Wooden Horse Friday News Round-Up

Magazine news round-upDETAILS has laid off executive editor Greg Williams and fashion director Michael Macko…

LUCKY has laid off fashion director Allyson Waterman and fashion accessories associate editor Suzanne Singer…

PC WORLD CANADA, the online-only, will shut down at the end of October, according to a letter written by Yasmin Ranade, publisher of the Canadian technology web site…

ALLURE has laid off deputy editor and features director Catherine Scroop…

GLAMOUR has laid off articles editor Genevieve Roth…

ALLURE has laid off executive editor Susan Kittenplan…

LTC NURSE’S COMPANION and RESIDENT ASSISTANT, both from publisher Cengage Delmar Learning, will be discontinued in December 2009.  LTC Nurse’s Companion served as an aid for long-term care nurses in ensuring the comfort and well-being of their residents.  Resident Assistant served as a source for continuing education for resident assistants in assisted living…

B METRO BIRMINGHAM LIVING is launching this week.  Check this blog for the details of the magazine at https://woodenhorsepub.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/birmingham-regional-magazines-to-duke-it-out/…

MILL PRODUCT NEWS and LOGGING MANAGEMENT, both from CLB Media and focusing on the lumber and logging industry, have switched to online-only format…

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TV Guide to Boost Revenue with Special Interest Publications

TV Guide November SIPTV GUIDE is planning six special interest publications this year.  The second will hit the newsstands today with a cover price of $6.99 (compared to $3.99 for regular issues).

The 96-page ‘Ultimate Guide to SpongeBob SquarePants’ marks the 10th anniversary of the Nickelodeon show and features four different covers, video downloads on iTunes, and a sneak peek of a new episode airing November 7.  The pub’s planned distribution is 600,000.

SIPs are popular with publishers, because they often command a high newsstand price and rely on little or no advertising at a time when ad pages are scarce.  TV Guide is working on co-sponsorships for upcoming SIPs, but the SpongeBob issue is ad-free.  It follows an SIP devoted to the show Law & Order that came out earlier this year.

You can check out a video about the issue here.

Wooden Horse News Round-Up

Horses Running
AFTERMARKET BUSINESS, the auto title from Advanstar Communications, will go online-only.  The December issue will be its last.  Starting in January, the title will publish a monthly digital version as well as twice-weekly e-newsletters…

HAMPTIONS COTTAGES & GARDENS, WESTCHESTER COTTAGES & GARDENS and CONNECTICUT COTTAGES & GARDENS have been sold to Industry veteran Marianne Howatson of Dulce Domum LLC.  Howatson has worked on the business side of PLAYBOY, PARENTS*, teen title YM*, SELF* and TRAVEL & LEISURE*.  Her immediate plans are to increase the frequency of the free magazines…

Canadian DRESS TO KILL, the Montreal-based indie fashion magazine, will launch a new 15,000-circ Toronto edition through “small upscale” boutiques in downtown…

NEW YORK magazine will not be sold after the recent death of co-owner Bruce Wasserstein, according to an internal memo.  “Given the speculation on the future of New York Media, I’d like to make clear that there will be no change in ownership,” New York Media Holdings CEO Anup Bagaria wrote…

Conde Nast quietly laid off five from WOMEN’S WEAR DAILY per Gawker.com…

NV Magazine, a 103,000-circ business bimonthly for urban professionals and entrepreneurs nationwide, has launched a full version of its web site at http://www.nvmagazine.com. In addition to its business-oriented social networking services, the site features original video programs, interviews with noteworthy entrepreneurs, and articles on best business strategies, stocks, finance, law and technology.  Editor-in-chief is Louis Lang…

MODERN WOODWORKING, a trade title, was closed by owner Randall-Reilly Publishing but it now has been sold to TCC Media.  The new owner plans to relaunch the print edition with the February issue.  ModernWoodworking.com will resume publishing immediately…

Magazine Revenue: Outlook Still Cloudy but There Are Silver Linings

Silver Linings

Magazine ad pages in November 2009 sank 19% compared with the same month last year, continuing its downward spiral.  The figures were released by the Media Industry Newsletter (min), which does not foresee an immediate recovery.

Year-to-date, magazine ad pages are down 21.6%, according to min and the Publishers Information Bureau reports that total ad pages for consumer magazines were down 27% for Q3 compared to the third quarter last year.  For the first half, ad pages were down 28%.

Also, MediaFinder.com recently reported that the US and Canada have seen 383 magazines fold in the first nine months of 2009, not including the recent closings of GOURMET and COOKIE.

But there are silver linings: 22 titles are earning more ad revenue than they were last year, per businessinsider.com.

