Thursday, April 24, 2014

Venerable Ladies' Home Journal ceasing
monthly publication

The July issue of Ladies' Home Journal will be its last as a periodical. Meredith Corporation has announced that, after 131 years, this cornerstone of women's interest publishing will only be available as an occasional newsstand special interest publication. According to a story in Ad Age, subscribers will be offered one of the other Meredith publications such as Better Homes & Gardens, More or Every Day with Rachael Ray.

LHJ has a circulation of 3.2 million, down from its peak in 1968 of 6.8 million. Meredith bought the magazine and Health magazine from Family Media in 1986 for about $96 million. Ad sales fell 17% in 2013 and so far this year have declined 23%.


The change means that the entire editorial staff will be laid off. Some business side shifts may be made within Meredith, which is moving production of special interest publications from New York to its Des Moines, Iowa headquarters. 
Ladies' Home Journal is one of the original group of women's service magazines called the Seven Sisters, along with fellow Meredith titles Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle as well as Hearst-owned Good Housekeeping, Redbook and Woman's Day. (The seventh sister, McCall's, closed in 2002.) They share similar challenges of graying audiences and declining ad pages. 
[Spkesman Art] Slusark said that transitioning Ladies' Home Journal to a special interest publication will "improve the profitability of Meredith's National Media Group, which oversees its magazines. 
Meredith posted a 37% decline in profits during its most recent quarter. Ad revenues across its national magazines fell to $112 million from $129 million the prior year.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

TC Media launches ad buying site Canadian Programmatic Marketplace (CPM)

TC Media has launched an online marketplace for programmatic buying of advertising on a wide range of websites, principally its own. The Canadian Programmatic Marketplace (www.cpm.tc) means that advertisers can access a large portfolio of digital display advertising through real-time bidding. 
The inventory of ads is from more than 95 premium content partnres and more than 650 websites. Partners include TC Media, Livingly Media, Spin Media and Hockeybuzz along with more than 100 regional newspaper sites in English, French and Atlantic Canada. Even before the launch, the CPM is already delivering over 1 billion monthly impressions to more than 14 million unique Canadian visitors, the company says.

Advertisers will, of course, still have access to traditional advertising and direct sales. The new arrangement makes available premium websites such as canadianliving.ca, ellecanada.com, hockeybuzz.com, stylebistro.com, and spin.com, as well as French properties like ellequebec.com and coupdepouce.com in a 100% programmatic environment” says Patrick Lauzon, senior vice-president of interactive marketing solutions at TC Media.
"TC Media recognizes the importance of programmatic buying and has invested heavily in its team, technology, and partnerships“ [he] says. "This investment includes TC Media’s acquisition of Canadian real-time bidding supply company Redux Media Inc. in May 2012. The Canadian Programmatic Marketplace provides Canada’s only fully transparent, brand safe programmatic environment and can offer advertisers the largest reach of RTB enabled display, video and mobile inventory in Canada, setting the bar in terms of premium programmatic”. 
  

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Mag world view: Best cover finalists (U.S.); Vogue expands website; Quad/Graphics-Brown impact; Not-so-gloomy on stands; Bauer restructures sales

Quote, unquote: The downfall of mobile magazines

"The way audiences behave on-line (and on mobile) is much less predictable than anyone thought it would be. Successful products focus on accessibility, experience and flexibility. Traditionally, mobile magazines have fallen down on all three of those."
-- David Jacobs, CEO of 29th Street Publishing, as part of an extended conversation at Newmanology about the current state and the future of magazine apps.

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Applications being welcomed for business innovation component of Canada Periodical Fund

A note from Canadian Heritage says that funding applications for business innovations under the Canada Periodical Fund are being accepted now for the 2014-15 fiscal year. It is recommended that applicants allow four months prior to a project start date, though applications are accepted throughout the year. 
This component offers project funding to eligible small and mid-sized print magazine and digital periodical publishing firms. It encourages innovation to adapt to changing market conditions and contributes to the diversity of content sought by Canadian readers. 
Details: http://www.pch.gc.ca/cpf

Of note: this year there are minimum average price criteria for both subscriptions and single copies/newsstand copies sold; particular support is offered for  history related projects and history periodicals (http://www.pch.gc.ca/eng/1370873738331); and a webinar will be announced in May to assist applicants. 

