So What’s Next For Adweek, Other Than A New Editor?

News today, and not really unexpected, is that Michael Wolff is being replaced as Adweek editor. The Huffington Post has more:

Wolff’s departure caps a short, rather rocky tenure at the trade magazine. In 2009, Prometheus announced the merging of Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek as one publication under Wolff’s guidance. In April 2011, Adweek relaunched the magazine. According to the Wall Street Journal, Wolff “sought to turn it from a dutiful chronicler of the inner workings of the media and advertising industries to a more provocative, personality-driven publication.”

Rumors swirled during Wolff’s year at the magazine, with some claiming investors were dissatisfied and upper management nervous about the magazine’s declining revenue.

Is a trade magazine the proper vehicle for a “provocative, personality-driven publication”? I don’t think so. I wrote about Adweek’s fading relevancy three years ago. Reading Adweek every week was the way I learned about who’s doing what in the ad industry. There’s still a need for that. AdPulp, for example, is spotlighting agencies and people in the Pacific Northwest that are doing good work most folks don’t know about. And The Egotist Network is bringing localized content about advertising to its respective communities. But it’s not a full-time job for any of us to be business journalists.

Unless Adweek gets back to what it once did very well — cover the day-in, day-out news of the advertising industry, in all markets — there’s just no future for it. I think Advertising Age has done very well adapting to the new media landscape. Can Adweek adapt?

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About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.