Archive for August, 2013


Cheeriodicals: A New and Unique Way to Distribute Magazines and Spread Some Cheer at the Same Time. The Mr. Magazine™ Interview with Gary Parisher, President of Cheeriodicals

August 30, 2013

So what is “Cheeriodicals?” In short, it is what happens when you use magazines to spread cheer among people. No wonder then, when I heard about this company, I reached out to its founder and president Gary Parisher and invited him to come to the Magazine Innovation Center at The University of Mississippi to sit down with me for an on-camera in-depth Mr. Magazine™ Interview.

The genesis of Cheeriodicals began when the company started distributing magazines in “Tiffany-styled” green boxes to sick folks in hospital beds, and later expanded it to children in hospitals, and to individuals celebrating an event and even corporations sending good wishes to their clients and customers.

New, different and unique ways in magazine distribution are rare. So, what happens when you have an idea that combines all three concepts in one? Cheeriodicals is born. Watch below to see the story of Cheeriodicals from A to Z…


From THIS to this… President Obama and TIME’s Cover Page…

August 29, 2013

This is a “TIME” moment where a picture is worth a thousand words. The image of the president on the cover of TIME. From the Person of the Year to The Unhappy Warrior. That’s all I have to say about that!


Both covers are the same size, I just took some editorial liberty in the presentation…


How Do I Love September? Let Me Count The Magazines…

August 23, 2013

instyle sub-97Elle Subscription-96

I love thee to the depths of Elle and breadth and height of InStyle
My soul can reach, when feeling out of Vogue
For the ends of Harper’s Bazaar and ideal Vanity Fair.
I love thee to the level of Glamour’s & W’s
Most quiet need, by People StyleWatch and Marie Claire.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Details
I love thee purely, as they turn from Cosmopolitan tales.
I love thee with a passion GQ
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love, Esquire, I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better, New York Magazine, after death.

Yes, I realize I owe Ms. Barrett Browning (and my assistant Angela) an apology for taking liberty with her classic poem (and helping reshape the poem), however, the sentiment is oh-so sincere.

September brings about the hint of autumn, the singular flutter of a yellowing leaf to the ground, depending upon where you live; I live in Mississippi – hence the singular flutter, splashes of oranges and yellows from the pumpkins and fall squash in the markets.

But most important in the world of magazines (ink on paper that is) and magazine media (everything else)– it is that time of year when the crème-de-la-crème of publishing rise to the top with their most extravagant issues of the year.

And for most, September 2013 is offering their biggest editions ever. It’s a celebration of fashion, football and the fall season.

Up first and weighing in at a hefty 902 pages is Vogue. This issue is synonymous with evocative style, beauty and fashion, as only Vogue can do. The content of the magazine is chocked full of visually liberating ads that transport you into a world of haute couture that is both extreme and exhilarating.

Anna Wintour’s letter from the editor begins on page 276, just to drive home the image of the magazine’s thickness in one’s mind. Totally amazing.

InStyle shows off their “biggest issue ever!!” – two exclamation points. 716 pages of fall fashion.

ELLE shouts to the world: “Our biggest fashion issue ever! 650+ pages” – with a curvaceous Kate Upton receiving the cover’s hello.

Harper’s Bazaar
Not to be left behind, Harper’s Bazaar proclaims “Biggest Issue Ever” with 598 pages of fashion fun. You’ll find Editor, Glenda Bailey’s letter, on page 206 and in her own words the proud declaration: “Our September Issue, the largest issue in our history.” Certainly, something to exclaim about.

The fall fashion issue of W flaunts its oversized beauty proudly with 454 pages of chic.

Marie Claire
Marie Claire comes in at 428 pages and looks marvelous doing it.

Glamour, as “glamorous” as ever with 386 pages.

Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair is 362 pages of style, featuring the 74th International Best-Dressed list and a dead celebrity on the cover.

People StyleWatch
People StyleWatch at 328 pages announce their “Biggest Issue Ever.”

Cosmopolitan shares their always entertaining “tips and advice” between their 264 pages.

New York
New York
New York Magazine features 208 pages in their fall fashion double issue – and is very noteworthy because the fashion model is sporting a barely-there design (a tattoo) made in collaboration with Marc Jacob’s tattooist – which happens to be the model’s husband.