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ tore

The World's Biggest Bookstore, which was arguably also the world's biggest magazine newsstand, is no more. All evidence of the recently closed downtown Toronto store, owned by Indigo Books and Music, is being removed. [H/T Kathy Vey]

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Heather Robertson memorial gathering this Sunday in Toronto

Friends and admirers of magazine writer and author Heather Robertson will want to attend the memorial gathering for her this Sunday in Toronto. It's in the Music Room of Hart House, University of Toronto, Sunday April 27 at 2 p.m.

The event is being arranged by Heather's longtime friends and colleagues, Elaine Dewar and Erna Paris in cooperation with Heather's husband Andrew Marshall. 

Representatives of The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC), the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC). and the Canadian Freelance Union (CFU) will be present. If you plan to attend, RSVP to The Writers'Union.

Related post:

Business media whitepaper from Magazines Canada looks at good operations and practice

Magazines Canada has released its second business media whitepaper, Planning for Growth Across a Turbulent Horizon. The whitepaper (authored by John Milne and me) is the outcome of a recent Business Media Leadership Summit held north of Toronto a couple of months ago. The document intends to capture the essence of presentations made, questions asked and the informal discussions which resulted.

Last year's summit resulted in a white paper which looked at how business media reflected economic health and the pace of change.  This second one places its emphasis on what constitutes good business media operations and practice. It shares the participants "life learnings" and discusses such topics as dealing with agencies, the efficacy of paywalls, multi-platform sales challenges, resourcing online teams and preparing magazines for sale and evaluating acquisition opportunities. 


A sample of the white paper's observations:
"In the good old days, multi‐platform sales consisted of a couple of pages and a few online ads. Today they can include contests; events; sponsorships; e‐newsletters; social media; specialty tools; analytics; corporate journalism; native advertising – the list is an evolving and constantly expanding one. Respecting this and instilling this respect in your sales and entire publishing team is the first and most important step toward success." 

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Next Issue Canada mag sub service has 45,000 paying, 20,000 tryout customers

A Twitter post today by Christine Dobby, the Financial Post telecom and media reporter quotes Rogers Media president Keith Pelley saying Next Issue Canada has 45,000 paid subscribers plus 20,000 receiving it on a free trial. Is that good? Enquiring minds want to know. The service started last October. Apparently Rogers spent $5 million launching Next Issue Canada, which offers a dozen Rogers titles and about 100 U.S. magazines for one flat price.

(She also reports that Rogers's media business saw revenue growth of 8% to $367,000 in the first quarter of 2014; largely due to the impact of Sportsnet 360.)

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

U.S. mags see 4% decline in ad pages in Q1

The total number of magazine advertising pages tallied in the U.S. market declined by 4% in the first quarter of 2013, from 29,745 down to 28,567. The Publishers Information Bureau, which counts ad pages in 181 titles found that 60% of them declined in the quarter, year-over-year. MediaDailyNews reported that two categories -- tech and retail -- were responsible for 63% of the overall page losses. (Many magazine publishers reported strong results in digital advertising on tablets.)
Women’s domestic and homemaking titles took some of the biggest hits, with Martha Stewart Living down 34.8% to 109 ad pages; Country Living down 29.2% to 63; Family Circle down 28.2% to 160; Better Homes and Gardens down 23.4% to 191; Ladies’ Home Journal down 22% to 87; and Good Housekeeping down 18.1% to 212.

