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NY Magazine - firing Tobi Tobias


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#46 Calliope

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 07:35 AM

I wrote too and asked how they can call themselves "New York" magazine without covering one of the cornerstones of NY culture. Many consider NY to be the dance capital of the world, yet they'll now never read about it in your magazine.
It is a disservice to the population of readers who have been influenced to go to a performance after reading one of Tobi Tobias' reviews.


and I can't remember what else I wrote b/c it was early this morning.

#47 Calliope

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 08:45 AM

Time Out New York does print weekly on the dance scene too. And that magazine is geared at a younger audience than NY, New Yorker.

#48 Calliope

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 04:21 PM

I got the same exact letter.
I guess they cut costs back so much, they can't afford to address people individually.
"work that best serves the reader"

for me it's the crossword and the dance reviews.
Previews aren't enough "coverage" of dance. That's like printing the movie timetable.

I'm pretty much annoyed and will in these difficult times, I think I'll save the money on a subscription and donate it to a company. I'll check their website and if I decide there's an article worth reading, I'll buy it.

#49 Calliope

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 08:45 AM

That last sentence is a little startling.
I thought dance audiences were actually growing. With companies adding longer seasons and more and more festivals popping up.

#50 Calliope

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 09:57 AM

recitals and pre-professional.
does that count your 4 year olds "recital"?

I wonder what Ms. Miller's context of the audience diminishing is?
Just today Broadway announced the potential closing of 4 new shows, b/c of post-Sept 11th audiences looking for bargains and a decline of advance sales.
Somehow I doubt they'll cancel the theater column.

I don't think she gets the difference between press and a review.

#51 Calliope

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Posted 07 August 2002 - 08:18 AM

Time Out New York came out today.

An interview with Tobi Tobias.

Briefly;

she talked about she got into writing about dance. She met someone at a New Year's party who was an alumni of her school and asked her to write a piece on a fellow alum, turned out to be Twyla Tharp.

Seems the decision by Caroline Miller was "put off" by 3 months to either scale back considerably or eliminate the dance column (obviously they waited until after the Kirov coverage)

There's been a lot of support from people.
ANd her favorite moments,
Gillian Murphy doing Swan Lake with a child screaming. Mark Morri's L'ALLERGRO
and the first time she saw a Balanchine ballet, Swan Lake with Diana Adams. "she came out to the stage and took this arabeque, and as far as I'm concerned, I was hooked forever."

Gia Kourlas opening states that locally and internationally the dance world is in an uproar and that "while the news might reveal as much abou the effects of a distressed economy as it does about the relevance of the art form within popular culture, the sad irony-that a magazine named after the very city where contemporary dance came to life would have no space for dance criticism- is not lost on Tobias and her peers".

#52 Calliope

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Posted 13 August 2002 - 10:43 AM

In a fit of protest. I ripped out the crossword puzzle and sent the rest of the magazine back to Ms. Miller with a letter asking her where was the work that "best served" me was.

I doubt I'll get a response, but....

#53 LMCtech

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 04:06 PM

With all the woodging on Ms. Miller's part, I wonder what the REAL story is. I have always found that if a person changes their explanation nemerous times, the first explanation probably wasn't the whole truth or even part of the truth.

If ms. Miller didn't like the job Ms. Tobias was doing, she should have said that, and I would have still been disappointed in her decision, but would have at least respected her honesty. Now I can't respect her for anything, especially the handling of this entire debacle.

#54 Patricia

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 08:56 AM

I e-mailed my letter to NEW YORK. I won't reprint it, but I questioned the validity of such a decision, being that NYC is a major center for ALL kinds of dance. Could it be the decision to cut the column was possibly due to pressure from NYCB? Martins remains popular with his monied, powerful patrons.

TIME OUT NEW YORK reviews everything from restaurants to television...but not dance.

#55 Patricia

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 04:33 AM

I received an 'answer' to my e-mailed letter:

Thanks for your letter. It's true that we are discontinuing Tobi's reviews,
but it isn't the case that we're abandoning dance, or our commitment to
serious culture in New York. In these difficult times, every publication in
America has had to make painful choices, focusing limited resources on work
that best serves its readers. While we have valued Tobi's contribution to
the magazine, we believe that, for the time being, the best way to provide
ongoing coverage of dance is in other parts of the magazine.

We will continue to cover dance in previews, listings and features,
including the kinds of stories you mention. In fact we have a feature on
Mark Morris coming up later in the fall. We'll do our best to keep readers
informed of what's going on in dance, and give the dance community the
attention it deserves.

#56 Patricia

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Posted 12 August 2002 - 11:29 AM

Just so we know what we're up against...the latest issue has a gossipy feature on Heather Mills, the new Mrs. Paul McCartney.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.

#57 justafan

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 12:13 PM

Time Out New York does fairly frequent features about ballet and dance. I recollect a recent interview with Helene Alexopoulos on her retirement, some backstage gossip about what it is like to dance in NYCB's Nutcracker, and other things like that. I don't subscribe, so I can't check, but I think it also gets some small amount of advertising from NYCB and possibly ABT.

And I think that's the point. I don't think there is any reason to doubt that the decision was made based on economics. This week's issue was very sparse in terms of ads -- a handful of display ads, an education advertorial supplement, and the classifieds and personals in the back.

Dance companies -- even ABT and NYCB -- don't do much advertising. When times are tough, the reality is that a magazine editor must make cuts in content areas that won't hurt readership OR the bottom line. In my letter, I noted that the world wouldn't miss New York magazine's film criticism -- there are plenty of outlets for movie reviews. But cutting back on film coverage could adversely impact advertising revenue. Among the meager advertising in this week's issue was an for the new Clint Eastwood movie.

Even though advertising is a reality, it is still sad that they cut the column. Although I have no idea of the costs involved, New York certainly wasn't running the column very often.

#58 piccolo

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 09:51 AM

Ok, this is really depressing me. NEW YORK is decreasing its dance coverage? Oh what has this world come to? Our dance coverage here in San Diego is so pitiful and I have been holding out hope that it will improve but if New York doesn't see the need for dance coverage, who will? :(

#59 piccolo

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 09:13 AM

I can't find the thread where we were talking about this but look what I just saw at www.artsjournal.com:

BAD MOVES: New York Magazine
miscalculated when it fired dance critic Tobi
Tobias. But the magazine has been cutting
back on space for its other critics, and some
might worry other cutbacks are in the works.
"Eliminating a major voice from an important
venue—either for budgetary reasons or to
bring in someone trendier—is not merely a
dance-world scandal, it’s a dark comment on
the priorities of today’s journalism." New York
Observer [low down in the column] 08/21/02

(If you go to the above website, there is a link to the full article.)

#60 casloan

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Posted 13 August 2002 - 08:31 AM

This is the response I just received from Ms. Miller to my e-mail letter of protest (which was along the lines of others already present on this thread):

Dear Ms. Sloan,

Despite what you have heard going around the dance world, we are not
discontinuing our dance coverage. It's true that we did decide not to renew
Tobi Tobias's contract. We felt it was time for a change. But we will be
looking for a new voice, and in the meantime will make sure the bases are
covered in previews, listings and features by other writers. Like all
magazines-and all arts organizations-we're facing a tighter budget, and must
husband our resources carefully. But we are not abandoning the dance
community or any other of the arts communities in New York.

Caroline Miller


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