Forget The New Republic. What About Cat Fancy?

Andrew doing his cat thingThe outcry about the changes afoot at The New Republic has all but drowned out the indignant squeals from lovers of Cat Fancy (RIP):

Dog Fancy and Cat Fancy magazines, publications that are nearly 50 years old, are shutting down, to be replaced by print versions of the Web sites Dogster and Catster. “We feel that the tone, content and frequency of the new titles are a better fit for the contemporary pet owner and how they consume their pet-related information,” Kim Huey-Steiner, I-5 Publishing’s chief sales officer, told Folio. “The integration of online and print brands also allows us to be more focused in our mission, provide advertisers greater continuity across media and drive the greatest value for pet owners and brands alike.”

Print versions of websites? People will buy those? I am mystified, but okay. We get our kicks in different ways. Some folks might be a little disdainful of my Outlander obsession. I’m currently nearly done with the sixth book — worst title yet but perhaps most exciting content; there must be an inverse relationship between the two — and spending any time I’m not reading it dreamily wondering how Claire and Jamie will fare during the American Revolution.

But back to magazines. 

Here’s the TNR tempest in a teacup, if you’ve somehow missed it til now:

Hughes, a Facebook co-founder, bought The New Republic in 2012 at the age of 28 with ambitions of restoring its esteemed place in Washington media. Instead, TNR failed to hire marquee names, struggled to attract advertisers and failed to gain a prominent place in the conversation.

In more recent months, Hughes has been working on plans to turn the once-venerable liberal magazine into a “digital media company,” an ambiguous proposal that left many staffers there uncertain about the future of the publication. In September, he hired Vidra, the former general manager of Yahoo News, to serve as TNR’s first-ever chief executive. Since then, Hughes has staked the company’s future on Vidra’s vision rather than Foer’s. In an interview with The New York Times last month, Hughes said he no longer even thinks about TNR as a magazine. “Today, I don’t call it a magazine at all. I think we’re a digital media company.”

Now everyone’s resigning en masse and pundits are publishing eulogies.

The New Republic was never one of mine, particularly; I have more affection for Harpers and, of course, The New Yorker, which we get delivered along with New York Magazine. Someone bought me a subscription to NYM once for my birthday and it just keeps coming back. Like herpes, only glossier and more entertaining.

Presumably because I’m being punished for something, we now get Maxim too. Ben stayed up last night reading the newest issue and then tried to explain to me, in all earnestness, that the articles were well-written. I may or may not have thrown a pillow at him before going back to Claire and Jamie.

Maybe the new TNR and merge with Catster as part of its exciting new rebranding effort. Though “Catster” feels unpleasantly reminiscent of “Qwikster” to me, and well do we remember how that ended.



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