Neither vile nor gossip

It doesn’t exactly take Malcolm Gladwell to predict that when there are four major automotive publications and only two owners, sooner or later there will be two major automotive publications and only two owners.

Two years ago, Road & Track’s southern-California offices were closed, and R&T had to more or less move in with Car and Driver. That was the first shoe. The second one, however, is a serious boot:

There’s been a big shakeup in the world of automotive media today, as Automobile’s parent company, Source Interlink, has shuttered the mag’s Ann Arbor, MI offices. Editor-In-Chief Jean Jennings has been fired, along with most of the publication’s staff. The news was confirmed by Jennings, who called it “business” in a conversation with Jalopnik.

Mike Floyd of Source Interlink-owned Motor Trend will reportedly take the helm at Automobile. Deputy Editor Joe DeMatio is expected to move to a Royal Oak, MI-based Source Interlink advertising office. According to Jennings, a few of the remaining employees will be relocating to Los Angeles, to be closer to Motor Trend.

I suspect this does not mean the actual death of Automobile, at least not yet: Source Interlink is rebranding as The Enthusiast Network, and they haven’t thrown Automobile off their brand-spanking-new Web site.

Still, I expect by 2020 there will be only Car and Driver and Motor Trend — and that at least one of them will have gone digital-only.







2 comments »

  1. JT »

    29 May 2014 · 8:01 pm

    I used to have a subscription to Autoweek while it was still a newspaper-sized publication. I stuck it through the initial magazine transition (still 52 issues/year) but dropped it when they reduced the size to it’s present form and reduced schedule. Back in the day, they also had some of the best racing coverage. Now, their free website is sufficient for covering what they have left.

    Used to also have a subscription to National Speed and Sport News, but they went all digital a couple of years ago.

  2. Francis W. Porretto »

    30 May 2014 · 4:32 am

    Superficially at least, these are exciting times for the auto industry, and for car enthusiasts. Developments are many and varied. If the auto mags are losing vitality, as seems to be the case, I’d look first at what the publications themselves are doing with regard to quality coverage and writing. But I haven’t been in touch with those publications for some years now.

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