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Folio Magazine News Headlines


AARP Widens Its Lead as America?s Most-Read Magazine
by FOLIO: Magazine Staff
21 Jun 2018 at 12:16pm

As it does twice each year, GfK MRI released its latest round of magazine audience estimates?the average per-issue readership among U.S. adults for about 200 of the most widely-read magazines?based on consumer research conducted over a nine-month period.

The Spring 2018 figures?drawn from the two most recent waves of survey data, running from September 2017 to May 2018?reveal that AARP The Magazine has extended its lead over People as America's most widely-read print magazine pound-for-pound, averaging an estimated 38.6 million readers per issue.

AARP first overtook People for the top ranking in GfK's Fall 2017 report.

While the majority of the top-ten titles saw a decline in print readership as compared to the Spring 2017 numbers, that figure represents an increase of about 0.2 percent for AARP, which the data suggest has increased its average print audience by about 105,000 readers per issue since a year ago.

While its average reader increased slightly in age (64 years this year compared to 63 years, six months in Spring 2017) AARP?which publishes three separate editions of each issue for readers aged 50 to 59, 60 to 69, and 70 and up?says it's gained 479,000 readers aged 60 or younger in the past six months alone.

The Costco Connection?the only other freely-distributed, membership-based magazine in the top 10?also happened to be the only other title to see a year-over-year gain in average per-issue readership, adding a little over one-million new readers for an increase of four-percent over Spring 2017.

View the full top 20 list below.

GfK MRI Magazine Audience Estimates, Spring 2018

Top 20 Most-Read Magazines, Per Issue (with year-over-year change):

? 1. AARP The Magazine: 38.6 million (+0.03%)

? 2. People: 35.9 million (?11.2%)

   3. Better Homes and Gardens: 32.5 million (?12.8%)

   4. National Geographic: 30.4 million (?1.5%)

   5. The Costco Connection: 26.3 million (+4.0%)

   6. Good Housekeeping: 18.4 million (?6.0%)

   7. Reader's Digest: 16.9 million (?10.9%)

   8. TIME: 16.9 million (?4.3%)

   9. Sports Illustrated: 16.4 million (?3.0%)

   10. Southern Living: 15.2 million (?9.5%)

? 11. Woman's Day: 14.9 million (?5.5%)

? 12. Cosmopolitan: 14.2 million (?10.8%)

   13. ESPN The Magazine: 13.0 million (?10.5%)

? 14. Taste of Home: 12.3 million (+ 0.03%)

   15. Country Living: 11.8 million (?11.9%)

? 16. Family Circle: 11.8 million (?18.7%)

? 17. Food Network Magazine: 11.6 million (?0.05 %)

? 18. Men's Health: 11.4 million (?12.5%)

   19. Women's Health: 10.9 million (?2.4%)

? 20. Game Informer: 10.8 million (+4.2%)

The post AARP Widens Its Lead as America’s Most-Read Magazine appeared first on Folio:.

Spire, Condé Nast?s Two-Year-Old CDP, Is Ready for Its Close-Up
by Steve Smith
21 Jun 2018 at 10:39am

[caption id="attachment_126877" align="alignright" width="209"] Karthic Bala[/caption]

In 2015, when data and analytics expert Karthic Bala first sat down with Condé Nast executives to discuss his approach to ?models,? the two parties clearly came to the table with different definitions of the word; Condé?s was more aligned with Gigi Hadid than with statistics and regression analysis.

?I realized we were totally not connecting,? Bala tells Folio:.

Three years later, Bala has been promoted to become Condé?s first chief data officer?a testament not only to the new role the 109-year-old publisher sees for data, but to just how important Bala?s Spire project has become to the company?s future. In common digital parlance, Spire is a CDP?a customer data platform?that tries to build a unified profile of all of a customer?s activities, intent signals, and interactions across channels.

For Condé Nast, however, it represents a radical departure from its traditional portfolio of siloed magazine titles with their own personalities, audiences, and data. The Spire project seeks to focus on real-time optimization of user experiences across, in and out of the various Condé Nast properties.

This is a far cry from traditional segmentation of audiences around specific magazine brands or big categories against which brands launch major campaigns and just ?hope for the best,? says Bala. Rather, it is a more people-based approach that builds highly detailed profiles of users online and mobile behaviors as well as their transactional behaviors.

Every Condé Nast visitor gets a unique ?Infinity ID? upon entering one of its sites. To build up that profile, a number of additional data points are added. Spire works with partners like 1010data (acquired by Condé parent Advance Publications in 2015) to aggregate segments of credit card data, Jumpshot to track e-commerce activity, Condé Nast?s own acquisition, CitizenNet, to target people across social media, and TapAd and Drawbridge to knit desktop and mobile identities together.

Most important, though, may be ?Sparrow??Bala?s analytics suite that understands, in granular detail, what these ID'ed users are doing on Condé Nast's sites.

?There are microtrends within a piece of content, like hovering over an image, or scrolling half a page,? Bala continues. Spire can see, for instance, how certain content types actually impact transactions among specific demographics within a certain level of income, or by gender. Using the platform, Bala can see how a certain combination of people viewing spa-related content correlates with buying a specific beauty product.

Similarly, Bala recounts, his team found a segment of women with a white-collar background from the middle of the country buying certain kinds of more expensive bottled water at a much higher rate than other segments.

Bala?s team is even using advanced computer vision technology to analyze the content of items like runway videos that users are consuming with an eye towards selling them other similar items.

?We can look at dresses on that video and categorize them. We can break it down into sub-parts into a database. Then we can match that up to people who are consuming content around that kind of dress and suggest more content or directly trigger an e-commerce opportunity.?

The technology is being applied as well to database food elements within videos produced by Bon Appétit and Epicurious, the two largest brands in Condé Nast's Food Innovation Group. Ultimately, the capability will help Condé Nast better match ads against content and understand what content and ads are resonating best with users.

In serving advertisers, Spire also aims for higher levels of transparency. Each client on the agency or brand side receives access to a dashboard on their campaign. In it, they can see what content the targets are consuming: their location, gender, age, how the campaign is being optimized?all in near-real-time (next day). There is even a predictive component that uses AI/machine learning against transactional data to suggest how the campaign may impact actual sales.

While the magazines brands remain important to Spire, Bala believes this people-based and data-driven approach opens up unforeseen affinities for audiences. A major tech brand wanted to advertise computers, for instance, and the natural thing would have been to place ads on Wired and Ars Technica properties.

But the data showed Condé Nast actually could find some of the most interested in-market consumers in Bon Appétit or Epicurious?foodies who also happen to be interested in creativity and music. This enabled 23 Stories, Condé's in-house branded content studio, to craft campaigns around creativity rather than tech. The end result was a 30-percent increase in sales, according to the company.

Following the data also allowed Condé Nast to explore new content categories and expand their notion of being contextually relevant.

?It isn?t about just endemic,? says Bala. Using the audience lens recognizes that your readers ?aren?t looking for one thing.? GQ, Vogue, and Bon Appétit readers are also curious about health content if it can be addressed creatively and within the context of their favorite fashion or food brands

An entire Condé Nast Health division has been launched as a result, but the data team brings these areas of opportunity directly to all of the magazine brands to leverage on their own. Publishers now have their own dashboard, so they can better see how people are behaving on site and what they are looking for. Editors have the opportunity to build content to satisfy audience desire and perhaps even monetize it more effectively.

?That is what data can do for you,? says Bala. ?It can tell you what you need to do.?

Century-old traditions do not turn on a dime, of course. Considerable digital advertising among the sites continues consist of big-brand messaging aligning with specific contexts. While Spire?which first launched two years ago this week?is now providing data and intelligence to all aspects of Condé Nast's ad sales teams, only about 10 percent of digital campaigns run through the platform as of now, but Bala says he aims towards moving half of all digital programs into Spire over the next few years.

The post Spire, Condé Nast’s Two-Year-Old CDP, Is Ready for Its Close-Up appeared first on Folio:.

O Mag Taps Arianna Davis as Digital Director of New Site | People on the Move
by Kayleigh Barber
20 Jun 2018 at 8:39am

[caption id="attachment_126791" align="alignright" width="150"] Arianna Davis[/caption]

Arianna Davis was appointed as digital director of O, The Oprah Magazine?s latest venture,, a new website set to launch this fall. While existing as a stand-alone site, has the same mission as the glossy to "bring joy and a sense of possibility to help women reach for their dreams, experience personal growth, express their individual style and love the journey." Davis will begin this role immediately.

Davis most recently served as a senior features writer at Refinery29 since 2016, where she oversaw special projects and created content for the site?s channel, Unbothered, which is aimed at R29?s black, millennial audience. She is rejoining O, The Oprah Magazine, where she had served as an associate editor under editor-at-large, Gayle King, up until 2015. She previously led the magazine?s Live Your Best Life section.

The site, coming 18 years after the launch of Oprah's namesake magazine, will share similar values to the print publication, according to Kate Lewis, Hearst Magazines Digital Media SVP, editorial director. ?O Mag beautifully helps its readers live their best lives. The site will be an extension of the vision, mission and overall DNA of the magazine which has been so successful for so many years,? Lewis said.

[caption id="attachment_126841" align="alignright" width="150"] Julia Ioffe[/caption]

Here are the rest of this week's people on the move...

GQ has made two additions to its editorial staff this week. Julia Ioffe and Alice Gregory will be joining the brand as GQ correspondents, Gregory starting later this month and Ioffe appearing in the July issue.

In her new role, Ioffe will cover politics and national security. She arrives from The Atlantic, where she was a staff writer, and previously contributed a profile of Melania Trump, which GQ published in 2016.  Prior to joining The Atlantic, she was fired from Politico for tweeting an ?R-rated? comment about Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump.

Gregory is an essayist who has had work appear in The New Yorker, T, and GQ. As a GQ correspondent, she will write both essays and reported features.

[caption id="attachment_126813" align="alignright" width="150"] Greg Osberg[/caption]

Former Newsweek president and worldwide publisher Gregory Osberg has been named CEO of F+W Media, following a six-month stint as interim CEO for the brand after Tom Beusse was ousted from the position in January. Osberg also announced the recent appointment of Kenneth Kharbanda to CFO of F+W Media, who will be working closely with the venture backers of the company. Both Osberg and Kharbanda began their roles immediately. 

Prior to joining F+W Media, Osberg was founder and CEO of Revlyst, a revenue catalyst and strategic consultancy, and before that served as publisher and CEO of the Philadelphia Media Network. He also spent eight years at the Washington Post, Co. Kharbanda has more than two decades of executive experience, serving as CFO at the Daily Racing Form and BizCredit, and the acting CFO at KGB, Inc., and senior roles at Time Warner, Inc.

Board of Directors member Terry O?Toole said Osberg was hired "to do a thorough assessment of our company and develop a new strategy for F+W going forward. In short order, he and his team developed and began executing a strategic growth plan that will enhance the engagement of our various enthusiast communities and diversify our revenue streams.?

[caption id="attachment_126981" align="alignright" width="150"] Amy Conway[/caption]

Meredith Corp. has tapped Amy Conway as editor-in-chief of Health, effective immediately. In her new role, she will oversee content and editorial operations for the brand. Conway most recently served as EIC of Martha Stewart Weddings since January of 2016 and has worked under the Martha Stewart brand for years as both a writer and editor.

Sarah Gray Miller has departed from her role as editor at Modern Farmer along with two other editorial staffers. Joining the brand in 2015, Gray Miller had taken the reins and used her experience as a former editor of Country Living and the founding editor of Budget Living, to help revive the brand after the dismissal of founding editor Ann Marie Gardner in 2014.

No new editor has been named yet, but the magazine did announced that it will be shuttering its quarterly print edition and focusing on a 24/7 digital model.

[caption id="attachment_126845" align="alignright" width="150"] Silvia Killingsworth[/caption]

Bloomberg Businessweek tapped Silvia Killingsworth as its newest digital editor, where she will be responsible for editing features and developing the brand?s digital expressions. Killingsworth formerly worked as an editor of The Awl, as well as managing editor of The New Yorker.

Penske Media Corp. tapped a former Disney executive as its new SVP and general manager of operations. Tom Finn, who most recently served in the role of chief financial officer at ESPN Star Sports in Singapore, had spent a decade before that with Disney as an operations executive, focusing on managing the financial and capital aspects of its media networks.

Finn be working with PMC business leads on a variety of the company?s brands and on international business accounts, where he will help to grow initiatives and achieve business plans, amongst other unspecified responsibilities. He will report directly to COO George Grobar. This hire comes after the recent acquisitions of Robb Report, SheKnows Media and a majority stake in Rolling Stone.

WWD made several promotions this week including the move of Kathryn Hopkins from residential real estate dirt editor to senior financial editor. Maxine Wally was promoted from copy editor to eye reporter and former editorial and web coordinator, Anne-Aymone Gheerbrant, was promoted to copy editor/web coordinator (Paris). Finally, Martino Carrera was moved up from editorial intern to Milan reporter.

Thrive Global, a new brand from Arianna Huffington that works to counter corporate burnout culture, tapped Marina Khidekel as its editorial director. Khidekel most recently worked as a senior deputy editor at Women?s Health where she oversaw health and wellness features. In her new position, Khidekel will expand how Thrive collaborates with its contributors as well as work to bring in new voices that support the missions of Thrive.

?As a leader of our growing editorial team, Marina will leverage her deeply rooted experience in research, reporting and storytelling to bring together the latest science, ancient wisdom and new role models to help our readers around the world make the changes they want in their lives,? said Huffington.

[caption id="attachment_126851" align="alignright" width="150"] Sam Fellman[/caption]

Sam Fellman was tapped as Business Insider?s next military and defense editor. Fellman most recently served as managing editor of Task & Purpose and before that, as managing editor at BuzzFeed. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he brings to this role an extensive background in military service and reporting, with experience as managing editor at Navy Times and working as a beat reporter covering U.S. Navy personnel and operations.

Business Insider also promoted former education reporter, Abby Jackson, to the telecommunications company beat. Prior to joining Business Insider in 2015, Jackson had worked in the chief investment office and treasury of JPMorgan.

Lauren N. Williams was hired as an editor covering culture at The Atlantic this week. She comes from Essence where she served as a features editor.

Baz Hiralal, former online editor at The Deal where he was best known for his ?Movers & Shakers? column, is leaving the magazine after nearly 15 years to join Leadership Connect. He will serve as a senior content manager, news media at the company and will write a personal column as well as lead the push towards upgrading digitally.  

The post O Mag Taps Arianna Davis as Digital Director of New Site | People on the Move appeared first on Folio:.

How Two B2B Publishers Are Driving Meaningful Engagement With Sponsored Content
by Greg Dool
19 Jun 2018 at 12:49pm

One of the many goals behind ALM Media?s ongoing overhaul of its digital operations has been a desire to offer its marketing partners products that leverage new capabilities and conform to readers? changing expectations of media brands.

On the advertising side, few offerings carry more promise than branded or sponsored content, the continually ascendant ad format that the company began experimenting with in the early part of the decade and now offers in a variety of formats, from traditional sponsored placements to webinars, standalone content hubs, and native social ads.

?At the core of digital product development, what you?re always trying to do is solve a user problem,? Jay Kirsch, ALM?s president of media, tells Folio:. ?When branded content does that, it performs well.?

Kirsch says that ALM?s position as a b2b publisher serving the legal, consulting, and real estate fields makes it particularly well suited to offer branded messaging to its audiences on behalf of its advertising clients.

?UPS can add a lot to a conversation about logistics and supply chain; Budweiser doesn?t really add a lot to the conversation about football.?

While it?s hardly a novel idea that effective sponsored content needs to be worthwhile to its target audience, the inherently collaborative process involved in ensuring that sponsored content not only meets editorial standards, but is delivered effectively to readers, is anything but simple?and often vexing.

North Coast Media?the Cleveland, Ohio-based publisher of nine brands serving a range of markets from energy and landscaping to aerospace and heavy industry?hosts on its channels both sponsor-submitted content and sponsored content produced in-house on its clients' behalf.

Since 2016, the company has offered its advertisers packages that include highly produced, stand-alone landing pages on which sponsored content can live, accessible from placements on homepage site blocks or within social media feeds.

?Those landing pages generate an enormous amount of time engaged with the reader,? says audience engagement director Bethany Chambers, who notes that the majority of packages the company sells now include the pages. ?More and more smaller companies are getting on board with it. They don?t have to put in a ton of investment to see a really great return.?

[caption id="attachment_126723" align="alignright" width="400"] Sponsored content on North Coast's GPS Today.[/caption]

The benefits of the landing pages are two-fold. One, Chambers says, the pages are meant to ?look like a real destination.? They aren?t typical quick-hit news items that would normally appear in the feeds of one of North Coast?s brands, such as GPS World or Pest Management Professional, but longer, more detailed features.

Second, the different format and interface helps make it abundantly clear to the reader that the content is paid for by a marketing partner.

?Once you lose the respect of your audience, you don?t gain it back. So we thought it was really important to be in full disclosure with our readers,? Chambers continues. ?I think one of the things that?s hard for us as marketers or editors is that we?re not the average readers. We?re used to picking these things out on other people?s websites or Twitter feeds. Whether a typical reader would be able to make that distinction is a question we always have to ask ourselves.?

Transparency is paramount, says Kirsch, noting the natural tension between the messages that ALM?s advertisers want to get across and the messaging that draws the most engagement from readers. For publishers, a core competency of an effective sponsored content operation is the ability to help marketing partners navigate that tension.

?There?s an appropriate balance at play,? Kirsch continues. ?You want your sales team out there, pushing the envelope and trying to drive revenue, and then you also want someone to be able to think both short-term and long-term. The reason advertisers come to publishers directly is because we have that tight relationship with our audience. If we abuse that, we?re ultimately doing our advertisers a disservice.?

To better foster collaboration across departments, in 2015, North Coast formed an internal committee composed of about a dozen staffers from across its sales, editorial, and content marketing teams, among others, which meets regularly to set company-wide standards and procedures around branded content.

?Early on, there was a lot of debate,? says Chambers. ?We definitely came from different perspectives. Some editors go back to the true separation of church and state, where sales and editorial will never meet. Coming up with a process that could be as collaborative as possible while also protecting our editorial integrity was very important to us.?

[caption id="attachment_126727" align="alignright" width="400"] Sponsored content as it appears in the feed of ALM's The American Lawyer.[/caption]

In recent months, one subject of internal discussion has been labeling. North Coast currently offers marketing partners the choice of three different labels, in line with the FTC?s guidelines on native advertising: ?advertisement,? ?advertorial,? or ?sponsored content? (most pick the latter).

?Our goal was to protect our audiences, but we also wanted to make sure that our marketing partners didn?t feel like we were making them jump through so many hoops that it was impossible to work with us.?

As readers have become more comfortable with sponsored content, the term itself has lost some of its old stigma, making previously fashionable terms like ?advertorial? seem dated, and Chambers says she expects the company to adopt ?sponsored content? labels across the board in the near future.

As evidence of changing perceptions around sponsored content, Chambers points to a survey the company conducted asking if readers trust media brands that run sponsored content as long as it is clearly labeled as such. Ninety-three percent of respondents said yes, they do trust media brands that run it.

?We think everybody knows that it?s advertising dollars that foot the bill for our companies, but a lot of people don?t know that,? she says. ?I do think that the tides are turning and people are starting to realize that the advertiser is an important part of the relationship.?

A similar attitude shift can be observed among advertisers themselves. Kirsch says client submissions that fail to recognize the real purpose of sponsored content?submissions heavy in brand messaging but light in actual value?were a lot more common in 2011 than they are today.

?Folks pretty much understand now that there are certain things, beyond violating journalistic ethics, that perform well. The more we?re able to help place the message so that it truly is native to the user and fits the user experience, the better the content is going to perform.?

Kirsch also stresses the importance of flexibility and constant evaluation and reevaluation, even in the midst of a campaign, and advising clients to alter the course of a campaign if there?s a way to make it perform better.

?I think the more sophisticated marketers are more receptive to that,? Kirsch adds. ?I?d like to be ahead of the game. I?m going to try and predict what the needs are going to be and make sure I?m at the forefront of those so that I?ve got the solutions.?

It all further underscores the well-established idea that publishers need to be full-service marketing partners to their advertisers, not just distribution vehicles.

For example, custom e-newsletters are one of the most effective delivery vehicles for content marketing, says Chambers, and to help clients determine the right messaging, North Coast provides Rolodex-like profiles of someone who would be on the list of contacts to which a custom newsletter would be delivered.

?They can actually put a face to the people they?re speaking to and who they?re writing their messaging for, and I think that really helps a lot.?

On social media, another key channel to delivering sponsored content to readers, the same rules apply.

?We use the hashtag #sponsored,? Chambers continues. ?A lot of people use #ad because it?s fewer characters. Now that Twitter has gone to 280 characters, there?s no reason you shouldn?t be labeling content you?re posting on behalf of your marketing partners.?

Another thing North Coast remains mindful of is trying to space posts out so readers don?t feel flooded with sponsored content. In general, Chambers says they try to limit sponsored posts on social feeds to just a couple each week.

Kirsch agrees. ?We?re very careful about not overwhelming people with messages, particularly through email and on their mobile devices, where people have been shown to be a lot more protective of their personal real estate,? he says. ?People are more willing to accept it on desktop than on mobile or smart phone.?

?  Hear from Bethany Chambers and over 50 other expert
speakers from across the magazine and digital media world
at the Folio: Show, Oct. 9th and 10th in New York City.

The post How Two B2B Publishers Are Driving Meaningful Engagement With Sponsored Content appeared first on Folio:.

Dispatches From IMAG: Print, Data and the Power of Brand Offer Hope to the In...
by Caysey Welton
19 Jun 2018 at 8:36am

[caption id="attachment_126697" align="alignright" width="290"] Hayley Romer, The Atlantic's CRO and Publisher[/caption]

Optimism reverberated through the Petite Ballroom in Boston?s Taj Hotel last week at the MPA?s 2018 IMAG conference, and it was palpable.

This was my first time attending the MPA?s smaller, more intimate conference. I have been to the organization?s larger, flashier American Magazine Media Conference?which in the past few years has played host to notables like Michelle Obama, Ron Howard and Ronan Farrow?a handful of times. Thus, I can say with confidence, the contrast between the two conferences is significant.

AMMC is jam packed with a veritable who?s who in mass consumer magazine media and a roster of speakers that range from industry notables and media moguls to celebrities and thought leaders?whereas IMAG is a more condensed group of industry folks from ?smaller? companies like Trusted Media Brands, Yankee Publishing and Afar.

IMAG?s speaker roster also featured more individuals from within this industry, each with an interesting story to tell, along with a sprinkling of out-of-market folks like Adam Grossman, CMO of the Boston Red Sox and Chris McDonough, chief sales and brand officer at L.L. Bean.

But the most substantial differences I noticed between the two conferences wasn?t really the attendee list, or the sponsors, or the speaker roster; it was the mood and the topics of discussion.

Anybody who?s been following this business for more than a couple years can tell you that 2016 and 2017 were not necessarily good years. To be fair, the woes go back further than that. However, print closures, massive layoffs, major consolidations and countless failed attempts to pivot to video casted an especially dark shadow over this industry recently. But last week at IMAG, you wouldn?t have known any of that to be true.

I had countless conversations with publishers and vendors about how they feel reinvigorated this year and see real potential for growth in the months and years ahead.

You don?t have to take my word for it, though. The Atlantic?s CRO and publisher, Hayley Romer, stood on stage and plainly stated, ?I see a bright future for magazines!?

And she wasn?t talking about ?magazine media,? as we have all become indoctrinated to say. She means actual magazines. You know, those things that most of us built our legacy on. The things printed on paper that feature editorial content along with advertising.

Snarkiness aside, print (and ?print innovation?) was perhaps uttered more than any other word over the one-and-a-half days of programming. Whereas at AMMC this year, you probably could have counted the number of times it was said without writing it down.

This group of publishers still very much believe in their print magazines. That?s not to say they don?t believe in digital media. On the contrary, there were plenty of conversations about digital, and even more on data, which was easily the second most popular word at the conference. But many of these publishers still see print as the foundation of their business models, and digital along with data serving as important buttresses to support those models.

Make no mistake, however. This wasn?t merely a bunch of industry folks sitting around wearing rose colored glasses while failing to see the writing on the wall. Even though they are optimistic and still believe in print, they also recognize that times have changed, and so must they.

Which leads me to highlighting the clearest theme at the conference, and one that has become omnipresent in media: the power of brands. Every single speaker had a different story to tell, but they all touched on how success is ultimately underpinned by the quality of their brands. It?s what allows This Old House to reach audiences on several different platforms, or Afar to launch a travel business that takes its readers on adventures from within its magazine or Yankee magazine to launch a nationally syndicated television show.

In other words, there is no template for success. Instead, the key is staying true to who you are while exploring new opportunities that will service your constituents and stake holders, and also increase revenue. This could mean small incremental changes, or completely rethinking everything you do. Ultimately, those decisions will be up to you. But while you are considering them never lose sight of the notion that there?s still hope.

The post Dispatches From IMAG: Print, Data and the Power of Brand Offer Hope to the Indies appeared first on Folio:.

American Media Inc. Acquires Bauer?s Celeb and Teen Titles
by Greg Dool
15 Jun 2018 at 8:08am

The great year of consolidation continues in the mass-market magazine space.

National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc. announced Friday that it has acquired 13 celebrity and teen titles from Bauer Media USA?including In Touch, Life & Style, Closer, J-14, and the recently launched Teen Boss. The deal is expected to close on July 1.

Arriving just over a year after AMI acquired Us Weekly from Wenner Media, the purchase leaves the David Pecker-led company with a dominant position on teen and celebrity magazine racks across the country.

A joint statement from the companies says that Bauer will focus its U.S. efforts on its women's titles, First for Women and Woman's World, among others, an area in which Bauer says it maintains a "lead position."

Regardless, the move represents a significant step back in the U.S. for the German-based company, in a year that's already seen the mergers of Hearst Magazines and Men's Health publisher Rodale; Time Inc. and Meredith Corp.; and the effective dissolution of the aforementioned Wenner Media.

AMI reportedly had interest in acquiring at least some of the titles currently up for sale by Meredith Corp., including Time and Fortune, until Meredith CEO Tom Harty publicly confirmed, in March, that those titles will not be sold to Pecker.

Signs of a coming shakeup at the Bauer titles first arose in May, when the Post reported that Alexander Hitchen, news editor for In Touch, Life & Style, and Closer, was out after three years with the company.

"Under AMI's leadership, we believe the celebrity and teenage and kids titles will continue to succeed at delighting their audiences," said Steven Kotok, CEO of Bauer Media USA, in a statement. "With this deal, Bauer USA will focus entirely on building on our leadership position in women's service."

AMI secured a bridge loan from current investors to finance the purchase of the titles, the company added in the announcement.

The post American Media Inc. Acquires Bauer’s Celeb and Teen Titles appeared first on Folio:.

News & Notes: SELF Links up With The Players Tribune; IMAG Award Winners Reve...
by Greg Dool
14 Jun 2018 at 12:28pm

[caption id="attachment_126421" align="alignright" width="271"] Ibtihaj Muhammad[/caption]

SELF inks deal with Jeter's media startup...

Condé Nast's Self announced Thursday the formation of a new partnership with The Players' Tribune?the media platform for athletes by athletes launched by Derek Jeter in 2014?under which the two brands will produce a series of personal essays and videos celebrating women in sports.

Under the banner "The Playing Field," the series will premiere this fall, with content on both brands' sites and social channels. Serving as executive producer for the video component of the series will be sabre fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who notably became the first American Olympian to wear a hijab while competing at the 2016 summer games in Rio.

The two brands are working in conjunction with the Association of National Advertisers' #SeeHer initiative, a two year-old program aimed at eliminating bias in advertising and media and portraying women and girls in an accurate and positive light.

?Self is committed to helping people feel better, and providing a platform where people can share their personal experiences to facilitate a dialogue with a larger community is one way we accomplish that,? said editor-in-chief Carolyn Kylstra in a statement. ?We are thrilled to be partnering with The Players? Tribune to honor so many incredible female athletes and share the stories that are meaningful to them.?

In April, Kylstra provided Folio: with some more context around Self's ongoing transformation and recommitting to the brand's core values since taking over as EIC late in 2016. More on that here.

MPA salutes the independents...

MPA, the Association of Magazine Media, announced the winners of the annual Imagination Awards?representing the year's best work among the independent publishers within MPA's membership?as part of the 2018 IMAG conference in Boston Thursday afternoon.

Winners were honored across seven categories: Audience, Content, Digital, Events, Leadership, General Revenue, and Advertising/Native.

View the full list of winners below:

Audience: Family Handyman (Trusted Media Brands) | Family Handyman on Pinterest Content: National Geographic | Urban Expeditions project Digital: America's Test Kitchen | ATK's digital revenue operations Events: Backpacker (Active Interest Media) | Get Out More Tour Leadership: Fine Home Building (Taunton Press) | Keep Craft Alive campaign General Revenue: This Old House | TOH Insider membership program Advertising and Native Revenue (tie): AFAR and Nikon | World in Focus Fine Cooking (Taunton Press) and Celebrity Cruises | Moveable Feast with Celebrity Cruises

Gun Digest owner acquires knife brand...

Caribou Media Group, publisher of the 16x frequency title Gun Digest, has acquired the monthly knife collecting magazine Blade and its related trade shows?the 37 year-old annual Blade Show in Atlanta, which bills itself as "the world's largest knife show," and its newly launched counterpart, Blade Show West?from F+W Media.

It's a reunion for Blade and Gun Digest, which were both previously under the F+W umbrella before Caribou acquired Gun Digest last year.

Westport, Conn.-based Corporate Solutions advised F+W in the sale. Terms were not disclosed.

Elsewhere on the M&A scene, WebMD acquired b2b publisher Jobson Healthcare Information, and Group C picked up a trio of titles from Grand View Media.

New on the job board...

South Carolina Living, "the Palmetto State's largest print publication," seeks a full-time, "rock star" managing editor to join its offices in Cayce, S.C., just across the Congaree River from downtown Columbia. Seven to 10 years' experience in newspaper or magazine journalism required.

See this and other new job listings at

The post News & Notes: SELF Links up With The Players Tribune; IMAG Award Winners Revealed appeared first on Folio:.

Maine Magazine Finds New Owners After Harassment Allegations Force Sale
by Greg Dool
14 Jun 2018 at 10:12am

Six weeks removed from the emergence of sexual harassment allegations against former owner and publisher Kevin Thomas, Maine magazine has been sold.

State 23 Media, a group of investors led by Esteem Media founder Adam Japko, announced Wednesday that it has acquired the monthly title and its related assets, including Maine Home + Design and Old Port magazines, from Maine Media Collective, the company co-founded by Thomas in 2006. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We're confident Adam and his team's experience and expertise with national and local media properties will propel our business forward and allow us to continue making a positive impact on the state we love," said publisher and CEO Andrea King, who will remain in the same role at the newly formed State 23.

King said she was "stunned" in late April when former Maine Home + Design art director Jessie Lacey accused Thomas of making unwelcome sexual advances in 2010 and subsequently bullying her into leaving the company.

Lacey's Medium post?as well as an article in local magazine The Bollard in which she and other current and former employees elaborated on what they called a "toxic atmosphere" fostered by Thomas, former editor-in-chief Susan Grisanti (who left the company in 2016), and CFO Jack Leonardi?forced the company to cancel an upcoming event after losing sponsors and elicited both a resignation from Leonardi and a vague and non-committal open letter from King about "maintaining a positive, inclusive, and respectful company culture."

A day later, King released a follow up statement calling the allegations "serious and of great concern" and acknowledging that the company was pursuing a transfer of ownership. Thomas has since apologized for "lines that were crossed," but maintains that any contact with Lacey was consensual.

In the aftermath, 16 current staffers took it upon themselves to defend the company in a letter to the Portland Press Herald that felt an awful lot like an attempt at downplaying the controversy, arguing that "the toxic environment described in recent news accounts does not reflect our current culture," and further claiming that "people who don?t know us are publicly demeaning us and threatening anyone who partners with us."

The acquisition announcement from State 23 Media stopped short of directly addressing the circumstances behind the sale, but was careful to note that the new ownership team has "no prior connection to Maine Media Collective."

[caption id="attachment_126375" align="alignright" width="230"] New owner Adam Japko[/caption]

Apart from Japko?whose Carlisle, Mass.-based Esteem Media has housed New England Home and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazines since they were spun-off from Network Communications, Inc. in 2014?investors in State 23 include local businesspeople Sandy Spaulding and Jill Hinckley; New England Home partners Chris Legg and Gary Mueller; Gerry Parker, the former COO and CFO of Network Communications; former Playbill publisher and Time Inc. veteran Bruce Hallett; and management consultant Karen Weltchek Mueller.

"As publishers of New England Home, we watched the amazing connection and energy these Maine media brands created in their market," said Japko in a statement. "Since 2005 we have been acquiring best in class regional media around the country, so getting this unique opportunity to invest in Maine's local media and business communities made tremendous sense to us."

Speaking to the Bangor Daily News, Japko adds that "all but three" of Maine Media Collective's current staffers will be retained.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated that parent company Maine Media Collective had itself been sold. Thomas's ownership of Maine Media Collective continues; only the media brands and their related events were involved in the transaction.

The post Maine Magazine Finds New Owners After Harassment Allegations Force Sale appeared first on Folio:.

Men?s Health Taps New Creative Director | People on the Move
by Kayleigh Barber
13 Jun 2018 at 8:59am

Men?s Health announced this week that Jamie Prokell will take on the role of creative director for the magazine, becoming Richard Dorment?s second hire since taking over as editor-in-chief. Starting July 2, Prokell will report directly to Dorment and will be in charge of guiding the brand?s visual signature across a variety of platforms as well as lead and work with the photographers and artists who contribute to the magazine.

Prior to joining Men?s Health, Prokell served as an independent consulting art director for brands such as New York Magazine, Esquire, and Cooking Light, as well as senior art director with More and Whole Living before that.

?Jamie is the rarest of combinations?creative, productive, and practical,? says Dorment. ?I look forward to the visual impact he will make not only on the pages of the magazine, but also across all the elements of the brand.?  

Here are the rest of this week?s people on the move?

Trusted Media Brands announced the appointment of Scott Mulqueen to VP, programmatic and data product operations, effective immediately. He will be based in New York City and will report to the chief digital officer, Vince Errico. Mulqueen joins the company from Time Inc. where he served as VP, programmatic strategy and operations and was responsible for oversight of multiple programmatic groups.

Errico says that Mulqueen?s ?incredible track record in growing programmatic business for premier media companies as well as the ability to lead teams focused on increasing digital revenue and performance,? will allow him to help further expand the company?s digital footprint.

Jason Sinclair was also hired by Trusted Media Brands this week to the new position of VP, marketing. Also based in New York City, Sinclair will be reporting to chief revenue officer, Zach Friedman.

Sinclair joins the company from Meredith Corp., where he served as executive director, digital marketing and led strategic marketing for the Foundry. ?Jason is an incredibly savvy and strategic thinker who understands how to work across media channels to create innovative solutions for marketing partners,? says Friedman.