The list of big titles that experienced significant declines also included Rolling Stone, down 27.1% to 139; Maxim, down 25.3% to 40 ad pages; Men’s Fitness, down 24.4% to 144; People Style Watch, down 22.3% to 193; Lucky, down 19.9% to 141; Motor Trend, down 19% to 132; Entertainment Weekly, down 16.7% to 214; and Food Network Magazine, down 15.7% to 138.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Playboy magazine selling newsstand replica of first issue from December 1953

Playboy magazine last week published a newsstand replica of its first issue, published a tad over 60 years ago, with the cover subject Marilyn Monroe. That first issue was 50 cents; the reprint SIP is $9.99 and it should be on newsstands for about a dozen weeks. According to a story in Folio:
"This isn't the first time Playboy has leveraged its existing assets to spike revenue while celebrating its history. Two years ago it dug into its archive and released eBooks that highlight some of its best interviews over the past 50 years. But beyond that, the company has been monetizing its archives constantly.

"That is, iPlayboy membership enables readers to access 60-years worth of content online or on their mobile devices. There are three membership options: month-to-month for $8.00, an annual membership at $5.00 a month and a two-year membership at $4.16 a month."
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner started the magazine with $8,000 raised from 45 investors (including $1,000 from his mother). He was originally going to call it Stag Party. The first issue, which featured pictures of Monroe that had been taken from a 1949 nude calendar, sold over 50,000 copies. 

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Quote, unquote: Feature that; no prize

“The notion that there was no prize-quality feature-writing this year doesn’t imply there’s anything wrong with feature writing; it just suggests there’s something wrong with the prize committee.’’ 
-- Daniel Okrent, the former public editor at the New York Times, says it was "idiotic" that a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing was not given this year. 

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PMB/comScore spring 2014 data shows increase of incremental readership reach of print + web

The spring 2014 Print Measurement Bureau study shows that readership of all PMB-measured titles has held steady with approximately 1 million readers and that the average readers per copy  is 5.1, slightly higher than the 10-year average, though slightly lower than spring and fall 2013.  

For the first time, PMB has released a fused database of PMB/comScore data at the same time as its main study. The fused data combines printed magazine readership with magazine websites' visiting figures on a net, unduplicated basis. Representing approximately 30 magazine titles, it shows that the incremental reach generated by magazine websites has increased from 15% in 2010 to the 2014 level of 25%.  

The new PMB data shows that readers spend approximately 44 minutes per issue and show a consistent average degree of interest. 

Top-10 reader per copy figures for spring 2014 are as follows:
English
RPC
Canada's History
23.7
The Hockey News Magazine
23.5
Outdoor Canada
21.1
People
20.5
Canadian Geographic
20.0
Canadian Gardening
15.9
Sportsnet Magazine1
13.7
Cottage Life
13.5
FASHION Magazine
12.2
BRITISH COLUMBIA MAGAZINE
12.0

French
RPC
Dernière Heure
16.4
Le Lundi
12.2
Québec Science
12.1
Summum
9.6
Yoopa
9.2
Clin d'oeil
9.0
La Semaine
9.0
7 Jours
8.9
Les Idées de ma Maison
8.9
Star Système
8.9

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Monday, April 14, 2014

SZ magazine publisher wants to rebrand schizophrenia as MacPhee Syndrome, after himself

Bill MacPhee, the publisher of the quarterly SZ magazine (formerly known as Schizophrenia Digest) has always spoken out about the stigma of the disease and the fear and misunderstanding that it provokes in the public. He wants to change its name to MacPhee Syndrome.

MacPhee started to suffer from schizophrenia in 1987, when he was 24 years old, was hospitalized six times and attempted suicide. But with the help of medication and therapy, he began the publishing company Magpie Media, based in Fort Erie. He has since become a well-known speaker, author and campaigner on the subject of mental wellness. A North American speaking tour, (for which he is doing an indiegogo online fundraiser) has among its goals the rebranding of the brain disorder.

MacPhee told the Toronto Star recently
“I’ve been trying to break the stigma for 20 years and give people the facts. But the great wall is not coming down. It’s time to change tactics.”

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Online store locator searches out where to get Canadian magazines

Magazines Canada has launched an online store locator which allows readers to use their postal code to find places that carry Canadian magazines. It's part of Canada's Magazine Store, the successor to the Zinio-based digital newsstand which was recently discontinued. The store allows searches of titles by region and category. The store locator is based on Google Maps. 

