East West Magazine Is Returning

EastWest magazine coverEASTWEST magazine went on a temporary hiatus in early 2008 to restructure its business operations.  The brand returned online in June and has plans to return to print as well, possibly in September.

Originally launched in May 2003, the bimonthly quickly became successful but ran out of money before becoming self-sustaining.  “It is the tale of a small, bare bones company that has grown too fast,” founder Anita Malik said at the time.

It is a lifestyle magazine for the celebration of Eastern culture, focusing on the experiences of Asian, South Asian and Middle Eastern Americans.  The publication features fashion, beauty, celebrity content and features on serious and controversial issues relevant to Westerners who are drawn to the Eastern way of life, as well as Easterners living in and adapting to Western culture.

East West will be run by two full time staffers and a crew of freelancers/contractors, Malik said.  The print magazine will continue to be bi-monthly and will carry a 20,000 circulation.  Their website is at http://www.eastwestmagazine.com.

Magazine to Introduce Its Most Sweeping Redesign in a Decade

SCOUTING, the Boy Scouts of America’s publication for adult leaders, will debut a cover-to-cover redesign with its September/October 2009 issue.  It will also debut a new tagline, ‘Lead, Inspire, Explore’ to fit the new editorial positioning.

Scouting magazine cover“Scouting magazine’s redesign puts an emphasis on articles that can make our readers more effective leaders of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers,” said managing editor Scott Daniels.  “Shorter articles, larger displays of photography and illustrations, and numerous informational sidebars make the magazine an easier read.”

The new editorial will include new columns such as teaching ethical values to youth, reviews of camping gear, and Dutch oven cooking recipes.  Other departments offer advice from veteran Scout volunteers and trail guides for weekend hiking and canoeing trips.  Readers also will discover new digital content on the magazine’s website, including the Cracker Barrel weekday blog.

The magazine is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, which is dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management.  As a part of the certification, Scouting magazine adheres to a strict policy of environmental responsibility and will undergo annual surveillance audits.

Scouting publishes 1 million copies five times per year.  JD Owen is editor-in-chief and inquiries should be directed to managing editor Scott Daniels, sdaniels@netbsa.org.

Regional Magazine for the West Side of Ft Worth Launched in April

360West magazine cover360 WEST magazine is a new regional lifestyle magazine for visitors and residents of Fort Worth, TX and launched last April.  It focuses on the affluent west side of Highway 360 and is mailed to a zip code specific demographic.  It is also placed in select boutiques, salons and upscale hotels.

The editorial covers the Texas angle on fashion, beauty, health, food and restaurants, home and garden, architecture, pets, travel, arts and events.  Travel stories include golf and sports destinations, luxury travel, unique getaways – regional to international.

The editorial director is Meda Kessler, meda@360westmagazine.com, and the website is at http://www.360westmagazine.com.

Fashion Rocks…Not.

The fall fashion magazine watch has begun.  But where the September issues of the fashion magazines used to be weighed – “Vouge comes in at 26 lbs!”  – there is now a simple ad page count, which, for all but one magazine, is preceded by a minus sign.  WWD summed up the calamity in a this-September-compared-to-last-September list:

W* (trade) -47%

Vogue September 2009 cover

Vogue September 2009 cover

VOGUE* -30%
ALLURE* -28%
GQ* -23%
ELLE* -21%
LUCKY* -19%

InStyle September 2009 cover

InStyle September 2009 cover


And then there is PEOPLE STYLE WATCH*, which is usually not included in “fashion magazines” but is up 14%.

These numbers do not include pages for the “Fashion Rocks” annual event, which was canceled this year.

Some interesting observations from the pundits:

“Ads for ice cream, cleaning products and deodorant befit consumers looking for InStyle’s approachable fashion ethos, while arty ads for international fashion labels suit Vogue’s aesthetic.”  (Forbes.com)

“In an economic downturn, conventional wisdom dictates that luxury advertising is the first to go, and that hurts the escapist fashion titles the most.”  (Mediaite.com)

“Some of these September pages may just be getting moved from other issues that would have been on advertisers’ schedules in a better economy.” (AdAge)

“Ah, the September Issues-when fashion magazines sell more ads than any other month, and staffers gorge themselves on parsley, in celebration.”  (Gawker.com)

Rachael Ray Is Doing a ‘Martha Stewart’

Rachael Ray magazine cover for July 2009EVERY DAY WITH RACHAEL RAY is following the lead of Martha Stewart, who successfully became a “lifestyle brand” in part because her incarceration forced her marketing team to shift the focus beyond “Martha Stewart the person.”

