The 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 â€œunauthorizedâ€ 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, www.thenydog.com.
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.