New York Dog Magazine Stops Printing

New York DogThe New York Dog was touted as a Vanity Fair for dog lovers. It featured dog fashion, health, nutrition, and biting humor. When the magazine debuted in September 2004 in Central Park, the media went haywire for the magazine. Even Washington Post described the magazine as the publishing success story of the year and a “jaw-dropping” hit.

But now, not even three years later, The New York Dog has stopped publishing. Their last issue was in April. And there also has been bit of a sticky situation with John Ryan, the president and CEO of Gatsby Publishing, the company that owns The New York Dog and their sister magazine, The Hollywood Dog.

Ryan said the magazine stopped publishing because of trouble collecting money from advertisers. He explained that nonpayment from advertisers have led the magazine into debt. The magazine has had to write off $250,000 in debt and is trying to get $110,000 more through a debt collection agency. Ryan admitted he was unprepared to collect the large amount of money. He is still hopeful that the magazine will relaunch with new investors.

In contrast to Ryan’s story, employees at The New York Dog say that the downfall of the magazine was because of Ryan himself and his horrible business practices. An advertising executive, Janice Ridge (who contacted us about this story), said the magazine struggled not because of nonpayment from advertisers but because Ryan was a disaster.

Gatsby Publishing also owes its employees of The New York Dog and The Hollywood Dog around $50,000 in back pay. The company also is financially liable for pre-paid money owed to advertisers after the magazine stopped printing.

Ridge also stated two employees were evicted from their homes due to the company’s non-payment of salaries. Other employees are left with huge medical bills because Ryan never implemented health insurance even though he said he would. The advertising executive said that Ryan would use excuse after excuse to the employees and said he would wire them money, but it would never come.

She said Ryan would run “unauthorized” advertising without insertion orders or signed contracts, and he would buy new computers and office furniture instead of taking care of important priorities. Ryan didn’t even pay the $15 bill to re-register the magazine’s website domain name,

Eventually all of the staff quit the magazine. They were encouraged to leave the magazine until an investor could help with the financial trouble of the company.

Even subscribers are unsure of what is going on with the magazine. Readers complain that they have paid for the magazine, and no refund has been issued to them. Ryan explained that he was waiting to see if the magazine could bounce back before refunding subscribers for their unpublished issues.


11 Responses to “New York Dog Magazine Stops Printing”

  1. Nicole says:

    In the booklet for pet fashion week there is an ad stating that New York Dog and Hollywood Dog Magazine will be merged to create a new magazine called The Dog. Looks to be the same format. It’s a shame to see such a great magazine go down.

  2. mittens says:

    rich white people and their dogs-who cares…

  3. Janice says:

    Absolutely Nichole, it is a real shame to see the magazines go down! Beautiful, well designed, reaching a segment of the market that really had no real outlet to showcase the exquisite designs of pet couture and accessories. While there are other magazines who address that segment of the pet industry, nobody did it quite like the New York Dog and the Hollywood Dog. In my and the other staffers defense, much of the anger comes from the demise of publications and of course not being paid for all the hard work we did right alone with John. As with any “passion”, emotions run high! Yes, the decadence of putting clothing on dogs, diamonds, designer shoes, hats, fur coats etc, but if any female would remember back to childhood, didn’t you ever try to “dress” your pet? Doll clothes, baby clothes, whatever. For whatever reason, that particular niche, be it a fad or an established segment of the pet industry, has many supporters and the consumers enjoy it if only for looking a the pictures and giving a little giggle at the thought of dressing up their pets.
    It’s a real shame that these publications have met such a deadend.

  4. Susan Towers says:

    Magazines fail all the time - it’s a brutal business. There are two sides to this story and unfortunately one is getting more airtime than the other. No one’s happy when a business goes south - but it happens. It’s awful for anyone who’s left out of pocket but there was a combination of factors that contributed to it’s demise - including the pet food withdrawal which impacted advertising. The New York Dog is owed thousands by small advertisers who went out of business (some of those dinky pet stores that were started with more hope than logic) - it has a knock on effect. Janice is clearly upset but there’s nothing that can be done. She’s never even met John Ryan and yet she’s doing her darnest to blacken his name across the internet. It’s all a shame but move on…there are bigger issues than dog magazines that we can concern ourselves with.

  5. Janice says:

    Janice is not the only person upset about this. $15K is no laughing matter. Neither is the over $50K he owes to the staff combined.
    And you may be interested to know that NO, and I repeat NO PET FOOD advertisers pulled their advertising from the magazines because of the dog food scare. NOT ONE! I have those documents and I handled most of those advertisers so I do know and DO have documentation of that. As for trying to “blacken” John’s name all over the internet, hardly, blogs are not the entire internet and frankly, John has done a fairly nice job of that himself.
    The number of small businesses that close in the pet industry is about 20% per year so your “excuse” does not compute that he has uncollectible debt from that alone.
    The collection of $110K and the write offs of $250K he claims is for unauthorized advertising placed without signed insertion orders, without signed contracts. Fact, not fiction and first hand knowledge from dealing with those people and from John’s own mouth as he was hiring me.
    And oh yes! I HAVE MET JOHN RYAN, IN PERSON! And what is the world does whether I did or did not meet him in person have to do with anything? Was I supposed to be impressed one way or the other at his physical appearance? LOL
    So please Miss Towers, get your facts straight before you start trying to dispute things you know nothing about!
    Honestly, I have great sympathy for John, as he had the benefit of many experienced people in the pet industry and in the publishing industry, but he chose to believe he was above it all and was determined to do it HIS way! Unfortunately.

  6. Janice says:

    Seems that the “brilliant” John Ryan is “brilliant” at more than one thing!
    Like slithering back to Ireland regardless of his guarantee to pay his former employees. So much for his “word” demonstrating the brilliance of John Ryan in another direction.

  7. Eva Robinson says:

    Jaysus - get a life and move on Janice!

  8. Toby says:

    Good riddance! What a stupid idea for a magazine, pampering dumb dogs, dressing them up in designer clothes, pretending they are children. This is a good sign the dog elevation fad is tanking.

  9. anonymous says:

    Janice is right I worked there….I am in awe of how bad it got but I worked there before it got that bad (still worst work scenario I have ever had) I am a bit gullible but John seemed like he had a good heart….however the waiting for wiring money and the seeming to annoy him for asking for your pay when it is all of a sudden the 5th adn your rent was due on the 1st does not work and especially not in ny….

  10. John Hamshere says:

    We are owed $5,000 by John Ryan, who sadly seemed to cheat on everyone. If anyone knows where he I would appreciate an email. Thank you.

  11. cn says:

    Well he just started a show on RTE television in Ireland called Nightlive. And it was awful! so it may be back to the dog world for him!

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