Norman Pearlstine, Time Inc.’s chief content officer, is no stranger to the world of advertising. In his role at Time, he has to guide the company through the nasty waters of the magazine world, somehow keeping it afloat. So when The Washington Post asked him about Time Inc.’s approach to ad dollars, he had plenty to say. Below are a couple highlights.
On the controversial spreadsheet that seemed to indicate that if a writer didn’t pen advertiser-friendly content, they were cut:
I don’t think you can say to a reporter that you should be writing stuff for the benefit of advertisers. But as an editor who’s a steward of a publication who has to go down on head count, do I have the right to choose to keep the reporter that is generating a lot of traffic… as opposed to the guy who happens to have a beat that nobody’s reading? The answer has to be yes.
On native ads/sponsored content:
When I think about things like native advertising . . . there’s a part of me as a journalist that says, ‘God!’ But the reality is that if we think of advertising and advertisers as an important part of our business equation, we ought to be creating great stuff for them. Stuff that would make them want to be part of this adventure.