Automobile closes Ann Arbor office, releases most of staff [UPDATE]

There's been a big shakeup in the world of automotive media today, as Automobile's parent company, Source Interlink, has shuttered the mag's Ann Arbor, MI offices. Editor-In-Chief Jean Jennings has been fired, along with most of the publication's staff. The news was confirmed by Jennings, who called it "business" in a conversation with Jalopnik.
Mike Floyd of Source Interlink-owned Motor Trend will reportedly take the helm at Automobile. Deputy Editor Joe DeMatio is expected to move to a Royal Oak, MI-based Source Interlink advertising office. According to Jennings, a few of the remaining employees will be relocating to Los Angeles, to be closer to Motor Trend.

Automobile is an enthusiast magazine originally founded by "the dean of automotive journalism," David E. Davis, Jr., in the 1980s with the backing of Rupert Murdoch. Jennings, who had been a part of Automobile since the start, told Jalopnik, "We knew something bad was going to happen when those guys [Source Interlink] bought it."

There's been no official statement from Source Interlink or Automobile as of publication time. Stay tuned to this space for more news as it becomes available.

UPDATE: We've now heard from several folks familiar with the matter, including employees of both Automobile and its parent company, Source Interlink. Basically, here's what's up:
  • Automobile will still remain as a monthly print magazine, now under the direction of Mike Floyd.
  • Production of Automobile will be housed in Los Angeles, and the magazine's remaining editorial team will move to the Source Interlink office in Royal Oak, MI.
  • In addition to Jean Jennings, our sources only know of one other higher-level editor who was laid off as part of this move. The majority of layoffs at Automobile concerned the production team, as well as some freelancers, we're told.
  • Jalopnik has a new post detailing all of the changes at Source Interlink, which has since been rebranded, The Enthusiast Network.
UPDATE #2: The magazine's new Editor-In-Chief, Mike Floyd, has put an end to the scuttlebutt, posting this update to Automobile's website.

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