Wednesday News Round-Up for May 30th

Yes, it’s the strange season for news.  Detainees at Guantanamo being tortured with Sesame Street, a crazy naked cannibal in Florida and, the strangest news of all, an elderly couple who has been dressing identically for decades.  So take refuge here and pick up some pretty tame industry news.  All magazines with an asterisk* are listed in the Wooden Horse Database.

DWELL* and NEW YORK MAGAZINE* will publish a still-untitled, co-branded annual issue in the fall.  Both publications hope the new print love-child will expand their reach.  The special issue will be included in issues of the two magazines, with 118,000 sent to subscribers and the rest on newsstands.  New York Magazine’s Wendy Goodman and Dwell’s Amanda Dameron are overseeing the project…

GQ* magazine welcomed Garett Munce, garrett_munce@condenast.com and @mrgarettmunce, as the new fashion editor…

BOSTON MAGAZINE* said goodbye to executive editor Donna Garlough, after joining the publication in 2008.  No replacement has been named…

OFFICIAL XBOX MAGAZINE* no longer has senior editor Ryan McCaffrey.  There is no replacement as yet…

If you have time, scroll down to see other news you may have missed.

Playing it safe in the quest for dollars

Call it the ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ syndrome.

In tough times, when media creatives want to play it safe, instead of developing something new for public consumption, they go back to known quantities, recycling successful talent and ideas from the past.

That’s how we ended up this year with Billy Crystal hosting the Oscars, Madonna performing at the Super Bowl and Mick Jagger closing out the latest season of Saturday Night Live.  Sure, you may have seen it before, but you know what you’re getting.

So it came as no surprise this week when two publishers announced they would bring back previously shuttered men’s magazines.

Rodale intends to reintroduce BEST LIFE* magazine this fall as a special interest publication – often code for test issue.  Since ceasing print as a victim of the recession in 2009, it has lived on as a front-of-book section in the pages of MEN’S HEALTH*.  Covering topics like style, wealth (a clue to the target market), travel and fatherhood, the new edition is scheduled to drop on October 23.

In a more unusual move, Conde Nast’s Fairchild Fashion Media is resurrecting M MAGAZINE from the grave, 20 years after it succumbed.  Formerly known as M: THE CIVILIZED MAN, the quarterly is aimed at “guys in their thirties and forties,” and touted by some as a cross between WOMEN’S WEAR DAILY* and STYLE.COM*.  Fairchild plans a modest initial circulation of 100,000 beginning in September.

But this isn’t about nostalgia, and the testosterone target isn’t the only thing these two publications have in common.

Both titles are going after affluent readers and luxury advertisers, at a time when magazines like HAMPTONS* are seeing renewed strength. A host of new offerings such as DU JOUR* and BLOOMBERG PURSUITS* are designed to appeal to an affluent audience at a time when top-tier incomes are holding up well in an otherwise flat economy.

Friday News Round-Up for May 25th

Well, it’s nice to know modern science is fixing our most pressing problems.  Researchers at MIT have discovered how to keep ketchup from backing up in the bottle, by coating the insides with a non-toxic material.  How many lives will be saved at barbecues by avoiding those dangerous rage-inducing ketchup clogs?  Anyhoo, something to think about if you’re at a cookout this holiday weekend, right?  Before you head out, pick up some news bites.  All titles with an asterisk* can be found in the Wooden Horse Database.

