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Jason Fell

Rodale's Branding By Biking

Jason Fell Sales and Marketing - 10/30/2007-02:00 AM
 

When Steve Madden, of Rodale's Cycling Group, asked the question, "Why don't more people think bicycling is great," he and his team did a little brainstorming and came up with the BikeTown project. Rodale handed out 50 bicycles free to residents of Portland, Maine for three months and told them to, well, ride them.


What were the results? Not surprisingly the participants lost weight-a combined 750 pounds to be exact. The BikeTown project has expanded over 48 states, handing out 3,000 bikes to about 15,000 riders. So far, the project has generated 154 million media impressions, Madden said, and $6.3 million.


"The results were nothing less than spectacular," Madden said. "People lost weight, families reconnected. And six million in revenue? That's not so bad either, right?"

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Dylan Stableford

Ratherisms at AMC

Dylan Stableford Consumer - 10/29/2007-02:00 AM
 

While Dan Rather didn't address his $70 million lawsuit against CBS while moderating a discussion at the 2007 American Magazine Conference, the former newsman didn't disappoint those who wanted to hear his so-called Ratherisms (if anyone is truly a brand at AMC, it would be Rather) live and in-person. Some of his best:

"If you had to bet your trailer money, who wins the nominations?"
"I'd bet the ranch on the New Yorkers."
"Not a single vote has been cast anywhere-right now it is guesswork."
"If I was te-totally me-morally forced to choose ..."
"[Mitt Romney] is an undervalued stock."
"Tall, good-looking men sometimes do well in elections."
"My crystal ball is permanently in the shop."
"What you least expect often occurs."
"Overnight is a long time; a week is forever."
"February 5, unless there's a cataclysmic event-that's the ballgame."
"For all the double-doming, the coverage may not amount to much."

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Dylan Stableford

Time Out New York Editor's Sex Issue Goal: Cancelled Subscriptions

Dylan Stableford City and Regionals - 10/29/2007-02:00 AM

 

Brian Farnham, speaking at the American Magazine Conference Monday, said he had one goal in mind when putting together the 2007 sex issue, his second as editor: Cancelled subscriptions.

"If you do a sex issue and no one cancels, you're probably not doing your job," Farnham said.

Farnham said after no one cancelled their subscriptions after publishing the first sex issue of 18-month tenure at TONY, he wanted five this time around.

"I'm happy to report we vastly exceeded my goal."

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Dylan Stableford

Cookie Editor: 'We Totally Underestimated the Reader'

Dylan Stableford Consumer - 10/29/2007-02:00 AM
 

When Pilar Guzman, editor of year-old Cookie, first tested the magazine's cover prototypes-high-end photo shoots with model moms and model kids in model situations-she realized the magazine had "totally underestimated the reader."

"The focus groups could tell who the fake-y models and kids," Guzman says. "A mom knows, a mom knows that moment-a 22-year-old model who doesn't have a kid doesn't really know how to hold a child."

Despite burning a bridge with the shoot's equally high-end photographer (Guzman never used the cover) Guzman says the test forever changed the magazine launch's cover strategy. "We now use real moms and their kids."

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Dylan Stableford

Ad Age Editor: 'We Like It When You Pick a Place to Moor Our Yachts'

Dylan Stableford Consumer - 10/29/2007-02:00 AM

 

Best line from day one of the 2007 American Magazine Conference, taking place at the ridiculously posh Boca Raton Resort & Club, courtesy of Adverting Age editor Jonah Bloom:

"For the journalists in us, we like when you pick a place to moor our yachts ... I have the slip next to Keith Kelly this year."

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Dylan Stableford

AMC Kicks Off in Boca

Dylan Stableford Consumer - 10/28/2007-02:00 AM

The big question for the 500 or so magazine executives gathering at Boca Raton's cavernously posh resort and club this week for the 2007 American Magazine Conference is simply this: What the hell is a "magabrand"? And is it really a revolution? The conference's thematic title-"Magabrand Revolution"-seems to be both a nod to magazine publishers leveraging their brands across multiple platforms (Web, TV, radio, rock club et al) and the personal journey of the Men's Health editor and AMC chairman Dave Zinczenko from self-described fat kid to editor to Today show TV personality to tabloid-fodder to a multi-platform brand himself. (Zinczenko could be overheard saying as much at the resort's hotel bar late Saturday, going as far as calling ex-White House press secretary Tony Snow, the conference's odd choice of opening keynote speaker, as a "megabrand"-albeit a retired one.)

