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ALM joins Penton, Summit Business Media in search for CEOs
November 23, 2011

And then there were three.

With last week's announcement that Bill Pollak will step down as president-CEO of ALM next year, three prominent b-to-b media companies are now searching for new executive leadership. Penton Media and Summit Business Media are also in the market for new CEOs.

There are strong similarities among the three companies. Each is or has been owned by private equity funds, underwent a financial restructuring in the wake of the downturn and, like virtually all b-to-b media companies, is grappling with the shift from print to digital.

Nook, Zinio Tie iPad For Magazine Publisher Take-Up
November 22, 2011

The tablet magazine opportunity is not all about iPad apps.

Although nearly half of U.S. magazine publishers have launched iPad apps, about the same proportion are also on the Nook device’s Newsstand and Zinio’s cross-platform newsstand.

Shake Up in the Top Ranks at Glamour
November 22, 2011

Glamour magazine, long the reliable cash cow for Condé Nast, has replaced its publisher after a string of recently disappointing advertising results.

Publishers Challenge Retailers in E-Commerce
November 18, 2011

I spent two decades working for business and consumer media brands, witnessing firsthand their desperate desire to reinvent themselves. So when I listened back in March to Esquire‘s Editor-in-Chief David Granger describe his magazine’s new venture into e-commerce, the idea seemed destined for failure.

Print Is Dead? Not For This Growing Publication Niche
November 17, 2011

Here’s a factoid that defies the conventional wisdom about printed magazines being passé and the U.S. newsstand system having one foot in the grave: Sales of bookazines are up nearly 20% this year, according to industry consortium MagNet.

“These results seem to contradict what the industry press has long decided, that digital is killing print,” MagNet, which reports on retail sales of magazines, wrote recently in its client newsletter. "Even in these tough economic times, consumers are willing to purchase high quality publications that provide subject matter that appeals to them, even at higher cover prices.”

Acting As Media Company, NFL Moves Into Print
November 16, 2011

In an endorsement of the would-be flailing industry, one of the most powerful and wealthy brands in media is entering the print game. Even with billions of dollars in TV contracts, its own network and a well-trafficked Web site, the NFL will debut a monthly magazine next month.

There continue to be print launches from scratch, but the industry may get to the point where new ventures without an established brand and strong promotional platform become increasingly difficult.

Web-only, indie-rock magazine returns to its roots in print
November 16, 2011

Given the hard times that have hit the music and publishing industries in recent years, it wasn't so shocking when Magnet, the national indie-rock magazine based in Philadelphia, put out what looked like its final print issue in 2008 and became a Web-only publication.

"The music industry was in the toilet, and we were able to weather that," says Magnet editor Eric T. Miller, who in 1993 cofounded the magazine. (John Cusack was reading it in publicity shots for the 2000 movie adaptation of Nick Hornby's High Fidelity.

Newspapers’ Digital Apostle
November 14, 2011

Last week, John Paton met with executives of the MediaNews Group, the second-largest newspaper chain by circulation in the country, home to papers like The Denver Post, The Detroit News, The Salt Lake Tribune and a broad swath of dailies throughout California, including The San Jose Mercury News.

Mr. Paton was given control of MediaNews by its owners in September based on his success operating the smaller Journal Register Company after it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009. Among other feats, he increased digital revenue by over 200 percent in his first full year as chief executive.

As Magazines and Retail Converge, Where Will the Editorial Line Be Drawn?
November 11, 2011

According to Forrester research, Americans will spend nearly $200 billion online in 2011, which accounts for about one-tenth of what U.S. consumers will spend on products and services all together this year. That figure is expected to grow by nearly one-third in the next four years.

As ecommerce explodes, businesses, brands and retailers are looking for new methods to attract customers and increase repeat business. Using a model called “content and commerce,” magazine-like editorials, photo spreads and videos integrate into the online shopping experiences to inspire, instruct and, ultimately, to sell products.

By Selling Stake In LMK, Hearst Sharpens Its Focus As A Tech Incubator
November 10, 2011

Hearst’s sale of a majority stake in its niche entertainment topics site/app collection LMK to digital holding company BlackOcean may not have been the biggest deal the company made this year. But it does highlight the ways that Hearst, and other major publishers, are looking beyond operating editorial properties as part of their business and becoming incubators of startups that can then be sold.

