Wired’s Epicenter blog is reporting that PC World Editor-in-Chief Harry McCracken quit after parent company IDG’s CEO Colin Crawford told him to kill a story titled “Ten Things We Hate About Apple.” The piece was meant to be light-hearted, but Crawford allegedly told McCracken it wasn’t advertiser friendly.
Apparently Crawford had also been pressuring McCracken to be less harsh in reviews for products that advertise in the magazine.
In case you’re wondering, this is generally considered a big no no. In any news organization, the advertising and editorial divisions remain separate. Otherwise you run the risk of turning a magazine into a catalog.
Of course the only reason major corporations like IDG can afford to publish magazines like PC World and Macworld is because they sell advertising. But if you give all of your attention to the advertisers, you’re going to lose your readers. And that doesn’t just mean losing your subscription dollars — it also means losing your advertisers. Who’s going to pay to promote a product in a magazine nobody reads?
Anyway, McCracken says he’ll be blogging and freelancing for a while, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pop up at another publication soon. Engadget’s Peter Rojas has already made an open offer on his personal blog.