And in the men’s world, GQ comes in with two different covers giving a shout-out to their biggest ever NFL kickoff with 296 pages.

The fashion issue of Details uses 234 pages to tell guys how to look great this fall.

And Esquire has 216 pages with their biggest style issue, featuring Thor himself – Chris Hemsworth.

So what does all this mean? Simply that print magazines still anticipate the seasons the same way we humans do. In fact, it might be fair to say, we anticipate the seasons because of those special magazine issues. With their lush, overflowing-to-the-hilt content, I really can’t think of a reason not to.

So, to September…how do I love thee? Let me count the magazines – and the pages!


The American Newsstand: The Solution, in a Nutshell…

August 22, 2013

Reading the headline above may leave you thinking, “There’s a solution to the magazine industry’s newsstand woes? Why haven’t we fixed this a long time ago?”

If only the solution was that simple. But like a tough nut, there’s are many layers to the issue that must be cracked, peeled away, before the real meat is revealed and relished.

And with this article, I think we’ve been doing that, peeling away the layers, one at a time. All of the industry veterans quoted in this article have their own experiences and track record to back up their opinions and perspectives. We must take these, along with the thoughts and ideas of many others, and like a jigsaw puzzle piece them together so that the picture becomes clear and comprehensible.

A recent panel discussion at the MPA/PBAA Retail Marketplace brought together top magazine executives focused on retail channels. They all agreed on the importance of these channels and discussed their views on how to stunt the decline in sales, while maximizing the potential and profitability of the print product.

Hearst’s President, David Carey, spoke about the “mobile blinder” factor plaguing the newsstand: “Hopefully, the improved economy will translate into increased visits to stores. And the magazine category needs to work with the retail community to find a solution to the mobile blinder factor. We have to co-opt that experience at the front of the store with magazine content and promotional innovations that employ digital and mobile technology.”

Chairman and CEO of the Meredith Corporation, Steve Lacy, pointed out that Meredith’s recently acquired all-digital brand allrecipes proved quite popular. Approximately 25-percent of the 25 million unique visits per month were generated right in store aisles, as shoppers looked for recipes and ingredients information. As a test, Meredith took one of its food special interest publications and put the allrecipes logo on the cover. This yielded a 40% retail sales lift, Lacy reported.

“This is a digital consumer, and she’s also very interested in the print that ties this all together. Our greatest corporate lesson in the last year has been to figure out how to connect those dots and help our advertisers sell product to her when she’s right there in the supermarket. Everything that we’re seeing indicates that Gen Y is very engaged in these brands on every platform, from mobile to print.”

Condè Nast’s President, Bob Sauerberg, encouraged a “getting together” of the powers-that-be.

“We have to stop the decline,” Sauerberg said. “This industry has brands like no other, it has assets like no other, it has editors and consumer marketers like no other. And we’ve all accumulated incredible digital assets that I think will really help us grow. We’ve got to work together to ‘product-ize’ those things, to get to retailers and really move the needle.”

Skip Zimbalist, chairman and CEO of Active Interest Media (AIM), agreed that retail will continue to be vitally important.

“AIM is redoubling efforts to get into specialty retail stores serving the same consumers that AIM titles serve, such as equine and boating,” he said, “and if it’s Vegetarian Times, to be in the section where soy is sold.”

Gil Brechtel, President and CEO of MagNet, offered these “nut-cracking” strategies:

• Spread the message;
• Drive sales, instead of focusing on cost reduction;
• Publish good, quality content – something the customer will pay for; and
• Bring the major components of the newsstand: publishers, national distributors, wholesalers, and retailers together in a collaborative effort to grow sales.

So what do you think? Can we save the American Newsstand? Let me know what you think and stay tuned.


Rethinking Newsstand Sales: Magazines, Money and Mobile Blinders*

August 21, 2013

Screen shot 2013-06-11 at 4.45.47 PM David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, believes that people crave “spontaneous combustion” from their media purchases. “We live in this on-demand world,” Carey elaborates. “There’s nothing more satisfying than going to the newsstand, [browsing] by a subject area that you’re passionate about, and you literally own it right then. You take it home, and you get to devour it.”

