Tag Archives: Magazine industry
by Liz Hester
While it may not be well known outside the five boroughs of New York City, the magazine of the same name is something of a must-read for certain in-the-know city dwellers. A mix of culture, fashion, design, products and news, the magazine often wins awards and sparks conversations. The announcement the weekly was moving to a bi-monthly prompted many to shake their heads at the state of print media.
David Carr of the New York Times wrote this in his column about the move:
Since its founding in 1968, New York magazine has served as a prototype of literate, high-tempo publishing, using its weekly cadence and location in one of the world’s cultural capitals to usher in a new, more intimate and frank approach to what a publication could be.
Using the tenets of so-called New Journalism, the magazine helped popularize the knowing, skeptical voices of writers including Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin, Gloria Steinem and Nora Ephron. It was the birthplace of both Ms. Magazine and the concept of “radical chic.”
Now, this magazine that has been at the vanguard of Manhattan publishing for almost five decades is acknowledging that the cutting edge is not necessarily a lucrative, or sustainable proposition, at least on the same schedule.
Beginning in March, New York will retreat from its long-standing status as a weekly and come out every other week instead.
Along with the closing of the printed Newsweek and the planned spin-off of Time Inc., which includes the weeklies Time and People, the move to bi-weekly publishing represents the end of an era and underscores the dreary economics of print and its diminishing role in a future that’s already here.
The change will beget misty eyes from magazine geeks — myself among them — while other consumers will shrug and dive into the ever-changing web version of New York magazine that shows up in their browser.
The weekly schedule of New York has already been squeezed, so that the magazine comes out only 42 weeks a year. Soon it will be 26 times a year, with three additional special issues — best doctors, the annual gift guide and a food-and-drink issue.
Fashion Times did a blurb about the new publication, choosing to focus on the redesign instead of the cuts:
The Cut, which is New York Magazine‘s popular online fashion website, will be rendered into the print version beginning in March.
While it’s too soon to say exactly what will be included in the new version, it has been confirmed that the section will include a “Life in Pictures” feature, which will tell stories through photography. To that end, the magazine will focus more heavily on content that takes advantage of print. The Cut section of the magazine will be similar to the rest of the already-established sections, but with a focus on fashion. Previously, every third issue of New York Magazine would have four pages dedicated to fashion. But now, fashion will get six pages in each issue.
Each issue of the revamped version of New York Magazine will include four big sections instead of the current three, as well as four big stories instead of three. Columnists will report on sex, business and potentially technology.
Carr of the NYT writes that it isn’t readers the magazine is losing, but cuts are due to drops in ads and prices:
Journalistically, New York magazine has prospered, winning a string of big awards on the way to being named Magazine of the Year in 2013 by the American Society of Magazine Editors. But that doesn’t pay the bills, a job that increasingly falls to the website, which includes NYmag.com, Vulture.com, The Cut and Grub Street. Digital revenues have been growing at a rate of 15 percent year-over-year, and in the coming year will surpass print advertising revenues, according to Mr. Burstein. But part of the reason those lines are crossing is that the print revenues are plummeting.
New York, with a current subscriber base just above 400,000, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, got clobbered after the 2008 recession when classified ads went missing and stayed that way. So far this year, the magazine is down 9.2 percent in ad pages compared with the same period last year, which was miserable as well.
The brand New York is hardly dying. New York magazine’s web traffic grew 19 percent in the last eight months, to more than nine million unique visitors a month, according to comScore. But to keep up that rate of growth in a competitive set that includes publicly held companies like The New York Times and upstarts like the venture-capital backed online news site BuzzFeed, the magazine had to reduce costs to find the money to fund the part of the business that is growing.
The New York Post compared the cuts to what happened at the now-closed Newsweek:
The move to slash frequency is the latest sign that newsweeklies are a troubled commodity.
The demise of Newsweek’s print edition at the end of 2012 is the most glaring example. The magazine was still losing $20 million a year despite a merger with the Daily Beast news site at Barry Diller’s IAC Interactive Corp.
The Newsweek name was sold to IBT Media, owner of International Business Times, and most of the former staff was laid off. IBT Media continues to publish the title as a digital-only format although print editions are still produced by overseas licensees.
