Oxford Arkansan

Feministe is concerned about the future of Oxford American. Apparently, there is good news (not listed yet on their web site). From the Arkansas Times (May 14), but not on their web site either:

More details on the nearly inked sponsorship deal between the currently dormant Oxford American magazine and the University of Central Arkansas: According to OA editor Marc Smirnoff and UCA’s VP for university relations, Jack Gillean, Smirnoff and the University are “very close” to signing a contract, one that would guarantee a three-year infusion of cash to help the magazine fend off any shortfall in advertising revenue.

Although it is a torturously written one-sentence paragraph of sixty-six words, at least the content seems promising. The article reports that Smirnoff has regained control of the magazine, and the deal with UCA seems encouraging:

A veteran of three shutdowns over OA’s 12-year history, Smirnoff is hedging his bets against failure this time. In planning for the new magazine with UCA officials, he said, he is purposely “low balling our goals” so he is sure that they can be met (Smirnoff promises the low-balling concerns advertising sales and subscription projections, not editorial content or quality). Also, the magazine will drop back to quarterly publication and a “bare bones” staff with possibly as few as three full-time editors—including Smirnoff—and four other employees working in advertising sales. Offices will be in UCA’s Old Main building on Alumni Circle.

Smirnoff said the magazine’s reorganization as a non-profit may help its notoriously lax ad sales along.

Besides demonstrating the usual perverse character of journalistic attribution, he said, the article makes me wonder about the viability of literature as a “non-profit” enterprise. I suppose it makes a certain amount of sense for social-activist type magazines, but literature? That seems a little odd.

2 thoughts on “OA”

  1. Used to be a loyal subscriber to OA. Then Grisham took over and I let the subscription lapse. I still have all those wonderful Summer CDs, though. For those alone, I would go back.

  2. Yes! I so loved that magazine, even if Grisham cast a long shadow over it’s brilliance. As soon as I got a subscription it went under – I hope the old scrips will carry over.

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