Archive for the ‘New Launches’ Category

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Closer Weekly Magazine and Dr. Oz The Good Life Magazine Are The Co-Hottest Magazine Launch of the Year

December 5, 2014

Closer-13Dr. Oz-8

For the first time since 2000, two magazines shared the title “Hottest Launch of the Year.” Bauer Publishing’s Closer Weekly and Hearst Magazines’ Dr. Oz The Good Life were named earlier today as the co-hottest launches of the year. In 2000, American Profile and O, The Oprah Magazine were named co-launches of the year.

Closer weekly is the first major weekly magazine launch since 2004 and Dr. Oz The Good Life is the first new magazine to go to a second printing since 2000.

IMG_4545 The Hottest Launches’ event took place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. The 30 Hottest Magazine Launches of 2014 were honored at the event that is held annually in partnership with min: media industry newsletter.

At the same event Newsweek was honored as the Hottest Re-Launch of the year.

The magazines were selected from a field of more than 800 new magazine launches covering the period of Oct. 2013 until the end of Sept. 2014. There were more than 200 titles in that group that were published with a frequency of four times or higher.

Congratulations to all the winners and looking forward to the crop of 2015.

Click here to read about all the 30 Hottest Magazine Launches of 2014.

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Naturally, Danny Seo: The Man,The Magazine, The Movement. The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Danny Seo.

November 21, 2014

“But the reality is, to actually create a beautiful, curated, well-edited printed magazine; it’s not an easy process. And when we really looked at the space and thought about who our reader and customer was and what she’s really interested in right then, which is having some me-time, we felt the reader was looking for a publication where she could actually turn off her phone or the TV and have an appointed reading time with a tangible product that she can hold in her hands and go through page by page.” Danny Seo

naturally 1-5Living “Simply Green” is something that Danny Seo has been doing and promoting for years. Through his books, television programs, magazine columns, and his how-to lifestyle lectures, Danny Seo has shared his creative ideas on modern, eco-friendly living to millions of people.

And now he has another platform for his environmental practices and beliefs that is as beautiful as it is sustainable. Naturally, Danny Seo is the latest offering from a man who has been described as an eco-friendly lifestyle expert. And looking at and touching his newborn brainchild certainly backs up the description. The magazine is harmonious and balanced, beautiful and filled with creative and innovative ways a person can help sustain our planet in many different ways. From food, home, style, health, travel and just plain fun, Danny embraces a health-conscious attitude about life in general, instead of producing a magazine that promises you to lose 5 pounds in 5 days.

But don’t look for his face on the cover. Ever. In fact, it’s in his contract. Instead, look for sustainable topics done in an oh-so stylish way. And the paper the magazine is printed on feels amazing.

It’s just a great magazine and definitely deserves to be one of this year’s hottest new launches. So, sit back and let your earthy, inner spirit soar as you enjoy the Mr. Magazine™ interview with a man who loves the planet and is determined to prove it, Danny Seo, Naturally, Danny Seo…

But first, the sound-bites:

Danny Seo On why he chose a printed magazine as a platform: Well, you would think being an environmentalist, doing a digital magazine would be something that I’d be interested in because there’s no trees involved, no waste; it’s as eco-friendly as possible. But when you think about digital magazines, the reality is anybody can do a digital magazine.

On whether, as an environmentalist, he thinks print adds or takes away from the environment:
I think what it is, there’s a lot of things in our lives right now that are just cheap and of bad quality.

On a stumbling block he had to face during this journey:
I think it’s what we’ve noticed in Issues 1 and 2: we need to find more women to profile in the magazine.

On where his mind is at when he decides on the covers of the magazine: The number one promise we try to make is nothing sensational, no false promises; five pounds in five days, forget it, that’s not going to happen.

On his most pleasant surprise since starting the magazine:
It’s probably going to sound cheesy, but I was at Whole Foods when the magazine hit newsstands and I was buying a sandwich for lunch, this was in New York. And a woman picked up the magazine and began reading it and I could see her stop at a page, like she was having an “aha” moment and I could almost hear her thinking: I’ve never thought of this, what a great idea. And she put it in her cart to buy it.

On whether he’ll ever be featured on the cover:
No, in fact, that’s in my contract. I will never be on the cover.

On some of his favorite magazines: I really love so many magazines. My all-time favorite magazine and it’s almost impossible to find in the United States is Jaime. It’s a brilliant magazine.

On what keeps him up at night:
Nothing, I sleep very well.

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Danny Seo, Editor-in-Chief, Naturally, Danny Seo…

Samir Husni: Congratulations on being named one of the hottest new launches for 2014. We had almost 800 new magazines, with over 200 published on a regular frequency.

Danny Seo: Thank you. It was a huge honor and our publisher has been on Cloud Nine ever since. (Laughs)

naturally2-6 Samir Husni: My first question to you is: why did you feel the need for a printed magazine? Your own personal brand is everywhere, so why the printed magazine?

Danny Seo: Well, you would think being an environmentalist, doing a digital magazine would be something that I’d be interested in because there’s no trees involved, no waste; it’s as eco-friendly as possible. But when you think about digital magazines, the reality is anybody can do a digital magazine. And I’m talking about my parents could do one, my neighbor; it’s almost like there’s absolutely no betting process about the quality of the product. If you have $20, you can buy a program and create something that people can flip through.

But the reality is, to actually create a beautiful, curated, well-edited printed magazine; it’s not an easy process. And when we really looked at the space and thought about who our reader and customer was and what she’s really interested in right then, which is having some me-time, we felt the reader was looking for a publication where she could actually turn off her phone or the TV and have an appointed reading time with a tangible product that she can hold in her hands and go through page by page.

