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Monday, September 30, 2013

Time For A Change In Publishing


Women are U.S. Senators. They are Supreme Court justices. They are Fortune 500 CEOs. They are Secretary of State. They are astronauts. But not one woman has been the managing editor of the nation’s leading news weekly, Time, in its 90 years of existence.

Until now.

It’s hard to believe, that in the world of publishing, an X chromosome has never led the vaunted magazine. Who would’ve thought America would have a black president before Time appoints a woman this high?

Time, which has 4.9 million Twitter followers, has managed to retain its readership, as total circulation of subscribers and newsstand buyers stands at 3.3 million. But sales at the newsstand have fallen 39% in the past five years.

So is Time to be applauded for its newest appointment or should it be criticized for taking so long to make such a move? Yes is the answer, on both ends.

On the other hand, no one’s asking if she’s any good. Maybe the only thing she has going for her is her gender. I’d assume she is qualified and potentially brings a new perspective to the publication, regardless of sexuality.

It’s hard to believe, given women make up the majority of the country and consist of the majority of newly minted college graduates that so many high-level positions still go unfilled by women.

The fact that the liberal bastion of publishing and media still lags in the advancement of women at a place like Time is mind boggling. But reform and change must not stop there.

How diverse is the media industry when it comes to its workforce? I don’t just mean sexually, racially, or age-wise, but in terms of its members' training, viewpoints, and ideas? We need fresh thoughts to lead the soulful growth of society.

Perhaps Time’s appointment of a woman to lead it proves to be a great move. Or it can be a dud. But it’s a step in the right direction. For an industry in flux and change, due to the Internet and economy, change won’t be complete until the media truly reflects the American landscape.

It’s about time.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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