March 2007 Issue

 

A Rolling Stone That Gathers No Moss

Keith Blanchard has a mature magazine brand on his side, and in the struggle to stay afloat during the onslaught of digital content delivery, the Rolling Stone name is going to come in pretty handy in the weeks and months ahead. It’s that prominent brand, the essence of what the famed magazine was, is and can be that will help separate RollingStone.com from every other Johnny-come-lately rock ‘n’ roll writer with a Web site, says Blanchard, Wenner Media’s new executive director, online. “It’s the leading music brand—period,” he says of Rolling Stone. Even though the Wenner Media publication has had a


Blogging for Business

Rex Hammock’s blog, RexBlog.com, has become a must-read for magazine professionals. The president of Hammock Publishing—a Nashville, Tenn.-based custom publisher of print and online media, including 60 award-winning recurring titles created for various corporate and associations—uses his digital soapbox to talk about industry news and offer links to interesting headlines on the Web. He’ll also post observations about other completely unrelated things that engross him as the day goes on. Hammock jumped onto the Web in its earliest days, and in the years since, he has worked to incorporate his love for online media throughout his entire organization. What’s the toughest challenge you’ve


Bluff Gambles on Online Future

When Congress banned the transfer of money from U.S. banks and institutions to online gambling sites last September, the move effectively threw a wrench in the multibillion-dollar online gambling industry. The legislation left many in the industry shocked and their business models shattered. Not Eric Morris though. Morris had founded Bluff Media in June 2004 with his friend Eddy Kleid, out of his own basement. The duo launched Bluff magazine—the first poker magazine of its kind—and BluffMagazine.com a year later. Turns out Morris and Kleid chose the right time to sit down at the card table, as they rode the poker boom that


CanWest Buys The New Republic

CanWest Global Communications Corp., an international media company located in Canada, announced Feb. 27 that it has acquired a 100-percent interest in The New Republic, a 93-year-old U.S.-based political magazine. This acquisition follows the purchase by CanWest in 2006 of a 30-percent interest in the magazine. According to CanWest, the magazine and its Web site are currently undergoing a major overhaul with makeovers including a new publication frequency, larger issues and a more reader-friendly design. There are also plans for a relaunched Web site with more daily digital content. “The New Republic, similar to CanWest’s other publications, has a strong foundation and a proud history. We


Editor’s Note: Industry Leaders to Converge on New York Next Week

More than 1,000 top executives from all walks of the magazine publishing industry will convene at New York’s Marriott Marquis, Times Square next week as part of the 2007 Publishing Executive Conference & Expo (www.PubXpo.com). With two dozen educational sessions being led by more than 60 speakers from headliners like Google, Time Inc., Hearst, Pennwell, Penton Media, Forbes.com, Cygnus Business Media, and many, many more, we’re thrilled to be hosting this landmark event, March 5-7. And it’s not too late to register: visit www.PubXpo.com for more information or just register on site. Even if you can’t make it out to


It’s All in the Delivery

No matter how far back in history you go, humans have captured the moment and written it down, somewhere. Whether you look at the 25,000-year-old Ishango baton from the Congo that recorded a six-month lunar calendar, which was the first known non-cerebral memory device, now called a book … or the cave paintings of France … or the scrolls of the Library of Alexandria … or the retooled olive press of Mr. Gutenberg, you couldn’t find a more interesting and complex period of our industry, of information distribution, than now. OK, maybe Mr. Gutenberg’s era was pretty exciting too. From the moment movable type was


M&A Update: Haymarket Media Acquires DMNews

Haymarket Media Inc. has acquired DMNews from Courtenay Communications Corp. Both companies are privately held and based in New York. Details of the transaction were not disclosed. DMNews’ print edition is a weekly tabloid with a circulation over 50,000. The sale includes DMNews.com, and six e-mail newsletters, including DMNews-iMarketing News Daily, DM News Hot List of the Day, DM News Whitepaper of the Day and three weeklies, which are delivered to over 35,000 individuals. The sale of DMNews includes the rights to another Courtenay magazine, iMarketing News, which was published from 1999 to 2002. Haymarket Media publishes a dozen magazines covering the marketing, public relations, medical,


MPA Identifies Over 150 Magazine Digital Initiatives in 2006

There were 155 magazine digital initiatives enacted by consumer magazines in 2006, according to research released by the Magazine Publishers Association (MPA) on Feb. 27 at the group’s third “Magazines 24/7” Digital Conference. Many of the innovations capitalized on community building, video and user-generated content. According to the MPA, Hearst, Meredith Corp. and Time Inc. have all announced the creation of in-house production companies dedicated to the creation of video and Web applications for their magazines. “For content creators and content brand managers working for magazines, these are exhilarating times,” said MPA President Nina Link in her opening remarks at the “Magazines 24/7” conference held at


