GOOD magazine

GOOD wants to hire editorial staff again


GOOD magazine plans to hire “an as-yet undermined number of reporters and designers to create both magazine and Web-first content,” Ricardo Bilton reports for Digiday. Cofounder Casey Caplowe tells Bilton the reconstituted magazine will take on topics from “what jobs mean today to the identity of modern American veterans.”

GOOD laid off most of its editorial staffers in June 2012 and relaunched as a community platform later that year. “We’ve always had a hard time describing GOOD in one sentence,” CEO Ben Goldhirsh told Poynter at the time. It laid off seven more employees the following year, because, as Goldhirsh told Poynter, the company needed “to build a team with more expertise in the social landscape.”

Bilton writes GOOD’s traffic “dipped to 517,000 last month from roughly 695,000 a year ago.”

“We’ve recognized that we did lose some of the footing for our media efforts in the last couple years, and are seeing a tremendous opportunity to bring that back and fine tune it to the way we’re all consuming media these days,” Caplowe told him.

Related: How things went bad at GOOD magazine, what’s next for fired staff and the company they left Read more


7 layoffs at GOOD

GOOD laid off seven employees Wednesday, CEO Ben Goldhirsh told Poynter in a phone call. Two employees, Creative Producer Ewan Anderson and coder Rexy Tseng tweeted Wednesday night that they’d been laid off:

Good laid off most of its editorial staff last June and was reborn last fall as a “community platform.”

The layoffs “stink,” Goldhirsh said, adding that Anderson and Tseng are “great guys.” But “we need to build a team with more expertise in the social landscape,” Goldhirsh said. Eliminating these jobs gives GOOD “budgetary room to reinvest.” Read more


With new community platform, GOOD CEO says, editorial is ‘not the only voice’

GOOD relaunched its website this week as a “community platform.” The company, which laid off its editorial staff earlier this year, has hired a mostly new editorial staff and will continue to produce a quarterly magazine, GOOD CEO Ben Goldhirsh said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

This was the change, Goldhirsh said, that he and GOOD’s management felt was necessary when they let people go in June.

Goldhirsh said the Los Angeles-based company has 80 full-time employees, 60 of whom will be available to work on the website and magazine. (I checked this figure again Wednesday morning because I was worried I’d misheard him: “Yes. … 60 focused on the community – the site, editorial, tech, outreach, partnerships, design, video,” Goldhirsh wrote in an email.) Read more


GOOD magazine seeks ‘brand apostles’ to build online community


GOOD magazine, which laid off most of its editorial staff this past June, is seeking “content curators and change-makers,” according to an announcement on its website.

Successful candidates will serve as “brand apostles,” the announcement says. In addition to some content requirements — writing three posts per day, curating “one post by a relevant voice on topic page per day,” posting links — the new employees will be responsible for “Building community by populating each landing page with the most awesome people, organizations and projects.” The ad doesn’t say where the positions will be based.

Meanwhile, the fundraising campaign for Tomorrow — the possibly one-off magazine being planned by the staffers laid off by GOOD — ends Wednesday. So far, it has raised $43,870 — $28,870 more than its original goal.

Related: GOOD magazine lays off most of its editorial staffers | GOOD Magazine posts thank-you video featuring laid-off staffers | GOOD magazine addresses editorial staff layoffs | How things went bad at GOOD magazine, what’s next for fired staff and the company they left | CTO: ‘GOOD isn’t trying to become a reddit for social good’ | Ex-GOOD staffers were funded for Tomorrow magazine issue within 5 hours Read more


Ex-GOOD staffers were funded for Tomorrow magazine issue within 5 hours

Earlier this month the fired staff of GOOD magazine announced it would start a magazine called “Tomorrow.” Monday at around noon, the magazine’s editors asked for donations to fund the first issue on the website Kickstarter. Two-and-a-half hours later, they were more than halfway at goal. By 5 p.m., they had more than $15,000 in pledges from 516 donors. Three people have donated $250 or more, which earns the donor a life event illustrated in animated GIFs by former GOOD Editor Ann Friedman. (So far no one’s gone for the opportunity to have their online dating profile tuned up by former lifestyles editor and Poynter contributor Amanda Hess.) Some of the journalists — or people who share names with journalists — who’ve helped out include Ezra Klein, Felix Salmon, Dan Kois, Roxane Gay, Maria Bustillos, Max Linsky, Dan Zak, Jason Zaragoza, Megan Carpentier, Sommer Mathis and Dave Weigel.

