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22 March 2010

The Lady and The Revamp

Just a Cheap Publicity Stunt?

I don't know if you watched the Channel 4 programme on the 'modernisation' of The Lady. Now we all know that The Lady is one of the oldest publications and most probably looks it. It has a dwindling but loyal readership (dwindling because I suspect of the grand ages of the readers) and the family which owns the old dowager has decided that they need to make it more business like. So they recruit Rachel Johnson - sister of Boris, London Mayor. Now Ms Johnson doesn't have much of a CV as an editor, she does write a regular column for a Sunday paper and has penned a novel, but I imagine she was probably hired because of her celebrity status and the potential for a sack load of publicity. 
It wasn't a pretty programme, the lack of basic human management skills (or even just basic communication skills) were astounding, I sat there with my mouth open for most of the time. I'm not saying that things don't need to change, but there are ways and means and throwing out the baby along with the bathwater has never, ever been effective. And I've read an old mag and the new 'modern' version. Neither really turn my bat at all; the old one was stuffy, vaguely musty and the new one is just full of celebrity women who have it all and yet have very little to offer the reader. And they are doing away with the short story. 
To top it all, Ms Johnson accused her employers (oh yes, this was like watching as episode of Big Brother but should have been called Big Business) of not being in the 'real world.' I wonder which world she belongs too? It certainly wasn't familiar to me. But in this day and age of celebrity and five seconds of fame, it wouldn't surprise me if Ms Johnson turns it round in her favour. Rather shallow and rather a shame I feel.
Just a personal opinion I might add.

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