Tag Archives: Magazine industry
by Chris Roush
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.
by Chris Roush
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.
by Chris Roush
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.
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.
by Chris Roush
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.
by Chris Roush
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.
by Chris Roush
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.
by Chris Roush
This year’s Fortune 500 issue has the most ad pages of any Fortune issue since 2004, reports Emma Bazilian of Adweek.
Bazilian writes, “With 193 ads (and a total 356 pages), the magazine’s biggest franchise is up 36 year-over-year in ad pages, including 75 advertisers who didn’t appear in last year’s issue.
“Jed Hartman, group publisher for news and business at Time Inc., said some of the issue’s biggest ad growth came from the automotive, travel, and fashion categories (auto was up 79 year-over-year, while fashion rose 21 percent).
“Major ad buys came from clients like tech company Box, which bought banner strips across 26 pages in the print issue and on Fortune.com, as well as a custom mailing that went out to Fortune 500 CEOs and CMOs. The Hartford, CDW and Nationwide participated in a new series of branded advertorials called “company spotlights” that puts custom company profiles (written by Fortune’s marketing team) next to their regular ads.
“Hartman said this year’s Fortune 500 issue will also look different from its predecessors, due to the oversight of Fortune’s new art director Brandon Kavulla, who joined the magazine from Wired in March.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
The parent company of the Daiily Herald, a daily in suburban Chicago, plans to launch a new monthly magazine for the suburban Chicago business community in November.
A story on the Inland Press website states, “With an initial distribution of 12,000 copies, the magazine will feature companies, newsmakers and issues of importance to suburban businesses.
“Kim Mikus, who writes a twice-weekly business column in the Daily Herald, will serve as editor of the new publication, Daily Herald Suburban Business.
“Also, an enhanced Biz2Biz e-newsletter will provide a weekly suburban business report and a digest of current business news. The Daily Herald Biz2Biz e-newsletter reaches 5,000 suburban businesses through e-mail every week.
“‘The connection of businesses to one another is a largely unmet need in the suburbs,’ Doug Ray, chairman and CEO of Paddock Publications said in a statement. ‘We know from our own experience that business owners, managers and corporate leaders and their staffs want relevant local business news and information, and currently there is no authoritative source for it in the suburbs. This new initiative will fill that void with a monthly magazine, resource guides, a new and improved Biz2Biz enewsletter and special events featuring prominent suburban business executives, sharing best practices and current business developments.’”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Digital advertising accounted for half of Forbes’ total ad revenue for the year, reports Emma Bazilian of AdWeek.
Bazilian writes, “In the wake of a Pew report that sponsorship advertising was up 40 percent in 2012, Forbes Media is touting the growth of its own revenues—thanks, in part, to its success with native ads.
“The company achieved its best financial performance in five years in 2012, according to a memo released this morning by Forbes Media CEO Mike Perlis. Digital ad revenue, which increased 19 percent year over year, accounted for half of the company’s total ad revenue for the year, said Perlis. Ten percent of total revenue came from advertisers who incorporated BrandVoice into their buys, and by the end of this year, that share is estimated to rise to 25 percent.
“Things seemed pretty positive across other areas of Forbes’ business as well. Newsstand sales and ad pages were up 2 percent and 4 percent, respectively, amid industry-wide drops in both areas. The relatively new tablet app recently broke 200,000 downloads. And in the brand extension space, Forbes’ Healthcare Summit attracted enough sponsorship dollars to break even in its first year.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Black Enterprise magazine is cutting its print editions from 12 to 10 issues a year as it shifts to an emphasis to its online editions, Alfred A. Edmond Jr., senior vice president/multimedia editor-at-large, told Journal-isms on Monday.
Richard Prince writes, “‘All things being equal, we intend to deliver content across 10 print issues roughly equivalent to what we’ve delivered in 12 issues each year. The savings on printing and mailing two fewer issues each year is being shifted to our other media platforms, particularly digital, which has taken over from the print platform as a source of breaking news and delivers the responsiveness and interactivity our audience expects,’ Edmond said by email. ‘Those expectations can hardly be met by printed newspapers, much less by monthly or even weekly magazines.”
“Edmond was paraphrasing a letter to subscribers from Earl G. Graves Jr., president and CEO, in the January/February edition. Explaining why that issue is still on the newsstands, Edmond said, ‘One of the unavoidable consequences of preparing for and implementing these changes over the past year has been ongoing changes and disruptions of our production schedule, which has caused late production and delivery of our issues to newsstands and many subscribers for the past year.’
“Edmond went on, continuing the paraphrase, ‘Much of the content formerly delivered by our print platform is better suited for delivery via digital means, including our website, mobile and social media efforts; we will continue to shift resources accordingly.
“‘We are refocusing our magazine (including format and design changes introduced in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue) on content best suited to print periodicals, including more evergreen advice, exclusive lists and profiles, and less news-driven articles and resources, while creating stronger connections between the print product and our ongoing conversation with our audience on other platforms, especially social media and live events.’”
Read more here.