BEST LIFE*, the high-end men’s magazine that folded in 2009, will be resurrected by Rodale.  The newly-revived glossy will be released in the form of a special interest publication, covering topics like style, wealth, travel and fatherhood. Since its demise, Best Life has lived on as a front-of-book section in MEN’S HEALTH* magazine.  With a circulation of 300,000, it’s scheduled to hit newsstands on October 23.  Editorial director David Zinczenko will oversee the project…

JUST, the magazine of the Ontario Bar Association, made its debut on May 23, and will formally launch on June 1.  Sporting the tagline ‘For People with a Calling,’ the new publication will include a balance of industry and lifestyle content, and it replaces the organization’s previous magazine, BRIEFLY SPEAKING.  Just is produced by TC Media and will have a controlled circulation of 18,000.  The website, http://www.justmag.ca, is not yet active…

WP MAGAZINE, published by the Washington Post, named Joe Heim, no email available, @JoeHeim, as the new editor…

GLAMOUR* no longer has senior fashion and beauty online editor Danica Lo…

FORTUNE* promoted Matt Vella, matt_vella@fortune.com and @mattvella, to deputy technology editor…

IN TOUCH WEEKLY* and LIFE & STYLE* magazines now have Jared Shapiro, jshapiro@bauerpublishing.com and @Jarshap, as the new editorial director…

LIFE & STYLE* has brought in Terri White, twhite@bauerpublishing.com and @Terri_White, as the new executive editor…

LADIES’ HOME JOURNAL* home editor Beth Roehrig has left the magazine.  No replacement has been named…

STAR* magazine bid farewell to deputy news editor Melissa Cronin…

In the public interest: A nonprofit journalism site spins off a new monthly

VOICE OF SAN DIEGO MONTHLY, a new print and digital news magazine, is launching as a spin-off from the independent news website.

Like its parent site, the publication will focus on investigative reporting within a sustainable local news model.  Reporters and editors cover a broad range of topics, including politics, education, the economy, arts and culture, housing, the environment and neighborhoods.

A $186,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will help to fund the magazine, which is free to members who donate at least $501 per year to the nonprofit.  Copies of the magazine can be purchased in print or digital form by non-members.  The editor is Andrew Donohue, andrew.donohue@voiceofsandiego.org and @AndrewDonohue.  Visit the website for additional information at www.voiceofsandiego.org.

Wednesday News Round-Up for May 23rd

It’s funny how something disappointing can turn out to be great.  Just last week we were wishing we had a pile-o-cash to invest in that snazzy new Facebook IPO.  Well, today we’re no richer, but at least we’re no poorer.  And here we are, still writing the news.  So soak up some information and, if you have time, scroll down to see if you’ve missed anything.  All titles with an asterisk* are included in our helpful Wooden Horse Database.

LUCKY* magazine may go all-digital, depending upon numbers for the upcoming fall issue, due out in August.  Despite a recent redesign, Lucky still is struggling.  Another possible scenario could include publishing the print magazine quarterly, with other months produced as digital issues…

THE NEW REPUBLIC* welcomed back Franklin Foer, ffoer@tnr.com and @FranklinFoer, as the magazine’s editor, after leaving that post two years ago. His previous stint as editor lasted for five years.  Foer was invited to return to the job by new owner Chris Hughes.  The move is part of Hughes’ broader plans for the publication.  He said last week that he will double the current editorial staff of 15…

THE HUFFINGTON POST* will feature a new special website section devoted to curated content from the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).  The section, which is set to debut in August, will include articles, blogs and interactive content…

MEN’S JOURNAL* unveiled a major website redesign, with a device-agnostic browser and a modular channel, multi-screen structure…

SEVENTEEN* snagged new deputy editor Caitlin Moscatello, cmoscatello@hearst.com and @caitmosc.  She begins on June 4, and comes to the magazine from REDBOOK*, where she was a senior editor…

SEVENTEEN* promoted Kimberly Tranell, ktranell@hearst.com and @ktranell, from health editor to a senior editor.  Tranell has been with the magazine since 2008…

INSIDE WEDDINGS* said goodbye to assistant editor Alison Bonn…

Will it kill them or make them stronger? RDA tries to cut its way to better health

The amputations apparently haven’t yet saved the patient.