The Atlantic named Vernon Loeb, currently managing editor at the Houston Chronicle, its new politics editor. Citing "ambitious goals for our politics and national security coverage leading up to 2020," editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg said Loeb will join the team in July. As politics editor, Loeb will succeed Yoni Appelbaum, who was recently tapped to oversee the upcoming relaunch of The Atlantic's opinion and commentary section. Loeb brings a lengthy resume to the new role, with prior stints as a reporter at the Philadelphia Enquirer, Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, among others.

DuJour tapped InStyle?s former executive digital editor, Kim Peiffer, as its next editor-in-chief, making her the fourth EIC in the glossy?s six-year history. Peiffer had been with InStyle since 2013 and served in her most recent role during the acquisition of the brand in the Time Inc./Meredith Corp. merger. Prior to joining InStyle, Peiffer worked for publications like HuffPost and People.

The editor of Midwest Home, Chris Lee, announced her retirement at the end of next month, making the August 2018 issue her last at the helm. However, Lee will continue contributing to the brand as editor-at-large for an unspecified amount of time. She had served in her role of editor from 2005-2011 and then again since 2014. A replacement for her position has not yet been selected.

?Chris' extensive experience with content curation and engagement with the shelter community led to Midwest Home's highest readership in its history in 2017,? says Jamie Flaws, publisher of Greenspring Media, owner of Midwest Home.

Bonnier Corp. has promoted Subha V. Barry to president of Working Mother Media (WMM) from her former title of SVP, managing director, which she?s held at WMM since 2015. Barry will be tasked with leading her team in finding profitable business results as well as bolster the mission of the company.

Ryan Lizza is joining Esquire as its chief political correspondent, both in the publication?s print and digital platforms. He will still be serving as an analyst for CNN weekly.

Vice tapped Amy Rose Spiegel for the role of senior editor of the role?s women and culture vertical, Broadly. Prior to this, Spiegel served as editor-in-chief of The Talkhouse and has worked for BuzzFeed and Rookie.

Politico made several hires within its Pro Health Care and Pro Campaign teams this week:

Sarah Owermohle is joining the health care team as a reporter on the pharma beat. She most recently worked at S&P Global Market Intelligence covering the drug and biotech industries. Rachel Roubein is also joining the health care team as a reporter. She formerly reported on health policy and politics for The Hill. Zach Montellaro is moving from producing and co-authoring Politico?s Playbook and Playbook newsletter to Politico?s Pro Campaign team, where he will be the author of Morning Score.

Fay Schlesinger is joining OZY magazine as managing editor from her position as head of news at the Times of London.

Joon Ian Wong left his post covering cryptocurrencies at Quartz this week to join CoinDesk as its new managing director for Europe and Asia. He will be tasked with building CoinDesk?s reporting and data services as well as working to expand the brand?s events business and educating the growing amount of people interested in crypto.

The Daily Beast is adding Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian to their staff as a national security reporter. She joins the site from her four-year-long stint with Foreign Policy magazine.

Senior writer for Wired Erin Griffith is leaving the magazine for the New York Times where she will cover startups and venture capital.

Kaitlyn Jakola, started as assistant managing editor at Business Insider this week. Prior to this move, Jakola served as copy chief at Mic, where she ran the copy desk operations for all written and video editorial content.

TechCrunch tapped Kirsten Korosec to cover auto and transportation. Korosec most recently contributed to Fortune on the business of autos, energy, and tech since 2014.

The post Men’s Health Taps New Creative Director | People on the Move appeared first on Folio:.

Group C Acquires Three More Titles; Grand View Media?s Breakup Nears Completion
by Greg Dool
12 Jun 2018 at 2:47pm

After 21 years, Alabama-based Grand View Media appears to be exiting the publishing business.

Group C Media?the New Jersey-based publisher of Business Facilities and Facility Executive magazines?announced last week its acquisition of Turf, Turf Design Build, and Tree Services magazines from Grand View Media, reuniting the brands with the online forums LawnSite and PlowSite, which Group C purchased from Grand View earlier this year.

"We're thrilled that Turf, Turf Design Build and Tree Services are back where they belong with the LawnSite Network," said Group C co-president Ted Coene in a statement. "The acquisition of these industry-leading brands will give us the opportunity to create new offerings in print, online and face-to-face events."

The titles were among Group C's targets in the earlier deal for LawnSite and PlowSite, Coene told Folio: in a follow-up conversation, adding that he was pleased to have had a second opportunity to acquire them. He said the purchase is part of the company's broader strategy to continue to grow by diversifying its served markets and revenue mix. Group C declined to share the terms of the acquisition.

The deal appears to mark the end of the line for Grand View Media?a subsidiary of EBSCO Industries first incorporated in 1997 as Vulcan Outdoors Publishing?which has spent the last six months breaking up its portfolio piece-by-piece. The company sold seven titles to Wisconsin-based COLE Publishing in January, and another three became cornerstones of the newly formed Endeavor Business Media a week later.

Grand View's remaining titles?American Nurseryman, Farming, Growing, SportsField Management, and Superintendent magazines?appear to have been taken offline, each of their social media feeds dormant for the last several months, and most if not all staffers seem to have been let go. Several attempts to reach Grand View and EBSCO Industries by phone and email have been unsuccessful.

The post Group C Acquires Three More Titles; Grand View Media’s Breakup Nears Completion appeared first on Folio:.

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