Blogs

Pondering the Past and Future of Publishing in the U.K.

On August 3 my wife Carol and I went to England and Wales touring for almost a month and spending time with family and friends. Among many other publishing/literary type things that we did while in the UK, we saw two Shakespeare plays at The Globe Theater London and one at Stratford-upon-Avon, all terrific performances.…

How the Old Farmer's Almanac Has Found Digital Success

Last week was a big week for the Old Farmer’s Almanac. The 2016 edition has shipped, is being received in wholesale agencies, and is beginning to appear in retail outlets throughout the country. The AP wire story has been released and picked up by ABC News, HuffPO, Yahoo! News, and Fox. The New York Times,…

The Perils and Promise of Programmatic Print

Recent news that Time Inc. is expanding its “programmatic print” experiment set hearts aflutter among many magazine publishers. Does Time’s expansion of the program mean the magazine industry has finally found the magic potion that will stanch the steady outflow of print advertising? It ain’t that simple. Publishers face huge technological barriers in translating programmatic…

Other Staff Bloggers
Content & Digital Media

Last week was a big week for the Old Farmer’s Almanac. The 2016 edition has shipped, is being received in wholesale agencies, and is beginning to appear in retail outlets throughout the country. The AP wire story has been released and picked up by ABC News, HuffPO, Yahoo! News, and Fox. The New York Times,…

Recent news that Time Inc. is expanding its “programmatic print” experiment set hearts aflutter among many magazine publishers. Does Time’s expansion of the program mean the magazine industry has finally found the magic potion that will stanch the steady outflow of print advertising? It ain’t that simple. Publishers face huge technological barriers in translating programmatic…

A global digital model can work for print publishers, but, if Hearst Magazines International’s experience is any indication, it will not be built around paid content. That is one of the lessons I took from Yale Publishing Course this year. If you’re looking to keep track of what innovations leading publishers are trying, digitally and…

Sales & Advertising

U.S. News & World Report announced that Jada Graves will become the managing editor of the branded content division BrandFuse.

To sell content marketing services, make sure your sales staff is up to speed.

Last week Publishing Executive announced the launch of the Publishing & Media Labthat we will host at the 2015 Content Marketing World conference this September. The Lab will help media companies position themselves to meet advertisers' growing thirst for branded content and drive new revenue.

News

My friend Samir Husni has penned a short essay and complaint about "numbers" used in our industry for purposes of industry review and analysis (Click here). He bemoans the way some media reporters publish stats on the number of new titles in each quarter, and he wishes that they reached out to him for his extensive collected number of new launches. I suggest that his collection of data is very large, unique, and probably the most definitive.

I applaud all passions when it comes to this subject, and perhaps it is time once again to revisit and reconsider the question, what is a magazine? But at the end of the day it doesn't really matter. The death of magazines, which isn't really happening, is a red herring when considering how we keep score. The only viable score card, when one is in a business dialog, is revenue. Many printers are doing very well in these trying times, while at the same time the magazine business on the whole isn't. Ad revenue on an industry wide basis is down, newsstand sales are down, and subscriptions are down.

An interesting professional sobriety hit the magazine business this week that was a long time in its maturation.

Data & Audience

There is absolutely nothing new in the latest newsstand reports that we didn't really already know, and the latest stats shouldn't be any kind of surprise to anyone. The print enthusiasts on the planet will continue to deny that there is anything wrong with the medium, and many new print titles will still be born despite the statistically obvious fact that print gets a smaller footprint each and every every quarter since 2008. There is no bottom to this trend and there is no correction possible anywhere in sight. Nevertheless. I suggest that there is some hope.

Popular thought has it that the Internet has allowed us to usher in something that is known generally as the 'knowledge economy' or the 'information age'. I happen to believe that society is already moving out of that era and on to 'the human era', an era where we are re-asserting our humanity.

Every brand is attempting to deliver a unique experience for every single person it engages with. This is not a new challenge -- it is a longtime dream of marketers. But only now are we even starting to pull together the technologies needed to deliver on that vision -- and there is still a ways to go. But make no mistake: the technology is getting there. And fast.

Printing & Production

There is a story in today's paper that is a recap of a very local discussion about our paper of record here in Charlottesville, VA. The thing that struck me is a very small item that, until I read this article, was completely under my radar.  It tells a story that I was directly involved in for several years, but that I had completely forgotten about.

Given what she's been up against for the past year, it's amazing that TNG's Ingrid Jakabcsin finds time to meet with publishers.

With the May, 2014 demise of Source Interlink, which represented roughly one third of all magazine newsstand business in the US, TNG (formerly The News Group), already North America's largest magazine distributor, had to double its capacity, almost literally overnight. With trucks lined up on the highways to get into the depots, the pressure on receiving and invoicing forced warehouses to operate almost round the clock. Tie lines ran twenty hours a day, in two ten hour shifts, seven days a week.

Too many times in the last decade pundits, printers, publishers and workers in the ranks have heard or have talked about it themselves -- the inescapable, oft repeated mantra that print is dead. I am so tired of it that it boggles the mind.

Here is my statement and you should repeat after me, "Print is not dead or dying. The facts plainly show otherwise." Let's agree right here and now to get on with the necessary process of information distribution for a profit and forget about fear mongering old wives tales.