Often, when I'm prowling around the catacombs of the computer industry with my ears to the pipes, listening for the sweet vibrato of gossip, I stumble across rumors about my esteemed colleagues in technology journalism. (Or, as my smart-alecky son likes to pronounce my profession, technology urinalism.) This week there seems to be a surfeit of scuttlebutt about the cybermedia.
For one, I hear that the editor in chief of Upside magazine, Eric Nee, will be given the heave-hoe by the end of the month. According to my sources, Nee's job was "obsoleted" by publisher and technology magazine tycoon David Bunell, who felt that Upside, which covers the financial underbelly of Silicon Valley, didn't really need a chef du editor. (Nee may remain as an editor at large). Maybe Bunell knows what he's doing. The guy has either founded or worked at almost every trade magazine in this industry, including PC Magazine, PC World, Macworld, and NewMedia.
Upside's chief rival in the publishing business, The Red Herring had troubles of its own this week. At the Personal Computing Outlook conference in San Francisco this week, the Herring was thoroughly pickled by a small group of protesters from the Local 483 union, all of whom were ejected after causing a ruckus and handing out anti-Herring fliers.
The Herring, like virtually every magazine in the industry, is not itself unionized, but a hotel at which it held one of its conferences is. My moles tell me the magazine didn't know it was crossing the picket line when it booked its conference at the hotel. Whether it knew about the strike or not, the Herrings are now getting a bitter taste of union action in the Information Age.
Print is tired, on to TV: I heard the host of Wired Venture's fledgling monthly--that's right, monthly--television show Netizen TV, Kristen Spence, is tr?s fatigu?e with her bosses. Although my agents du Skinny couldn't say why Spence was ticked off at her employers, I hear she's hired a lawyer to represent her in her discussion with the company.
From print to TV to online: After reading a column I wrote last week on staff downsizing at the NetGuide Live Web site, an incoming editorial captain for the site sent me a nice little letter this week. The new "project director" for NetGuide Live, Robert Seidman (a former CNET columnist), included an attached letter he sent to the Web site's staff in which he says the site won't be shut down. However, Seidman does say "many things are currently being evaluated," including downsizing. I've never been downsized before, but I did once have union problems--it was called a bad marriage. If you can't spare any sympathy, can you at least email me a rumor?