Newsstand sales exceed $3 billion, and magazines are sold at more than 100,000 retail spaces across North America. Single-copy magazine sales are critical to the industry’s future prognosis. The newsstand, in its many retail manifestations, often provides insight into trends in magazine sales and how to best target magazine readers. The picture, however, is often bleak.

John Harrington is a partner in Harrington Associates, publisher of The New Single Copy newsletter and the annual Magazine Retail Sales Experience. “Newsstand, single copy, retail magazines – whatever you choose to call it – is sick,” Harrington affirms. “Sales are down more than 40% in five years, and the decline is continuing. Retail dollar sales . . . are below what they were in 1993. Beyond that, the wholesale level is financially distressed, and then some.”

Joe Berger of Joseph Berger Associates, a circulation marketing and consulting firm in Chicago, agrees with Harrington: “The present status of single copy sales in the U.S. is, at best, tenuous.” Much analysis about the declining vital stats of newsstand sales has revealed numerous contributing factors, and left publishers pondering if the trends are irreversible. Everyone from CEOs to copy editors can cite causes for the newsstand’s declining health, but few offer viable remedies. Yet a close look at some of the crucial issues related to newsstand sales points the way to a brighter outlook.

Disparity in Distribution

Luke Magerko is a 20-year publishing industry veteran who spent a number of years at Meredith Corporation and with wholesaler Independent Direct Distributors before his venture into the publishing arm. Most recently, he founded The Market Analytics Project, which compiles and interprets actionable data analytics for publishers, vendors and retailers.

The contemporary newsstand climate is “bleak,” according to Magerko.

“Retailers are reducing in-store magazine space due to rapid sales declines. Wholesalers continue to add small fees and adjust terms and conditions in the hope they can generate incremental revenues at publisher expense. Lastly, newsstand departments, national distributors, and consultants avoid industry challenges by blaming outside forces such as the debilitating 2008 recession and the Internet,” he confides.

“Sales have never recovered from the Great Recession,” according to Harrington. “But the biggest killer today is digital – not just the Internet or tablets, but the breadth of social media, the names of which I can’t even keep up with. Answers? I could become a rich man if I knew that, but how about finding new ways and places to display magazines? And I don’t mean putting cooking magazines in the produce section. I mean getting them where people are willing to spend money, like when they enter the store. By the time they get to the checkout, they’ve already spent their impulse money. I know it’s not that simple, but not much has changed with [magazine] merchandising and marketing for maybe 30 years.”

Merchandising and marketing in a new way could potentially have a big impact, but the industry must begin by controlling its own narrative, according to Joe Berger: “The first thing is perception and marginalization. The perception issue is that we are going away; we’re dinosaurs, and we have horrible press. We also seem to be our own worst enemy, because in the name of transparency we now trumpet our sales results on a quarterly basis, so news writers – who don’t really understand the business – can write articles about the ‘Continued Problems of the Newsstand: What Should Be Done!’

“The second issue seems to be simple economics,” Berger adds. “Each link in the distribution chain has a different measure for success. A publisher may break even at 35 percent, but a wholesaler may be deep in the hole at a 35-percent sell-through. The solution for the wholesaler is to try and sell more efficiently and revise the distribution to a lower, more efficient draw. That can even work on a national basis. But I have seen that strategy succeed, and I have seen it fail. Often we just see a lower draw and the same or even lower sell-through, even if the entire distribution is worked.”

Luke Magerko also notes that wholesalers face disparity challenges in the way they manage their magazine sales. “Wholesalers currently work under two separate business models,” Magerko explains. “According to the Point of Sale [POS] Panel at PBAA, 55 percent of magazines sales are recorded using retail POS data. Wholesalers pay national distributors, and by extension publishers, using the traditional debit/credit method (Draw – Return = Sale). This is inefficient, and wholesalers are financially damaged by this model.”

And Magerko concurs newsstand marketing needs an overhaul. “Checkout space is not being utilized to its fullest potential, and I believe there are specific titles, categories and formats not being represented. There needs to be a new mix at the checkout,” he explains.

Publishers need to manage their own expectations, he adds. “Publishers should evaluate every part of their newsstand supply chain using profitability, not sales, as the basis for their decisions.”

Mining for Better Data
Gil Brechtel is President and CEO of MagNet, which provides critical sales and marketing information to the publishing industry. As the man with his forefinger on the pulse of the industry’s newsstands, Brechtel offers particular insight and hope.

