June 2007 Issue


AARP, Publishers Weekly Team Up With Partnership

AARP Publications and Publishers Weekly, a trade magazine for the book industry, today announced a multi-year strategic relationship through which they will create a variety of initiatives that include content sharing, events and sponsorships. The joint effort enables both AARP Publications and Publishers Weekly to expand their offerings to the book industry and AARP’s 38 million members through this unique multimedia platform, effectively targeting the 50+ demographic. As part of the relationship, AARP Publications will work with Publishers Weekly on a variety of joint promotional efforts—both online and across their respective print publications—that will involve content sharing and/or licensing agreements based on the specific project.

Active Interest Media Inc. Buys Backpacker Magazine

Active Interest Media Inc. (AIM) has acquired Backpacker magazine from Rodale, AIM’s president and CEO Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III announced recently. The new acquisition adds to AIM’s portfolio of enthusiast magazines, consumer shows, books and Web sites. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 1973, Backpacker is the leading backpacking magazine in the country, with a circulation rate base of 340,000. Zimbalist, whose previous experience includes a post as CEO of Times Mirror Magazines, says, “Backpacker is an excellent magazine with outstanding future growth potential, and represents the best kind of properties we seek to acquire. With its dedicated readership, growing circulation

Circulation and Fulfillment Options

Publishers searching for partnerships in the circulation/fulfillment-solution sector of the industry will find that there are many options out there. But, like all things, no two solutions are created equal, so it’s important to prioritize your current and future needs, as well as your budget, before you begin shopping. “You should have a clear definition of what you hope to achieve with a new business system,” says Dan Pellegrini, director of corporate marketing at Media Services Group, a software and service provider with headquarters in Stamford, Conn. “The typical life cycle of such a system is 5 to 10 years, so make sure

Expanding Wisely

For the past year and a half, Tim Regan-Porter has served as the publisher/president of Paste, a music and entertainment title he helped co-found five years ago with several friends. With virtually zero magazine publishing experience prior to launch, Regan-Porter, 37, says he and his fellow Paste Media Group team members quickly gained an education in the business. “None of us had magazine experience coming into Paste, and we made many mistakes, even on the basics––not understanding things like appropriate ad/edit percentages,” he says. Today, the independently published, award-winning title, which has a rate base of 180,000, has quickly grown into the fourth-highest-selling consumer rock title,

How to Build E-Newsletter Revenue and Circulation

E-newsletters have become an effective way to drive traffic to Web sites, reach more targeted markets, extend brand names and generate revenue. In the magazine world, they have become a growing phenomenon for publishers who are depending upon them more and more to boost both subscriptions and ad dollars. And while e-newsletters may seem fairly simple to create and distribute, the tactics for optimizing their potential are quite complex. Publishing Executive spoke with a few publishers who have experienced e-newsletter success to find out what’s worked and what hasn’t in their climb to impressive circulation numbers and healthy revenues. Getting the Word Out

Industry Executives’ Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and More

• American Business Media has appointed Bruce Mishkin as director of membership development.• Reed Business Information has named Thomas Morgan vice president/publishing director of its Food Service and Hospitality Group.

Is There Enough Time for Digital Pursuits?

A recent blog post on PubExec.com has me torn. The entry (“Editors Won’t Be Buying Me Lunch Anymore”) was penned by our resident blogger and e-media expert Rob Yoegel, vice president/online publisher at North American Publishing Co. He wrote: “Most editors I talk to tell me they don’t have time [for blogging, creating videos, search engine optimization and hosting Webinars] and are struggling just to meet print deadlines. Granted, folks in operations need to make editors’ jobs easier so they ‘have time,’ but … no longer can we take the time we once did to create content, edit it, re-write it, edit it again

Is Your Printing Contract Working Against You?

