So, it’s common knowledge among media types, especially music media types, that The FADER is owned by Cornerstone Promotion, a branding and PR firm. I personally have read a lot of stuff over the years (see here) and talked to people I know about it, and the other day it came up on Twitter. I was tweeting with @gorillavsbear about the “relationship” and FADER publisher Andy Cohn joined in. He said there is absolutely no cross-over between the marketing team (the owners) and the editorial team of the FADER. (Not in question here are other Cornerstone properties XLR8R Magazine, RCRD LBL and others, though perhaps similar questions could be raised.) I am prone to suspicion but I believe that Cohn is telling the truth here, why would he lie? But that still doesn’t negate the fact that there is a potentially blurry line.
Cohn and I had a courteous email exchange as a result of the tweets. At first he used profanity (cool?!) and was angry, but we had a good conversation about music and media. I even asked if I could pitch stories and he pointed me in the right direction.
Today I read a piece by another blogger, Michaela Drapes, at The Rich Girls Are Weeping. I was inclined to comment because I agreed with some of Drapes points. Andy Cohn got mad at me all over again and decided to try and make a fool of me in the comments. Good thing I have a semi-hard shell!
Anyway, point being, this is journalism, this is New York, and people are gonna question you and everything you do. I understand that Cohn feels he needs to stand up for his editorial team. Just like a good boss would. But this is just the way it goes. And maybe getting upset isn’t the most productive way to deal with all the questions.