“Bookazine sales have increased during the last five years when the industry sales were suffering,” he notes, “and that’s certainly a positive. I think it says that consumers are prepared to spend money on good quality publications, even though they may be at a $10 cover price. I think it also says that the consumer is smart enough to realize, why buy a magazine at full price on the newsstand, when they can get it through subscription at a reduced price?”

Brechtel notes that because bookazines aren’t offered through subscription, consumers are accustomed to paying full cover price for them. He also notes the impact of celebrity-style publications slipping in popularity. “Celebrity categories represent 25 percent of the business,” Brechtel asserts, “and when those sales are down 12-13 percent a year; alone, they represent a two- to three-percent decline on the overall business. And I don’t see the celebrity titles turning around anytime soon, mainly because of social media and the Internet, and the fact that the fans of the celebrities appearing on the cover already know the information way before the consumer can read it in People magazine.”

“Good, quality publications are selling, but at the same time the overall business is tough on the people involved, mainly the wholesalers and the publishers who are looking at and focusing their attention on digital and social media and not on the newsstand,” Brechtel adds, “which means we’re not seeing as many good, quality launches as we would hope, that would sustain the business long-term.”

There’s also a big question of mobile blinders – the phenomenon by which consumers are involved with their mobile devices while standing in retail lines. This is time that used to be spent perusing magazine covers.

“We need to think about two things: One, those celebrity titles for the most part are weeklies, so they’re turning 52 times a year, and therefore generating revenues on every issue,” he explains. “But I think we do need to look at the checkout titles and determine their true profitability for the retailers, and perhaps we should be rotating some of these high-cover-priced specials through pockets up at the checkouts, so that they’re more visible to the consumer.”

Brechtel strongly believes the industry should work together more collaboratively – publishers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers – to glean new ways to drive sales, and not solely focus on cost reduction.

Newsstand & Subscription: A Healthy Codependency
Despite its diminishing appearance, the newsstand still represents a vital revenue vein for the publishing organization. “Newsstand remains a key factor in the launch of a new magazine,” according to Harrington. “It is also a valuable source of new subscriptions, and it is still profitable in itself.”

Joe Berger agrees that the newsstand can prove to be the perfect platform for new title launches. “The newsstand is still quite important,” he cautions. “As long as we have bricks-and-mortar retail, a newsstand is a good measure of how well your audience – presuming you have placement in the right locations – will respond to what you’ve published. Is there a link between single copy and subscriptions? Sadly, in our market, the link is that single copy is a loss leader and a marketing ploy for selling subscriptions. If there was more equity in pricing, we may see stronger newsstand sales. However, that genie has been out of the bottle for years.”

“Newsstand provides a great opportunity to understand customers better,” Magerko suggests. “My research indicates that newsstand is actually a leading indicator for each publishing department. Newsstand results can predict renewal rates for consumer marketing groups, provide feedback to editors because the main message is located on the magazine cover and consumers make a choice based on those messages. And lastly, through advanced text analytics and marketing analytics, a consumer marketing group should use cover results to determine the most effective message for direct mail.”

Steve Lacy, CEO, Meredith Corporation, is of the “all-platforms, all the time” school of thought. “I see an amazing opportunity to support the consumer – especially the Gen Y consumer that is very, very engaged,” Lacy confides. “As a cook, as a gardener, as a home enthusiast, she wants the print product for relaxation when she finally gets the kids in bed. She wants the digital property for taking action, and she wants the mobile property when she’s engaged at retail and ready to make a buy.”

The Good News
“Look, publishing is being challenged from a thousand directions,” Harrington affirms. “The primary response has been to expand into digital, but there needs to be a major effort to help newsstand. The wholesale level does not work under the current financial structure. It needs to be restructured before it collapses, and publishers have an even larger void to wallow around in.”

“Publishers need to reestablish their role in the supply chain and within their own newsstand departments,” suggests Luke Magerko. “The publisher is the second most important player in the supply chain behind the retailer. However, they have ceded their authority almost completely to members of the supply chain.” But publishers must remain diligent about the quality of the product they’re increasingly worried about disseminating.