The first installment of this series, “Print Contract Negotiation In-Depth” (in the March issue of Publishing Executive and online in the “manufacturing” community on PubExec.com), focused on some of the essential elements of a printing contract. This installment will address whether or not your contract is actually working for you or against you. What purpose does it serve? A publisher makes a commitment in time, and a printer makes a commitment in price. It’s critical to determine if those commitments balance. In other words, is a publisher’s willingness to stay out of the market and stick with one printer equivalent in value to a

Luring the Spiders

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)—three words that have turned industry executives to every book, blog, e-newsletter, Web site and magazine article they can find that gives glimmers of hope on figuring it all out. By now we all know the Wikipedia definition of SEO—a subset of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a Web site from search engines via natural (organic or algorithmic) search results. But this only scratches the surface of the potential opportunities for publishers. A study by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), called “The State of Search Engine

PennWell Acquires LEDs Magazine

PennWell Corp., a diversified, global media and information company, recently announced its acquisition of LEDs Magazine, a business-to-business digital magazine and Web site (http://www.ledsmagazine.com) covering the technology and applications of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed. Tim Whitaker, founder of LEDs Magazine in 2004, will join PennWell as publisher/editorial director to continue the growth of the magazine in the fast-growing LEDs marketplace. Whitaker will remain based in Bristol, U.K., where he operated the business prior to the sale to PennWell. He will report to Christine Shaw, senior vice president of PennWell’s Optoelectronics Group based in Nashua, N.H. The

Personality Matters

Frenetic—that’s what publications have become. To stand out, everybody tries to eclipse the competition with fashionable exaggeration, bursts of color, weird patterns, eccentric type, extravagant visuals—all in a frantic attempt to startle, to be different, to be creative. As a result, everybody looks like everybody else, and instead of standing out, they disappear. How does one not fall prey to this disappearing act? Of course, content justifies our existence, but for now, let’s assume our content is perfect. Instead, let us concentrate on form, which is perhaps even more important than content in helping a publication find its audience. What is the use in assembling

Printed Magazines Will Follow the Path of the Plastic Record

To paraphrase the sages, publishing is a journey, not a destination. We have been on a very long journey, reaching out to more and more readers as our business models, our technology and our society have progressed and morphed to the challenges and changes of the reading public. There are enormous new pressures on publishers now, and I think a case can be made that they are different and more complex than ever before. As I stated in a previous column in this magazine, we have been storing out-of-memory text for more than 25,000 years—a very long and noble tradition of teaching and sharing. But

Striking It Rich With Rich Data

In 1859, in sleepy farm country near Titusville, Pa., a group of New York investors dug the world’s first oil well. Locals had known about the sticky black stuff for hundreds of years, occasionally using it to patch leaks or lubricate farm machinery, but mostly considering it a nuisance. Sometimes, when digging for water, they would strike oil instead—and promptly abandon the site. Like those farmers of old, there are publishers today who are sitting on a valuable, little-used asset, not considering that a little extra digging could yield enormous dividends. The product is accumulated information, which smart companies are repackaging and making available

Tips and Insights on Choosing the Right Circulation Vendor

SpecComm International is a publisher of 16 magazines and guides for both the b-to-b and consumer markets. Founded in 1981, the Raleigh, N.C.-based company also produces a host of newsletters, Web offerings, research and analysis, and data and custom media products. After investigating and negotiating with nearly 10 circulation vendors over the course of this past year, SpecComm announced this week that it settled on ARGI, a provider of subscription fulfillment, reader service and database marketing solutions headquartered in Montvale, N.J. Two of SpecComm’s executives who were at the heart of the selection process, Lesley Castle (vice president) and Victoria Gardner (director of information

User-Generated Content: ‘The Stuff of the Medium’

Launched in May 1995 as the online sibling of Successful Farming magazine, Agriculture Online (www.Agriculture.com) has been a popular Internet destination for the farming community ever since. Aside from having the foresight to land such a prominent URL, the editors of Successful Farming—Meredith Corporation’s flagship publication launched in 1902 and the largest paid-circulation farming title in the United States—continue to offer a model to other business-to-business publishers for compelling community content. Today, Agriculture Online plays host to a “couple hundred thousand uniques” per month, according to John Walter, director of multimedia for both Successful Farming and Agriculture Online. The site also boasts robust