The spiking of Art Berman’s column for World Oil‘s November issue may have had something to do with this week’s firing of the magazine’s editor, Perry Fischer.
In an open letter on Berman’s blog, Fischer explains the events leading up to his departure:
When I got up this morning, I decided not to pack my usual snack lunch–I thought that it would be my last day. I was right–I was fired.
On Oct 22, I received two emails forwarded to me via the World Oil Circulation Department. They were from DS and KR at two Houston oil and gas companies, and they both said that they were canceling their free subscriptions due to Art Berman’s columns on shale plays. DS went further by faxing and then phoning to the president his feelings about Art Berman.
Let me be clear: The decision to pull Art’s column was due to pressure from these two companies.
While most of you in the industry likely know this, many trade publications like World Oil are free for people in the E&P business if they’re in a position to make equipment purchasing decisions. Everyone else pays $199 per year (according to the magazine’s masthead).
The articles are typically technical, high-level pieces written by industry experts, and will most likely be read by those same guys or others with some say on corporate purse strings. Thus, equipment makers and service providers want to have their ads next to such pieces. I didn’t see a single E&P company ad in the October issue.