Bob Sauerberg, president, Condé Nast, believes his company’s primary role today is in building brands. “Our strategy is to build brands, and our brands start with our magazines,” he expounds. “Print has never been more vital. The consumers tell us every day through all of our business channels, from subscriptions to retail, that they want print. They love it, and they are actually willing to pay more for it, which is an important part of our strategy in the long term.”

As CEO of Active Interest Media, Skip Zimbalist also remains bullish on print. “I’m very optimistic, and we see our audience in print as stable. We don’t see our audience as going down. . . . When television came in, people said it was the death of radio; well, radio is still here and doing very well, thank you. And I think print magazines are going to be here 20 years from now and doing very well, as well.”

MPA’s president and CEO Mary Berner has faith in the future of magazines – whether they’re distributed in print or electronically, as part of a subscription, or by way of a supermarket check-out line.

“I think we have key assets that are important in this wildly-competitive market,” she reminds industry colleagues. “And we’ve got brand relationships. People go and seek out the magazine brand,” Berner continues. “They go and look for Vogue or Cosmopolitan on every platform. So, that relationship with the consumer, I think, in this kind of digital explosion, is what’s going to be the most important.”

* The above article is a reprint of my article that appeared in the July/August issue of Publishing Executive magazine.


The Saga of the American Newsstand: Newsstand Innovation Vs. Other Innovation in Media. The Man Who Wants to Save the Newsstand. Part Three of the Mr. Magazine™ Interview with Luke Magerko

August 19, 2013

Screen shot 2013-06-11 at 4.45.47 PM

A fair question: Are the innovations in the single copy sales of American magazines keeping up with the pace of the innovations in the electronic field? A fair answer, from a man who wants to save the newsstands, Luke Magerko, is a resounding NO. So, in this third part of my interviews with Luke about the newsstands I decided to look at a growing industry on the periphery of publishing. Working with Luke, we assembled a simple timeline of major innovations in personal digital assistants (remember those?) since 2000, focusing on the Blackberry, the smartphone, iPad and touch screen devices. These devices dominate our world and have legitimately decimated some and impacted other magazine categories, if not all magazine categories. (See the list at the end of this blog entry).


In October 2000, Cathie Black, the former Hearst Magazines President, was quoted at the AMC Conference by the New Single Copy. She said: “[the industry must] make sure we really understand scan-based trading (“SBT”) before we implement it, and make sure that the system accepts new products.” The publishing industry has been stuck in this same operational morass for more than 4,500 days. The leaders of this industry should be embarrassed that this is still an issue.

I want publishers to focus on the concept of competition. For example, the Blackberry was an unrivaled success, and then competitors duplicated and enhanced similar products for customer satisfaction. Apple’s iPod and iPhone were unrivaled before Google Android and Samsung became power players. In this competitive set, each company tries to grow their business by outperforming each other.

Publishers should ask its newsstand leadership, its wholesalers, and its consultants how they have tried to outperform each other at retail in the past two decades. Publishers are not going to like the answers they receive because they will hear a series of industry platitudes and excuses.

In the 1990s, publishers were told sales declines were caused by the expansion of gum, candy, salty snacks, and soda coolers at checkouts. The industry response was to defend checkout space by raising cover prices and paying more for checkout space in the form of higher placement fees. The result: even more sales erosion.

The 2000s brought us 9/11 in the first half of the decade and a recession in the second. The publisher response again was to pay higher fees to maintain the ever-shrinking checkout space. But two important events conspired against raising prices to offset these fees. It is impossible to raise prices in a severe recession. Also, because publishers initially embraced free internet content, it is equally difficult to raise cover prices; therefore the industry is in more peril today than ever before.

I can point out a print industry that is doing anything but dying: Diamond Comic Distributors is the sole distributor of comics to comic shops in the United States and Canada. I was privileged to work with them from 2011 – 2013, and they taught me a great deal about the publisher/distributor/retailer relationship. The symbiotic relationship reinvigorated the comic book industry after the 2008 recession, the same time magazine sales continued to decline.

Below, is a chart of comic retail sales by month dating back to 1999. I want to thank The Comic Chronicles for their work reporting data to the comic industry. This, and many more reports, are found at their website

Top-Selling Comic Books and Trade Paperbacks Ordered by Comics Shops in North America (in $)
Picture 9

The chart makes three points. 1) While there was a small decline after 9/11, sales resumed their normal pace quickly thereafter. 2) Comic sales were hurt as badly as magazines from mid-2009 through mid–2011. 3) Look at the sharp increase in DC Comics sales (red) in late 2011, and the Marvel Comics sales spike (yellow) in 2012. I highlighted the growth in with green circles.


