Letters to the Editor
Add Another Centenarian
I enjoyed your piece, "The Centenarians," on older publications [May, page 42]. I realize you can’t include everyone in one story, but did want to mention that Honolulu Magazine was started in 1888, when Hawaii was still a monarchy. The magazine was at that time called Paradise of the Pacific; the title changed in 1966 to Honolulu Magazine. I believe this is the oldest publication west of the Mississippi.
Kathryn Drury Wagner
A READER QUESTIONS THE VIABILITY OF DIGITAL EDITIONS
Regarding the article "Vendor Survey Reveals Readers Satisfied with Digital Magazine Editions [Folio: Alert, June 8]," the critical question with digital editions isn’t whether the subscribers who open and read them are active and engaged;tha’s like asking people in the choir if they like to sing.
The real question is how many digital subscribers don’t open and read their copies. Publishers can be confident that the USPS will deliver close to 100 percent of their print subscriptions, and that close to 100 percent of their print subscribers will at least see the magazine. There’s no equivalent confidence when it comes to digital editions. Are advertisers getting what they pay for? That’s the critical question.
A NOTE ON EDITORIAL ETHICS
Thank you so much for publishing the story about ASBPE’s revised Guidelines for Preferred Editorial Practices [Folio: Alert, May 25]. You did a fine job of summarizing many of the key elements of our guide. We believe that editorial integrity and staff support has the highest return on investment. Not the ready, shoot, aim behavior we sometimes see. ASBPE’s guide is but a first step.
American Society of Business Publication Editors
Copywriters or Editors?
In the June Best Practices article ["Memo to Editors: Get Involved in Customers’ Growth, page 21], we’re told that "you cannot have a committed reader unless you give them a trustworthy, high-quality editorial product." No argument there. So why does Network Comunications CEO Dan McCarthy and his unquestioning scribe from Folio:, Tony Silber, preach on the evils of the old wall of separation between ad and edit; and about how editors will succeed if they ditch the old ways and focus on driving business to readers and advertisers?
McCarthy doesn’t want editors, he wants copywriters. That’s a different line of work. Guess that means he’ll have to give them all a big, fat raise.
WEEKLYS NOT SO DOWN AND OUT
I would take issue with your statement in quoting Steve Weitzner at the JEGI Dinner at ABM – "weekly news tabloids – an absolute staple of tech publishing and many other sectors for decades – are finished [‘CMP Media’s Steve Weitzner on a Frothy Tech Market and Bringing Back Comdex’ Folio: Alert, May 11]." Declaring print weeklies dead is way premature. It’s my view that:
1. While tech is leading the trend from print to digital, tech often has a pacing to embrace technology all its own. I think we at Highline are at the forefront of leading our readers to digital, mind you, with one-third of our revenues electronic.
2. There are still many readers – I’m sure there are tens of millions – who consume weekly print titles and enjoy the convenience of a summarized view of the prior week’s news, with a wrapper of analysis. However, they also consume daily e-newsletters, quick digests of yesterday’s news. So their information habits are changing, but the weekly format is still very powerful.
President and CEO
The National Underwriter Company
Response From Schofield
A recent letter published in Folio: contained a number of inaccuracies and distortions ["A Publishing Model as a ‘Con Game’?", June, page 7]. In response, I thought I would explain Schofield Media’s role in the publishing community.
Our magazines serve three important audiences. In no particular order, they are:
- The profiled companies, which include thousands of businesses that have been able to share their best practices and successes with their peers through our publications. Many of these are small or quite niched companies that normally wouldn’t have access to exposure in a magazine with national circulation.
- The advertisers, who are able to reach their top clients with targeted messages. Unlike with other forms of advertising, they can be sure the intended audiences have read their ads. These companies;like any consumer;also have the option to not participate in advertising. This is hardly "extortion."
- Our readers, who learn from the best practices and experiences of dozens of different companies each month. Far from an "afterthought," the readers are both the main beneficiary of our magazines and the reason for their success.
I don’t presume to judge other publishers’ business models; indeed, several of our magazines rely on conventional contract advertising. I simply know that we at Schofield are proud to have built a successful company that is unafraid to take chances and try new strategies, while delivering useful, vital content to readers.
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