews could translate well into the teen girl market. With teen girls essentially running the music industry (check the Billboard top albums or singles chart on any given week and you’ll find this to be true) it only seemed logical that eventually I’d score a few major features with all my work in entertainment. Unfortunately it looks like I’ll have to look elsewhere for that expansion as my quest for a well rounded clip book continues.

“But what about other music magazines and men’s magazines Adam?” Good question. When it comes to other men’s magazines, believe me I’m working to get in everywhere I can. The situation with the music magazines is a little more… well, it’s certainly different. Everyone knows the situation The Source is in, the Benzino incident(s) killed all of their credibility and their ad pages are so low each issue is looking more and more like a pamphlet in comparison to XXL. To go with that the rumors of non-payment are true according to a few writers I’ve spoken with. Vibe was recently sold and immediately following the sale there was a bloodbath in their offices as six staffers were fired that day and twenty more got the axe the following day. They currently have their Managing Editor opening listed on a job site online. Of course I sent in my resume, like I said, being a staffer at a major established mag is a goal and being fired is a lot better than never having been hired in the first place.

There are a few good things going on in the magazine world, at least for me (and since this is my site, I get to be ego-centric). The current, and next, issues of Elemental each have three features with my byline and I have my fourth cover of Soak hitting newsstands in late August. Soak has been a dream gig for me, their editors have allowed me to expand past music into the rest of the entertainment world and I’ve been voracious in networking within that world ever since. In the time span of about a year I’ve managed to score interviews with actors and actresses from Entourage, The O.C., Chappelle’s Show, Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, as well as wrestling personalities from WWE and TNA, and even a few models and comedians. Elemental has also been great to me, allowing me the opportunity to write lengthy pieces in my voice, which apparently a lot of readers dig.

One or two more mags accepting my work and giving me a nice check for it is all I’m really looking for, either that or a staff gig in a nice office with some walls (I want walls, damnit, and a window!). Lofty goal? I didn’t think so, but with well established mags going through the kind of growing pains you’d expect startups to go through it’s become hard to tell which mags I should be pitching to and which I should be avoiding. Who would have ever thought Teen People, YM and Elle Girl would all fold and The Source would refuse to pay writers? Guess it just goes to show you can’t just a book by its cover, or a magazine by its circ numbers.

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 10:01 AM  
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