Tag Archives: Magazine industry

Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review reports highest circulation ever


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.


Wired to collaborate with Bon Appetit on food issue


Emma Bazilian of Adweek writes about how Wired and Bon Appetit magazines are collaborating on food issues in October.

Bazilian writes, “Wired editor in chief Scott Dadich was planning a feature about MSG and umami and had been toying with the idea of building a food-themed issue around it. The magazine had done food issues before but from a strictly scientific viewpoint; this time, Dadich wanted to add a service component to help readers ‘enjoy the process of cooking and eating.’

“He shared the idea with Adam Rapoport, Dadich’s counterpart at Bon App. Rapoport was immediately interested and agreed to translate Wired’s story into recipes a home cook could tackle. ‘Food is about more than just recipes, and what they were doing over at Wired gets at that reality,’ Rapoport said.

“The result of the collaboration will run in both titles’ October issues. Wired will run MSG-free, umami-heavy recipes from Bon App in collaboration with the Momofuku food lab. Bon App will use social media to direct readers to Wired’s feature, and both will share video and tablet content.

“Wired isn’t the only non-epicurean magazine putting a heavier focus on food. In the past year, titles from People to Harper’s Bazaar have looked to food content to appeal to readers and food advertisers—one of the fastest-growing ad categories.”

Read more here.


Oh, the irony: CFO magazine makes mistake with its 401(k) plan


A magazine about financial reporting and corporate tax law, for corporate finance and tax officers, just made a big goof with its own finance and tax department.

CFO magazine publisher Alan Glass sent out the following email to employees on Friday morning:

I recognize that there has been considerable concern regarding the company’s 401(k) plan and that the management in New York held an impromptu meeting last week to discuss.  I also received an email to the annonymous@cfo.com account asking about this situation as well as an email from one of our Boston colleagues asking for clarification.  Much of this was due to a misunderstanding on a process for funding the accounts with Fidelity.  We had planned to fund the entire account for the May payrolls with money that was forfeited by employees who left the company.  The forfeited funds are  the matching money that the company puts into the accounts that vests over time and the forfeited amount is that which was not vested.  We learned way too late that this money cannot be used to fund the accounts with money that has been paid by employees into their accounts and can only be used for the funding of the company’s matching amounts.  It is not unusual for company’s to use forfeited funds since that money is in fact, the company’s to use for this purpose or to recover it back into normal operating accounts.  The fact that it can only be used for funding the company match should have been caught earlier than it was, it wasn’t and that is an oversight that I am very sorry about.  I also want to assure you that this has nothing to do with the company’s ability to meet it’s 401(k) obligations.  Once this became known to us we immediately funded the accounts using a combination of cash from operations and the forfeited funds into the correct segment of the accounts.

The company’s obligation to fund both the employee and matching contributions are clearly stated in our plan as well as IRS regulations.  Those obligations are to insure that the accounts are funded within 15 business days in the month following payroll (this applies to the employee contributions and not the matching funds, although we have always treated them the same even though IRS regulations allow for a longer funding period for matching funds).  For example, in the case of the payroll that was just issued on July 15, the company’s obligation to fund the accounts must be completed no later than August 21.  The company also must fund the accounts for the July 31 payroll on the same date.  I’m unclear as to how quickly this shows up in our 401(k) accounts and have asked Louise to get clarity from Fidelity which will be communicated to you.

What I can assure you is that the company has met all of its 401(k) funding obligations through the June 28th payroll having funded both the employee and matching funds and has taken the necessary corrective actions to prevent this from happening again.

This is an unfortunate oversight that should not have happened and won’t again.  It affects all of us and for that I am deeply sorry.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write me directly or through the anonymous@cfo.com email account.


PCWorld ends print publication with August issue


PCWorld‘s August print edition will be its last after 30 years of publishing, its parent company announced Wednesday, and it will continue as an online magazine.

Bill Mickey of Folio writes, “There are 339,000 print subscribers, per the title’s AAM audit report, and if they want it, they’ll need to register online to receive the digital version of the title.

“No staff will be impacted by the move, says the company, and the transition to digital is only for the U.S. edition of PCWorld.

“‘Both technology users and marketers have led the way in the shift from print to online and our decision to end 30 years of PCWorld print publications reflects their preferences,’ said Bob Carrigan, CEO, IDG Communications in a prepared statement.  ‘PCWorld colleagues in the U.S. will now focus on innovative digital-first editions featuring interactive multimedia presented in high resolution.’

“The digital version of PCWorld will be available on iOS and Android devices, including Kindle Fire, iPads and iPhones.”

Read more here.


