Derek and Heather Leave JPG Magazine

Derek PowazekDerek Powazek Hosted on Zooomr

Derek Powazek – The Real Story of JPG Magazine Derek Powazek has a detailed post out this morning about his decision to leave JPG Magazine, the magazine that he and wife Heather Champ started almost three years ago. Heather also has a shorter post announcing her departure as well.

This is sad to see and especially more so as the departure doesn’t read exactly amicably. Much of Derek’s post is directed at JPG CEO Paul Clouthier. I’ve only met Paul once, we had drinks about two weeks ago after Troy Paiva and Joe Reifer’s show opening in Alameda. Paul seemed like a pretty nice guy — we weren’t really talking about magazine politics of course, more about photography and art and road trips and strange things that people collect.

It is sad to see though something that is as beautiful as JPG Magazine end up with this kind of a split with it’s founders. Derek and Heather started JPG as a labor of love and were kind of like it’s parents. They were a large part of the heart and soul and certainly community connection behind what was a brilliant idea — to bring all of these great photographs that we share online on to the printed page.

I’ve particularly been impressed watching JPG Magazine mature over the course of the past few years. It was exciting to see JPG when it first launched. A bit clunkier than it’s new sleeker sophisticated version today, but with every bit of passion going into it. I had a few of my photographs published there.

Derek and Heather I wish you well in whatever you pursue next. I hope it still has something to do with photography. For what it’s worth, I think that there is plenty of room in the world for more than one photography magazine. But there are so many other cool things that will be done with digital photography that we have not seen yet. The future is beautiful and wide open.

Paul, I hope you can hang on to the community spirit that made JPG great. Because it is the content in that magazine that makes the whole thing worthwhile. And without all the people behind that content the whole thing just kind of falls apart. It would be sad to see this with JPG because it’s been such a phttp://www2.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifositive step forward for the online photo community to date.

There’s a thread going on about this over at metafilter here. You can also follow it at digg here.

Update: Alana Jackson, who is the wife of 8020 CEO Paul Clothier has responded to this matter with a post in the JPG Group on Flickr.

Update #2: Paul Clothier, CEO of 8020

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9 Comments

  1. Eddy says:

    Assuming Derek’s version of the story is true (I believe him), I can only say that Paul has shot himself in the foot with his actions.

    I have deleted my account at JPG mag, I expect/hope many more to do the same.

    This is simply wrong.

  2. Kreg says:

    That stinks. I loved the idea of JpgMag. …and I have been trying to get published in it for a while (grr..) Oh well.. I wish them luck. This all reminds me of a bad situation I had with a business partner. bleh.

  3. Tristan Tom says:

    But wouldn’t ceasing support for the magazine also cut off Derek and Heather? Derek states in his post that he still owns a large part of the mag.

    I think they should continue on, on their own with an even more successful mag. Oh, and call it JPEG” Magazine”.

  4. Al says:

    The whole situation is even creepier than simple deletion of content – some of the verbiage made it back into the about page and Paul denies ever having removed it, even though google’s cache tells the true story.

    What’s really weird is that all the commenters that have actually met Paul (including me) talk about what a nice guy he comes across as, and in a totally non-fake way. Like Thomas, I’ve only met him once and he also came across as a pretty good egg. That’s why I’ve got such a cognitive disconnect between that impression of him and these actions but hey, you are what you do.

  5. i posted to flickr today another side of the story.
    i am paul cloutier’s wife, and i’ve been close to JPG and 8020 since they were both founded. and well, derek’s story is a bit once sided.

    please read my post before you delete your account with JPG. if you still want to after reading my post, well, i did my bit.

  6. phototristan says:

    Of course the wife of paul cloutier is going to blindly stand by her man and tow the company line.

    Alana doesn’t even address the facts; why did JPG at first remove Derek and Heather’s names from the about page at http://jpgmag.com/about and then put them back? And why did they pull the early issues from existence?

    I have a link to Scott Rosenberg’s (a VP at Salon.com) take on the matter on my blog at:

    http://www.tristantom.com/blog/2007/05/shakeup-at-jpg-magazine.html

    He has a lot of good and balanced things to say about journalistic integrity as it pertains to this situation.

  7. paul has a longer post up now at the jpg flickr group, and yes, it does address the issue of the old issues, as well as a bunch of other things, so go and check it out.

    as for the rosenberg’s article, like i said (to the same post) over on flickr, it’s a few days old, and only tells one side of the story, and nobody at 8020 was contacted by the author, so it’s not exactly fair and balanced.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a lot of back peddling to me.

    When Paul realized it was a stupid move and bad business to try to erase Derek and Heather and the early issues of the mag from existence, he put them back and acted like they were never taken off, as if no one would notice nor care.

  9. […] picture of greatness was taken from an article about where him and his girlfriend were fired from JPG Magazine for being […]