More on the end of a dayweekly - July 21, 2005
a dayweekly was a left-leaning magazine for young people. It had made inroads into Thailand's vibrant, but normally vacuous, youth culture with an interesting visual style and provocative articles that captured the interest of readers. Thus, some readers saw a hidden motive when the magazine suddenly was suddenly discontinued.
Immediately after the magazine closed, 2Bangkok.com spoke to someone on the staff and got the story of the magazine's last day.
Since that time there has been sniping in the media between the magazine's editor and publisher.
Above: Covers of two of the popular mini-books often included in the magazineAthikom Kunawutr's reasons - translated and summarized from Judprakai Wannakum, Krungtep Biz newspaper, June 19, 2005
Athikom Kunawutr, Executive Editor of a dayweekly, gave an interview to counter accusations made by publisher Wongtanong Chainarongsing over the discontinuation of the magazine.
Wongtanong: There are different qualifications for book maker who works alone and those who do a tabloid distributed with a daily newspaper. And if someone does the last type, it means they cannot understand publishing business [this is an allusion to Athikom's qualifications--see below].
Wongtanong: The content of a dayweekly is a problem because it is quite serious. Some columns are out-of-date making a low sales volume.
Athikom: Athikom said he thinks that it is not a problem because they have a team to contact the writers, but the point is they all have a common agreement for the magazine's direction. It is better to share dreams with others and make agreement and move forward in a direction together and after that all should be responsible for the success or failure.
Wongtanong: The structure of the magazine was a problem and the design was not easy to change. Also it was too costly to adjust for a minor change if the executive editor and news editor were not happy with the news content.
Athikom: This involves the idea of job description. Athikom responses that to manage content direction is not involved with business, price, PR, or art direction. After sales there are some critics so they have to adjust. They just adjust some columns, but not change much of the core content. This did not change or touch the core structure of the magazine.
Athikom: Athikom said the reason that Wongtanong invited him to do a dayweekly was because he worked for the tabloid magazine of Bangkok Biz--'Sao Sawaddee.' And he said they agreed on the content conditions and business facts when the magazine started. There was no need to have hidden ads or ads on the cover because he wanted to maintain the credibility of the magazine. He was involved with the content only, but thinks seriously that the book should follow the common agreement they made.
And for the accusation that editor team did not understand the business of making the mini books that the readers like, Athikom said that he and his team ran all the processes (meetings, distributing assignments to columnists, editing the design, and printing) and produced many successful mini books such as Sapatista, Thaksin Dictionary, 100 years of Kulab Saipradit, The truth at Takbai-Kruse. Although marketing promotion initiated the idea, the editor team was involved to completely bring the idea to fruition.
Wongtanong: The reason for closing the magazine: first is because of the attitude of the executive editor that cannot stay with even for one day and the second is for business reasons.
Athikom: For the business reason--Athikom is not sure if this is a reasonable explanation or not because the sale volume is quite good. Most issues sell 70%--only one issue sold about 20%. There may be another reason that Wongtanong does not want to mention. But this could be that he did not want to work with Athikom.
Athikom think for this conflict there are many choices to solve problems such as laying off or canceling employment, but it is not necessary to leave the readers by closing the magazine and including laying off all 16 staff.
If it is like this, this is not the problem of a book maker, but is a problem of belief and living in the status of one person.The end of a dayweekly - June 17, 2005
Although the staff had no idea that a sudden closure was coming, they were aware that many changes had been made over the last year to make the magazine less expensive to produce. The magazine was adjusted many times to save money--the size was reduced, printing was done differently, and many internal elements were changed. It takes about a year to see if a magazine will be able to break even and the publisher had waited and tried to make it work. The publisher had experience doing monthly magazines and seemed less comfortable with a weekly format.
2Bangkok.com spoke to a source, who wished to remain anonymous, about the circumstances surrounding the end of a dayweekly magazine.
After the last edition was published on Monday, staff went to their Wednesday meeting to plan the magazine as usual. By the time the meeting was over, they were out of a job.
They were informed that the decision to close the magazine was an executive decision due to economic reasons only. Our source feels that there may have been a small amount of politics in the decision, but it was mainly about profit and loss.
The owner of the publishing company that produced a dayweekly and the editors had different political views. However, they had always worked together to 'find common ground.'
Our source feels that the idea that it was closed by disgruntled politicians (Sanoh was on the cover of last issue) is "romantic" and a typical conspiracy theory. Our source further noted that there were people on Thai webboards, purporting to be somehow connected to the magazine, who were claiming the closure was due to 'internal conflicts between the editors.' This is also not true at all--there were no 'internal conflicts' that brought the magazine down.
Also: a dayweekly homepage on the daypoets website
a dayweekly is gone? - June 15, 2005
Asiper reports: a dayweekly is no more. It has stopped production. I don't know why... The last issue had Sanoh Tienthong on the cover and I saw some MPs show this issue in parliament. (Perhaps) they may have a money problem. The paper quality is very good and it is printed in four colors. I just heard Khun Nattakorn, presenter from the Newsline program talk about it. He said this magazine is quite different from the Nation and Matichon weeklies. It is quite trendy for new young group of people. He said "what a pity that it stops producing" and said if he had money, he would buy a franchise of it... it has lots of interesting columns.
a dayweekly was a colorful, youth-oriented magazine that often focused on political issues. An example of its content is here. 2B will try to find out what happened to this widely read Thai-language magazine.
Example of articles from a dayweekly
A look at Thaksin's cabinet 2/1 - "Where we want to go" and a dayweekly'Thaksin Dictionary: Thaksin Shinawatra version - Vocabulary in Thaksin government era
2Bangkok: Recommended by roughguides.com
Download a free chapter from The Thai Book, A Field Guide to Thai Political Motivations: "Big Men Always Go Too Far" (pdf)
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