As Zinczenko explains in his chairman's letter, the so-called revolution is the "art and science of combining a strong magazine voice with the power of digital media to reach downloaders, listeners and viewers in ways that were unavailable, or even unimaginable, five years ago."

But is the magazine as brand a "revolutionary" idea, or even new? No, but believe it or not, there are magazine publishers out there that have yet to grasp the concept of "beyond print"-last year's AMC theme-and plenty more who've done little else than talk about it. Besides, magazine conference's need themes, and at this point, anything without the word "digital" in it is probably a good idea.

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Jason Fell

Shape Running Out of Cover Design Ideas?

Jason Fell Design and Production - 10/24/2007-02:00 AM

As we were sifting through the stacks of magazines we have collected here at Folio:, we came across the October and November issues of Shape. Placing them side-by-side we couldn't help but notice how strangely similar the covers are.

Both bathing suit-clad subjects (singer Sheryl Crow, October; actor Heather Graham, November) appear standing in water with the sun setting behind them. The color schemes are nearly the same. The cover lines look similar. The list goes on.

A Shape spokesperson says Crow and Graham were photographed in different locations, although at practically the same time of day. Shape creative director Dimity Jones declined to comment other than to call the similarities a "coincidence."

Jones and her team didn't realize the similarities before sending these issues to print? A coincidence? You be the judge.

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Dylan Stableford

Rachael Ray Goes (Dark) Green

Dylan Stableford Design and Production - 10/23/2007-02:00 AM

As I have been known to criticize magazine publishers who do little more than lip service to being "green" (see: ‘Green' Issues Fail to Convert Magazines to Recycled Paper) it's nice to see a major magazine going beyond the "green issue" rhetoric and actually committing to something that will have an immediate impact. Starting next month, Everyday with Rachael Ray, whose ad revenue skyrocketed some 500 percent this year, will print its issues on 85 percent recycled paper. Additionally, the Reader's Digest-owned magazine is switching mills to one closer to its printer. The explanation from RD:

"The new mill (outside of Chicago) is 160 miles from the printer (Quad, in Lomira, Wisconsin) compared with the old mill that was 1,060 miles away—that's a savings of 900 miles one way. So that reduces emissions. Contrast that with some magazine papers that are trucked across the country or imported from Europe. Also, the mill is working with the printer on a closed loop system, so when they deliver the "Rachael Ray" paper the same truck would then be loaded up with the printed waste and shipped back to the mill. The press waste from the printing of Rachael Ray will go back into the actual paper being produced for a future issue. Makes sense, but understand that this is not the typical process in the industry."

Make no mistake: swapping paper mills is not cheap. But I'd bet the goodwill associated with this move—if Ms. Ray follows through on her promise—will generate additional long-term revenue to offset the upfront costs.

(Or, at the very least, offset the damage done by those Dunkin Donuts commercials.)

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Dylan Stableford

High-Profile Editors: Print is Not Dead—That Includes Newspapers

Dylan Stableford Consumer - 10/23/2007-02:00 AM

High-profile editors are spouting off about the glossy relevancy of print, and that can mean only one thing: the American Magazine Conference is almost here. Like most magazine discussions these days, digital and its threat to print will undoubtedly be a major theme at next week's pow-wow of consumer magazine editors and publishers in Boca Raton (the conference has been given the unfortunate "Mag-a-brand' tagline) and, like politicians before a convention, editors seem to be sharpening their stump speeches.

Yesterday, three surfaced. Here's Glamour editor and ASME president Cindi Leive:

Readers enjoy the ads-that's a strong story for advertisers to be in magazines, and a strong reason for editors not to get pushed into product placement.

AMC chairman, Men's Health editor and Today show staple Dave Zinczenko:

One of the strange conventions of science fiction film and television shows has been the idea that in the future, we will all dress alike. From "Twilight Zone" reruns to movies like The Matrix, Aeon Flux, and I, Robot, citizens of the distant future seem, for no obvious reason, to have given up the idea of dressing themselves as individuals. In the future, fashion is apparently doomed. Whenever I hear someone say that print is doomed, I think about those old "Twilight Zone" episodes. And I think that when it comes to fashion - and media - the futurists get it all wrong.

One editor even expanded his "Print is Not Dead" defense to include the hemorrhaging newspaper industry.