It’s always sad to see a magazine reduce its publication, but the bright side is that New York has figured out how to market, package and make money on the web. And that’s what many others in the industry are struggling to do, indicating the company will still be turning out pithy coverage for some time to come.
by Chris Roush
The largest issue of Businessweek since 1999 is on newsstands on Friday.
It’s also the largest issue since Bloomberg purchased the magazine in 2009. At 212 pages, with more than 111 pages of ads, Bloomberg Businessweek’s “The Year Ahead: 2014” is a special, perfect-bound issue that is part of Bloomberg L.P.’s new global media franchise “The Year Ahead.”
Forty-five percent of the advertisers in the Nov. 18 issue are also new to the magazine.
The issue examines the major trends, disruptions, breakthrough products, innovations, and revolutions of the coming year. There’s analysis from Bloomberg writers as well as interviews with key CEOs on their predictions for what’s coming in finance, energy, technology, retail, defense & transportation, and health care.
There are stories from around the world and charts illustrating personalized pricing, banks and their troubles, the quest for same-day delivery, and more.
In addition, there’s a ranking of the world’s 600 biggest companies by market share within their 55 industries, and to impress friends, a tear-out card of information on how six industries are facing the year ahead.
by Chris Roush
Linda Baker, the editor of Oregon Business, writes about how the magazine is expanding its online presence.
Baker writes, “I’m excited to announce a new OregonBusiness.com blogger network, featuring original reporting and analysis by journalists and subject experts.
“So far, we have signed five new bloggers (who join longtime contributor Tom Cox), with plans to grow the roster in the coming months. We think you will find their insights to be enlightening, provocative — and a must read.
“Other OB digital and mobile initiatives are underway.
“We know our magazine readers are looking for in-depth analysis and perspective; we also know readers are on their laptops, tablets and other mobile devices throughout the week — often looking for quick sharp takes on the news. To make our mobile platform more user friendly, our in-house tech guru, web production manager Bjorn Vandervoo, has made some improvements to the Oregon Business mobile platform.
“The pages now load faster, the presentation is more streamlined and easier to read, and the homepage news feed is updated throughout the day, pulling in stories from across the website.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
The 14 business magazines followed by the Publishers Information Bureau underperformed the magazine industry in the third quarter in terms of advertising revenue and advertising pages.
The business magazines recorded ad revenue of $279.3 million, a decline of 1.7 percent, in the third quarter. The ad pages fell 3.2 percent in the third quarter to 2,570.76.
In comparison, the overall magazine industry reported a 4.0 percent gain in ad revenue for the quarter and a 1.8 percent decline in ad pages.
The best performer among the business titles during the quarter was Barron’s, which had a 33.8 percent increase in ad revenue to $15.7 million and a 29.2 percent increase in ad pages to 296.02.
Another strong performer for the quarter was Inc. magazine, which posted a 23.9 percent increase in ad revenue to $14.8 million and a 22 percent increase in ad pages to 177.9
Among the big three business magazines — Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and Fortune — Forbes posted the best performance in the quarter. It had a 2.9 percent increase in ad revenue to $50.5 million and a 1.1 percent decrease in ad pages to 321.1.
In comparison, Businessweek posted a 2 percent increase in ad revenue to $44.4 million and a 1.3 percent decrease in ad pages to 287.84, while Fortune posted a 12.5 percent decline in ad revenue to $46.4 million and a 17.5 percent drop in ad pages to 306.46.
The worst performing business title in the quarter was, once again, Black Enterprise, which reported a 65.3 percent decline in ad revenue to $2.2 million and a 65 percent decline in ad pages to 46.63.
See all of the data here.
by Chris Roush
The parent of the Chicago Sun-Times is pulling the plug on the glossy print edition of the weekly business magazine it launched with some fanfare last winter and began inserting into the Sunday Sun-Times, reports Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Business Journal.
Lazare writes, “Asked about Grid’s future, Wrapports said in a statement that ‘Grid’s digitally-savvy readers connect with business news on multiple platforms throughout the day,’ and added ‘Grid continues to experiment to find the optimal mix of digital and print media for its on-the-go audience.’