A letter just went out to contributors, and would-be contribs:

Hey friend,

Thanks for getting in touch with Tomorrow! Our inbox has been an endless font of love and support, and we’re incredibly grateful for that. We’ve been hard at work planning the magazine—shooting a video, budgeting it out, shaping the editorial direction. And now we’ve finally got more details on how you can help us make this single issue of our dream magazine. It’s gonna be a four-color, 100-page oversized magazine filled with stories about the future—the immediate future. Here’s more about the help we’re looking for, and how you can volunteer:

Read more

CTO: ‘GOOD isn’t trying to become a reddit for social good’

So far the brass at GOOD hasn’t been too specific about why plans for their brand/magazine/marketing agency required them to fire most of their editorial staff. Douglas Sellers, the company’s chief technology officer, went on Quora Tuesday to answer former Managing Editor Megan Greenwell’s comment to CJR that the GOOD bosses “said they wanted to be a Reddit for social good.”

“GOOD isn’t trying to become a reddit for social good – in a lot of ways reddit is already that,” Sellers writes. Read more

1 Comment

How things went bad at GOOD magazine, what’s next for fired staff and the company they left

Max Schorr isn’t interested in engaging in what he calls “he said/she said back and forth” with the former staffers of GOOD, the magazine he cofounded that laid off most of its editorial staff last Friday. Over email, Schorr politely expresses great respect toward the employees who’ve left and a vague sense of what’s next for GOOD: “At the end of the day, we just want to create solutions that work for the world and live up to our organization’s potential through the work we create vs. anything we could share here in type,” Schorr writes.

A job ad apparently posted by the company on Craigslist Tuesday casts not a great deal more light on GOOD’s plans: It’s a position at something called GOOD Maker, “an online platform that crowdsources ideas and actions on critical social issues.” GOOD Maker will allow organizations to “create ‘challenges’ that ask the broader community to submit ideas or take actions that engage them in the challenge creator’s mission. Through these challenges, we tap into the GOOD community’s energy and creativity and give people new ways to make good happen.”

At least we know what some of the employees are going to be doing: On Tuesday Alexander Abad-Santos broke the news in The Atlantic Wire that some of the former staffers will put together a probably one-off magazine called Tomorrow, something former Managing Editor Megan Greenwell confirmed to Poynter Tuesday afternoon and the Tomorrowers announced to the world in a Tumblr post that evening.

Still, the story of what brought GOOD’s journalistic operation to such a strange end hasn’t been told in detail. The following is pieced together from multiple interviews with staffers who left. Like Schorr, cofounder Casey Caplowe declined to comment on the staff accounts here, but he did frame the layoffs as a tough call that’ll leave the company stronger: “Our mission is to maximize good in the world, and to that end, we are evolving our platform in a way that will allow the whole GOOD community to engage more deeply—to learn and do things that make ourselves and our world better,” he wrote in an email to me. Ben Goldhirsh, the third cofounder, didn’t reply to any emails or phone calls. Read more


GOOD magazine addresses editorial staff layoffs

Since GOOD magazine laid off most of its editorial staff on Friday, I’ve called and emailed its owners multiple times requesting comment on what exactly their strategy is for the company; I received no response until late Monday.

In an email, cofounder Casey Caplowe told me, “The people we let go last week are smart, talented people. We appreciate all they’ve done for GOOD and know they will succeed in doing great things in the future. It was a difficult decision and we did our best to convey it with sincere respect.” The email continues: Read more


GOOD Magazine posts thank-you video featuring laid-off staffers

In what must surely be one of the stranger postscripts to a mass layoff ever, someone at GOOD magazine put up a blog post today thanking the magazine’s readers for giving it 200,000 friends on Facebook. In the video, former staffers such as Amanda Hess and Cord Jefferson — who like many others in the video were laid off Friday — discuss what they’d do if they had 200,000 friends of their own. Hess suggests forming a jug band. A commenter expresses astonishment: “Pretty gross that you would post this PR attempt days after firing several of the people featured in the video. They’re the ones responsible for creating the product we all loved.”

Read more


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) Read more


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