Three months shy of the big 50th anniversary Cincinnati Magazine issue, the new owners laid off editor in chief Jay Stowe and four other top staffers.
Also gone are senior editor R. J. Smith, dining editor Joanne Drilling, photo editor LuAnne DeMeo and creative services director Sue Goldberg, Stowe said. The magazine now has 22 full-time employees, he said.
The staffing cuts came after reductions in the number of editorial pages and the freelance budget since Emmis Communications sold Cincinnati and other city/regional magazines in March to Detroit-based Hour Media Group, Stowe said.
Stowe, 49, a Kenwood native, came home in 2004 to edit Cincinnati Magazine after working for Esquire, Spin, Outside Magazine, the New York Observer and Smart Magazine.
"I'd very much like to say in Cincinnati," Stowe told me Thursday. He didn't see the changes coming, but added: "I'm not surprised to have this happen to me the way things are going in the industry. I harbor no ill feelings toward anyone at Cincinnati Magazine."
Stowe was told he was out at noon Wednesday, as he was preparing to ship the September edition to the printers. October will be the huge silver anniversary issue, which his staff has been working on for months.
"When we slashed the freelance budget for stories, photos and illustrations, that immediately became a significant hurdle to overcome," Stowe said. "We have a small staff, and everybody on the editorial side contributes to every issue."
Indianapolis-based Emmis sold all but one of its magazines to Hour Media Group -- keeping the hometown Indianapolis Magazine – to pay down debt. Along with Cincinnati, Hour Media Group acquired Atlanta, Los Angeles and Southern California's Orange Coast magazine.
Hour Media Group also publishes Hour Detroit magazine, Minnesota Monthly, Sacramento magazine, Palm Beach Illustrated, Naples Illustrated, the Mar-a-Lago Club's The Jewel of Palm Beach, Detroit Home, Detroit Home Improvement, Metro Detroit Bride and 50 other magazines.
Previously Emmis had sold Texas Monthly to Paul Hobby of Houston.