“In confirming the demise of Grid the magazine, Wrapports appeared to allow for the possibility some version of Grid in print form might return one day.
“But it was apparent from the Grid magazine’s debut last winter that it was a pricey and exceedingly risky proposition for a struggling newspaper company that hadn’t yet achieved profitability. Printed on glossy paper, the four-color magazine was designed to attract an upscale readership. But from the get-go, the publication attracted few advertisers to help underwrite the cost of producing the weekly publication.
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Bobby Senaha, who had been advertising director at Hawaii Business magazine since 2004, has been named publisher of the magazine.
Janis Magin of Pacific Business News writes, “Senaha had been serving as interim publisher since June, the company said. He replaces David Tumilowicz, who left the magazine to become a director of broker relations and client engagement at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii.
“‘Bobby has been instrumental in the growth of PacificBasin, and we are proud to recognize his contributions to our collective success,’ PacificBasin Communications President Scott Schumaker said in a statement. ‘We are looking forward to the continued value he will bring to this new role with Hawaii Business as we move forward.’
“PacificBasin Communications also publishes Honolulu and Hawaii magazines.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
The third issue of WSJ Money, the Wall Street Journal‘s upscale personal finance magazine, appears Saturday as an insert in the business newspaper.
The magazine focuses on investing issues for the high-net worth crowd, with special departments and columns such as “Empire Builder” and “Made of Money” centered around several long-form features written by the staff and freelancers.
It has also looked into why Singapore has quietly attracted such a high number of millionaires, the strange and curious world behind the gem business, and what Christine Lagarde has to say about the future of the world economy.
Dahl spoke Friday morning by email with Talking Biz News about WSJ. Money. What follows is an edited transcript.
How did the idea for WSJ.Money come about?
The field for personal finance coverage has become enormously crowded, with so many magazines, websites and cable shows offering advice on how to spend, save and plan your money. But the coverage is almost entirely focused on the mid-market reader. We saw a chance to reach out to a different audience — the high-end crowd — but knew it had to be done with great journalism and with great photography that a glossy magazine can produce.
There seem to be a number of magazines in this field, from Bloomberg Pursuits to Forbes Life. What do you do different at WSJ. Money?
I enjoy reading about how the rich-and-famous spend their money. Who doesn’t? But that has nothing to do with WSJ. Money: We’re showing how the wealthy are growing (not spending) their money. And we’re doing it during a period when it has never been harder to do so, given today’s low interest rates. But in the same way those spending magazines are fun to read, we believe WSJ. Money is similarly interesting to readers who are not ultra-wealthy, but who want to read about people who are buying entire toll bridges, investing in Burma gem mines, and making a killing on Chinese stamps.
What did you learn at Smart Money that you’re doing now with WSJ. Money?
We use less far less resources to accomplish much of the same, in terms of producing quality features and attractive designs. As with the rest of the journalism field, we have learned to become a lot more efficient.
This magazine is a quarterly. Why that publishing schedule?
Over the years, we’ve seen many new magazines blow all their resources before establishing their advertising and readership market. The magazine is off to a great start, but is a new concept that will need tweaking. WSJ., our widely successful sister publication, started out on a similar schedule.
Could this expand to more issues per year, and be sold separately from the newspaper?
We definitely will consider expanding to more issues a year, but I don’t think it makes sense to move us to newspaper stands. By inserting the magazine into The Wall Street Journal, we are guaranteed an enormous readership.
How is the magazine content produced — staff, freelancers, or a combination?
It’s a combination of freelancers and staff members, and so far the mix has been great — from the Journal’s award winning columnist Jason Zweig to John Koten, the former to top editor for Fast Company and Inc.
What are the goals of the magazine?
We want to create awareness surrounding high-end finance — how, for example, wealthy families tend to eat up most of their inheritances by the third generation, why Singapore is quietly attracting the world’s high ratio of millionaires, and so on. But equally important, we want to continue to show the value and importance of long-form journalism. I’m proud of the features we have already run. We were first, for example, to interview a little-known young Houston couple who have decided to give away $4 billion.
How is high-end personal finance a niche in business journalism that produces quality content?
