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Dylan Stableford

New Yorker Festival Thrills, Confuses

Dylan Stableford Sales and Marketing - 10/08/2007-02:00 AM

First they get a You Tube account. Now the New Yorker is throwing hip-hop dance parties at Hiro and hosting discussions with the writing team behind Knocked Up and Superbad. Such was the scene at the fifth annual New Yorker Festival, bidding to become the most eclectic literary festival anywhere, over the weekend. For starters, a report
from the Sasha Frere-Jones-hosted dance party Saturday:

It's really unlikely that Sasha Frere-Jones meant to distress the large number of old people who found themselves, befuddlingly, at Hiro Ballroom on Friday night for his New Yorker Dance Party (part of the New Yorker Festival). Sadly, Frere-Jones's lack of malice is probably scarce consolation to retiree Richard from the Upper West Side, a loyal New Yorker reader. Richard, who admitted his unfamiliarity with the stylings of guest Hollertronix D.J. Diplo, bought tickets to the party because all the New Yorker Festival panel discussions were sold out. No, he wasn't having any fun. "And do you know how much they're charging for this?" He gestured with his Grey Goose Festini. "Ten dollars!"

Then there was the sold-out talk with Seth Rogen-Judd Apatow-two guys responsible for introducing the phrase "I'll be like the Iron Chef of pounding vag" to the American public-being "fêted as though they were E.B. White and James Thurber":

The appearance of Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen was the New Yorker's final event, the title bout, the sold-out feature presentation, a fact that Rogen and Apatow, somewhat justifiably, found hilarious. During the Q&A period at the end, Apatow said, "It would be so cool if Philip Roth walked to the mike right now." To which Rogen added, "And said, ‘Why are you here?'"

Raving eclecticism and crude material aside, I'm guessing the New Yorker's event not only generates a ton of revenue (figures won't be available until the end of the week, according to a spokesperson for the magazine) but generates handfuls of new subscribers. And, if nothing else, music heads now associate thumping hip-hop with the 82-year-old New Yorker-an unquantifiable metric.

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Dylan Stableford

Would You Like to Buy Portfolio’s List?

Dylan Stableford Consumer - 10/05/2007-02:00 AM

From the often over-looked direct marketing list-spam news:

Direct Media is pleased to announce that they have been awarded management of the 159,000 name Condé Nast Portfolio subscriber file.

Published monthly, Condé Nast Portfolio offers readers a business angle in every story, from politics to art, technology to entertainment and seeks nothing less than to shape the conversation in business. Since its highly anticipated launch in May, Portfolio has offered a unique blend of business news, trends, and the upscale lifestyle, which is sharply intelligent, and visually compelling.

The Condé Nast Portfolio subscribers are affluent, influential executives who are passionate about business and life. They are intellectually curious as they climb their way up the corporate ladder and require a fresh and focused take on the global business world. For this next generation of business leaders and trendsetters, Condé Nast Portfolio frames the big picture and ignites their passions for success.

15,000 Monthly Subscribers
42 Average Age
$99,464 Median Household Income
86% Paid
95% at Home Address
57% Business Decision-Makers
68% Professional /Managerial

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Dylan Stableford

The Atlantic Turns 150, Gets More Advertisers, Gloats

Dylan Stableford Sales and Marketing - 10/04/2007-02:00 AM

Maybe those seemingly incessant anniversary issues aren't such a bad idea after all. The Atlantic Monthly says its 150th anniversary November issue contains more than 80 pages of adverting-or roughly 20 more ad pages than it normally carries-and a custom gatefold cover "requested specifically by an advertiser." And in a fit of Web 2.0-dom, the magazine is also inviting readers to contribute 200-word essays online for inclusion in a future Atlantic issue. The self-gloating editor's
note, however, is tough to take:

"Unlike other publications, The Atlantic wasn't created to track a particular identity found on a map-Hollywood's glamour, New York's sophistication, Washington's power, Silicon Valley's imagination.  It wasn't yoked from birth to a particular industry or technology, like the automobile or the computer. The Atlantic was created in Boston by writers who saw themselves as the country's intellectual leaders, and so its scope from the start was national, if rather theoretical."

Then again, if you've made it 150 years in magazine publishing, you're allowed to be little cocky.

