Former Fango Editor Tony Timpone Speaks!

As is my way, I’ll blab on for paragraph after paragraph before getting to the “Tony Timpone speaks” part.

Background

There were lots of waves last month when news came out that legendary Fangoria magazine editor Tony Timpone  was no longer at the mag’s helm.

The change came after what seemed like a tumultuous time internally at Fango.

FangoGate

Fangoria.com was offline for an eternity (January to February?) and its former Web master did a number on his former employer in a message board commentary.

No one asked, but here’s my reading on the ex-Web master’s essay:

Part I

The first 15 paragraphs describe a Web v. print internal struggle that has taken place at every periodical on planet Earth. I can say this because I’ve been there. This is not unique to Fango.

The graf where he alludes to an angry advertiser is just plain unethical, although maybe that’s the way it works in entertainment journalism.

He writes later, “One thing I never wanted to do was to act like a journalist,” which explains why he would throw in info about an angry advertiser, just like my lack of structure in this post proves why I’m not a columnist.

Needed pic to break up text

Part II

Paragraph 16 begins, “One of the first lengthy pieces I’d written for Fango was an event report for the 2008 Music Box Massacre in Chicago . . .”

In my opinion, the Web master wanted Fango.com, in large part, to be about music — a specific genre, no less. This wasn’t working, was alienating veteran readers and causing mass confusion to anyone trying to get horror news from the Fango site.

Part III

“It reached a point where my daily life was being consumed by Fangoria. Working literally ‘round the clock for the same money, doing multiple jobs, and dealing with increasing back-stabbing and verbal abuse had taken it’s (sic) toll.”

Welcome to journalism!

Summary of Essay

“One thing I never wanted to do was to act like a journalist.”

The Web guy’s experience proves why journalists need to be in charge of content, not “Web producers,” “new media directors” or “social media brand experts.”

This guy was thrown into the world of journalism. He just wanted to upload stuff to a blog.

Content is king. The writers create the content. They should run the Web site. They can be writers — and Web producers, “new media content platform kings,” or whatever you want to call them.

The problem — journalism doesn’t pay and it abuses employees. Every print publication is understaffed.

Generally speaking, professional writers (not guys who work at UPS in the day, blog at night) are already not making enough money to buy groceries — and their long hours prevent them from even getting into a store to look at the groceries they can’t afford.

Now you want them to run a Web site and send out Tweets? That requires working 24 hours a day. That’s called indentured servitude.

But it’s what your average writer must do to stay in the business.

{Can you understand why seasoned dudes at a venerable print publication might conflict with Web staff?}

{It’s probably not the fault of the warring parties — blame is probably best laid on the door step of the Big Boss Man who set up the arrangement.}

Again, welcome to journalism in 2010!

(Options — marry rich, adjust your life to live poor . . . or get out.)

Why stick with it? Because writing is a curse, as a reporter at The Journal News once told me.

That’s why guys like Mike Gingold and Tony Timpone stick with it. They’re possessed.

Back to Timpone

Ok, sorry about all that.

Twelve days ago, Timpone posted about his new assignment on the Fango message boards. I believe it’s his first public comment on the situation.

He said:

“Yes, some big changes at FANGORIA, in case you have not heard. As of the May issue (on sale April 20), I will be stepping down as Editor-in-Chief of FANGORIA. The good news is that I’m not going anywhere. I will remain at FANGORIA to head up the company’s new Video On Demand service which debuts this spring. I am really excited about this challenge. In addition, I will work on special assignments and features for both our magazine and website.”

“I am passing the editorial baton to Chris Alexander, our esteemed Toronto Correspondent. Chris will bring a bold new vision to Fango that will take us well into the future, and everyone in the company is excited about his selection. Please welcome him with open arms. Meanwhile, Michael Gingold will remain as Fango’s Managing Editor for both mag and website.”

“More details to follow.”

Chris Alexander, meanwhile, gave an extensive interview with Deadpit.com (anyone remember that VHS box with the green blinking eyes?).

Click here to check it out.

I should go back and add pics to this post but I’ve got work to do.

Update: Threw some crap in there.

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