Is this the best tablet edition US magazine publishers can do?

FOOD NETWORK* got truly bashed by the Talking New Media blog for their unimaginative iPad edition.  After our rants about the lack of creativity and innovation from US magazine publishers (http://bit.ly/HHcCzX and http://bit.ly/H66yTR,) it’s encouraging to learn that we’re not all alone in our opinion.

Writes Talking New Media: “For traditional publishers, the goal is not to create a tablet magazine but to get their print magazines onto tablets.”

THAT’S IT!  Publishers are still stuck in print.  They just take a copy of the print book, throw it to a coder and order: “Put this on an iPad!”  And for this they expect to get an additional $19.99 a year – even if you’re a print subscriber.

We managed to download a copy of the magazine onto our iPad, not really believing it could be as bone-headed as the blog described it to be.  But it was.

The layout is in spreads like a print magazine with some single pages not making sense until you see the following page.  (Are the advertisers paying for this?)  Evidently you are to keep your iPad in landscape mode through the whole thing.  But then, good luck reading the text without zooming in.  And of course zooming out for the next spread.  It’s enough to give anybody motion sickness.

As the blog’s video points out, the interactivity is limited to tapping on recipes to add the ingredients to a shopping list.  And how do you find the recipe later when you’re ready to start cooking?  Remembering that it is in a certain issue of Food Network magazine on your iPad?

And the absolute kicker: Where are the cooking videos?

If there was ever a digital magazine that would have an abundance of already completed videos, or at least availability of star chefs, sets and camera crews, this would be it.

You wouldn’t know it.

And they want $19.99 for a year of this?  Would you pay it?  Let us know.

Friday News Round-Up for March 30th

Did you catch lottery fever this week?  Yes, we know there’s a greater chance of being struck by lightening while fleeing a grizzly bear during a volcanic eruption, but with more than half a billion dollars in the kitty, well, a girl’s gotta dream.  Sorry if you didn’t win The Big One tonight, but snap up some news while you’re here.  Magazines with an asterisk* next to the title are included in our Wooden Horse Database.

MAXIM* downsized on Thursday, laying off six staffers, incliuding senior editor Seth Porges and assistant editor Matt Caputo.  The magazine, owned by Alpha Media Group, has suffered from declining ad sales and circualtion…

SELF* bid farewell to fashion assistant editor Jessica Lee…

SELF* will welcome Sara Holzman, sara_holzman@condenast.com, as a fashion assistant on April 5…

OUTSIDE magazine hired new digital editorial director Nicholas Jackson, njackson@outsidemag.com and @nbj914…

POPULAR SCIENCE* said goodbye to senior associate editor Ryan Bradley…

FORTUNE* snagged Ryan Bradley, ryan_bradley@fortune.com and @theryanbradley, as a senior editor…

 

A new digital travel magazine promises a deeper experience

DESTINATIONS UNCOVERED, a digital magazine for the travel industry and US expats working overseas, debuted in March.

With the tag line, “Go Deeper, Travel Better,” the new interactive publication goes beyond traditional travel tips, and offers information about locations, including their history, background music for the region, cultural facts, virtual tours, satellite views, local stories, cuisine and more.  Among the regular sections: Travel Firsts, Eat Me, Travel Movies, Money Matters, DIY Cuisine, Cross-cultural What?, Castles, Craziest Travel Experience and International Job Openings.

The monthly magazine is underwritten and produced in partnership with Educators Overseas, an organization that places teachers in positions abroad.  For more information email EO Director Christy Grimste at info@educatorsoverseas.com, or visit the magazine’s website at www.destinationsuncovered.net.

Farm fresh: A new magazine profiles Alabama agriculture

ALABAMA AGRICULTURE, a magazine from the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries, launched in early March.

Designed to inform and educate consumers, legislators and community leaders, the new publication focuses on food sources and the economic impact of the state’s agricultural industry.  Readers will find articles on the state’s foods, farms, livestock, forestry, agricultural technology and farm equipment, as well as features on the environment and conservation.

The print magazine is free to the public, and also available online in a digital format.  For additional information email Ray Langen of custom publisher Journal Communications at rlangen@jnlcom.com, or visit http://farmflavor.com/us-ag/alabama to view the magazine.

Said last week

Panelists at the MPA Digital: Swipe Conference about publishing on tablets cautioned against serving ads that irritate users.

Publisher Forbes Media (FORBES*, FORBESLIFE*) managing editor Bruce Upbin suggested that advertisers avoid multimedia presentations and timed ads, saying that “waiting for someone to sell you something is the iPad equivalent of a robo-call.”

This is from our Magazine Media News newsletter; subscribe to it at http://www.woodenhorsepub.com/newsalerts.html

Wednesday News Round-Up for March 28th

Congratulations!  You’ve made it over the hump in the work week.  Check out the news, and scroll down for additional posts.  All titles with an asterisk* can be found in the Wooden Horse Database.

GLAMOUR* promoted Lauren Vreeland, Lauren_vreeland@condenast.com and @ltvreeland, to accessories editor…

GLAMOUR* bid farewell to senior fashion market editor Madeline Andrews Escudero…

MARIE CLAIRE* lost senior features editor Jessica Henderson, who covered entertainment…

INSTYLE* picked up senior editor Jessica Henderson, jessica_henderson@instylemag.com…

BILLBOARD* named Joe Levy, jlevy@billboard.com and @RealJoeLevy, as the new editor-in-chief…

WEIGHT WATCHERS* magazine now has Rachel Morris, rachel.morris@weightwatchers.com, as associate editor for fitness and psychology…

THIS OLD HOUSE* snagged Amy Roberts, amy_roberts@thisoldhouse.com, as editor for the Home Solutions section…

FORBES* will debut a redesigned FORBESLIFE* magazine, which now will be sold on newsstands in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, as well as editions for iPad and e-readers.  Until now, the luxe publication was available only to subscribers…

CANADIAN HOUSE & HOME* brought in new food editor Eric Velland, evelland@hhmedia.com and @ericvelland…

RACER magazine has been acquired by the original founders at Racer Media & Marketing Inc, from Haymarket Media Inc.  Editor-in-Chief Lawrence Foster will stay on.  Contact president and CEO Paul Pfanner, ppfanner@racer.com for information…

PITCHFORK will add Laura Snapes, laura@pitchfork.com and @laurasnapes, as a London-based associate editor…

MASS HIGH TECH added associate editor Don Seiffert, dseiffert@masshightech.com…

A Chicago arts and culture magazine is raised from the dead

THE CHICAGOAN, which originally debuted during the Jazz Age and ceased print during the Great Depression, has been relaunched.

The magazine offers long-form journalism about the arts, culture, history and innovators of Chicago and the Midwest region.  Readers will find profiles, interviews, fiction, reviews and more.  Publisher and Editor-in-Chief J.C. Gabel hopes the resurrected title will nurture local, home-grown journalistic and literary talent.

Published biannually, the print magazine is available at independent bookstores, boutiques and 1920s-style pop-up newsstands around Chicago, or by ordering online, bypassing traditional magazine distributors.  The inaugural issue has a circulation of 5,000 copies.  No email contact is available.  For more information visit www.thechicagoanmedia.org.