Thursday, August 11, 2005

Portland Monthly

Word on the street is that the uber successful Portland Monthly Magazine has pushed its new editor Louise Lague out the door. Something about not fitting (sounds too familiar).

I guess working in New York with People and other highly popular publications wasn't enough to save Louise. She just got to Portland a short while ago.

My sources say PM has lots of pluses and minuses in the exec suite - the plus being Mr. Vogel, the minus being Ms. Vogel.

From where I sit, they put out a shiny product that someone in line at the store is always grabbing. And they look like they are doing very well in securing the upscale advertiser.

Do any PM insiders know the real story and want to share?

25 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be fooled by all the gloss.
Portland Living Magazine also had high-end advertisers, but it costs a mint to publish such magazines.
My bet is Portland Monthly tricked the editor into coming here and she found out how much they were losing.
Rick Skayhan can tell you all about lying about how much money a magazine makes, while it does not pay much for free-lancers -- and sometimes never gets around to paying them.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 4:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vogel will step in it eventually, but she hasn't yet.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 6:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The content of the magazine seems to be sagging (read: suffering) under the weight of the ad pages.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 7:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Almost any magazine about Portland, regardless of the focus, has a shorter life than the average gerbil.

They (the magazines, not the gerbils) are always full of ads (at first anyway, probably because the rates are low). They provide little content of value and they pretty much always suck.

Even the O had to pull the plug on its PS weekly tab.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 9:40:00 PM  
Anonymous gnossos said...

The articles in the last three issues would make one decent quarterly. It'll be interesting when the initial subscriptions start running out.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 9:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They might look slick and have a lot of success, but they pay their writers for shit.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 10:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When that magazine started up, a friend of mine who worked for the Trib and was looking around for other work was approached by the then start-up. The pay:zero.

You wrote for them hoping that the magazine would eventually be able to pay writers.

I guess they are paying their freelancers now, but not much.

This (low pay) shouldn't be a surprise in Portland-if you write features you will have to do a lot of freelancing if you want to make a living off of writing.

If you have a steady gig at the O or the Biz Journal you may get a steady paycheck.

Friday, August 12, 2005 7:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a whole lot of good writers in Portland. Many of us write and have written for national magazines and newspapers... written books even. But try to freelance, in your home town, a nice piece you've found, one that you know would add something, and there's no place to take it.
Publications here either use inexperienced cheap labor, or would rather fill their pages with stuff from papers in other towns. That goes from the O, to WW, to PM, to The Mercury (well, they don't really count).
It's a shame that those who CAN write, can't get paid for it.
And the concept of using a free-lancer to do a TV story on any of the commmercial stations is not even considered. That's why the best talent in Portland lives here and makes money elsewhere.

Friday, August 12, 2005 9:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Call Me Al said...

Portland is a nice, quiet town with not much going on, which is why I moved here. Far fewer distractions make it much less difficult to consistently put in a good day's writing.

Anon at 9:24 has it partly right. A number of pretty good writers live here. And maybe it's hard to sell here. I wouldn't know. I make my money elsewhere.

Which comes to my main point. If you want to make money, you have to go where the money is instead of whining about how the money should be closer to home.

BTW, this is an interesting site, most of the time.

Friday, August 12, 2005 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's true. It does cost a mint to publish a magazine. The overhead is huge. It is commonly said that it takes three years for a new publication to be reach the black. And that's if you can successfully collect payment from all your independent family-run restaurant and retail store advertisers. There are a lot of theories out there about how PM is filling its pages. They've certainly created a presence. We'll see what happens....

Friday, August 12, 2005 1:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you want to make money, you have to go where the money is instead of whining about how the money should be closer to home."

That just isn't true. Lots of us make good livings here even though we make our money nationally. It's no whine to say that it's a shame there's no place to write in this town. It's a simple fact.
It's also shocking how little PMonthly pays freelancers, well below the going rate. And it's the same across the board in all media. With the huge number of inexperienced youngsters who are willing to work for little or nothing, there's no reason to pay top people for superior work... except if you want superior work.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 7:45:00 AM  
Blogger nancy said...

My understanding was, Scott Vogel left PM months ago to write for the WaPo... did he come back?

Saturday, August 13, 2005 4:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott Vogel did leave the magazine several months ago, and is now currently writing for the Washington Post arts section. Russ Rymer took over as editor, but then left to assume the EIC slot at Mother Jones. Great for him, bad for PM.

Nicole Vogel, for what it's worth, knows what she's doing. She knows media sales -- build a multimillion division of CNN, and made a mint when it spun out. That book practically doesn't need subscribers -- they're KILLING ad sales, and are being really smart about how they structure multi-buy contracts. Not only aren't they going away, they're growing. I bet they start another magazine soon.

But they pay freelancers shit per word. That's got to get better in a hurry, or they'll have nothing to place all those ad pages around. I know a LOT of writers who won't write for them because the editing's been so suspect and they get paid so litte. Why bother?

Monday, August 15, 2005 10:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Several of us (with lots of national clips) have laughed in their faces when we found out how little they pay.

Monday, August 15, 2005 11:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much do they pay exactly?

Monday, August 15, 2005 3:34:00 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick Skayhan is a total crook. I know him and he's one of the worst. His own family wouldn;'t invite him to dinner. He's as rebublican as they come and he'd sell his mother in order to get a commission.

Monday, September 04, 2006 1:19:00 AM  
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Yes, This sounds like Skayhan. He's really a shady character. I've heard they are both (him and his wife ) in the banking business now (or at least his wife). He's probably selling insurance or used cars at this point. Be careful of him.

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