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Brill cancels plans for Inside Content

Brill's Content to become quarterly

NEW YORK — Steven Brill has scrapped Inside Content, the magazine he announced with much fanfare a month ago as a strategic melding of Brill’s Content and Inside magazine.

Brill’s Content, which currently comes out 10 times a year, will become a quarterly.

The merged publication was to have been the fruit of Brill Media Ventures’ purchase last month of Powerful Media, the parent of now defunct Inside magazine and the more durable Inside.com Web site.

The plan changed, Brill said in a statement Friday, “because launching a new magazine in this economic environment doesn’t make sense” — an odd argument since the economy hasn’t changed dramatically since April.

The ad market is indeed soft right now and may not turn up soon. But industry experts also had been skeptical of a magazine that tried to meld Brill’s watchdog advocacy with Inside’s focus on the business of media. They felt Brill’s Content would alienate loyal readers. Inside magazine, meanwhile, had only published a few issues and did not have time to build up its own readership.

David Kuhn will continue as editor of Brill’s Content.

The merger of Brill’s Media and Powerful Media, founded by Kurt Andersen and Michael Hirschorn, has been marked by strife linked to a number of high-profile firings and defections. It seems likely the about-face on merging the two magazines and the scaling back of Content will result in another round of cuts.

Most recently, Michael Cieply, Inside.com’s West Coast editor, resigned last Thursday. Cieply, who edited Inside magazine before the merger, attributed his decision to the changes the company will undergo in refashioning itself as a trade media outlet.

(Dow Jones contributed to this story.)