Overzealous Cross-Media Promotion

Is it me or have some media executives taken too many “eager” pills when it comes to trying to herd audiences from one medium to the next? Or maybe they’re just gung-ho and throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. Heck, aren’t we all doing that a bit? But one television network in particular (if I could remember which one, I would tell you) is teetering on the edge of multimedia lunacy. After every show, there is some on-screen teaser (visual and voice) saying, “Visit our Web site now to register your opinions on this week’s episode,” or “to see 30 seconds


Print Contract Negotiation In-Depth

Comedian Steven Wright asks a volunteer from the audience to assist in a juggling routine, and the novice messes up one of the tosses. Wright says, “No, no. It’s my fault. I picked her.” This is worth remembering when negotiating a printing contract—you did, after all, pick your printer. But unlike in comedy, mistakes your printer makes aren’t so funny. Contract negotiations can define your relationship, so you want to conduct them wisely. First, you need to negotiate the right to negotiate. There is a tendency for printer or publisher to claim that difficulties will never arise, as if citing the possibility


Raising the Bar on Webınars

One of the biggest trends occurring in the webinar world, according to a recent study, is the use and appeal of video programs—live or on-demand. The study, conducted by ON24, a San Francisco-based webinar solutions provider, revealed that video webinars attracted 45 percent to 47 percent more registrants and attendees, while audio webcast registration decreased by 3 percent among business-to-business publishers. “Audio is still very competitive, but video is becoming the preference,” says Sharat Sharan, ON24 CEO and president. “Not only have attendees grown accustomed to hearing and seeing webinars, but they crave them. They stimulate more of our senses.” Sharan says that


Reader-Tailored Design

Saville Row, located in London, is where you go to order a suit made to measure and come out in sartorial splendor with a considerably lighter bank account. These world-famous tailors make “bespoke,” i.e., custom-ordered clothing. Should magazines be bespoke to their audience? When times are tough, should the publication’s look be mournful, with somber colors, larger type size, lots of slumping italics? Or should it pretend to be brave in the face of adversity, all cheerful in pink and sunny yellow? Or is dignified, neutral, quiet best? Does prettiness trigger first-glance attraction? Should a business-to-business pub ape consumer-style in order to engage readers more? No,


Rebuilding Your Infrastructure

As publishers seek to cut operational costs, many administrative manual processes are being put under the microscope. Many publishers are turning to business management software that manages day-to-day business tasks that make up the infrastructure of a publishing company. These solutions can streamline contracts, billing, advertising order entry, production, editorial, distribution, circulation, subscription renewals, job cost management, inventory management, customer management and more—all in robust databases. Leading companies offer modules with features that can be tailored to a company’s specific needs, many with several options at varying price points. Chris Caputo, director of technology at The Magazine Manager, a solution provider in Fort


Rodale Inc. Acquires Running Times

Rodale Inc., the health and wellness worldwide publisher in New York, announced Feb. 27 the acquisition of Running Times magazine and RunningTimes.com branded media properties from Fitness Publishing Inc. in Wilton, Conn. Running Times, was founded in 1977 and has a rate base of 105,000 and a readership of over 400,000. The magazine’s advertising revenues reportedly increased 38 percent in 2006 with pages rising 24 percent. Running Times has also witnessed a 117-percent increase in circulation since 1998. “The acquisition creates the largest multimedia platform for runners and further strengthens Rodale’s leadership position in the rapidly growing running marketplace,” said Steve Murphy, president and CEO of


SEO Expert Offers Insights for Publishers

Tom Lynch, director of search engine marketing for ePublishing—a Chicago-based Internet and e-commerce consultancy—will lead an intensive half-day search engine optimization training session on Wed. March 7 at 9 a.m. at the upcoming Publishing Executive Conference & Expo at New York’s Marriott Marquis. Lynch has been studying and enacting search engine strategies for more than a decade and works daily with publishers looking to optimize their own sites for higher search engine rankings. Lynch gave Inbox readers a preview of his presentation at next week’s conference. Inbox: What are some ways to help determine whether a publisher will need to outsource the implementation of the


The Multimedia Promıse

Opportunities to create additional ad revenue for your company are around virtually every corner if you’ve got fast-growing multimedia roots, so say many publishing executives. Your ever-growing advertising garden may consist of advertising and sponsorship opportunities in: print magazines, e-newsletters, blogs, digital editions, mobile content, podcasts, CD inserts, vertical e-newsletters, webcasts, Web sites, streaming video, custom publishing, targeted e-mail blasts, Web 2.0 sites where the audience posts the content, “ask the expert” column sponsorships, tutorials, sponsorships of gated sites … and anything and everything else that may become hot overnight. Publishing Executive spoke with six industry insiders across several different market segments to


You’re Hired!

Hiring Top Talent: What to Look for in Today’s Candidates hile the transition from manual paste-up to computer pagination was for years a revolution in the making, the impact of electronic content—and ever-expanding expectations of quality and variety in graphics, presentation and delivery—has hit the industry like a wave, propelling some publishers to new heights and leaving others feeling like flotsam. One thing is for certain—having the right people on board is key to success. Managers and executives with an understanding of today’s technologies and an ability to react quickly to emerging ideas and create innovative products based on them can make all the