Ambitious game plan to result in largest US sports magazine

ATHLON SPORTS, a monthly sports magazine, will launch in October, 2010.  The distribution will be via insertion into daily newspapers, which will result in a reported 7 million circulation, making it the largest sports magazine in the US.

The magazine will profile America’s elite athletes, provide preseason insights from America’s premier sports editors, and tell compelling sports stories from around the country.

The publisher is Athlon Sports Communication, based in Nashville, TN, and headed by Stephen Duggan, a founder of Publishing Group of America, the publisher of newspaper inserts AMERICAN PROFILE, RELISH and SPRY.

SeeJaneFly.com announces debut of print family travel magazine

TRAVELING WITH BABIES & KIDS is a new family travel magazine set to launch in Fall 2010 from publisher See Jane Fly, Inc. While details are still being finalized, the publication is being promoted as a practical guide for families traveling both in and outside the US.

Erica Dublin will serve as publisher and editor, and said content will be written mostly by staff with some content by freelancers.  The magazine will cover everything from vacation guides to children’s gear.

The print publication will be distributed free twice a year.  Circulation is slated as 250,000.  Until the magazine’s website is launched, contact Erica Dublin at Erica@seejanefly.com for more information.

Not a New York-centric beauty pageant, these awards honor real achievements

There are Maggies and Ellies and a mass of other magazine competitions in which publications are sliced and diced into numerous categories and have their “excellence” evaluated by various industry heavy-hitters, often their competitors.  The statuettes are invariably lugged back to the office conveniently located in New York, since the winners tend to be NEW YORK, THE NEW YORKER, GQ, VANITY FAIR and similar titles.  New York, for example, this year was recognized for “the excellence of a regular, cohesive front- or back-of-back section.”

But there are awards that honor real, measurable achievements.  The New Single Copy (a newsletter about magazine distribution) and its “Outstanding Performance” and “Notable Achievers” mentions celebrate numbers-backed newsstand successes.

NOTABLE ACHIEVERS 2010:

“Since 1999 The New Single Copy has saluted magazines that have grown consistently on the newsstand.  This year we honor six publications that have improved their retail dollar sales in each of the last five years, no small feat in the current depressed, although hopefully recovering, economy.  They are:

ARMY TIMES, Army Times Publishing.  A price increase helped the weekly push retail dollars up 7.2% last year, to over $4.8 million, continuing a growth cycle that began in
2002.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Ogden Publications.  Average unit sales of the environmental magazine were up 20% last year, to over 122,000.  For the last five years, retail dollars grew nearly 90% to $3.7 million.  Sellthrough is an impressive 50% (How many copies delivered are actually sold; average industry numbers are in the low-to-mid thirties.)

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, National Geographic Society.  The largest dollar producer on the list with over $11.0 million in sales.  It has consistently produced sales efficiency rates in the high 40%-range.

RIDER Magazine.  Newsstand sales have jumped spectacularly for this motorcycling title, up plus 16% last year, and nearly 400% over the last five.

ST. LOUIS, St. Louis Magazine LLC.  A regional title that’s been growing by double digits each of the last five years – in 2009 by over 30%.  Newsstand has outpaced subscription growth as well.

THE WEEK, The Week Publications Inc. A different kind of newsweekly, newsstand sales are only a sliver of its circulation, but they did more than double to 3800 per issue last year, after inching up each previous year since its US launch in 2004.

We ha[ve], since 1999, also honored OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE, magazines that put together 10 consecutive years of growth.  Only one, THE ECONOMIST, met that criterion, something it ha[s] done for nearly 20 years.”

Christian travel magazine launched online and in print

TRAVEL WITH SPIRIT is a print and online publication for consumers dedicated exclusively to Christian travel.  Inspired by an $18 billion faith tourism industry, the magazine will cover travel, mission and ministry.

The bimonthly targets 25-54-year-old women but focuses on the entire family.  The editorial will showcase meaningful, family-oriented destinations, cruises and tours, as well as departments and columns written by well-known Christian musicians, authors and speakers.  Guest writers will contribute personal experiences, with tips on affordability, relaxation and faith-based encounters.

It is published by Travel Network Group LLC, a group of companies that includes travel radio and television programming.  Honnie Korngold, hkorngold@christiantravelfinder.com, is editor-in-chief.  Digital distribution is 500,000, with print distribution of 20,000 to Christian consumers.  For more information, visit http://www.travelwithspirit.com

So,…is the iPad going to save the publishing world?

As of this week it hadn’t.

While USA Today and New York Times claimed downloads in the three hundred thousands, and Wall Street Journal a hundred thousand less, it’ll be interesting to see what happens when readers have to pony up real money (WSJ is free to current subscribers and the other two totally free.)

Lucia Moses at mediaweek.com reports that magazine publishers Time Inc and Rodale aren’t talking – but let’s hear it for the geeks: Bonnier’s POPULAR SCIENCE* announced they had 22,000 downloads of its April issue.  At $4.99 a click, total sales would be nearly $110,000.

But the iPad wars are heating up.  There are a long string of tablet gadgets either already here or coming, including Hewlett-Packard’s Palm-based “Hurricane” (?), the Dell “Looking Glass” and a likely “companion” device from BlackBerry.

And Google seems to be out to break Apple’s stranglehold on download sales and Time Inc and its SPORTS ILLUSTRATED are onboard.  According to Media Memo, SI Editor Terry McDonell showed off a digital version of the magazine at Google’s I/O developer conference this week.  Readers would purchase this one from a Google app store, not the Apple iTunes.

Peter Kafka at Media Memo writes: “It’s potentially a big deal: It opens up a much wider audience for the company’s publications, since they should work on any device that supports Google’s Chrome browser.  Just as important, it gives Time Inc another vendor to work with, one that might be willing to grant it concessions Apple won’t – like control over subscriber information, perhaps.”

Regional foodie magazines dish up local foods

EDIBLE WHITE MOUNTAINS and EDIBLE COLUMBUS are two of the newest quarterly publications from Edible Communities, publishers of close to 60 quarterly regional Edible titles across the US, Canada and Europe.

Edible magazines explore the farmers, food artisans, chefs and culinary uniqueness within the region.  According to the Edible Communities website, individuals, who own their publications, are “local-foods advocates and residents of the communities they publish in – a business model that not only supports our values, but also preserves the integrity of our member publications and the communities we serve.”

As such, the Edible Columbus website has a different look and feel than the Edible White Mountains website.

Edible Columbus focuses on the local sustainable food scene, including stories on the history and people behind Columbus farm markets and restaurants, as well as features on fresh ingredients unique to the area.  Tricia Wheeler is the publisher and editor.

Edible White Mountains focuses on local foods and beverages, grown and produced within its community.  They plan to, “showcase everything from roadside farm stands to award-winning wineries; from community gardens to decadent confections.”  KC Wright is the publisher; the magazine will launch with a quarterly circulation of 15,000.

Both magazines have digital editions available onsite.

Two Corvette magazines to join forces

CORVETTE FEVER magazine will merge with VETTE magazine, according to Keith Cornett of corvetteblogger.com. October will be Corvette Fever‘s last stand alone issue.  Both publications are owned by Source Interlink (MOTOR TREND, SURFER, SOAP OPERA WEEKLY).

In November, Vette, with a slightly larger format, better quality paper, and content reflecting a mix from both magazines, will be ready to rumble with competitors CORVETTE MAGAZINE and CORVETTE ENTHUSIAST.