Archive for May, 2013


What If Print Was Created After Digital? A Fair Question That Is “Fully Booked”…

May 26, 2013

fully_booked_gestalten_motto_01Close your eyes and imagine a world with no print. No books or magazines in print formats. Ink on Paper has not been invented yet. Just imagine that we live in a digital age and all our reading materials and all our knowledge arrives to us via digital screens, some are tiny like an iPhone and some are big like an iPad.

Now imagine you are holding a book that begins with, “Let me state this for the record: The internet is not dead. Digital will not disappear. Print will not kill the web. It’s easy to forget when physical books were invented, news websites ignored them, and then laughed at them as niche pursuit for geeks. Now here we are… and the same journalists are declaring the death of the Internet, as the hype and excitement surrounding print and paper travels inexorably around the world…”

Well, the aforementioned book introduction is not a figment of the imagination. It is the introduction written by Andrew Losowsky to the book he co-edited for the German publisher Gestalten called Fully Booked: Ink on Paper.

So, as I flip the pages of my recently bought copy, I can’t help but think, what if print was introduced as a new medium? After all, I’ve always said that every time a new copy of the newspaper lands in my driveway, and every time a new issue of the magazine arrives in my mail box, they are new media.

Just think about the possibilities.

The ending of Andrew’s introduction is as good as the beginning, but I am not going to spoil the surprise for those who are going to buy a copy of the book and read all about this new medium: ink on paper books… I just may add the word “magazines” to books.

Long live the newly discovered medium: ink on paper, or as Andrew said, “long live print!”


“A Tale of Two New Magazines:” Mr. Magazine’s™ First “Minsider” Column…

May 20, 2013

Screen shot 2013-05-18 at 6.21.24 AM

Screen shot 2013-05-18 at 6.21.01 AM It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity…

Not only is this the first line of one of the classics; it is the opening scene of a drama we sometimes witness in the magazine media world.

Hearst recently announced that rate bases were jumping again on two of its titles: Food Network Magazine and HGTV Magazine. This will be the 11th consecutive rate base increase for Food Network Magazine since launching in 2009 and the 3rd increase for HGTV Magazine since the first official issue in June 2012.

It is the best of times for Food Network Magazine. Yet it was the worst of times for another culinary magazine that had been around for almost 70 years: Gourmet.

In 2008, when the economy busted and technology burst upon the scene, some major publishers, like Condé Nast, struggled to keep their footing. So Gourmet was sacrificed and Condé Nast concentrated all of its life-giving oxygen on Bon Appétit.

Condé Nast also drove the nails into the coffin of Domino Magazine, the last print issue hitting the stands in March 2009. Yet, just four short years later HGTV is going strong.

So has the economy improved that much in four or five years that the magazine media industry can expect the amazing growth that titles like Food Network and HGTV are realizing? Or is there more to the story? Perhaps we have finally learned a very important lesson: that as long as we integrate and communicate to our audience the relevant message, via the relevant platform, we can see our numbers grow once again.

Some people will argue that Food Network and HGTV magazines are just riding on the coattails of their TV networks; I say that’s just foolish drivel out of the mouth’s naysayers. Remember Lifetime magazine?

In the cases of Food Network and HGTV, stories are rarely repeated between the pages of the print magazines and those that come to life on the television screen. Both magazines are substantial and are their own unique experiences, apart from their broadcast counterparts.

What I believe that we can take away from this is two things:

One, you have to be willing to listen to your customers, bottom line. Paying just lip service to your customers is not going to work. It doesn’t matter what you as an editor or publisher want, you can’t self-support your own magazine; it’s going to take a community of loyal readers to do that for you.

Two: We need to learn from the old business model, take from it what still works and be willing to sacrifice what does not. Doing the same thing time and time again won’t fly in 2013. Take the best from the past, focus on the present, and always keep an eye on the future, that’s where your business model should be headed.

This column first appeared on min online May 17, 2013.


A Digital Native, Jade George, Editorial Director of The Carton Magazine, Talks About the “Power and Glow” of Print. The Mr. Magazine™ Minute

May 17, 2013


Food and culture awaken all five senses best in print and not on the screen. Jade George, the founder and editorial director of The Carton magazine, just celebrated the first anniversary of the English language magazine that is published in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and printed in Beirut,Lebanon.

I had the opportunity to meet with Jade George while attending and speaking at the 12th Annual Arab Media Forum in Dubai.

I asked Ms. George, a digital native, why did she choose print as her venue for the The Carton. Her answer below:

More about the story of the birth of The Carton later on this blog.


