Brill's Content folds.
October 16, 2001 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Brill's Content folds. "Brill’s Content and, the church lady and swinging single of the myopic media world who got hitched in April, have been closed, victims of terrible publishing and Web economies and a strained relationship between Steven Brill and his major backer, Primedia."
posted by schmedeman (21 comments total)
I honor all coupons.
posted by ethmar at 10:22 AM on October 16, 2001

What a great article! Cheeky tone only underscores author's current position as erstwhile employee... wonder if this sort of candor is indicative of the publication's style pre-dissolution?
posted by silusGROK at 10:39 AM on October 16, 2001

Yes, actually. see letters from the Ombudsman in any of the existing editions. merciless attacking of the magazine, from an employee.

It was great.
posted by das_2099 at 10:54 AM on October 16, 2001

What a shame, I was really looking forward to the next issue of Brills. I felt certain that there would be some great behind the scenes articles on the reporting of the 9/11 attacks. The change to a quarterly format could have given the editors plenty of time to dig deep and come up with some interesting perspectives.
The article hit the nail on the head by detailing the lack of a strong niche for Brills Content. By providing balanced and strong coverage of the Media the magazine defiantly filled a void in my reading and it will be missed.
posted by genapathy at 11:24 AM on October 16, 2001

Well, this sucks. It's too bad this had to happen in the first place, but it's even worse considering we're entering a period when detailed, articulate criticism of media coverage will be damn near essential.
posted by mrbula at 11:54 AM on October 16, 2001

That sucks. I want my money back.
posted by aj100 at 11:56 AM on October 16, 2001

Agreed with all completely. We desperately need the incisive commentary of Content more than ever when the media is acting as more of a 'fourth branch of government, rather than a fourth estate' (not sure who I'm quoting, but I know I didn't make that phrase up). Brill's was by far my favorite magazine, and I will desperately miss its stories. I also think I owe a kudos to Brill's as it was in their magazine that I was first made aware of this website, my favorite place online. I'm very upset about this development.
posted by wsfinkel at 12:07 PM on October 16, 2001

Augh! One of the few magazines which I genuinely looked forward to whenever it arrived in my mailbox. And I loved the new quarterly size of the publication.

Sigh. I'll sorely miss the publication. I've been a faithful subscriber since the first couple of issues. It was especially nice because the magazine wasn't afraid to be critical - of both others, and, perhaps more importantly, itself.
posted by warhol at 12:22 PM on October 16, 2001

If you're looking for incisive commentary on the state of the media... minus the ads... don't forget about On the Media, brought to you by NPR
posted by silusGROK at 12:47 PM on October 16, 2001

I couldn't have writen this if Brill's Content hadn't put Metafilter on its cover. I wouldn't have heard about how it.
posted by spork at 12:52 PM on October 16, 2001

yeah likewise, Content turned me onto MeFi as well. I wonder how much traffic was driven to MeFi because of the cover story.
posted by mmascolino at 2:27 PM on October 16, 2001

me too for MeFi -- thanks to Brill's Content. And I am grateful.

(p.s. What magazine do you think will next put noble leader Matt on the cover?)
posted by LeLiLo at 2:38 PM on October 16, 2001

The magazine made a huge strategic mistake when it decided to run an "exposé" of Kenneth Starr as the cover story of its first issue, while Clinton's impeachment was drawing near. It instantly made conservatives believe the magazine was just another liberal apologist publication, and refused to ever purchase it. Which is sad, because it really wasn't particularly ideological, but it was unbelievably stupid of them to run anything in that highly-publicized premiere issue that had even a small chance of coming off as politically biased.
posted by aaron at 3:12 PM on October 16, 2001

aaron: I think you're reading way too much into that. Basically, the audience for this sort of thing just wasn't as large as Brill hoped it was. It wasn't taken very seriously by the real journalism review community, and it wasn't able to make the crucial newsstand sales issue after issue. There was a line in an article about them earlier this year that was a bit cutting, but had some truth in it: They were writing for people who wanted to think they were media insiders.

This continues my tradition of subscribing for ridiculously long periods to failing magazines. My five years of Spy (when it was last resurrected: hey, it was cheaper than no-brand hot dogs!) became P.O.V. became GQ. My four years of some forgotten industry rag became some PC-World like thing became Maximum PC -- which I actually like a lot. I wonder what they'll send me for the remainder of my Brill's subscription?
posted by dhartung at 3:29 PM on October 16, 2001

I wonder what they'll send me for the remainder of my Brill's subscription?

The Industry Standard? Oh wait, nevermind...

I learned of Metafilter through Brill's Content as well. I never subscribed, but bought every issue for the last year and a half. I very much enjoyed it.

In some way, in some form, Brill will be back. Like him or not, he's a born entrepreneur.
posted by vito90 at 4:46 PM on October 16, 2001

I only got good vibes from Brill's Content towards the end when they revamped their format (and did a feature on Mefi); earlier, the publication was arrogant...comme Brill.

The ParisParamus Axiom: if you find something especially, surprisingly good, it will not last.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:19 PM on October 16, 2001

i like i will now go back into hiding.
posted by pinto at 8:29 PM on October 16, 2001

Echo many of you: BC was my favorite among many regular reads...and the new format was great; I was really looking forward to the second issue in the qtrly format, too. If they had only told us how bad things were, biz-wise, and suggested a new cover price & subscribe rate, I would have gladly paid much more $$$ to keep it coming, esp. the new qtrly format. I would have gone as high as $20 or $25 per issue -- wonder how many people paying that much would have saved it...(sigh)...say, maybe we can get Jim Romenesko to publish a hard-copy every now & then...!
posted by davidmsc at 4:12 AM on October 17, 2001

I liked Brill's Content, even though I don't live in the US it was a fascinating read. Unfortunately Mr Clever decided to subscribe to it only this summer and only ever received one issue...
posted by kerplunk at 5:14 AM on October 17, 2001

Brill's was good at times, vindictive at others, and generally flailing around the rest of the time. Columbia Journalism Review was and still is my favorite source for media crit and reflection.

What really soured me on Brill was Contentville -- the fact that this supposed watchdog for and of the press turned around and started reselling content without regard to who created it, I found apalling. Brill's policy changed after the writers' union jumped all over him, but the damage to his already shaky reputation was done.
posted by me3dia at 12:37 PM on October 17, 2001

Brill's Folds One.

I'm gonna miss it, have every ish especially the one with our own Cover Boy!
posted by owillis at 2:10 PM on October 17, 2001

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