Archive for May, 2009


On making the magazine cup FULL

May 8, 2009

So is the magazine cup half full or half empty? Well, my friend Jeremy Leslie, the executive creative director of the London-based customer communications agency John Brown and the creator of, answered this question unlike any other person I have interviewed so far regarding my video blog series on innovation, print and the future. Jeremy was covering the second day of the 37th FIPP World Magazine Congress in London. In the midst of one of the breaks (thus all the noise in the video) I asked Jeremy if print is dead and if he sees the cup half full or half empty. Hear his one minute plus answer by clicking the video above.


Innovation and the future: The view from the Arab World

May 7, 2009

So what does the editor of one of the largest women’s weeklies in the Middle East think about the future of print, magazines and the web. I had the opportunity to ask my two questions to Mohammed Al-Harthi, the editor in chief of Sayidaty and Al-Jamila magazines with offices in Dubai Media City, Beirut and London, and the only Arab magazine editor attending the 37th FIPP World Magazine Congress. Mr. Al-Harthi issues a call for more forward thinking the Arab media and to look at what is happening in Europe and the United States to learn from the current crisis and take lessons for the future. Click on the above video to hear his two minutes answers.


Felix Dennis on the future of print and magazines

May 5, 2009

Felix Dennis, in a typical Dennis style, gave earlier today his keynote address on “Innovating in a downturn” at the 37th FIPP World Magazine Congress. He recapped the story of launching Maxim in the United States against all odds and in the worst of times during the 1997 economic downturn.
After his speech I had the opportunity to catch up with Felix and ask him two questions regarding my series on innovation, print, the web and the future. In his three minutes answers he took the time first to acknowledge my work and then answer the questions. Thank you Felix for the kind words and for being honest and blunt about the future of magazines and print. Click the video above to hear my interview with Felix Dennis, Chairman of Dennis Publishing in the UK and The Week Publications in the USA.


From London with Print: The Opening of the 37th FIPP World Magazine Congress

May 4, 2009

Tonight was the official opening of the 37th FIPP World Magazine Congress at The Orangery, Kensington Palace. It is the beginning of two days of discussions, speeches, presentations that will focus on innovation, print and the web. From my brief conversations with a lot of the attendees (from all four corners of the world) everyone is looking for answers. The problems are well known, the answers, on the other hand, are a different story. I am looking forward to the next two days, and I hope that, in the words of a famous man, “we will not be all thinking the same, because when we do so nobody is thinking.”


Best Obama cover yet? Mr. President in Tea Leaves

May 3, 2009

As I have mentioned earlier on this blog, President Obama, and his entire family for that matter, have been a great newsstand magazine sellers. However, this last week a picked up a copy of Tea, A Magazine with one of the best rendering and surprising image of Mr. Obama on its cover: The president in tea leaves. Now all what we need to do is find an expert in reading tea leaves and all our problems will be revealed. I just wish those experts can tell us the solutions since most of us already know what the problems are…
Still, a well done and very smart cover of Tea, A Magazine…. Talking about tea, I am ready for my afternoon tea since I am visiting London and when in “London” I am supposed to act as “Londoners” act. Care to join me?


Is this the first sign of change? 3 Sub. prices for the same magazine

May 3, 2009

Just before I left the country heading to the UK, I picked up a copy of Newsweek before the major reinvention takes place on the magazine pages and its business model. I was surprised to see, in the same issue that I bought at the Ole Miss Bookstore, three subscription cards with three different prices: one is offering the entire year for $15.00 (Five more dollars than last year), another is offering the entire year for $25.00 and the third is gift card offering the magazine’s entire year for $40.00.
Now call me a skeptic, but which one of these cards you will think people will send to get their one year subscription to the magazine? I am sending the $15 one and showing you the other two! On a positive note, I am glad to see Newsweek taking the lead in raising their subscription prices and hopefully setting the stage for the American magazines to start charging their readers for the content and not just depend on advertisers. Change has brought us a new president, I am sure it will bring us a new American magazine publishing model. I am keeping my fingers crossed!


On innovation, print and the web: A series of Q and A with industry leaders. Part nine

May 1, 2009

“The web is a tool, but magazines like ours are an escape of the things that you find on the web…” The aforementioned and other words of wisdom from Barbara Fairchild, editor in chief of Condé Nast’s Bon Appétit magazine, in her answers to my two questions about innovation, the web and print. Ms. Fairchild answered my questions during a visit to the Journalism Department at The University of Mississippi last week. Click on the video above to hear her answers. To learn more about the Magazine Innovation Center click here.
Next week I will be reporting about more hands-on innovation ideas from the 37th FIPP Magazine World Congress in London.

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