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The global economic crisis that has crippled financial corporations worldwide is now impacting the journalism industry, leading to the suspension of 02138 Magazine, a publication for Harvard alumni.
The magazine, which was co-founded in August 2006 by Bom Kim ’00 and Daniel M. Loss ’00, published seven issues under its first owner, The Atlantic Monthly, before being sold to Manhattan Media in May 2008.
The founders’ involvement with 02138 ended shortly after the magazine changed owners.
Manhattan Media significantly altered the magazine’s focus, according to David J. Blum, the new editor in chief of 02138.
“We were redesigning the entire magazine basically from scratch,” Blum said.
Although it still addressed an audience of Harvard alumni, 02138 tried to focus more on issues of national interest, according to Blum.
Previously, one of the magazine’s most popular stories was “The Harvard 100,” a list of Harvard’s most influential alumni.
In contrast, the final issue—and the only one ever produced by Manhattan Media—contained an article on the sons of New York Times columnist Frank Rich, one of whom attended Harvard, and another on Harvard connections to the Bush administration’s Iraq War machine.
“We were expanding the focus and trying to make it less about Harvard,” said Blum, who previously edited New York Press, a New York City weekly also owned by Manhattan Media.
But due to the current financial crisis, Blum said, Manhattan Media decided to suspend publication of 02138.
“It’s going to be a very difficult time to re-launch a magazine,” said Tom F. Allon, CEO of Manhattan Media. “Magazines that are well-established are having their challenges.”
Allon said that although he has not heard from alumni since the suspension was announced, “We expect they’ll be disappointed.”
While Allon said Manhattan Media regrets the suspension was announced, “We expect they’ll be disappointed.”
While Allon said Manhattan Media regrets the suspension, he called the magazine “a good idea at a bad time.”
He added that there is still a possibility that the magazine could be revived with the backing of an investor.
“We’d be open to discussing it,” Allon said, referring to a future partnership with another company or investor.
The final issue of 02138 will be published digitally in the first week of November, when it will be available for free at 02138mag.com.
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