FINE COOKING – Up 66%
PWOPLW STYLE WATCH – Up 32%
THE WEEK – Up 30%
TWIST – Up – 22%
FAMILY CIRCLE – Up 22%
SAVEUR – Up 19%
FITNESS – Up 17.5%
OK WEEKLY- Up- 17.5%
ORGANIC GARDENING – Up 17.4%
FLEX – Up 15.4%
SCHOLASTIC PARENT & CHILD – Up 14.5%
MUSCLE & FITNESS – Up 13.2%
MORE – Up 13%
WOMEN’S HEALTH – Up 9%
ENDLESS VACATION – Up 6%
WOMAN’S WORLD – Up 5%
FAMILY FUN – Up 4.3%
EXECUTIVE TRAVEL SKY GUIDE – Up 4%
LADIES’ HOME JOURNAL – Up 3%
SOAP OPERA DIGEST – Up 3%
BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS – Up 2%

Actually, SPRY was listed at the top having increased a whopping 550%, but since it is a newspaper insert, its distribution – and therefore its ad revenue – will increase simply by increasing newspaper insertions.  Still, with newspapers folding right and left, any kind of increase is laudable.

Fortune Is Planning Major Revamp in January

Fortune magazine coverFORTUNE is trying to stem the landslide erosion in its advertising revenue, which declined 26% (to $52 million) in Q3 2009 over the same period a year ago, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.  In addition, Publisher Hugh Wiley is no doubt aware that the magazine will be up against a re-invigorated BusinessWeek as new owner Bloomberg LP takes over.

To stay afloat, Fortune’s number of yearly issues will be cut from 25 to 18, so that some months will see two issues and just one in others.  On average, each issue will have 8 to 12 pages more than the old page count.

However, Fortune will see radical changes in its design and editorial content.  The new creative director, John Korpics, known for his redesign of ESQUIRE and INSTYLE, said that the look of the magazine will become more expansive and inviting with wider spaces and more photographs and a heavier paper stock with a matte finish.  The well-known cover photos of CEOs will be replaced by conceptual images.

The new editorial content will emphasize fewer, but more, in-depth stories about the biggest companies, top movers and shakers and most relevant issues of the day.  The magazine also will focus on more investigative stories.  Aided by feedback from focus groups gathered at the beginning of the year, Fortune is adding more columns to help business professionals do their jobs more effectively and manage their careers.

Newsstand and subscription prices won’t change after the redesign but managers are looking at how to make money from its Fortune 500 list, both as a brand and as a database.

Fortune.com will sport changes as well, but no details were given.  And the spokesperson declined to comment on whether it will eventually charge for online access.  The changes will affect its US, European and Asian editions.  Staff cuts are possible as well, although the company would not be more specific.

Another Baby for Bonnier Corp

Conceive magazine coverCONCEIVE has been snapped up by magazine powerhouse Bonnier Corp, which already owns several parenting titles, including PARENTING and BABYTALK.  The former owner, Kim Hahn, will remain as Publisher.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

The magazine is positioned to be resource for aspiring moms-to-be and covers health, fertility and the many methods of conception.  It also strives to offer comfort and emotional support to women contemplating starting or expanding their families by consulting with professional experts and by sharing the insights and experiences of other women.

The move is called surprising by some pundits but makes sense to Terry Snow, CEO of Bonnier.  “Conceive provides us with a unique entry point to the mom marketplace and fits in our overall strategy to expand Bonnier’s opportunities in growth markets through multimedia platforms,” he said.

In addition to the magazine, Conceive has a significant online presence with the ConceiveOnline.com website, the Conceive On-Air radio show, several books (including Cooking To Conceive released just last week) and e-newsletters.

Conceive publishes four times annually and carries a 200,000 circulation.  No layoffs are associated with the deal, a Bonnier spokesperson said.

Time Inc Executive Sets Out to Rescue the Magazine Industry

Here it is – the idea that will save magazines.

Or, at least, make money online.

Time Inc's John Squires

Time Inc's John Squires

According to the All Things Digital blog, earlier this year, Time Inc CEO Ann Moore tasked her lieutenant, John Squires, with figuring out how to put the digital “genie back in the bottle.”  Here’s part of his answer: A Hulu for magazines.

Hulu is a website that offers commercial-supported streaming video of TV shows and movies from NBC, Fox, ABC and many other networks and studios.  But in this case, magazine-like publications are to be delivered via e-readers like Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s rumored tablet.

Squires foresees a joint venture, which will operate independently from the publishers that invest in it, and will create a digital storefront where consumers can purchase and manage their subscriptions, which can be delivered to any device.

Many of the venture’s big details have yet to be worked out before the 2010 start date.  But the concept has been received well.  Again, according to All Things Digital, publishers feel they’ve got nothing to lose by trying.  “We know that traditional magazines are going away, and that magazines on the Web don’t work,” says a publishing executive working on the plan.  “But this gives us a chance to serve the reader who will pay for content, and provide advertising that really works.  Can you think of a better idea?”

Update: Squires made his first public comments on October 14 at a panel at the Innovation Summit, a scaled-down version of Magazine Publishers of America’s annual American Magazine Conference.

Mediaweek.com reports that a source close to some of the publishing companies involved has predicted that an announcement of a third-party entity representing the storefront was less than a month away.  Sticking points over ownership and governance are yet to be ironed out.

“They all want it,” the source said.  “They’re all committed to it.  It’s just a matter of signed contracts.”

Do you have any great ideas; if so, let us know.