Swan Song for AR’s Finch

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Friday, November 21, 2008
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Finch and Long.

Finch and Long.

The exact details are still not entirely clear but rumors from the London architecture scene suggest that EMAP, the owner of The Architectural Review, is replacing editor Paul Finch with Kieran Long, who edits the company’s weekly magazine, The Architecture Journal.

Finch is only the 8th editor in the magazine’s storied, 112-year history and he is a revered figure on the London architecture scene, where he has long worked as an editor; acting chair of the government’s advisory committee on architecture, urban design and public space; co-editor of the quarterly magazine Planning in London; and has sat on the jury of various architecture awards, including the Stirling Prize. In 2002, Finch was awarded the OBE, the first necessary step toward a potential knighthood.

If the rumors are to be believed Long will now edit both AR and AJ with a single design and editorial staff. Finch has been given some kind of emeritus status, with roving editorial responsibilities along with responsibilities for directing EMAP’s World Architecture Festival, which just launched its inaugural event in Barcelona last month (where I was on the scene).

And this may be but the first tremor in the world of British design pubs. Peter Murray, ex-editor of the RIBA Journal and a founding editor of Blueprint, painted a bleak picture in response to the news:

The lack of advertising and the lure of the Internet (no print costs!) in our saturated market is forcing a number of publishers to look at restructuring the way they put magazines together. I can’t see how this is going to be good for editorial quality or for differentiating the two mags, but I do think that Paul Finch’s gig of a major international event linked to the world wide web is an interesting evolution in publishing.

Stay tuned for more.

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