Biz magazines underperformed industry in second quarter


The 13 business magazines underperformed the rest of the industry in the second three months of 2013, according to data from the Publishers Information Bureau analyzed by Talking Biz News.

While the industry reported a small gain in ad dollars and a 4.5 percent drop in ad pages for the second quarter, the business magazines posted a 5.2 percent decline in ad dollars and an 11 percent decline in ad pages.

The biggest loser was Black Enterprise, which reported a 74.3 percent decline in ad dollars to $2.1 million and a 73.9 percent drop in ad pages to 44.84.

The best performing business glossy in the second quarter was Inc., which reported a 9.9 percent increase in ad dollars to $17.1 million and a 7.7 percent increase in ad pages to 204.02.

Among the big three business titles — Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and Fortune — Fortune was the only one to post a gain in the second quarter. Its ad revenue rose 6.0 percent to $57.5 million, while its ad pages fell less than 1 percent.

Bloomberg Businessweek reported a 3.1 percent decline in ad revenue to $53.3 million and a 6.4 percent decline in ad pages to 346.87, while Forbes posted an 8.6 percent drop in ad revenue to $73.1 million and a 14.5 percent decline in ad pages to 458.19.

The only other business magazines to post gains in the quarter were Bloomberg Markets and Wired.

Bloomberg Markets posted a 7.3 percent increase in ad dollars to $8.5 million and a 2.6 percent rise in ad pages to 171.51, while Wired posted a 6.1 percent increase in ad dollars to $28.8 million and a 2.5 percent decline in ad pages to 230.29.

Overall, the 13 business titles reported ad revenue of $338.1 million in the second quarter and ad pages of 3022.52.

All of the magazine industry data can be found here.

Forbes power

Forbes acting like a 96-year-old startup


Mark Glaser of PBS MediaShift writes about Forbes magazine and how it is trying to change its publishing model.

Glaser writes, “Nowadays, Forbes Media remains a private company, but has reinvented itself with: an online platform at Forbes.com with 1,300+ contributors; a native ad platform with BrandVoice; brand extensions including conferences and international editions; and a technology company that is looking to license its publishing platform obtained by purchasing True/Slant (and installing Lewis Dvorkin as chief product officer).

“That’s a lot to consider. To really rethink and reinvent itself, Forbes brought in Mike Perlis as CEO in December 2010, notably the first non-Forbes family member to run the mother ship. Perlis cut his teeth in traditional magazine publishing at IDG, Rodale, Playboy and Ziff-Davis, before becoming a venture capital partner at Softbank from 2000 to 2010, helping fund BeliefNet, Associated Content, Huffington Post and BuzzFeed. The true traditional player turned digital rainmaker. And during his time at Forbes, he has not shied away from pushing the envelope, taking the contributor network purchased from True/Slant and adding branded content — called ‘BrandVoice’ — before ‘native ad’ were in vogue.

“He was in a tough spot when he joined the company, which had gone through rounds of layoffs while its peers BusinessWeek and Fortune suffered a similar downturn during the economic decline. When I talked to Perlis recently, his only regret in the chaotic period when he came to Forbes was that they didn’t move faster into mobile. Perlis now looks beyond those print competitors to web-native publications (some of which he funded at Softbank) who are innovating with native ads and responsive sites.

“‘Winning used to be a narrow paradigm for us built around print competitors,’ he told me during a Skype video interview. ‘It’s very different for us today … It’s not about beating anyone, it’s about building our business uniquely around the assets that we’ve got.’

“Part of that includes expanding internationally in many countries with 30 local language editions. And part of that means Forbes is now a technology company as well, and Perlis said they have two beta testers who will license the publishing platform in the near future.”

Read more here.

DCEO July August cover (2)

The D CEO magazine brand of business journalism


Christine Perez is managing editor of D CEO magazine in Dallas and founding editor of its D Real Estate Daily news site.

Prior to joining D, she was a longtime commercial real estate reporter for the Dallas Business Journal and served as a columnist for National Real Estate Investor magazine. Before that she worked for various business publications in Kansas City and Minneapolis. She’s also the author of a book on the Corrigans, a notable real estate family in Dallas.

Christine Perez (2)Perez has been recognized with national and regional journalism awards—two for a report on former HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, which sparked a federal investigation. Most recently she earned a bronze award in the “Best Body of Work by a Single Writer” category in AABP’s 2013 Editorial Excellence Awards.

D CEO won five gold awards at the AAPB conference last weekend in Nashville, including best magazine, best feature and best profile.

Talking Biz News asked Perez about the magazine’s approach to business journalism. Here is what she told us:

So how does a city magazine go about covering business in a way that’s unique to other media in its market? At D CEO, the business title of D Magazine Partners in Dallas, we do it by focusing in-depth on top North Texas executives. Through our intimate storytelling approach, readers learn how the experiences of these c-level execs help shape their leadership strategies—and the companies they run.

