Friday, December 9th, 2016

Another unfortunate casualty of the shrinking news media

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Marketplace Magazine is no more. From Publisher/editor Steve Prestegard:

The April 12 Marketplace will be the last issue of Marketplace Magazine, which means this is the last Marketplace of Ideas column.

Marketplace hence joins the list that includes Life Magazine, American Mercury (H.L. Mencken’s creation), Brill’s Content (a magazine about the media), Business 2.0, Confidential (which according to Newsweek included “sin and sex with a seasoning of right wing politics”), Inside Sports, Mademoiselle, McCall’s (which my mother read), Mechanix Illustrated, National Lampoon, Omni Magazine, PC Magazine, Photoplay (which my grandmother read), Popular Electronics, Sport magazine, and other magazines that served their purpose and then ended. Other than possibly bad ideas of elected officials, nothing on this earth lasts forever, and change is inevitable.

Marketplace was created for two reasons — to report on business with the kind of depth, breadth, perspective and context (“news readers can use,” as one editor put it) that no publication in the area was providing its readers, and to provide a vehicle for businesses to reach other businesses that could be their customers. Marketplace started by covering essentially the U.S. 41 corridor and as far west as Waupaca and the Ripon/Berlin/Green Lake area, then expanded to the Lakeshore and points north, and then covered Marathon, Portage and Wood counties.

I can be credited or blamed, depending on the reader’s perspective, for reason number three for existence — as a soapbox on behalf of our readers. This column existed because I thought it wasn’t enough to report just what’s going on when some things going on (such as bad ideas coming to fruition in Washington and Madison) were going to negatively affect the readers of Marketplace. That led to negative reactions on the part of some Marketplace readers, but readers are entitled to their opinions.

I was not the first editor of Marketplace, but it may be appropriate that I’m the last editor of Marketplace because my name, for better or worse, is on the largest number of issues of Marketplace as its editor and, for the past year, its publisher. I always considered this the greatest journalism job in Northeast Wisconsin because it allowed me to meet and communicate with people who served their customers, created jobs, and contributed to their communities.

Since the news, Steve Prestegard has launched a blogspot blog, The Presteblog.

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