In August, 2011, DC Comics launched the New 52, a brilliantly-conceived editorial change described by one industry leader as “the biggest development for DC Comics since 1985 and…may, in fact, be the company’s biggest development ever.” (

DC Comics Senior Vice President of Sales Bob Wayne described the change:
“[T]he new #1s will introduce readers to a more modern, diverse DC Universe, with some character variations in appearance, origin and age. All stories will be grounded in each character’s legend – but will relate to real world situations, interactions, tragedy and triumph.” (


Partially. The second largest comic publisher developed a revolutionary new concept and, working hand-in-hand with Diamond Comic Distributors, successfully rolled out the biggest thing in comics flawlessly. I was working on other projects for Diamond, but I witnessed remarkable competency from both companies.


Marvel NOW! was a relaunch of the Marvel comic line. Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso differentiated Marvel NOW! from DC Comics’ in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “This ain’t a reboot. It’s a new beginning…every week you can go into a comic book store and find a few new jumping-on points for the Marvel Universe, a place you’re going to like visiting. Or revisiting.” (


First, let me pose a question to you: can you think of the last major change in the magazine business where a publisher worked closely with its national distributor, its consultant and its wholesaler to make a positive difference in existing titles? You will be hard pressed to come up with one.

Second, and I will elaborate on this in upcoming sessions: the current level of distrust and animosity between supply chain “partners” guarantees that nothing like the Diamond/DC and Marvel success will ever happen unless major changes come to pass.


No. Think of your roundtable meeting with the CEOs at PBAA. The major publisher CEOs have great ideas and want to implement them. Smaller publishers are coming out with new products all the time and are looking to expand distribution and have ideas of their own.


Publishers are, without question, the second-most important player in the magazine supply chain behind the retailer. Due to a series of unwise business decisions, publishers ceded their authority to consultants, national distributors, wholesalers and a myriad of other middlemen. Each one of these middlemen have different agendas, so any major change is blocked, delayed or just killed in the gauntlet set up by these entities.

For the next few weeks, I will focus on publisher challenges and opportunities. This week, I ask publishers to consider the following: most publishers (knowingly or unknowingly) employ most or all of the following agents:
• Wholesalers
• RDA Consultants
• National Distributors
• Publisher Consultants
I ask publishers to please answer the following questions for each entity:
1.) Which of these groups are part of my supply chain?

2.) What purpose does each entity serve?

3.) How much do we pay each group?

4.) What is the publisher’s profitability after paying for three, four, five, six or seven agents?

5.) Have there been times publisher proposed a marketing plan but was prevented by any of the entities other than the retailer?

6.) Was the negative response plausible to the publisher?

7.) Does my publisher consultant and national distributor prioritize my business, and are they working in a way that makes me most profitable?

This is just the beginning, Luke Magerko has still plenty to say in this continuing, yet very important saga of the American Newsstands… Stay Tuned.

The Ever Changing Electronic and Digital Market

Picture 7


“No One Does It Like Sports Illustrated Does It.” Matt Bean, Managing Editor Tells Samir Husni the Secrets of Sports Illustrated’s Success… The Mr. Magazine™ Minute

August 13, 2013

Matt Bean, managing editor, was my guest on a panel about Sports in a Digital Age at the annual convention of the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication in Washington, D.C. After the panel I asked Matt a question about the secrets of success of and how he thinks the integration between Sports Illustrated, the print weekly, and its digital counterpart,, is going.
His answers in this segment of The Mr. Magazine™ Minute:


Woman’s World Dethrones Cosmopolitan as the Single Copy Sales Queen… and the Facts Behind the Magazine Circulation Figures

August 7, 2013

WomansWorldCosmo There is a new queen ruling the newsstands. Woman’s World has dethroned Cosmopolitan as the number one selling magazine on the newsstands on an issue by issue basis. The latest figures released by the AMM (The Alliance for Audited Media) shows Woman’s World single copy sales at 1,103,996 compared with Cosmo’s 1,028,892. No wonder Bauer, publisher of Woman’s World, is readying to launch Closer, another woman’s lifestyle magazine this fall.

