Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

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Richard Kaufman
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Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 26th, 2017, 4:52 pm

In the July issue of MUM, Mike Close announces his retirement at the end of December as editor.

There is also an ad for the job as editor.
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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby erdnasephile » June 26th, 2017, 6:39 pm

So sorry to hear this. I thought the Close's and their team really did a great job--I consistently looked forward to reading MUM, and they ushered in some great columns and features. (For example, I loved the Denny Haney series.) They've laid a very strong foundation for future success of the magazine. I'm going to miss them, and hope they find another public outlet for their creativity.

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Matthew Field » June 27th, 2017, 5:05 am

Mike and Lisa did a fabulous job reinventing M-U-M. Mike brought in a team of expert reviewers, got columns and stories from and about important personalities in magic (not just the newly elected Sergeant-at-Arms somewhere in Iowa), instituted the Book Nook excerpts from new and classic magic books, and so much more.

As a former editor of The Magic Circular, I know how frustrating the job can be. One is always under time pressure, everybody giving advice, late submissions, issues lost in the mail, and so much more. But The Closes transformed M-U-M.

Granted, Mike will have to live knowing he never ran a 16 page PR release for Criss Angel. That honor must remain with The Linking Ring.

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Gordon Meyer
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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Gordon Meyer » June 29th, 2017, 4:10 pm

I like how in the job posting there are a bunch of requirements (50 hours a week, etc) but comparatively little mention of compensation or benefits.

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby erdnasephile » June 29th, 2017, 4:46 pm

I just read the ad: the first listed criterion for hire is someone who is "tuned in" to the magic community and has "access to a network of contacts" in magic.

I know absolutely nothing about publishing a magazine, magic or otherwise, but could a competent writer/editor who is not a magician, but has strong writing, editing, and management skills do the job well (as long as they fostered a strong roster of associate editors/contributors who do have links to the magic community) ?

I'm asking because (as both Richard and Harry Lorayne have said often), a lot of really good magicians just can't write well. I suspect there are some talented writers/editors out there who need a job. Limiting the search to mostly magicians would seem to limit the search pool for this important position.

I could be completely and totally off base here, but industry has numerous examples of CEO's who successfully managed businesses that they themselves were not originally trained in.

Anyway, just food for thought...or ridicule (please don't hurt me! ;) )

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Q. Kumber » June 29th, 2017, 6:18 pm

You raise an interesting point but I think that the editor of any specialised magazine really needs to come from within the industry for many reasons, the most basic being the need to understand the technical jargon specific to that field.

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Ian Kendall » June 29th, 2017, 7:23 pm

Having seen a couple of magazines from the inside, I would suggest that it is imperative that the editor has a very in depth knowledge of the topic.

I had several conversations with Mike about parts of my columns (and to a lesser extent with Richard when I was writing Magicana) - those discussions would not have happened if Mike didn't know exactly the subject in hand.

And no, I don't want the job.

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby lybrary » June 29th, 2017, 9:10 pm

It really depends on the size of the magazine. With MUM it is a one-man-job and therefore the person needs to not only be a decent writer but also have a network in magic as well as be informed about it. With larger magazines the editor in chief does not necessarily need to be a subject domain specialist. He or she will have a team so managerial and business qualities are much more important.
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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Bill Mullins » June 30th, 2017, 12:18 pm

The job posting.

Of the skill sets involved, I suspect that a talented editor with so-so magic abilities would be better for the magazine that a great magician with so-so editorial abilities. But both would be necessary.

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby MagicbyAlfred » June 30th, 2017, 12:34 pm

I just read that job posting. It sounds like an exceedingly challenging position, requiring an exceptionally multi-faceted and motivated individual. I think they are going to have a tough time finding someone who: (a) meets the stated necessary qualifications; and (b) is willing to take it on, given the apparent requirements and demands. Not only must the candidate be willing to dedicate 45-50 hours a week, with some overtime and travel required, but also must possess formidable writing, editing, administrative, managerial, sales, marketing and advertising skills. What is more, the individual must be able to "consistently deliver a quality product on a monthly basis under strict deadlines." That's a tall order. Happy and grateful that the most serious thing I have to do today is go to the store to pick up 3 lemons to use in my one-cup routine tonight...