Hearst supersizes HGTV Magazine rollout
November 9, 2011

Hgtv Magazine, the first new magazine introduced by Hearst Magazines since David Carey took the reins as president in mid-2010, looks like it is a runaway hit right out of the gate.

The publisher is taking the unusual step of printing a second run of another 135,000 copies, Media Ink has learned.

In April, Hearst and Scripps Networks Interactive’s HGTV said they would release two test issues of the magazine in October and January based on the home-improvement channel’s programming.

Josh Tyrangiel Means Business
November 9, 2011

Two years ago, few believed BusinessWeek would ever be relevant again. We were wrong.

Josh Tyrangiel has a preposterous mission: to convince readers that a weekly business magazine left for dead two years ago is now a must-read.

That would be challenging enough in a good market. But in 2011, with print advertising still in crisis, there may not even be such a thing as a must-read magazine anymore.

“Is any media brand with the word ‘week’ in it going to survive?” asks Larry Kramer, the founder of MarketWatch, a successful online news brand.

Nook Tablet: Hands on with Barnes & Noble's Fire-eater
November 7, 2011

If you've preordered the Amazon Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble hopes you're now having second thoughts.

That's the message of the just-announced $249 Nook Tablet, the successor to 2010's Nook Color (which remains on the market for $199). The new 7-inch color tablet equals many of the basic specs of the Kindle Fire, but justifies its $50 price premium over Amazon's model by offering several notable upgrades.

Magazine publishers divided over giving digital issues for free
November 4, 2011

Offering full, digital copies of magazines on tablets for free to existing print subscribers is a critical misstep, basically destroying economic model for publishing, according to John Loughlin, executive vice president and general manager of Hearst Magazines.

“We are at a critical juncture for magazine publishers to reassert value of content, and that value needs to be paid for,” argued Loughlin, while speaking during a panel discussion about the future of publishing at the Open Mobile Summit on Thursday.

Magazine Awards Revamped, Again
November 4, 2011

Last year, the American Society of Magazine Editors caused a kerfuffle in editorial circles when it changed how it determines its prestigious general excellence awards. From then on, ASME said, honors would be based on magazine content rather than circulation size.

Mine's Bigger Than Yours: Quad and Donnelley Squabble Over Co-Mail
November 3, 2011

The country's two largest publication printers sparred this week over who has the biggest, baddest programs for helping customers save money on postage.

Quad/Graphics fired the first salvo yesterday when it announced that "it is now breaking company and industry records for co-mail pool sizes, aggregated volume and customer postage savings."

Meet the Print Publishers Among YouTube's New Channel Providers
November 2, 2011

A number of established print publishers have joined all the celebrities and web natives programming YouTube's 100 new high-polish, high-stakes original-content channels.

Scattered in with offerings from Madonna, Machinima, Katalyst and Demand Media, for example, you'll find channels from Hearst Magazines, Rodale, The Wall Street Journal, Motor Trend, Vice and others.

Bill would let US Postal Service tap fund surplus
November 2, 2011

The U.S. Postal Service would be allowed to tap into an estimated multibillion-dollar retirement fund surplus to ease its financial troubles under a bipartisan bill unveiled in the Senate on Wednesday.

The measure also would make the independent agency wait at least two years before attempting to end Saturday delivery.

The bill, introduced by senators Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins, Tom Carper and Scott Brown, likely will form the basis of Senate plans to revamp the Postal Service.

Discoverability Central to Big Numbers on Apple’s Newsstand
October 31, 2011

In the past two weeks since Apple Inc.  launched iOS 5 on Oct. 12, magazine publishers have been racing to announce the availability of titles on Apple’s new Newsstand. The feature automatically delivers new magazine issues directly to the homepage of an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. “It’s kind of like having the paper delivered to your front door. Only better,” the company’s Web site says.
This instant delivery, among the other features of Newsstand, is not only a key aspect of the new technology, but a likely reason for the industry’s rush to get involved.

A Year of Tina Brown and Newsweek Still Needs a Savior
October 31, 2011

When the merger between Newsweek and The Daily Beast was announced almost a year ago, it seemed like it might, at least, have the makings of a good story: charming nonagenarian audio tycoon teams up with a media mogul and celebrity editor to save a beloved dinosaur from extinction. Those behind the mashup believed, of course, that their idea was a great one. Or at least they hoped it would be, despite the battered state of both the economy and print media.