From the London Independent, Wallpaper* founder and Monocle editor Tyler Brûlé:

Print media might be faced with some serious challenges but it's time to stop calling its relevance into question - that goes for newspapers too. In many markets the humble daily has never looked so good, in others there's a bit of work to be done. If it was our money and we were going to launch the Monocle Daily, we'd be taking our cues from our favourite Italian broadsheet.

Look for FOLIO:'s comprehensive coverage of the 2007 American Magazine Conference beginning Sunday, October 26-live from Boca-on Foliomag.com.

WATCH RELATED VIDEO:  Is Print Dead?

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Bill Mickey

ASME’s Cover of the Year Finalists Announced

Bill Mickey Design and Production - 10/22/2007-02:00 AM

 


The finalists for the American Society of Magazine Editors' (ASME) second annual Best Cover Contest were announced today. The judges apparently have a thing for The Colbert Report's Stephen Colbert-his image is on three of the finalists.


L-R: Best Celebrity Cover, Best Concept Cover, Best Coverline


And they like babes on buildings, too.

 

-R: Best Celebrity Cover, Best Fashion Cover

There are seven categories and 21 finalists. See the full gallery here.


 

 

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Dylan Stableford

Jon Meacham Bets You Want More Newsweek, Not Less

Dylan Stableford Consumer - 10/15/2007-02:00 AM

 

Six months after Time executed a historic redesign-and seemingly told anyone (read: Charlie Rose) who would listen-Newsweek has unveiled a redesign of its own, albeit ushered in with considerably less fanfare. Here's editor Jon Meacham's note:

We have two pieces of news close to home: a redesign of the magazine and of Newsweek.com. Our renovations come at an interesting time for journalism. As the number of news outlets expands, it is said, attention spans shrink; only the fast and the pithy will survive. Some people in our business believe print should emulate the Internet, filling pages with short, Weblike bites of information.

We disagree. There is a simple idea behind the changes in the issue of newsweek you are holding: we are betting that you want to read more, not less. Other media outlets believe you just want things quick and easy. We think you will make the time to read pieces that repay the effort.

Led by Amid Capeci (the legendary Roger Black consulted with us, and Dan Revitte and Bonnie Scranton were instrumental), the redesign is more about refinement than revolution; many changes are subtle. The most important shift is a cleaner visual presentation that gives our writers more words and creates a better showcase for photography. We have also added pages to periscope, expanded the conventional wisdom watch and given voices like Jonathan Alter, Sharon Begley, Ellis Cose, Howard Fineman, Daniel Gross, Steven Levy, Lisa Miller, Anna Quindlen, Robert Samuelson, George Will and Fareed Zakaria a bit more space in which to make their points.

You will notice other things, too. At the end of tip sheet we now have a weekly column alternating among Kathleen Deveny on "Modern Family," Julia Reed on "Food & Drink," N'Gai Croal on geek culture, and Jane Bryant Quinn on personal finance.

For editors talking about redesigns or changings of the guard, it is very tempting to make grand declarations, but I am going to try to resist. Hyperbole does not get us very far, and you would hardly expect someone in my job to say anything other than greatness is either at, or already in, hand.
What matters is what you think of the magazine week in and week out. We do not do focus groups or market research; we simply report, write and edit using our best judgment and our sense of what will challenge, engage and (pleasantly) surprise you. How do we arrive at this "sense"? This way: guided by our constant, organic conversation with readers through e-mails, letters and online comments, we publish the magazine we would want to get every week on the ground that if we find something interesting, you probably will, too.

For much of our history--we turn 75 in January, and Newsweek.com celebrates its 10th anniversary next year--we were consumed, naturally, with the content of the pages of the magazine. For the last decade and for the foreseeable decades to come, however, we have not one but two jobs: to produce a print magazine you are eager to read, and a Web site with daily original content that you find compelling. What links them is our commitment to bringing you reporting, voices and analyses you cannot get elsewhere.

At Newsweek.com you will find a new site that uses the latest technology to make our content more accessible. Under the leadership of Deidre Depke, a team that includes Rolf Ebeling, Cathy Fenlon and Kevin Stuart has reinvented the Web site. There are more features, more video, more blogs, a Daily Conventional Wisdom and expanded coverage channels (with a special commitment to health news). Turn to page 8 of this issue for more on what you can expect to see online.

In this week's issue, Christopher Dickey and Jessica Ramirez explore Iraq's war marriages. Lally Weymouth pulls double duty, interviewing Clarence Thomas and Lebanese leader Saad Hariri. Evan Thomas and Mark Hosenball profile Blackwater's Erik Prince, the reclusive head of the controversial private security firm.

