Today I bought a copy of People magazine for the first time in over five years.
To some people that might not seem like a long time, but for years People was a standard part of my travel regimen. After checking in for a flight, my first order of business was to head to the newstand to purchase a New York Times and a People; kind of like a meal of oatmeal and cotton candy. And it made a fine spousal gift upon the return home. In the interim I’ve been forced to settle for the poor imitation that is Us Magazine.
Why the boycott? And why the end? The boycott began when AOL acquired Time Warner. At the time I was directly involved in work-related acrimony with AOL (go here for a first person account) and didn’t want to support a company that was, as I was fond of putting it, "taking food out of my children’s mouths." I wasn’t prepared to forego all Time Warner products, but I wanted to make a gesture that would feel like a sacrifice and channel my indignance. So People and CNN had to go, replaced by inferior substitutes.
With the passage of time (no pun intended) has come the recognition that the AOL-Time Warner merger was by most accounts a failure and that the old Time Warner crew is now largely in charge. While AOL is still a business competitor, they’re not longer our biggest threat. And there are simply more important things to worry about.
If nothing else, it will make my wife happy.