PC World editor quits over Apple story

Apple Store“Colleagues at my former outlet, PC World magazine, have told me that Editor-in-Chief Harry McCracken quit abruptly today because the company’s new CEO, Colin Crawford, tried to kill a story about Apple and Steve Jobs,” Kim Zetter blogs for Wired.

“The piece, a whimsical article titled ‘Ten Things We Hate About Apple,’ was still in draft form when Crawford killed it. McCracken said no way and walked after Crawford refused to compromise. Apparently Crawford also told editors that product reviews in the magazine were too critical of vendors, especially ones who advertise in the magazine, and that they had to start being nicer to advertisers,” Zetter writes.

Zetter writes, “Crawford was former CEO of MacWorld and only started at PC World about a month ago. According to the PC World source, when Crawford was working for the Mac magazine, Steve Jobs would call him up any time he had a problem with a story the magazine was running about Apple.”

“The source didn’t know the specifics of what was in the story Crawford wanted to kill but said it was nothing new. ‘It was supposed to be light fare, just really innocuous stuff. The same kinds of things people have said about Apple before — things that teased Steve Jobs,’ he said,” Zetter writes.

“I reached McCracken on his cell who, from the sound of the background noise, seemed to be leaving the MacWorld party as we talked,” Zetter writes.

Zetter writes, “He didn’t want to discuss the details of why he resigned but said he quit ‘because of some fundamental disagreements with Colin.’ He emphasized that he wasn’t fired or forced out and holds no ill feelings toward the company… He said he actually resigned yesterday, but workers found out only about an hour ago. When asked what he’ll do now he said, ‘I’m going to blog and freelance at least for a while. I’ll probably write for PC World by the way. I want to make clear that I’m a huge admirer of what PC World does and I’m not leaving hoping that PC World will collapse with out me. I’m sure it won’t collapse without me.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Twilightmoon” for the heads up.]
As Zetter writes, a “Ten Things We Hate About Apple” article certainly would be “nothing new.” Sheer boredom. Which is hopefully why Crawford killed the article. (For the record, we’d say the same if it was supposed to be “Ten Things We Love About Apple” — how many of these lame love/hate list articles do we need?) The rest of this blog report contains some stuff that may or may not be related to McCraken’s resignation from an anonymous source that may or may not have an ulterior motive to paint Crawford in a bad light. We also have McCracken’s take on the whole thing, which sounds a lot less conspiratorial than Zetter’s unnamed PC World source.

So, good luck in the future to whomever deserves it.

And, yes, we do still wish that Harry’s name was “Phil” instead.


  1. You’re right about the same boring articles over and over again. I quit buying all Mac mags after seeing the article ’20 ways to speed up your Mac’ for about the 50th time. It also didn’t help that their ‘Latest News’ features are full of stuff I had seen on MDN a month earlier. These guys have rested on their laurels for too long and have failed to compete with a faster and punchier online medium. ‘Ten things we hate about Apple’ just shows their total lack of creativity.

  2. On the name game, I was in the book store last night and saw George Tennet’s book, and got me to wondering….if he named his son Lou, and then Lou joined the military, he could be

    Lt. Lou Tennet

    Kinda like Major Major from Catch 22.

  3. haha Phil McCracken… good one ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    two Scottish homosexuals – Patrick Fitzgerald and Gerald Fitzpatrick

  4. So much speculation.

    Until and unless we see the article–unlikely–no one knows if it was killed because it might offend Apple or because it wasn’t up to snuff.

    It seems far more likely–but we don’t know–that it was simply an overdone concept than Apple would be horribly offended by it. There have been many list of reasons to hate Apple in the past.

  5. All credit to any editor who throws unimaginative articles in the bin. Magazines of all types are full of unoriginal stuff that we’ve seen before. If McCracken chooses to quit over such an inconsequential article, then there is either much more to the story than we’ve been told, or there is something profoundly wrong with his judgement.

    But what I find very alarming is Craword’s decree that reviewers should be less critical of manufacturers who advertise in his magazine. That’s a sure-fire way of making sure that no review can ever again be trusted. How can anybody trust a review that’s not impartial ?

    Magazines are becoming increasingly marginalised by the Internet. You can get news and opinion much more rapidly from the ‘net. The only two things that I think a magazine is still able to offer are impartial reviews and tutorials. Crawford has now eliminated one of those from PC World magazine. It’s now merely a vehicle for advertising and the advertisers call the shots.

  6. At University, used to have a math professor called Mrs. Assman. Always thought her surname was bit to, how should I put it, gender specific! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

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