No eDreams here… The Realities of the “The Hopeless Romantic Mr. Magazine™”

May 9, 2013

405891_10151599573381187_2128293329_nCall me the hopeless romantic, but be ready to prove it. Talk is cheap and print is expensive, and guess what, I am ready to prove it.

Every time I go overseas, I come back with this energy that fuels my passion, my soul, my inner-self. I fill my suitcase with magazines, all kinds of magazines, and cross the Atlantic with my spirits soaring as high as the plane can take me.

New magazines, established magazines with new twists, newspapers that have reinvented themselves, all in different languages, different paper styles and weights, different sizes, some are big, some are small, some are thick and some are thin. It makes no difference to me. It is just another reality that somehow seems to escape a lot of people in this digital age. Magazines (and mind you I only use this word for my objects of affection that are printed, as in ink on paper) are aplenty. If they are not printed, they are Magazine Media. Magazines are everywhere, they are about everything, but above all they add “soul” to the “body” of paper. Magazines are one of the best forms of “living” technology ever created. They are not just ink on paper; they are living, moving, and breathing objects of desire, my desire and everyone else’s desires.

Magazines are still big money generators. Research continues to show that the vast majority of income for magazine media companies is still coming from the printed word and its derivatives. But this blog-entry is not about money or revenues, although magazines propagate both, but rather about the love affair a magazine generates with its audience through that touchy, feely approach that only print, good print for that matter, let’s you experience.

Join me on this brief stroll through the magazine world as you and I travel with some recently acquired titles which boarded the plane with me coming back from Lisbon, Portugal after attending and presenting at the International Media Management Academic Association 6th Annual Conference. (A quick side note here regarding the image to the upper right which I captured in Lisbon… eDreams. My dreams were, are and will always continue to be virtual, with or without an e. That’s why I love real things, touchable things, things that remind me that I am still a real human being surrounded by real stuff, real people and yes, real magazines…)

NewsweekLife after death – Newsweek reborn
. Seeing this magazine, which received so much hoopla and attention for its “#last print issue” in the U.S., sitting on European newsstands just really did my heart good. To think that a magazine with so much history, and roots that ran so deep in the forest of the magazine industry; to think that such an established brand as that, could be cut off from the print world and delegated to “digital only” was such a shock to those of us out here who knew better, who knew that it could still survive in print. It just took the right publishing individuals behind it to believe it too.

Made in PaperMade In Paper – The size, the feel, page after page of imaginative crafts; it’s all here in this magazine to produce an experience for the reader. Whether you actually make any of the crafts, or simply enjoy dreaming about trying your hand at some of them, Made in Paper is meaty and substantial, chock full of colorful explosions that come together to form exciting and beautiful designs. It’s an uplifting magazine.

FlowFlow – Magazine for Paper Lovers – After few years being published only in Dutch, an international English edition of Flow has been published. This is a magazine that celebrates “Do it Yourself” and believes nothing beats paper to do it with. And with a Ray Bradbury quote on the cover: “Thinking is the enemy of creativity,” you know imagination abounds between the covers. The pages of the magazine tempt your fingertips and beckon to your senses. The magazine asks you to slow down and consider your own needs, to take the time to care about yourself first for a minute. And choose Flow to do it with.

MoodieZMoodiez – A magazine for young teens that want to know about themselves and the world around them. And by the way, it’s the first Dutch mind style magazine for young people out there. The first issue of the magazine features each sign of the zodiac and has pullout posters, which accompany each mystical zodiacal realm. Very creative and unique.

Happi FoodHappi-food – A magazine that is simply a delight of delicious dishes that states: “Bring Soul into your Kitchen.” Foods that uplift as well as produce healthy results, a magazine full of zesty recipes that nurture your body, your soul, and your spirit.

From these magazines, you will find no cookie cutters; each one has its own unique spirit and personality, unique size, unique skin feel and color, in short, a unique persona, one of a kind. What I discovered on this particular trip abroad is how much easier I can rest when it comes to relevant print, for that relevant audience, with that relevant message. Talk about target marketing.

My spirit has been rejuvenated! What about yours?


74 New Titles Arrive on the Marketplace in April Including a “One True Vine” Magazine With a $39 Cover Price.

May 2, 2013

There was no let down in the number of new magazine introductions to the marketplace in the month of April. A total of 74 titles arrived on the newsstands for the first time including one magazine, One True Vine, with a cover price of $39.00. Yes, you read that right, one issue for $39.00.

Joining One True Vine are 23 other titles published with a regular frequency and 50 specials, book-a-zines or annuals. Take a look at a sample below and click here to see each and every one of those new arrivals including the relaunch of Variety as a monthly and the new As If magazine.


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