Publications seem to be a secondary concern now. Sort of “we tried it, let’s try something else now.” Like that neglected pet, Series.
I personally like the option of partner program stories in publications, but I think any resulting revenue should be shared with the publication. That is only fair. I hope that we are just in the transition stage while Medium builds the system necessary to do that.
As you know, running most publications on Medium is a lot of work for no direct financial reward. You can possibly build an audience and a community, which are great. And publication writers and readers will likely follow you personally also. But working hard for free eventually gets old.