Gorkana’s Louise Pantani catches up with Daniel Gumble, news editor of Music Week, as he talks about his love of music, the magazine’s readership and a typical week at the music trade publication.
What’s a typical Music Week news story?
We deal with so many different types of news stories that it can change drastically from day to day. Generally it can be anything from record labels and publishers signing new artist deals to chart updates, live event announcements, music industry conference coverage and new executive appointments.
Have you always wanted to be in music journalism, did that stem from your background as a musician?
The answer is yes to both parts of that questions. I’ve always had a slightly/extremely unhealthy obsession with music and have played in bands half my life. For most of that time I also wanted to be a journalist – for years I wrote for blogs and websites for free to build up my CV while working jobs I couldn’t stand. Over the past five years I worked as editor of professional audio and musical instrument publications Audio Pro International (now Audio Media International) and MI Pro, before joining Music Week earlier this year.
How does Music Week differ from consumer music publications?
As a trade publication our core focus is the business of music. So where consumer titles like NME and Kerrang! are predominantly focused on artists and reviews etc, we report on what’s happening with labels, publishers, consumer listening patterns, market shares, and generally the more business oriented corners of the industry that you wouldn’t tend to read about in the consumer press. That said, we do interview artists and cover big releases, so it’s not all graphs and pie charts!
What does an average day’s work look like for you?
Again, this can vary significantly from one day to the next. Typically though, the editorial team gets together in the morning for a news meeting to take a look at what’s happening in the world, what looks interesting and what stories should be followed-up. Stories are then delegated among the team.
Generally speaking, I will spend the first half of the week ensuring the most up-to-the-minute news is covered online and the second half of the week discussing which items will be reserved for the news pages of the print magazine. Then, as the week draws to a close and deadline looms, it’s a case of proofing and editing the pages before going to press.
Describe a typical Music Week reader, how would you spot them in a crowd?
Hmm, we have a very varied readership, so not sure I could describe a particular type. Generally they’d be the coolest looking person in the room!
What should PRs avoid when they try to get in touch with the team?
Phoning up to check we’ve received a press release two and half minutes after sending it via email. Also – and I won’t name names – I’ve been on the receiving end of someone quite literally pleading me to cover a story after being politely, yet categorically told that it wasn’t suitable and would not be used. Not a great approach!
Do you think you will ever move to become an online-only publication?
No. Our print magazine and our website offer two very different services, and I think they both complement one another very well. We have strong audiences across both formats so I don’t see that happening any time soon.
Finally, I have to ask: as a music lover yourself, if you could have dinner with three of your favourite artists, dead or alive, who would you choose?
This is definitely the toughest question! I could think of about 50 so whittling it down to three is a struggle. I’d probably have to go with John Lennon, Morrissey and Kurt Cobain – I can’t think of many others that have had such a big influence on music, and I’m pretty sure they’d make for interesting dinner guests.
If they weren’t available, I’d have Kate Bush, David Bowie and Courtney Love on standby.
- Daniel Gumble is news editor of Music Week