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Dylan Stableford

Future Tries to Do What Ziff Couldn't

Dylan Stableford Consumer - 10/04/2007-02:00 AM

Fresh off its partnership with Nintendo to revive the 19-year-old Nintendo Power, Future US, niche publisher of music and gaming magazines, has announced it is reviving-or "exhuming," as pseudo-rival Game Pro called it-Playstation magazine.

The move comes a year after Ziff Davis ceased production on the custom magazine. The new official Playstation will be published 13 times per year.

With Playstation, Future US now publishes all official of the official video game console magazines in America: Official Xbox Magazine, PlayStation: The Official Magazine and Nintendo Power.

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Dylan Stableford

Cosmo Corrals Bondi Beach Babes

Dylan Stableford Consumer - 10/03/2007-02:00 AM

Here's a magazine event that is scandal-proof and UAB-free: the Australian version of Cosmopolitan attempted to set a Guiness World Record last week by gathering
over 1,000 bikini-clad babes-1,010 to be exact-on Australia's Bondi Beach
.
The magazine advertisements recruited the beauties in Cosmopolitan print
advertisements and a micro-site, 30 Days of Fashion and Beauty.

The girls, of course, spelled out "C-O-S-M-O."

Takeaway for publishers: Get 1,010 bikini-clad Australians to spell out your magazine's name at your next event. More...
Dylan Stableford

Selling 'Six'

Dylan Stableford City and Regionals - 10/03/2007-02:00 AM

As Folio: previously reported, Rupert Murdoch's New York Post launched the latest glossy iteration of Page Six late last month as a Sunday insertion with guns aimed at the hated Gray Lady's New York Times Magazine. What we didn't report: the tabloid's marketing push. The Post has thoroughly (if annoyingly) blanketed subway cars and Metro North trains with display advertising, like the placard above, playing the obvious alliterative "sex" theme. They're even running an ad on local New York television stations.

No word (yet) on how Six is selling. Stay tuned.

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Dylan Stableford

Digital Magazines: ‘Doing Nothing for Us’?

Dylan Stableford emedia and Technology - 09/25/2007-02:00 AM

An odd moment happened Sunday at the Folio: Show during a pre-conference session. Doug Harbrecht, director, new media, for Kiplinger's, effectively dissed the viability digital magazines. "They're doing nothing for us," Harbrecht said. "They're static ... I think people are realizing that they just don't want their content that way.

(Consider, of course, that Harbrecht also admitted that one of the most common refrains heard outside the office is "Oh, my Grandfather used to read Kiplinger's.")

A few minutes later, an energetic team from Nxtbook, one of the show's sponsors, gave its sales pitch to the same room about how digital is growing, vibrant and why people "just do want their content that way."

Nxtbook's Marcum Grimm, citing industry research, said digital magazines will make up 30 percent in 15 years. Within 25 years, they will represent 75 percent, Grimm said, adding: "Zing!"

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Dylan Stableford

Times Kills TimesSelect: What It Means for Magazines

Dylan Stableford Consumer - 09/18/2007-02:00 AM

The New York Times today announced that it will drop its paid online subscription program, TimesSelect, effectively admitting its two-year attempt to charge its Web site users to access premium content and archives had failed.

TimesSelect, which charged $49.95 per year ($7.95 a month) for access to its columnists and the newspaper's archives, drew an estimated 227,000 paid subscribers and $10 million in annual revenue. Beginning at midnight, the newspaper will open up access to its entire site to readers. So what

changed?Many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to NYTimes.com. These indirect readers, unable to get access to articles behind the pay wall and less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue.

According to Nielsen/NetRatings, NYTimes.com traffic sees roughly 13 million unique visitors each month, and could explode without a wall, according to industry observers. The crumbling of the Times subscription modelleaves the Wall Street Journal as only major newspaper in the country to charge for access to most of its Web site, generating $65 million in revenue, according to the Times.

So what does this mean for magazine publishers? Consumer Reports, one of the few remaining magazines to charge for access to its site, is nearing three million paid subscribers to its Web site. (Most subscriptions cost $26/year.)

But for most consumer magazines, the free model dominates the industry. Why? Because it comes down to readers - which is why magazine industry consultant Bob Sacks likes the Times move.

"They are thinking long term and this move will continue to protect and promote the Times brand, and at the same time cultivate new readership," Sacks wrote in an e-mail. "After all sustained loyal readership is the bedrock of any publishing empire, be it large or small. If you don't have readers, exactly what do you have?"

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Dylan Stableford

What's The Status On That Jane Pratt-Gwen Stefani Magazine?

Dylan Stableford Consumer - 09/17/2007-02:00 AM

JANE PRATT: Tell me about the new record.
MICHAEL STIPE:  There's two of them. We're putting out our first live record, which comes out in mid-October. Our first ever live release, it's a DVD so it's a feature length film that was shot 2 years ago. That comes out in October, and I am going over to Europe to do press for that. But then I'm working on the new album that comes out in March probably.  And ... the band, it's been a really tough ten years for us.  We at times, we're not communicating on the level that we should have been and we were trying to keep a real brave face publicly, and kind of hold through it, but I have to say I think we finally found a place of communication. We're talking to each other, we've written a bunch of great songs, we've recorded 14, I've written 14,  I've got another 4 songs to present to the guys next week when we go back in the studio and one of those is really going to surprise them.  I can't wait to see them.

As far as her rumored magazine project with Gwen Stefani, well, Pratt didn't return an e-mail seeking comment. But she recently gave Time Out New York something of a non-confirmation confirmation:

TONY: That is so Jane. Do you miss print?
Jane Pratt: No, but I can't talk about it.
TONY: Because you're starting a new magazine with Gwen Stefani?
Pratt: I'm not allowed to say! You can speculate if you want. I feel like I am working in print now.

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Dylan Stableford

Forbes Cuts Helicopters, Yachts from Budget

Dylan Stableford Consumer - 09/12/2007-02:00 AM

Here's some news every publisher in America can relate to:

[Forbes,] the family controlled publishing company that last year sold a big minority stake - reputed to be as much as 40 percent for $300 million - has now sold off its two corporate helicopters. The flying machines include a Bell JetRanger, a nifty little four-seater that used to be perched atop the Forbes yacht the Highlander, and a larger Apache-type chopper used for long-range commuting by the corporate brass and guests.

"Forbes did sell the two 20-year-old aircraft," a spokeswoman confirmed. "We are planning on buying a new Bell JetRanger for the Highlander as soon as the boat heads south this winter."

This news comes on the heels of last week's devastating revelation that the annual twilight cruise for media and Forbes staffers around New York harbor aboard the family's yacht would be cut from this year's budget.

Shame.

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Dylan Stableford

FHM: More Trouble with Topless Teens

Dylan Stableford Consumer - 09/11/2007-02:00 AM

Bad timing. EMap, the U.K.-based publisher of FHM, is reportedly having no trouble attracting suitors for its on-the-block company -- it's the topless teens that are posing a problem. According to a report in the Media Guardian, FHM has come under fire from England's Press Complaints Commission after the magazine published a topless photo of a 14-year-old girl without her consent.

The photograph appeared in FHM's April 2007 issue as part of a gallery of mobile phone snapshots. FHM said it receives roughly 1,200 photos of women either topless or wearing lingerie for publication each week, adding that it was "extremely surprised" to learn that the girl was 14 "as she certainly appeared to be older." According to the commission, FHM "should have been much quicker to [recognize] the damage that publication would have caused the girl, and offered to publish an apology or take other steps to remedy the situation to the satisfaction of the complainant. Failure to respond in a swift and proportionate manner aggravated what was a significant breach of the code."

The magazine offered an apology and vowed not to republish the image.

This is not the first time the FHM brand has had trouble handling teen girls. The now-shuttered U.S. version of the magazine ran into trouble with liquor advertisers when it decided to put Brooke Hogan -- the Hulkster's underage daughter -- on its November 2005 cover. That same year, New York's Hudson News censored five consecutive months of FHM displays for what it deemed were inappropriate covers.

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Dylan Stableford

Sadistic/Cool: Consumer Reports Launches Online Crash Test Videos

Dylan Stableford emedia and Technology - 09/05/2007-02:00 AM

File under sadistically cool: Consumer Reports has partnered with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to launch a section of its Web site devoted to crash test videos. Searchable footage of some 200 vehicles tested at the iInstitute's Ruckersville, Virginia testing center can be found at consumerreports.org/crashtest, and the magazine has plans to add more as more vehicles are crash-tested.

Consumer Reports, by the way, is closing in on 3,000,000 paid online subscriptions. As in, people pay money to research what they're about to lose money on.

Luckily for us, the crash footage is free to non-subscribers.

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