Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


I don't really know what to say. I haven't even really figured out what I think.

For years, rumors have floated occasionally that Memory Makers magazine's offices would be moved involuntarily from Colorado to Ohio by the publishing company. F+W Publishing produces a number of periodicals, including the Writers Digest, and all those other publications are housed in Cincinnati. Memory Makers floated in Denver like a satellite, waxing and glowing on its own.

I've been writing for MM since -- oh, I think 2003. I've had 15 articles and 17 layouts published in their magazine and books since 2002, so I have spoken to, emailed with, and worked with a lot of people at that periodical. They were all so nice, and I was so proud of my work in the magazine because of their professionalism and high standards.

Over the last year, I've begun to believe that such a move was inevitable. I wasn't the only person who saw the writing on the wall -- Camp Memory Makers was axed, minor contests were cancelled, and frankly -- frankly -- MM stopped being competitive about paying freelance artists as much as other magazines do. The publishers became cheap and stingy with funds. When editors and staff members began handing in their resignations last year, I thought, "It has to be Ohio."

But at my most pessimistic and cynical, I never thought F+W would do what they've done.

I never thought that any publisher with any sense whatsoever would sack an entire magazine staff. It's insane. The readers have gotten to know the editors and staff members. They recognize their faces at conventions and trade shows. Debbie Mock, the executive editor, is such a warm, personable, professional, friendly girl that no one can help but smile when they meet her.

Monday night, when I first heard that MM was definitely moving to Cincinnati, I thought, "Well, that's to be expected." Tuesday when I found out that not a soul from Colorado is moving to Ohio, I felt sick to my stomach -- I mean, literally ill. F+W has posted the jobs on their website, and it looks as if the publisher wants a whole new staff to learn how to produce a magazine and coordinate & judge the Masters contest all at the same time.

I can understand why the publisher thinks it's necessary to move the offices to Ohio. Sorta. Not really. Maybe he isn't comfy with telecommuting in the age of computers. Maybe he just doesn't like Colorado. Maybe he's a total megalomaniacal control freak micromanager who can't handle having his finger out of a piece of his publishing pie.

But I cannot, for the life of me, understand why he pink-slipped the entire staff. These people have each been doing several peoples' jobs for the last 8 months, because as editors left the magazine to pursue other opportunities, the publisher refused to let MM hire replacements. The skeleton crew left at the Colorado offices have been moving mountains and performing miracles on a daily basis, despite the publisher's best efforts to undermine the magazine.

So on the one hand, I am furious with F+W. Part of me never wants to write another syllable for them again. Their treatment of the staff makes me want to scream and pull out someone's hair.

On the other hand -- what goes around, comes around.

And finally, I know that every person at MM -- who have behaved as elegantly and admirably as anyone could in this situation -- will be OK. Eventually. The coming weeks and months (since they have to keep producing the magazine until the end of June, even though they know they're doomed) are going to be rough, but I know that they'll all be OK in the end. Because they're too good not to succeed.

If there's any justice, at least, that's what's going to happen.


At 15/3/06 7:21 PM, Blogger Jennifer Stewart said...

Ugh....this is a very SAD post.
:( So awful to read the details, especially since you know all of the wonderful people at MM. Thank you for the extra insight, though. It's helpful to hear this information since there are so many facts/rumors floating around and it's hard to know what is true and what isn't.


At 16/3/06 6:26 PM, Blogger Jane said...

Thanks for this, Bay... very sad indeed.

At 21/3/06 8:44 PM, Blogger Gwyn Calvetti said...

Oh, the talent of all these people will be rewarded for sure. It's still sad to think that they could all be axed as easily as losing football coaches in the NFL, though.

Very sad indeed.

At 15/3/07 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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