In the current issue, for example, Steve Jacob writes about Bert Marshall, the new CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, and how he’s bringing a public-health sensibility to the post. Readers get solid information on the company, as well as rich details about Marshall’s upbringing as the son of a nomadic oil executive:

Marshall vividly recalls the shantytowns outside the Libyan capital of Tripoli, a landscape dominated by clapboard lean-to tin-roof dwellings. It was his first glimpse of abject poverty. Such early experiences “and travel inevitably shape you,” he says. As a result, he adds, “I am a firm believer in diversity. I embrace different cultures and people.”

A member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Marshall himself is a member of a minority group. His great-great grandmother was named Green Feather. Although he’s only 1/64th Native American, his unbroken lineage gives him Cherokee voting rights. So it’s not so surprising that an Indian headdress and shield are mounted on the wall of his 15th-floor office in Richardson.

In another story, D CEO Executive Editor Glenn Hunter gives readers an inside look at two well-known families (one of which is notoriously press-shy) that own iconic Dallas shopping centers. He writes about their intense rivalry, as they battle for affluent consumers and luxury tenants like Valentino, Versace, Dior and Chanel.

A third feature is a collection of shorter profiles on all 48 Dallas area Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year contenders, plus Ross Perot and Ross Perot Jr., who were presented with a special award as part of the program. For this story, I was able to spend more than four hours with the Perots. We didn’t have enough space in D CEO for some of the fun nuggets that emerged during the interview—like stories about the time young Ross Jr. and his father were on a U.S. military submarine, trying to outrun the Russians; or how Ross Sr. managed to get out of paying our lunch bill—so we ran a separate story in D Magazine.

Along with three or four longer (2,500- to 4,000-word) features, each issue of D CEO includes regular industry columns (commercial real estate, law, and technology; healthcare will launch in October), plus a number of standing features — Breakfast With D CEO, You Need to Know, My Office, and Meet the CEO — as well as a back-page Bottom Line column written by Steve Kaskovich, a business editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Launched in 2006, D CEO comes out nine times a year (up from eight in 2012); we combine the Jan/Feb, May/June, and July/August issues. We may go up to 10 at some point, but nine is a schedule that seems to work well for everyone for now.

We have a lean editorial staff — essentially, two editors and an editorial assistant. Regular columnists write the industry columns; for other stories, we rely on a stable of talented freelancers. A team of three interns helps with fact-checking and writing briefs for our news sites, D Real Estate Daily and D Healthcare Daily, another important part of our business media platform.

D CEO is not afraid to invest time, resources, or pages to achieve desired results. Features may take three or four or even six months to pull together. For a report on U.S. Trade Representative and former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk, we flew the writer to Washington, D.C. I’m heading to California next month to interview a Dallas CEO who has a number of business interests there.

That being said, Glenn and I have learned to work within budgetary constraints — as has our art director, Hamilton Hedrick, whose creativity and impact cannot be overstated.

In the May/June issue, for example, we profiled ReelFX CEO Steve O’Brien. Hamilton came up with the idea of incorporating characters from an upcoming ReelFX movie into the photos, taken by our outstanding in-house photographer, Elizabeth Lavin. (I especially love the shot of the turkeys photocopying their “butts.”)

For a story on the CEO of a sports memorabilia company, Hamilton recruited two other employees to give their boss a Gatorade-style trading card “shower.” And for a feature on our Top Financial Executives Awards program, which could easily have veered into “boring” territory, Hamilton and Elizabeth scouted estate sales and found an old desk and adding machine, and built the creative concept around that.

The resulting photos, shot at our office, are dramatic — and cohesive. Overall, D CEO strives for a luxury magazine feel.

Along with our magazine and two news verticals, D CEO also hosts a number of events, most of which are invite-only, to help preserve the quality of the networking experience and to align with our mission of connecting c-level execs.

One key strategy: D CEO intentionally practices collective ambition. Our entire group (editorial, art, production, sales, audience development, and marketing) meets as a team every other week to share information and ideas. We try to take a collaborative approach to everything we do, while at the same time respecting the sales-editorial divide and other boundaries.

D CEO began holding the biweekly meetings about 18 months ago, and the results from rowing in the same direction are now being realized. Ad sales are up significantly in 2013, we’re continuing to add staff, and we’ve launched several new initiatives — with others in the works.

We think there’s a real need for a magazine like D CEO in Dallas, not only because of the region’s size and prominence, but because it’s a top corporate relocation market, with new executives moving in on a regular basis. D CEO helps them get to know the local leadership class.