Redesigns can be unsettling, and we will no doubt be making adjustments in the coming weeks and months, both here and online. But overall, we like what we see--and we think you will, too. You are, after all, our only focus group.

--Jon Meacham

Quick open question: Does Roger Black have to be involved in every magazine redesign?

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Tony Silber

Charging Speakers to Speak: ABM's Curious Policy

Tony Silber B2B - 10/15/2007-02:00 AM

I've been scratching my head for some time over American Business Media's practice of charging speakers whom they invite to speak at their events. Working for a company that produces dozens of events a year, we recognize that speakers are taking time from their schedules to speak at our events. And we wouldn't be able to have high-caliber events without high-caliber speakers. We do not charge our speakers.

I've questioned people at ABM on this practice in the past and their attitude has been, hey, it is what it is. But I wondered, does anyone else think this is odd, especially for an organization that is supported by companies that pay very high dues (our company's annual dues to the ABM are in the five-figures, and larger companies may pay over $100k a year in ABM dues). At ABM's spring meeting, the organization reports its financials, and based on the last few reports, it's doing quite well financially.

ABM CEO Gordon Hughes says asking speakers to pay is about keeping the association on a sound financial footing. "We're a non-profit, whereas our members are for-profit," he told me. "We're just trying to cover our costs. What's more, he says, "Most people never question this. This is just the way we do it."

I think American Business Media events are worth paying for. I've attended them for years. But frankly, I bristle when I'm told I have to pay, even though I'm a speaker. So, is this just me being petty, or does anyone else think that charging speakers is odd? Well, we asked around and we got an earful from ABM members and non-members. Here's what they had to say:

  • David Nussbaum, CEO, Sundance Enterprises: It does not make sense to charge speakers, because they are donating their time (both pre event when preparing and during the event) and in many cases, paying for travel expenses as well. Also, the speakers, as you know, are the key reason why other attendees PAY to come to these conferences.
  • Charlie McCurdy, CEO, Apprise Media: I've never heard of such a thing!
  • Don Pazour, CEO, Access Intelligence: The practice is more widespread than you might think. For our content-driven events where we charge attendees to attend, we do not charge speakers. We have two events that are designed as heavily sponsored one-to-one networking events. The speakers and the nature of the events in each case is vendors presenting to buyers. In these cases we do not charge the individual speakers, but the companies pay large sponsorship fees. I have been on the board of SISO (the Society of Independent Show Organizers). We have very low dues (unlike ABM) and for our CEO Forum, many of the speakers are the CEOs that would attend anyway. We charge speakers who participate in the full event. We also allow the program committee to use their judgment and suspend fees for those that only come to speak or have other issues. If someone speaks and is not charged, but attends full event, we call the waiver a scholarship. I think the extreme that I do not support is ABM, which charges huge dues to participating companies and then charges speakers, even speakers who do not stay for full event. Furthermore, ABM charges rather hefty attendance fees. As a general rule I am against the practice, unless it is SISO and we do this primarily for CEO forum or unless the event is a model where vendors pay to be able to be on the podium.
  • Carl Pugh, CEO, Radius Events: Actually, SISO is the only event I have ever participated in where speakers are not comped for the conference. SISO's unwritten policy is that people who might attend anyway must pay.Those who would not otherwise attend, perhaps because they are out of the industry, are not required to pay. If someone within the industry is speaking they may stay for that day only without paying. The premise is that we are a non-profit org so our members or prospective members should support us with their time and money. Event revenue is one of our main sources of association income. We have so many member-speakers at a given conference that comping them all would be a big financial hit. I must say I was troubled for years by the SISO policy.It just felt wrong to ask me to pay as a speaker.
  • Doug Manoni, ex-CEO, Wicks Business Information: Never charged them-and I think it's inappropriate because it implies they're attendees, and not respected as faculty.
  • David Evans, director of events, Red 7 Media: I have seen it done, rarely, but since many speakers at many conferences pay their own travel and other expenses, it seems cruel and unusual to also ask them to pay conference fees.
  • Steve Stoneburn, CEO, Quadrant Health Media: No, never heard of that. And certainly have not done it. In the medical market you are generally paying speakers, not charging them.
  • Paul Mackler, CEO, HMP Communications: No, I never charge speakers to attend a conference when they're speaking. I do not think that is appropriate.

 

We'd love to hear your take on this. Please post a comment below.

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