The Network, Part 2

Week two of the grand experiment called The Network continues. Our phones, faxes and E-mails have been off the hook with comments, running the gamut of emotions.

Some love the new look. Some believe the combination of “all things music and radio” into one easy read was long overdue. Some welcome the change as a part of the continued evolution that has become our business.

Some think we’re fucked in the head.

There’s probably a little bit of truth in all the statements…certainly the last. But that has nothing to do with our recent blending into the publication that is The Network…the only read you need. We’ve been a little sideways for a long time…new publications notwithstanding.

As I said last week in the first Editorial, The Network is a work in progress. For over 20 years, the Network Magazine Group has tried to accurately reflect the nature of the industries we cover. We’ve tried to report the present, predict the future and forget the past. According to those of you who continue to support our efforts, we’ve done a pretty good job.

We’re excited about the new publication…including the two covers. (Just turn the magazine over…it isn’t that difficult.) In over 20 years of doing business, we’ve seen trade magazines come and go. Each of them had one thing in common: They looked the same.

It’s growing like the proverbial weed: The only read you need.

The Network has tried to remedy that. We’ve produced a publication that sets a new standard for music trade magazines. We’ve tried to create a music magazine that happens to be a trade. The pagination and fonts (publishing words) might throw you for a moment, but the overall picture is one that will accomplish two purposes: Help you do your job better and share information you find important.

In short: The only read you need.

In an era that demands more globalization and less specialization, The Network is a perfect fit. Seldom is found the programmer who spends 100% of his/her time focusing on one station, one format or one type. Clear Channel has over 1,200 radio stations, spanning formats from All Talk to Hard Rock. Many programmers are in charge of several stations of various formats. If we aren’t asking programmers to specialize, why should we expect the same from publications?

The format lines have always been blurry, but in today’s marketplace, the lines are barely visible. Records are released simultaneously at Alternative and Rock, Crossover and Urban, Adult and Top 40…and sometimes all at the same time. Even the few records released to exclusive formats are seeking to cross over after a measure of success. Programmers who watch other formats for potential hits can do so without having to pick up another publication. Besides, in today’s hectic world, who has the time or strength to carry several different publications to make sure you’re covered?

Just carry The Network. It’s the only read you need.

With all the peace, love and harmony…has this change gone along without a hitch? Hardly. Turf wars inside the walls at the Network Magazine Group have been horrific! Page counts are guarded like water in the desert. Transgressions are contemplated like unpardonable sins. It’s been brutal.

But it’s working.

Although Urban Network, The Album Network and Network 40 have all blended into the same, cool magazine, the independent voices of each still ring with enthusiasm. To make it easier for you to find the loudest voice in your room, we’ve tabbed the magazine with those former labels…for now. You can find your favorite tab with the associated editorial content and become lost in your own little world. But don’t be afraid. You can venture outside that world with just a flip of a few pages.

Try it. And tell us how you like it.

The most important part of The Network remains our readership. How well we reflect your feelings is how well we succeed. We didn’t produce a finished product. We are presenting a work in progress. Your input is vital in the continued success of the Network Magazine Group. What you hint is what we print.

We’ve combined our magazines into one. We would like your thoughts combined into it. That way, we can furnish you with the only read you need.

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