The number of millionaires with assets over $5 million has quadrupled in 10 years. For better or worse, it is the ultra-rich who are driving the much of the world economy. Business publications today need to know where these people — especially the new rich in Asia — are investing their assets.
How does the magazine fit into what The Journal is trying to accomplish with its coverage?
I’ve watched the paper over the years become far more of an international publication, as it keeps up with the fast-paced changes in the global economy. WSJ. Money focuses precisely on the international sector — with the bulk of our stories and departments describing world investments. Like the Journal, we’ve also got access to some of the biggest names in business, whether it’s Mark Cuban describing his climb to wealth in our “Empire Builder” graphic, or Christine Lagarde offering her thoughts on the Europe economy.
What has improved from the first issue to the one coming out on Saturday?
Because of the success of the early issues, both in reader feedback and advertising, we have more space now to do more features and provide more colorful photography. The reader doesn’t know it, of course, but the team producing all this is much more efficient now too.
What areas would you still like to work on with the magazine?
I think the greatest opportunities for this kind of coverage will ultimately be online. We started out with the notion of setting the table, if you will, with a beautiful and interesting publication readers could hold in their hands. But we know that we’ll need to increase our online content as we continue to grow.
by Chris Roush
Longtime business journalist Jim Impoco has been named the editor in chief of Newsweek, which was acquired earlier this year by IBT Media.
Impoco was most recently at Thomson Reuters, where he spent four years as both enterprise editor and executive editor for Thomson Reuters Digital. In his most recent role, Impoco was responsible for revamping the company’s consumer-facing digital platforms and overseeing the award-winning redesign of NewsPro.
“We are thrilled to have Jim on board,” said Etienne Uzac, co-founder and chief executive officer of IBT Media, in a statement. “Jim has a remarkable track record of leadership in journalism and a deep understanding of the digital industry, which is the exactly what will take Newsweek to the next level. We look forward to his many contributions as editor-in-chief.”
Prior to Impoco’s time at Thomson Reuters, he held leadership positions at Conde Nast Portfolio, New York Times, Fortune magazine, and U.S. News & World Report. At the Times, he edited the Sunday business section.
Impoco will be reporting to IBT Media’s chief content officer, Johnathan Davis.
As announced previously, IAC will continue to operate Newsweek for a period of 60 days. IBT media will take over the operation on Oct. 1.
by Chris Roush
Pink Corner Office, a publication focusing on women in business, is set to release its first print issue nationally on Nov. 19, 2013.
Pink Corner Office, which is based on Ohio, will target professional women in business and leadership who strive for “success as a lifestyle.” The magazine plans to provide content from experts in the field, presented in an accessible way that helps busy, professional women incorporate balance in all areas of their lives, while providing solid business information.
“There is no other national, business publication that focuses on business from a woman’s perspective, and keeping it all in balance,” said founder Mary Young in a statement. “At Pink Corner Office, we think of success as not just a goal, but a lifestyle.”
The magazine’s website says it plans to distribute 10,000 copies. And it is seeking sponsors who would pay up to $35,000 per issue.
Its target demographic is women ranging from 30-55, who are in business, own a business, and/or professional leaders in all types of industries.
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Harvard Business Review, or HBR, said Monday that its overall paid circulation was 260,315 at the end of June, the highest paid circulation ever reported in the 91-year history of the magazine.
Chris Reidy of The Boston Globe writes, “Overall paid circulation was 7.5 percent higher than it was at the same time a year ago, said HBR, which publishes 10 editions a year. HBR articles focus on such topics as ‘smart management thinking’ and best business practices.
“HBR’s content can be consumed in several ways. Readers can subscribe to the print edition or buy a single copy on the newsstand. Consumers can also get a digital subscription that is designed to be read on mobile devices such as iPads and smartphones, as well as on personal computers. Paid print subscriptions rose 7.3 percent on a year-to-year basis. Single-copy sales were up 9.4 percent year-to-year. And HBR added that it had 14,639 “non-replica” digital subscribers at the end of the June reporting period.
“Over the past four years, HBR said that its advertising revenue has grown 32 percent; that figure includes both print and digital ad revenues. HBR does not disclose revenues in dollars.”
Read more here.