Media

American Way, R.I.P.

The in-flight magazine was once a vital part of North Texas' media ecosystem.

USA Today brings us the news that the in-flight magazine American Way will cease publication with its June issue. This sucks. And it was inevitable.

I got my start in the magazine business at American Way, back in 1993. A load of D Magazine folks, past and present, did tours at American Way, which once operated out of the airline’s Fort Worth headquarters and was for a few decades one of the best travel magazines in the country. I wrote about all this in 2016, when it was announced that Ink, the British company that produced the magazine on a contract basis for the airline, was shuttering its Dallas office and moving whatever staff remained to Miami. Read that post if you’d like to better understand the important role American Way once played in the Dallas media scene.

I said then that the magazine was “stumbling.” I suggested market forces would not be friendly to its future success. In response, a PR man called Daniel Bee working for Ink sent me a list of corrections to my post that he wanted made. He closed by writing, “[I]n short, your use of the term ‘stumbles’ is both misleading and inaccurate and, AS WE DO NOT HAVE an ‘uncertain’ future we herby put you on notice that this headline is potentially defamitory [sic]. We expect that these matters will be dealt with immediately, or I will be left with no other option than to pass this to our media lawyers and to Wick Allison.”

Today it gives me no pleasure to point out that I was right.

Oh, who am I kidding? It gives me great pleasure. As tempted as I am, though, to take the piss out of Bee, out of respect for everyone who ever contributed to American Way (except Adam Pitluk), I’ll just echo Michael Scott: there were some great articles in that magazine. I’ll miss learning about where Doris Roberts likes to eat when she’s in Phoenix.

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