Meredith’s Magnolia Journal Ups the Ante Again | Industry Notes
SourceMedia continues its data evolution, a controversial op-ed forces an editor's resignation, and more...
America can't get enough of Chip and Joanna.
At a time when direct-from-the-consumer revenue seems to be the name of the game in print media, Meredith's The Magnolia Journal appears to have found a willing audience.
The quarterly magazine starring Joanna and Chip Gaines (of HGTV's Fixer Upper) debuted last October with an inititial distribution of 400,000 copies, before being upped to 700,000 copies for the second issue, which dropped in February. Now, Meredith is set to once again up that figure, printing over one-million copies of the third issue, including 700,000 for paying subscribers alone, the company announced this week.
Subscriptions to the title cost $20 for four annual issues, and The Magnolia Journal carries a newsstand cover price of $7.99, but it's not just readers who appear interested. Meredith boasts a handful of marquee brands as advertisers in the upcoming issue, including Samsung, Chevy, and wristwatch manufacturer Citizen, which the company says is producing custom creative for its ads in the magazine.
The news comes in the wake of a relatively decent third-quarter earnings report for Meredith's national media group (a.k.a. it's magazine business). Advertising revenues dipped one-percent year-over-year in the first three months of 2017, to $124.6 million, and circulation revenue remained essentially flat at $96.3 million, but Meredith was quick to point out that its titles now account for 12.1 percent of the total advertising spend in the national print magazine business. Meanwhile, digital ad revenues are up 27 percent, and now make up more than a quarter (28 percent) of the national media group's total revenue.
With Time Inc. president Rich Battista announcing — after merger talks between the two giants deteriorated late last month — his company's intent to "aggressively reduce our cost base and rationalize our portfolio," Meredith's top brass is likely watching that situation unfold with great interest.
Checking in with SourceMedia.
Newly appointed CMO Matthew Yorke's quest to shepherd SourceMedia from B2B publisher to a full-fledged provider of marketing technology solutions took another step forward this week with the launch of Social Catalyst, a new product aimed at extending clients' ad campaigns beyond SourceMedia's portfolio of websites and onto its social media channels.
Social Catalyst, Yorke tells Folio:, allows advertisers to draw on both SourceMedia's first-party data as well as targeting solutions offered by Facebook and Twitter (and soon LinkedIn's), making it easier to reach specific audience segments with relevant content in their social media feeds, even after they leave SourceMedia's own properties, such as AmericanBanker.com.
"It's not just scale for the sake of scale," Yorke tells Folio:. "It's scale aimed at driving efficiency."
It's just the latest addition to the client-facing arsenal for SourceMedia, which in March revealed a suite of new data targeting solutions aimed at account-based marketing, audience extension and segmentation, and programmatic-direct. Other upcoming initiatives, Yorke says, include diving into video (particularly on Facebook), a new native advertising product, and a premium version of the company's SourceSelect account-based marketing solution.
From the job board…
Vox Media seeks a full-stack software engineer for its Washington, D.C. office, the type of person who can diagnose and address common security vulnerabilities in web apps and can "create an engaging culture of cyber security as part of our Systems Engineering team." Familiarity with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform a plus.
See this and other job openings at careers.foliomag.com.
"Offensive and hurtful" op-ed leads to editor's resignation.
Canadian novelist Hal Niedzviecki has been prompted to resign from his post as editor of Write, a magazine serving Canada's union of — you guessed it, writers — after penning a column that purportedly encouraged the practice of cultural appropriation — that is, the adoption of elements of one culture by another, often in a way that is damaging or insensitive to the former.
“I don't believe in cultural appropriation. In my opinion, anyone, anywhere, should be encouraged to imagine other peoples, other cultures, other identities," Niedzviecki wrote. "I’d go so far as to say there should even be an award for doing so — the Appropriation Prize for best book by an author who writes about people who aren’t even remotely like her or him.”
Appearing in an issue ostensibly devoted to pushing back against the marginalization of Canada's indigenous culture, the column was an example of astoundingly poor optics at best, and sparked both an official apology from the union and a wave of online outrage, including from several of the indiginous writers who contributed to the same issue.
"I can't get over how in my piece I called out appropriation and settler expectations in CanLit publications and performances (including [The Writers Union of Canada] calling their community a 'tribe' on their website) and yet they still published this," wrote Joshua Whitehead.
For his part, Niedzviecki defended the column in a Facebook post, saying the column was meant solely in the context of writers writing, and that "writers should never be dissuaded from writing in a variety of viewpoints and voices."
"I regret that my words failed to acknowledge the profound and lasting adverse impact of cultural appropriation on Indigenous peoples," he added. "I began the piece glibly, which resulted in some readers misunderstanding my intentions."