However, with every release of the circulation numbers of the audited consumer magazine titles, media pundits and reporters apply their own interpretations to the numbers. The numbers are “flat, plummeted or increased” depending on the messenger. The same message was told and delivered by different harbingers and in some cases offered an interpretation as different as black and white. Folio: magazine announced that the numbers were flat; Publishing Executive announced that the numbers plummeted; the MPA, in a release by its president and CEO Mary Berner, downplayed the numbers and rightly focused on the total picture of the increased magazine media audiences. So what gives?

If all the media are reporting on the same numbers, what went wrong and what goes wrong every time numbers are released? Is it that hate-love relationship we have with numbers? And why is Hearst Magazine celebrating the numbers with their record circulation figures? Their numbers show record circulation figures for all their combined titles.

Why are Better Homes and Gardens, Woman’s Day, Food Network, etc. etc., showing an increase in circulation numbers at the time Woman’s World celebrates dethroning Cosmopolitan as the number one selling magazine on the nation’s stands for the first time in recent history?

Why is Meredith launching a new print magazine based on a website? And is their really room for another weekly women’s lifestyle magazine coming this fall from Bauer? Closer will be joining the ranks of Woman’s World, In Touch and Life & Style weeklies, making Bauer the only publisher to introduce four weeklies in the last few years.

Also, if the numbers are so bad, why are Hearst, Meredith and Bauer launching these new print magazines? It is about time to celebrate our industry, to light a candle rather than cursing the dark (in this case the decline in single copy sales, which Ms. Berner reminds us is less than 10% of the total magazine circulation).

With this in mind, and with the recent sale of Newsweek, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, it appears, regardless of what some media pundits may say or write, there is still hope for print and folks are latching onto print to validate their virtual presence. Print is still, by far, generating more stories, more news, more emotions, more reactions that any digital platform. The problem in not with print or with numbers, the problem is with the folks who have preconceived ideas of the future of print. They are writing to fit their preconceived notions.

NOW, for a fun sidebar, during my visit to Lebanon, I visited my childhood newsstand on the main square in Tripoli, which has been operating at the same location since I can recall, and I was able to buy a few newspapers and a magazine. You ask which magazine? Newsweek, my friends; a printed edition of Newsweek. As I mentioned earlier, the magazine is still alive and kicking in the rest of the world. Enjoy the video below and keep in mind, when we were told it is “# last print issue,” that too was not true! Have fun.


July Magazine Launches – No Illusion Here – Only the Intensity of the Numbers And an Array of Awesome Titles

August 4, 2013

While the blistering summer sun may cause a refraction of light on the asphalt as one drives down some lonely back road in the middle of nowhere, searching for the nearest newsstand, I assure you the new magazines one will find there when they ultimately arrive are no mirage.

July alone saw the advent of 75 new titles – 18 of which pledge the intense frequency of heat lightning during a summertime storm, and all are just as unique as each jagged streak that slices through the sultry sky.

From magazines aimed at Digital Natives, such as Peppa Pig and The Smurfs 2, to the Gen-X male who wants to be a Smosher, there has been a summer influx of titles that are diverse enough to not leave out any generation.

Can you say fun-n-the-sun?

It’s an extravaganza of variety that should please the masses. Parents and “crafty” individuals will revel in titles like: Food Traveler and Stitch-it…today and those preparing for Apocalypse will certainly appreciate the slick new guide for urban survival – OffGrid.

For the gun enthusiast, there’s Trigger and for those who delight in the campaign of the Blue and the Gray, there’s Civil War Quarterly.

To connect with your pet and understand it better and your relationship with little Fido or Tiger, Natural Pet World is awaiting you and your animal psyche.

It’s a cornucopia of choice and enchantment that will inform you as it makes you smile, proving once again that there is a definite spot for printed magazines, right next to the counter you laid your iPhone down on.

Now if you can just get to the end of that back road…

Civil War Quarterly-84Food Traveler-87OffGrid-83Peppa Pig-89Pet World-82Smosh-88Smurfs2-90Stitch-It Today-85Trigger-86

The nine magazines above are not but a sample of the hot new July launches. Click here to see each and every magazine arriving on the nation’s newsstands during the month of July.

%d bloggers like this: