What Does Publishers’ Reinvention Mean for the Industry?

In the last couple of weeks three iconic companies made major moves toward reinvention, however these moves are not reflecting a positive outlook on their own futures, or for the print magazine industry overall.

First, Time Inc. laid off 300 people recently. “The June 13th cutbacks came three years almost to the week when the company spun off from Time Warner,” according to the Folio article. The company is also relocating one of its titles, Food & Wine, to Alabama, partly because of cost considerations. Wenner Media announced it had sold Men’s Journal to American Media. This sale leaves the once-powerful company with just a 51 percent stake in flagship Rolling Stone and a gaming website launched last year. Rodale was also said to have cut 80-100 employees ahead of an announcement “that it is exploring strategic options.” The company announced in January that “it was selling some of its properties in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, in a bid to centralize and to raise $4.6 million.”

Time Inc. CEO Rich Battista, through a spokesperson, told Folio writer Tony Silber “that further consolidation (presumably of the kind that just happened at his company) is likely given the long-term secular decline in print.” It seems for media companies today, it is more important to build a bran than to rely on print businesses and practices.

“The industry is evolving quickly, and while change can be disruptive, it also brings opportunity,” a senior Rodale executive said to Silber.

Volunteer opportunity: Folio: Show

folio_logoThe Folio: Show is a major magazine trade show that will be held at the NY Hilton Hotel on November 1-2.

An arrangement has been made for students to gain free admission to the show if you are willing to help out at the sessions.

Requirements for the volunteer work includes:

  • checking passes, or
  • handing out forms

folio:showYou will have the opportunity at some point during the show to sit in on sessions and talks by industry leaders.  You can also tour the exhibit hall and talk with different publishers, printers, and other vendors. This is a great networking opportunity to take advantage of.

Folio: is dedicated to providing magazine publishing professionals with the news, insights, and best practices to keep them in tune with today’s media industry trends

If you would like to take a look at the full schedule of events, click here!

If you are available for a day or half-day on either of these dates and would like to volunteer, please send an email to Puboffice@pace.edu with your preferred day and time, and your name will be forwarded to the coordinator, who will contact you directly about the scheduling.

 Please send an email by Monday, Oct. 24th if you are interested.

Send an email right away if you’re interested. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Magazine Resource: The Folio Alert

folio alertGet the latest news, features, jobs, event updates & more from Folio Magazine. Be the first to know about upcoming media conferences, a special issues, contests and the latest features available from Folio Magazine.

This email subscription is a great way for students to stay up to date with the magazine industry.

Click here to subscribe.

“30 under 30” – Folio: salutes young magazine professionals

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ABaron-Pic-207x300“30 under 30” – Folio: salutes young magazine professionals
By Andrea Baron

As part of the Folio: 2015 trade show for magazine professionals, thirty young people in the industry were honored for their outstanding contributions to their companies and the industry.  The show, held Oct. 19-21 in New York City, is the largest annual trade event for the magazine publishing industry. For three days publishers from all over the U.S. meet and discuss issues affecting the magazine industry in the areas of content, revenue, marketing, digital editions, social media, etc.  Attendees represent a wide variety of publishers: consumer, business, custom, association, and regional magazines, in print and digital formats. (Pace publishing students were given the opportunity to volunteer some time and attend the show sessions.)

The “30 under 30” honorees were feted at a luncheon on Oct. 21st.  Their accomplishments ranged from launching new titles, directing and increasing digital and social media presence, growing online audiences, managing digital and cross-platform transitions, to outstanding editing, design and reporting on breaking news.

The audience enthusiastically responded to the young professionals as they were introduced and their accomplishments were noted.  Several of the group, including Polly Mosendz, a reporter for Newsweek who did important investigative reporting on several national and international stories, and is one of the most trafficked reporters at the magazine, commented that she “didn’t know if I could do the job”, but praised the confidence of those who hired them and gave them the opportunity to show what they could accomplish.