Our readers tell us they view the magazine as a peer. It all comes back to the connecting and the storytelling. We’re fortunate to be in an area where there’s no shortage of interesting executives and companies to cover.


Independent business publications named best in their field


The Alliance of Area Business Publications presented 108 awards to newspaper and magazine business periodicals this weekend during its three-day annual Summer Conference in Nashville.

The winners were:

  • Best Magazine went to D CEO. The judges wrote, “Great design, layout and illustrations highlight solid, well-reported, and well-written stories. A dynamic array of features, profiles, news stories, and briefs reveals the business community to its audience, packaging information in a way that enhances that content.”
  • Best Newspaper: Small Tabloids went to BizTimes Milwaukee. The judges wrote, “The judges agreed that inspired ideas in tandem with strong design and a fluent writing style made this a winner. A report on Wisconsin’s return to traditional economic anchors — agriculture, mining and manufacture — to drive future growth is an apt illustration. It is well reported, well designed and well written. The publication makes a real effort to be accessible, with headings, lists and breakouts to help the reader navigate each section. Columnists weigh-in on subjects that apply to nearly all business sectors. A great deal of thought and planning clearly goes into every edition.”
  • Best Newspaper: Large Tabloids went to Los Angeles Business Journal. The judges wrote: “This publication clearly knows its audience and delivers to it on every possible topic. The publication has a huge reach in a complicated demographic and town. It seems like the staff is ahead of the curve with content that’s densely packed with information. There are good headlines throughout the sections, a good mix of graphics and photography to support, enhance the text.”
  • Best Cover, Magazine went to Twin Cities Business
  • Best Front Page, Newspaper went to New Orleans CityBusiness.
  • Most Improved Publication is Inside Business.
  • Best Website went to Crain’s Detroit Business.
  • Best Online Scoop went to Indianapolis Business Journal.
  • Best Staff-Generated Blog went to The Business Journal, Fresno.
  • Best Multimedia Story/Editorial Feature went to Crain’s New York Business.
  • Best Daily E-Mail went to Crain’s Detroit Business
  • Best Industry Specific E-Newsletter went to Crain’s New York Business.

There were 573 entries from 44 publications in the competition this year. That number is down from 657 entries in 2012, but up over 487 in 2011.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Alliance is a nonprofit national organization representing 64 independent magazine and newspaper members in the United States, Canada and Australia.


Businessweek ad campaign

Bloomberg Businessweek starts new ad campaign


Todd Wasserman of Mashable writes that Bloomberg Businessweek is targeting twentysomethings living at home for a campaign that aims to gently nudge them out of their parents’ basements by offering — what else? — a subscription to the magazine.

Wasserman writes, “The title launched the website bbwgetsyouahead.com, which houses e-giftcards that parents and friends can send to Gen Y-ers still living at home. One card from the parents reads, ‘Our American dream is for you to move out.’ A friend’s card offers the following inspiring message: ‘**Spoiler Alert** You end up middle-aged and single.’ In addition to launching the site, Bloomberg Businessweek will also run an online campaign.

“Physical versions of these cards will also be available at the stationery chain Papyrus. The cards are designed to be sent with 12 free issues of Bloomberg Businessweek, either in print or on the iPad.

“Bloomberg Businessweek, which Michael Bloomberg purchased and reconstituted in 2009, claims 980,000 global subscribers. A representative could not say how many of those readers are in its campaign target group — 18 to 31 years old and living at home — but acknowledged that it’s a ‘growing demo.’ The campaign ‘is not too subtle, and that’s what we liked about it,’ the representative said.

“That said, Bloomberg Businessweek may not necessarily be the magazine you’d normally think to give a young person hitting the job market. It doesn’t include any interviewing tips, and boasts little prescriptive advice.”

Read more here.


Grid biz magazine takes a vacation


Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Business Journal writes that the Grid business magazine of the Chicago Sun-Times did not publish this week.

Lazare writes, “Sun-Times subscribers looking for their copy in home-delivered editions of the paper would have discovered the magazine was missing.

“Rather, buried in the paper’s thin Sunday main section was a single page of Grid and a brief note indicating the magazine was taking a week off. Readers were told Grid would return next Sunday.

“Though it has tried hard to be light, tight and exceedingly bright in its approach to business coverage — a format perhaps more appealing to twentysomethings and thirtysomethings looking for a bit of business insight — Grid has been notably short on advertising since its debut.

“Grid, however, has regularly featured a full-page ad from World Business Chicago, a not-for-profit economic development entity. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is WBC’s board of directors chairman and Michael Sacks is board vice-chairman.”

Read more here.