GOOD magazine lays off most of its editorial staffers

Thursday night GOOD Magazine had a launch party for its newest issue. On Friday it laid off most of its editorial staff, according to multiple sources. At least some of the layoffs occurred at the magazine’s Los Angeles headquarters. Executive Editor Ann Friedman, who was named to her post in March 2011, Managing Editor Megan Greenwell, Senior Editor Cord Jefferson, Lifestyle Editor Amanda Hess, business editor Tim Fernholz and Associate Editor Nona Willis Aronowitz are among the people who’ve lost their jobs. Wylie Overstreet tweeted that he’s leaving voluntarily.

GOOD co-founder Casey Caplowe delivered the bad news to at least three staffers, they said.

GOOD appears to be exploring a community-based publishing system with a public beta site described as “a platform for 21st century citizenship” that includes aggregation (GOOD Finder) and a tool for mobilizing locally (GOOD Maker).

In an interview with Friedman last fall, Jessica Clark gave a short history of GOOD:

Launched in 2006 by 26-year old Ben Goldhirsh—son and heir of Inc. magazine founder Bernie Goldhirsh—it was distinguished from the start by both a bold graphic style and an unconventional approach to business. As a media company, GOOD has produced feature films and events, and most recently merged with Jumo, a social engagement platform designed by Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes to match users with like-minded causes and nonprofits.

Sharon Waxman profiled the magazine when it launched in 2006. Founders Ben Goldhirsh and Max Schorr, Waxman wrote, are “idealists who believe that that capitalist demigod, the market, is not to be trifled with. A life in investment banking or a dot-com start-up wasn’t going to cut it for them.”

Goldhirsh has not yet replied to a request for comment.

Friedman is also the creator of #realtalk from your editor and Lady Journos.

Related: Response to GOOD magazine layoffs (Storify)

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  • Laurie Wiegler

     Kate, I don’t know you but I love you.

  • Laurie Wiegler

     Scott, I wasn’t familiar with GOOD but you are good for writing such a post. I’ve just had it with unscrupulous publishers taking advantage of me and my fellow writers/artists. This week the Times-Pic will lay off staff, some of whom I’ve admired for years. I have also been struggling for the past several years. Some publications maintain standards and I know many fine editors. I do believe in the future of journalism, but meanwhile these talentless jerks — who somehow earned their MBAs — push aside the wheat for the chaff.

  • Stacy Smith

     My favorite commenters are the ones that reach for liberal slander in every comment they make. Shine on you crazy diamond.

  • Anonymous

    Amazing to me that whomever it is making this kind of stupid decision is of the opinion the ad community either won’t notice or care. They do. Agency poison is what they are now. 

  • Robert

    Rumors have it that the recently fired editorial staff are in talks to launch a rival publication–Irony Magazine.

  • Robert

    Rumors have it that the recently fired editorial staff are in talks to launch a rival publication–Irony Magazine.

  • Afi Scruggs

    I was in the midst of writing a story for the magazine when I read about this. Unbelievable!

  • Cory Sekine-Pettite

    Not good. Seems they want free content that perhaps they will then charge others to read. The “leadership” should have perhaps fired the sales team if they were incapable of finding ways to sell advertising in such a good magazine. Perhaps they will see the errors in their ways. I don’t want to make any grandiose projections about this meaning the end of quality print journalism; it’s just one magazine. And remember, the mag is very young. It’s not like Time or Newsweek is moving to a community-based model.

  • Hayley Gray

    Good was my favourite magazine :( why it so Bad?

  • KateErbland

    “a community-based publishing system” – they want people to write for free.

  • Anonymous

    this isn’t the first time GOOD has laid off a substantial number of employees in such callous fashion. AIG fires people with more dignity.

  • Anonymous

    this isn’t the first time GOOD has fired employees in such a callous fashion. AIG fires their employees with more dignity. 

  • Scott Enk

    Not GOOD at all. Very BAD. How cynical for this magazine to hold a launch party the night before sending so many on its talented, dedicated staff packing. Shame on Casey Caplowe et al. A former employer of mine, children’s book publisher Gareth Stevens, pulled a similar stunt in 1991–and many in the Milwaukee-area creative community to this day have never forgotten. Like Stevens, who ultimately sold his company and walked away all but laughing all the way to the bank, GOOD will be remembered–but not in a way most of us would ever want. GOOD and employers like it will need a lot of luck before it will ever again attract people of the caliber it just discarded.

  • Prop Joe

    Imagine that – smug liberal cultural competition nonsense doesn’t sell. 

  • macewan

    Renaming itself “NotSoDarnedGood Magazine”… *just a rumor