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby performer » June 30th, 2017, 1:30 pm

It sounds like a very difficult job. Stressful and tiring I imagine. I must say the ad is terrible and liable to scare people off instead of entice them.

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Brad Jeffers » June 30th, 2017, 4:59 pm

Reminds me of an add I once saw in Genii magazine ...

"Long hours - hard work - little pay."

It was an add looking for an assistant to work with Ken Griffin & Roberta.

I would have loved to had that job, but unfortunately I was only fourteen years old at the time, and you needed to be able to drive a truck. :(

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 30th, 2017, 5:54 pm

There really is no way to make this type of job sound exotic and interesting. After the first year or two it becomes very difficult to keep the quality up on a monthly basis.
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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Q. Kumber » July 1st, 2017, 4:36 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:There really is no way to make this type of job sound exotic and interesting. After the first year or two it becomes very difficult to keep the quality up on a monthly basis.


Richard, you are doing an excellent job with GENII. It keeps getting better.

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Bill Marquardt » July 1st, 2017, 10:04 am

Wouldn't it be something if M-U-M became a subsection of Genii? Not an unprecedented type of event, I believe.

Yeah, I know. Not going to happen.

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 1st, 2017, 12:50 pm

The SAM won't have it. And I don't think they would make it worthwhile for us economically.
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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 1st, 2017, 2:36 pm

performer wrote:It sounds like a very difficult job. Stressful and tiring I imagine. I must say the ad is terrible and liable to scare people off instead of entice them.


Yeah, I'm thinking about dressing up as that ad for this coming Halloween. Should get me an unprecedented amount of candy, while scaring off any ghosts, goblins and vampires that might come around. Maybe they should have added a tag line to the ad saying something like: "Beats working on a prison chain gang in Mississippi..."

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby performer » July 1st, 2017, 8:02 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:
performer wrote:It sounds like a very difficult job. Stressful and tiring I imagine. I must say the ad is terrible and liable to scare people off instead of entice them.


Yeah, I'm thinking about dressing up as that ad for this coming Halloween. Should get me an unprecedented amount of candy, while scaring off any ghosts, goblins and vampires that might come around. Maybe they should have added a tag line to the ad saying something like: "Beats working on a prison chain gang in Mississippi..."


They should at least emphasize the benefits. That is if there is any.

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby lybrary » July 1st, 2017, 9:54 pm

performer wrote:They should at least emphasize the benefits. That is if there is any.

Free membership to the SAM :-)
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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Richard Stokes » July 4th, 2017, 5:53 pm

Does anyone know why he resigned?

Was it the itty-bitty Assembly News?

I really like Antonio Cabral's column on card magic.

And the Product Reviews are strong

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Jack Shalom » July 4th, 2017, 6:59 pm

Maybe they should have added a tag line to the ad saying something like: "Beats working on a prison chain gang in Mississippi..."

You really think they should lie about it?

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 4th, 2017, 10:27 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:
Maybe they should have added a tag line to the ad saying something like: "Beats working on a prison chain gang in Mississippi..."

You really think they should lie about it?


Yes, they REALLY should lie about it. :) Sometimes the chain gang sounds like a good idea.
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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Bill Mullins » July 5th, 2017, 2:25 am

I get this mental image of Richard as one of the prisoners in Cool Hand Luke, and Strother Martin saying "If anyone misses a credit, they Spend the Night in the Box!"

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Bill Duncan » July 5th, 2017, 2:27 am

Richard Stokes wrote:I really like Antonio Cabral's column on card magic.

And the Product Reviews are strong


Thanks for the kind words.

I brought Tony on board when Mike asked me to edit the reviews column.

He exceeded both our expectations.

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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 5th, 2017, 8:42 am

Bill Mullins wrote:I get this mental image of Richard as one of the prisoners in Cool Hand Luke, and Strother Martin saying "If anyone misses a credit, they Spend the Night in the Box!"


And they force me to eat hardboiled eggs, too.
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Re: Mike Close Resigns as Editor of M-U-M magazine

Postby erdnasephile » July 5th, 2017, 9:31 am

"No man can eat 50 eggs"




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