Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fwd: qotd: American Medical News to cease publication

Quote-of-the-day mailing list

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: qotd: American Medical News to cease publication
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2013 08:33:58 -0700
From: Don McCanne <>
To: Quote-of-the-Day <>

Chicago Tribune
August 12, 2013
Chicago-based American Medical News will cease publication
By Peter Frost

American Medical News, the long-running biweekly publication of the
American Medical Association, will fold after it prints its last edition
Sept. 9.

The AMA, the nation's largest professional organization for doctors,
blamed the closure on a persistent and irreversible decline in print
advertising revenues used to support its editorial operation, as well as
increasing fragmentation and competition in the medical news market.

Tom Easley, senior vice president and publisher of periodic publications
at the Chicago-based nonprofit association, said the publication, also
known as AM News, has lost money in each of the past 10 years.

AM News said about 90 percent of its recipients were physicians. Its
reporters covered news related to the medical field, with a focus on
serving primary care doctors with topics that included business, policy,
public health and legal issues.

"While we've been able to generate some usage online and a small online
advertising revenue stream, there really was no opportunity for us to be
able to cover all of our expenses with an online-only model," Easley
said. "I have a reverence for good journalism, and AM News was still
producing very good journalism. That made today's decision especially

Comment: American Medical News (AM News) isn't just a trade newspaper.
It is a highly credible and meticulously produced information resource
for physicians, sponsored by the AMA, but with total editorial
independence. When you read it in AM News, you know you can rely on it.
Sadly, now it is being shut down with the familiar explanation of
declining print advertising revenues.

Regular readers of the Quote of the Day messages may have noted that a
great many of them were derived from AM News articles. They regularly
produced reports that are useful to the policy community, and, of course
they were useful to practicing physicians. About 230,000 physicians
specifically requested to be on the subscription list. There are many
other medical news sources, but none of them have the intensity of focus
of AM News. Cessation of publication of this icon would be a great loss.

The costs of newsprint and surface mail distribution are significant. In
this age of electronic communication it is reasonable to make the
conversion. We really don't need hard copies anymore.

What makes AM News great is its reporting and editorial staff. Although
there are costs involved in maintaining this staff, those costs
certainly should be within the means of the AMA. The publication should
not be held to the standard of profit, but rather it should be held to a
standard of service. Although online publishers are finding it difficult
to generate revenues that pay all costs plus generate profits, in this
instance, if the business model should fall short of that goal, it still
would meet the goal of service - for physicians and, by extension,
patients. And aren't patients what our health care system is all about?

Let's save American Medical News, even if we have to let go of the bird
cage version.

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