The number of new magazines being launched each year in the country isn't growing smaller just because print is "supposedly" declining; quite the contrary. Between October 2013 and the end of September 2014 there was a total of 862 new magazine launches - with 232 of those promising frequency. For a declining medium, print magazines are audaciously responding to that sentiment loudly and clearly with a courageous repudiation to their critics. Defining 862 new launches as "declining" is an understatement, to say the least.
Google may be on the cutting edge of technology, but its search engine is going increasingly old school by favoring the web sites of print publications. The expense of printing and distributing publications has led most publishers to start weaning themselves from dead-tree editions. But those same costs may be a key to Google's love affair with print-media brands. Google's preference for print pops up frequently in its guidelines for quality raters, a 160-page document that advises the Google employees who evaluate web sites in order to improve the company's search algorithms.
One year after a little-known business news website bought theNewsweek franchise and seven months after its print edition was resurrected, new owner International Business Times announced Monday that the magazine has turned a profit.
Citing 400% growth in revenue during the past year, and a 100-fold increase in advertising dollars, IBT Media CEO Etienne Uzac said September was the magazine's first profitable month since the purchase. The publication had lost money for years under The Washington Post Co., and more recently, Barry Diller's IAC, which had merged it with Tina Brown's Daily Beast.
Google, the epitome of the internet ventures that have so disrupted the magazine industry, turns out to have a crush on traditional publishers, a recently leaked report reveals. But publishers' increasingly reckless behavior threatens to dash this odd-couple relationship on the rocks.
Could the sale of the Digital First Media properties lead to the U.S.'s first quasi-national newspaper company? That's the hope of DFM's current owners, and the shiniest lure tossed out into the newspaper property marketplace by UBS, the unorthodox pick of DFM to be its banker/broker as its six dozen dailies are being shopped. Digital First Media finally announced the sale of its papers two weeks ago, confirming my April report ("The newsonomics of Digital First Media's Thunderdome implosion and coming sale") that the company had begun deep cost-cutting, with an eye toward profit maximization
Almost a year ago The Wire dropped an important signifier from its name. The decision to drop the "Atlantic" was about letting the news and entertainment aggregator live on its own outside the parent company. Along with that came a new design and new URL, all emphasizing the point that The Wire was a brand on its own, comparable with other Atlantic Media independents.
When IAC was beginning to wind down its catastrophic ownership of Newsweek in early 2013, the emphasis was on transitioning the brand from its decades-old print format to a new digital-only platform operating at a historically low footprint.
Then, not long after IBT Media acquired the embattled title last fall, the focus shifted to resurrecting Newsweek in print with a new editor, a growing masthead and a business plan that involved scaling the magazine's subscription base at a boutique price.
A commentator I respect, Joe Wikert, published a piece last week headlined "How Print Is Killing Publishers" that at first struck me as completely wrongheaded and backwards. But what we have here is failure to communicate.
"Print is a publisher's silent killer" because publishers are relying on print "even at the expense of digital transformation and growth," Wikert wrote for Book Business magazine. "The crazy part is we all know it's a big problem and yet very few publishers are taking evasive action."
Samir "Mr. Magazine" Husni has been tracking consumer magazine launches for most of his life, making him one of the nation's leading experts on the subject. He shares with Publishing Executive his take on this year's latest batch of titles.
The newsweekly Newsweek is like Tom Cruise at the end of Interview with the Vampire: it may still be alive, but it is not looking very good. At least that is what users of the digital edition are telling the publisher.
Newsweek probably won't go away until someone drives a stick through its heart. Bought by audio businessman Sidney Harman for a dollar from The Washington Post in 2010, the magazine embarrassed itself with a series of silly front cover stories under the editorial leadership of Tina Brown.