No, Rachael is not going to prison (as far as we know.)  But relying on a popular personality to kick off a magazine may be good start-up strategy, but in the long run it can be limiting.  So, like Martha, Rachael will – ever so slowly – shift her reputation from a pure cooking celeb to a ‘lifestyle’ one with all the added product endorsements that the category brings.

Rachael Ray magazine cover for August 2009The first small step is to loosen the coupling between the person and the original perception.  We see that on the cover of the August issue of her magazine where Rachael is not the main focus.  Still, the profitable cooking connection is retained by the cover displaying a heaping plate of ribs.  But to soothe worried readers, Rachael will be back headlining the September and October covers, according to a mediaweek.com article.

BusinessWeek Losses Revealed in Sales Process

BusinessWeek magazine coverBUSINESSWEEK, which was recently put up for sale – eh…set to explore its strategic options – has distributed its “black books,” i.e. its financial data, to companies showing potential interest, BusinessWeek’s own media columnist and blogger Jon Fine has revealed.

Fine writes that the magazine lost around $20 million on revenues of $147 million in 2008, and that slightly smaller losses are projected in 2009 on revenue of around $135 million.  However, this does not include rent and certain infrastructure-related costs, since a buyer may already have empty office space or the required infrastructure.  When all those items are factored in, the total loss figure doubles, according to Fine’s sources.

Two prospective buyers were identified as OpenGate Capital, a Los Angeles private equity firm and owner of TV GUIDE, and investment firm Wasserstein & Co, which holds a substantial stake in business publisher Penton Media and owns THE DEAL and NEW YORK magazines.

The next step in the process is management presentations made by BusinessWeek senior executives.  These should begin late next week or early August.

Vaccine Manufacturer Publishes Second Magazine

BioSupply Trends Quarterly magazine coverBIOSUPPLY TRENDS QUARTELY just launched as the second magazine from FFF Enterprises, a distributor of plasma products, vaccines and critical-care biopharmaceuticals.  The first, IG LIVING, is three years old.

The magazine is to serve as a resource for up-to-date news, trends, perspectives and leading indicators on topics pertinent to the readers, who are physicians, hospitals and pharmacy buyers.  The editor-in-chief of the 50,000 circulation title is Ronale Tucker-Rhodes, editor@BSTQuarterly.com. The website is at http://www.bstquarterly.com.

Survey Reports Most Read Articles in Second Quarter

Self articleRecent research from Affinity’s VISTA Print Rating Service has established the most popular – or at least read – articles during the months of April, May and June.

The results are based on surveys of readers of over 100 consumer magazines with more than 1,000 articles.  The company measured how many remembered the article (total readership), and how many read more than half of the feature story (extent of readership).

These are the top ten most read articles with magazine and issue date:

  1. 20 Ways to Eat Healthier Right Now, SELF, June
  2. The Green Energy Economy, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, April
  3. Hot Nights Out!, PEOPLE STYLEWATCH, June/July
  4. How Our Salaries Are Changing, PARADE, April 12
  5. I Am So Alone, US WEEKLY, April 20
  6. The Soul of Beyonce, EBONY, April
  7. The Truth about How We Eat, WOMAN’S DAY, April 14
  8. How Dolly Does It, AARP THE MAGAZINE, May/June
  9. Fashion Stakeout, ALLURE, June
  10. At One with the Land, ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST, April

Publisher Morris Gets Another Extension to Make $10 Million Payment

Morris Publishing GroupThe struggling Morris Publishing Group (AUGUSTA, SAVANNAH, GO!)  Announced last week that it now has until July 31 to make the $9.7 million payment that was originally due February 1.  It was its eighth extension on a loan totaling $419 million.

In addition to magazines, the Augusta, GA-based publisher owns and operates 13 daily newspapers as well as nondaily newspapers and free community publications.  In the first quarter ended March 31, Morris Publishing lost $13 million compared to a $6 million profit in the first quarter of 2008.

Canadian Freelance Union Finally Organizes

Canadian Freelance UnionThe Canadian Freelance Union is finally coming to life.  The inaugural meeting of the members will be held October 3.

Some of the planned member benefits are:

* A contract advice service to help members interpret and understand what they are signing.
* Contract support to help members deal with disputes over payment, rights usage or other problems.
* A “Red Flag” service to warn members about unscrupulous engagers.
* A basic benefits plan (details to follow).
* Access to full benefits packages at rates far lower than would normally be possible.
* A hiring hall which will link members to work, and work to members.
* The start of efforts to negotiate better freelance contracts from some of the country’s largest publishers such as Quebecor, Transcontinental, Canwest, Rogers, etc.
* A web forum.

The new union has a 3-year commitment of funding and support from the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union.  Dues will regularly be $125; charter members will pay $100 for the first year.