I agree with one of the young women in the group who thanked the Folio: organization and audience for taking the important step of recognizing the unique and important contributions that young professionals are making to the industry. For the full list of their accomplishments, see the Folio: article http://www.foliomag.com/events/folio-30-30-awards-luncheon/

Link of the Week: Magazines Speaking Out with Unconventional Covers

When it comes to magazine covers, the titles and logos are one of their most recognizable features. It is often what we use to identify the magazines amongst the handfuls of others on a newsstand. A magazine with a more recognizable logo and design may stand a better chance against the competition. However, what if magazines can catch readers’ attentions by doing the opposite? Sometimes, a little surprise is just what a brand needs to create buzz.

From the article, “Face Up Online: Mother Jones,” featured on Folio Mag, designer Robert Newman discusses the off-the-grain design choices of liberal magazines, including Mother Jones.

On the July/August 2014 Mother Jones magazine cover, you will not find the clean serif typeface like that on its previous covers. Instead, you will find a bright, red and yellow cover with a bold typeface: a parody of a tabloid magazine. Newman says about the cover, “The parody, designed by creative director Ivylise Simones, is spot on, with just the right mix of funkiness and visual chaos. The design holds nothing back, right down to the Mother Jones logo, which was redesigned for this issue to reflect a tabloid feel. The result is a cover that is fun, engaging, provocative and viral-ready. It takes a strong partnership between the editors and the visual team to create this kind of high-level, sophisticated cover design and it works brilliantly, crafting a set of images that work on so many levels.”

Newman adds, “Conventional wisdom is that a magazine’s logo is sacrosanct, a critical part of the brand that should never be messed with, and I’m sure the Mother Jones logo change will confuse a few readers. Yet, what the magazine gains is a dynamic, comprehensive graphic approach that not only jumps off the page, but is destined to work quite effectively online and across the magazine’s multiple platforms. Apparently altering logos to fit stylized covers has become a trend, because it’s been done recently to great effect by both Bloomberg Businessweek (who have done it at least three times over the past year) and The New Republic.”

Keeping a magazine cover looking seemingly the same each week or month is not a bad thing; it makes the magazine easy to recognize and comfortable. Magazines can use that sameness to their advantage, as Mother Jones has, and break the norm, causing excitement and wonder as to why that month’s cover is special. As Newman says, creating a cover that is out of the ordinary will create buzz “online and across the magazine’s multiple platforms.”

When The New Republic featured Jeopardy TV host Alex Trebek as its cover story, the magazine “designed itself to look like the famous Jeopardy game board, altering its logo to mimic the show’s distinctive trademark.”

Newman also writes, “In early June, Bloomberg Businessweek published a story on progressive economist-of-the-moment Thomas Piketty designed to look like a teen fan magazine, complete with a bubble gum logo and small photos of both Justin Bieber and Karl Marx. Both covers take complicated, unsexy topics, but with graphic stylization they turned them into dynamic, pulsating covers, and the same is true with this Mother Jones cover. Of course, there’s a long history of magazines designing covers to look like LP covers, posters, books, product packaging and more. It’s very exciting that magazines that cover topics that are generally not considered flashy and cool (politics and business) are creating some of the liveliest, hip and memorable covers.”

Newman also raises the question as to why it seems that the covers of more liberal magazines seem to “look so much better and smarter than their conservative counterparts.” This may have to do with political ideology, or it may just be a simple design choice. Nonetheless, using unconventional covers can definitely have an effect on a magazine’s buzz.

The Folio Magazine 2012 Editorial Salary Survey

Now that you have seen the salary survey from the book publishing side, check out this salary survey from Folio addressing the magazine side. Luckily incomes have not grown smaller, but they have not increased either. However, the amount of tasks that magazine editors have taken on have increased in the past few years. In 2012 72% of survey respondents claimed that they have taken on more responsibilities, a similar number to the 77% in 2011. Though there doesn’t appear to be an increase in compensation for this extra work. Only 6% felt they were being compensated well for the heavier workload, 30% felt they were not compensated well at all, and the rest fell somewhere in the middle. In what divisions are the editors working more? 86% claimed they are working more in online content, 37% said they are working more in event development, and 34% of respondents were working more in print.

Check out the survey here and read the numbers for yourself. As long as our salaries aren’t decreasing, I think we’re in an okay position.