Boston mag's editor out in shake-up

The Globe isn't the only Boston publication in turmoil. A shake-up hit Boston magazine today, with editor James Burnett getting tossed aside after seven years running the magazine. Another three employees from the editorial and design departments were also let go, along with two from the business side, in what is said to be a reorganization aimed both at saving money and resolving "creative differences" between Burnett and Boston's parent company, Metrocorp.

Metrocorp is said to be naming a new editor this afternoon; an employee in the office of president Randy Hano said she had no information on Burnett's replacement. Reached by phone, Burnett confirmed he has been let go but declined to comment further.
Boston has been in a state of constant low-level flux ever since last summer, when longtime president Dan Scully departed and was replaced by Hano, formerly publisher of Chicago magazine. Hano's arrival presaged significant turnover on the business side of the masthead. Then, in February, Philadelphia magazine editor Larry Platt was named editorial director of the company, a promotion that made him Burnett's boss.

Boston had a total average circulation of 110,390 in the second half of last year, down 2.5 percent from the previous year, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

UPDATE: Platt says the decision to replace Burnett was "about trying to make a good magazine great." He's being replaced by Andrew Putz, currently editor of Minnesota Monthly.

"James is a good guy, a very talented editor, and we were putting out a good magazine that was actually getting better," says Platt. "But I didn't have the confidence that we could get to where we need to be quickly enough, given our economic realities. But more importantly, I had the opportunity to hire someone I think is the best young magazine editor in America."

The layoffs of three other staff members on the editorial side, he says, were a cost-cutting measure, although one of the three jobs, design director, will be re-filled. "Times are challenging," says Platt. "We're in the same boat as every magazine out there."
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