Good on you, John Fahey

In late November, David Lyle, CEO of the National Geographic Channel, told a big audience at the 2012 World Congress of Science & Factual [TV] Producers that the only people who buy National Geographic magazine “are either 70 years old or dead.” He also said the reason back issues of the Magazine look so good is “because no one reads them.”

Evidently, Mr. Lyle’s public trashing of the official journal of the National Geographic Society didn’t go over very well with NGS Chairman & CEO John Fahey — or so says one of our Society Matters correspondents:

“Thought you’d like to hear a rumor going around Nat Geo HQ. Word is that John Fahey read about David Lyle’s performance at Science Congress on Society Matters and made him deliver a mea culpa to the board in person. So somebody is listening!”

If that’s true, then a tip of the hat to you, John Fahey.

John Fahey

  • Guest

    I would like to hear David Lyle deliver an in-person apology to all NGS staff at JF’s next staff meeting.

  • Gianni Baylo

    It is pity to read those kinds of David Lyle’s utterances
    about the National Geographic Society Magazine. It seems that he ignores the
    revolutionary innovation, which John Fahey brought to the NGS (under all the magazine worldwide in thirty-six
    language editions) and the new horizons opened from the digital edition, which
    I consider one or the best digital edition of a magazine worldwide.
    In a landscape
    where the circulation of all the paper edition are falling, the seed of a new
    approach to the reader has been put in place. And despite the small percentage
    of the digital edition versus the printed one, it seems that a new form of information
    is arising: an interactive one with the internet basin of knowledge and
    themes deepening.
    I don’t believe that the culture of tomorrow will be just a
    cartoon-twitter one, simplified into rash emotional opinions and fast sequences
    of images.
    I believe in a interdisciplinary approach to the information
    where TV interact with printed and digital media and offer to the public a
    different approach to a story which can be the first impression and than a more
    meditated, personalized one.
    I can ensure that outside USA, where NGS Magazine is an
    institution and therefore has partially lost the values of the founding, is
    more and more appreciated because it represent the point of view of a better
    world which care about nature, environment and the different cultures with
    which we have the chance to live in order to survive together.
    And, from Europe, I am proud to be a subscriber to the Int’l
    edition of the NGS Magazine with great pleasure and satisfaction!
    Gianni Baylo

    • Gianni – Thanks for your comment — and for your praise of the NGM digital edition. I agree that the Society has made some real strides in adopting new digital platforms & diversifying their methods of delivery. The question is whether the revenue from these new platforms will provide a foundation on which the Society can flourish.

      Right now, few publishers have been able to make this transition — trading the advertising dollar in print for digital dimes. Will NGS be able to establish something new? Will a new membership model provide a key? We’ll see…
      Thanks again for stopping by.
      best,
      Alan

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