Thursday, July 06, 2006

Final Brooklynite Online Now; NY Sun Gloats About Brooklyn Magazine Failures

The third and final issue of the Brooklynite, which has folded, is currently online and has some interesting Brooklyn stories worth a look, as did its first two print issues. It saddens us that Brooklynite couldn't make a go of it, but reminds us that publishing real, paper magazines is a tough business.

The NY Sun, meanwhile, uses news of this wonderful magazine's demise to draw a basic conclusion that it's impossible to successfully publish a magazine in Brooklyn and to take some digs at the borough in general. In fact, the paper gloats in a very aggravating way. Here's a taste:
Just last summer, Brooklyn had a whole stack of glossy magazines devoted to chronicling the borough's supposed renaissance. Since then, all of those magazines have run out of money, and today, the only one still standing is the Brooklyn Rail, a nonprofit that gets most of its operational budget through arts grants.

The latest to fold is the Brooklynite, a free, glossy quarterly that has called it quits after just one year due to lack of funds. Until a few months ago, the editor, Daniel Treiman, had been planning to publish a third issue, but financial woes forced him to shelve the project and instead settle for posting online the material already written.

The Brooklynite joins a graveyard full of other failed Brooklyn magazines, including NRG, the self-proclaimed "Pulse of Brooklyn," which ceased print publication last year; BKLYN Magazine, a lifestyle book that went on indefinite hiatus last month, and Brooklyn Bridge Magazine, a general-interest periodical that folded in 2000.
In addition to the "supposed renaissance" jab, the writer goes on to call Brooklyn "quite provincial," before offering a fairly cogent explanation of why it's hard to make a financial go of publishing a magazine in Brooklyn. Of course, one might add that the fundamentals of the publishing business say that it's hard to make a go of publishing any magazine and that a publisher needs to have very deep pockets and be prepared to sustain years of losses before turning a profit.

This is all the more entertaining in light of the conservative Sun's own financial and circulation struggles, which are lovingly chronicled over at Gawker. Now, about those unsolicited copies of the Sun that keep piling up at our door in our parochial and supposedly renaissance digs in Brooklyn...Give the trees a break.

Us, we await a Brooklyn magazine venture that will marry a patient publisher to thoughtful editorial content and a good marketing strategy.

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