Reader’s Digest Association (RDA) announced this week it will offer its bondholders a take-it-or-leave-it buy-out, but at a 5% discount.  The payout will be funded by proceeds from RDA’s sale of Allrecipes.com earlier this year, which brought in $175 million.  Bondholders of these senior secured notes have until June 14 to decide whether to accept the deal and take a “haircut” on their investments.

Despite recently selling both Allrecipes.com and EVERY DAY WITH RACHAEL RAY* to Meredith, the company still is hemorrhaging cash, losing nearly $57 million in the first quarter of this year.  Revenue for Q1 fell by almost 15%.

Somehow they continue to blame, in part, the weak performance of Every Day with Rachael Ray (how long can you ride that horse?), declining renewal rates at North American operations (what publisher doesn’t have that problem?) and soft international business.

The truth is that RDA has been in a constant state of financial upheaval since going private in 2007, going through a managed bankruptcy in 2009, and has never recovered.  Now the company is looking at unloading its lifestyle and entertainment direct business, and selling off some international properties.

If RDA prunes down to its core North American publishing business, what then?  How much can you cut before there’s not much left to save?

Writers, photogs and PR pros may find the editors distracted; this is why.

Friday News Round-Up for May 18th

Nothing exciting happening this weekend?  For those of you living in California, and points east through Texas, check out the partial solar eclipse on Sunday evening.  In LA, expect the event to eclipse up to 86% of the sun by dinnertime. But before you get into the celestial happenings, check out the industry news.  Any title with an asterisk* is part of our Wooden Horse Database.

TIME* magazine’s controversial breastfeeding cover seems to have paid off, at least in the short run.  Time newsstand sales for this past week were up 82% over the prior week, and up 43% from the previous 26-week average.  Similarly, NEWSWEEK* newsstand sales for this past week’s ‘First Gay President’ cover, depicting President Barack Obama with a rainbow-colored halo, were up 78% from the previous week.  A testament to the dollar value of shock and awe…

THE NEW REPUBLIC* will open a New York office for editorial and business staffers.  The magazine previously kept New York offices from 2001 to 2007.  Its headquarters will remain in Washington, DC…

GARDEN WISE magazine has been rolled into BC HOME & GARDEN by Canada Wide Media, creating a single title, beginning with the May/June issue.  The single publication will have a total circulation of 35,000…

LAVA magazine was sold by World Triathlon Corporation to a group of private investors for a six-figure sum.  In print for two years, the official publication of Ironman will retain its relationship to the competitions, and will continue to be published nine times per year.  The new owners plan a revamp of the website and an aggressive social media campaign…

COSMOPOLITAN* welcomed new deputy editor Michelle Lee Ribeiro, mribeiro@hearst.com…

DEPARTURES* magazine brought in new fashion director Amanda Ross, no email available, @aRossGirl…

INSTYLE* now has Cynthia Boniello, cynthia_boniello@condenast.com, as the new beauty director…

PEOPLE* hired Andrea Lavinthal, andrea_lavinthal@peoplemag.com and @andilavs, as style director for the website…

THE HUFFINGTON POST* bid farewell to Chicago editor Jen Sabella…

THE HUFFINGTON POST* promoted Joe Erbentraut, joseph.erbentraut@huffingtonpost.com and @robojojo, to Chicago editor, replacing Jen Sabella…

THE HUFFINGTON POST* promoted Lizzie Schiffman, lizzie.schiffman@huffingtonpost.com and @lizzieschiffman, to associate editor…

WIRED* welcomed new senior editor Michael Copeland, michael_copeland@wiredmag.com and @mvc…

THE ATLANTIC* brought in Brian Fung, bfunt@theatlantic.com and @b_fung, as associate editor for medical devices and technology…

REAL SIMPLE* hired Chelsea Renaud, chelsea_renaud@realsimple.com, as home assistant..

WESTERN LIVING* and VANCOUVER* magazines’ editorial director, Gary Ross, was ousted by TC Media in a restructuring of its Vancouver, BC operations…