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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The other side of Detroit [and Pittsburgh] featured in Spacing magazine tours

[This post has been updated] So popular was its first group tour to Detroit last year (it was a sell out) that Spacing magazine has a series planned this year. The tours are the outcome of a discussion by a group of Windsor architects with Windsor native Shawn Micalleff, a co-owner of the urban affairs magazine. They wanted to give Detroit a positive spin and tell about the good news about the city. 

This year, there will be bus tours April 12 and 13, June 28 and 29 and another in September. Sights on the tour include Eastern Market, The Heidelberg Project and neighbourhoods of Corktown, Midtown and New Center.

Quoted in a post on The Urbanite, Matthew Blackett, the publisher and creative director said of last year's tour that people from Toronto were ecstatic to witness what Detroit has to offer.

"The reaction was really good. What we found really interesting was that the women with our group always wanted to go to Detroit but never felt safe, so going in a group made it ideal for them. The trip made them want to explore the city in ways they wanted to without the fear at the back of their minds....
“The American tour-guides keep on saying, ‘Across the river there is Canada.’ Canada to them is not foreign unlike for many other Americans. Lots of people live in Windsor and work in Detroit. It is a unique urban experience to be honest. There are no other border cities like this.”
[In addition to the Detroit trips, Spacing is offering tours to Pittsburgh too -- May 9 - 11 and July 11 - 13.]

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Mag world view: Finnish merger; Forbes & the airport; Time buys IPC; awkward move to digital

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Graydon Carter named to U.S. magazine editors hall of fame

Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair, has been elected to the Magazine Editors' Hall of Fame and will be honoured at the [U.S.] National Magazine Awards dinner in New York on May 1. 

Carter, who was born in Toronto, got his start in Canada in 1973, when he co-founded The Canadian Review, a monthly general interest magazine. It went bankrupt by 1978 and Carter moved to the U.S., working five years for Time magazine then Life magazine starting in 1983. He co-founded Spy magazine in 1986 with Kurt Anderson and Tom Phillips. Spy was highly regarded but ceased publication in 1998. Then Carter was editor of the weekly New York Observer before being named editor of Vanity Fair in 1992. Under his leadership, the magazine has won 14 NMA awards, including two for general excellence; he's also been named Advertising Age's editor of the year, twice (the first journalist to be so). 

(As an interesting aside, Carter is co-owner of three Manhattan restaurants. )

The hall of fame was established in 1995 by the American Society of Magazine Editors and Carter will be joining a diverse, exclusive membership including Anna Wintour, Martha Stewart, Tina Brown, Hugh Hefner, Gloria Steinem, Jann S. Wenner and Helen Gurley Brown. 

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Monday, April 07, 2014

The more digital the world becomes, the more it needs glossy magazines

The editor of the high-brow German weekly Die Zeit has created a slick, biannual international magazine in English, featuring "best-of" content.  It's called The Berlin State of Mind and is something of a throwback to the glossy coffee table magazines of old. Christophe Amend says that he and his colleagues think there's a market for this kind of thing, a cross between the New York Times magazine and its sister T. When Deutsche Welle asked him if such magazines weren't dying out, he said
It's not dying. Die Zeit has a very successful website, and it is very successful on all social networks. But I think the more we all live in a digital media world, the more we feel the need to take a beautiful magazine into our hands and read it. To flip through the pages and enjoy it. If you look at the medium blogs, especially the younger ones like fashion blogs, what do they talk about? Mostly printed magazines! If a magazine like Vogue in America runs a cover with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West or Fantastic Man runs a cover with Boris Becker, the blogs discuss it first. The more digital the world becomes, the greater the need for nicely done glossy magazines.

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Facing the future with the Sheridan graduate illustration show opening April 10

The annual Sheridan Illustration graduate show is on this Thursday, April 10 at 7 p.m. (continuing through Friday 2 - 9) at 99 Sudbury Street, Toronto. "New Faces"is a great place for magazine people to see some of the brightest new talent coming up and into the business. Sheridan College offers the only dedicated Bachelor of Arts Illustration degree program in Canada and the grad show culminates 4 years of study. 

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