When I’m in my office in New York, I actually answer my phone when it rings and women call me and are literally in tears as they tell me what a long time it’s been since they’ve read a magazine that didn’t talk down to them. And that this is the first magazine that’s not only incredibly inspirational, positive and fun, but it’s also beautiful to feel and look at. And that’s the number one reason we did this; there’s just a lack of respect in the printed space for this audience right now.

Samir Husni: When you talk about the environment; do you think that the printed word takes away from the environment or adds to it? You mentioned the trees; what do you think causes more environmental damage, all the computers, phones and devices that we trade in or get rid of every six months, or the paper we use to print magazines?

Danny Seo: I think what it is, there’s a lot of things in our lives right now that are just cheap and of bad quality. And you look at a lot of things in different categories: fast fashion, which is in retail where you buy clothes and after a couple of wears, you just throw it away; we would never think that in the 80s. (Laughs) No one bought clothes that way.

I’ve been a magazine editor at a number of titles and what I saw on the business side happening time and time again was people would say, “Oh, paper. It’s very expensive. We’re going to have to lower the paper quality.” And paper just got cheaper and cheaper and thinner and thinner and the overall product began to feel disposable.

And on the editorial side, I would hear things like, “We don’t have the budget to actually do original stories. So, we’re going to go into the archives and we’re going to reprint a story that ran in another magazine six months ago and no one will be able to tell the difference.” And to me, as a reader, I would think that kind of thing was really disrespectful, as someone who bought magazines. They still expected the reader to pay the same price for the magazine and the paper was so thin, I didn’t even like feeling it and I could see right through it. It was completely inferior in quality and I looked at the stories and things and they appeared more like stock photos and things that I’ve read and seen in the past.

If you just improve the quality of the paper and do all original stories, photograph everything without using any stock images, do original reporting, recipe development and actually go out and find untold stories and then you give everyone at least 8 pages to fully tell those stories; you really can still find an audience who’s willing to pay for that quality product.

If you’ll notice, we’re not $3 an issue or $4 an issue; we’re $10 an issue. And we have not gotten a single negative response from anyone complaining about the price of the magazine. Not a single email, or phone call, tweet or Instagram. (Laughs)

It’s like Field of Dreams: if you build it, they’ll come. (Laughs)

Samir Husni: Issue 2 is on the newsstands now. In the time between Issues 1 and 2, what has been the major stumbling block that you’ve had to face and how did you overcome it?

Danny Seo: That’s a tough one. But I think it’s what we’ve noticed in Issues 1 and 2: we need to find more women to profile in the magazine. You know, you sort of live in a cloud, a foggy, misty cloud when you’re shooting the stories. When we were laying out Issue 2, I was thinking; you know, that’s a lot of men we’re featuring. (Laughs)

We shot a beautiful story that’s going to be in the next issue and on day nine of a ten-day shoot, I was going to the raw images and I looked at the photographer and said, “Have you shot one woman on this trip?” (Laughs) I think we’re a women’s magazine and sometimes as a male editor-in-chief, I need to remind myself that our readers are mainly women, at home or working, with children or maybe thinking about starting a family. So, I have to constantly tell myself: think like your reader, not like yourself.

Samir Husni: When I was reading your editorial, you mentioned that you would never do a story about losing 5 pounds in 5 days, or some fad diet. But rather, I see your cover lines and they read: eat bread, pasta and chocolate. I can think of one other magazine that uses a similar approach and that’s Real Simple magazine, you’ll never find a diet or a celebrity on the cover. What’s your thinking behind the cover of your magazine?

Danny Seo: The number one promise we try to make is nothing sensational, no false promises; five pounds in five days, forget it, that’s not going to happen.

We’re trying to be a place that’s very realistic, but also again it’s very timeless. And what we’re trying to create is a product that people actually want to save and archive and build as a collection. And so there are very, very few magazines that are presented in a really timeless fashion. For me one of the inspirations was the very early editions of Martha Stewart Living. Those stories could be run in 2001 or they could be run today.

What you won’t see in the pages of our magazine are product shots, like 15 sunscreens under $15, because that’s not timeless. That’s now. And what that says to the reader is this is a disposable product and when you’re done reading this, you should throw it away, because 10 years from now those sunscreens aren’t going to be on the shelves and also, who cares about how to shop for sunscreens. (Laughs)

I think the biggest example of where we’re going, and we’re already at Issue 2; a lot of the stories that we’ve created in the first two issues we’re now partnering with One Kings Lane, it’s an online site that’s all luxury home products. We’re going to be doing a fine arts sale of the images from the magazine where people can actually buy them framed as original prints and put them in their home, because that’s been the number one request from readers is how do we buy these beautiful images. It’s very few magazines that could actually sell images from today, from a story that’s been done recently.

That’s sort of our promise when it comes to the covers; everything just feels real and it doesn’t scream at you on the newsstand like you’re five-years-old. (Laughs)

Samir Husni: And what has been your most pleasant moment since you started the magazine?

Danny Seo: It’s probably going to sound cheesy, but I was at Whole Foods when the magazine hit newsstands and I was buying a sandwich for lunch, this was in New York. And the day it launched, I was thinking that I didn’t know how it was going to sell or how people were going to respond to it; I felt like I was under the gun. I didn’t know what to do. That day I saw a woman standing in line and all the magazines were lined up at the check-outs and I saw our magazine among them. She picked it up and standing there in line, she began to read it. Eventually, she put it back on the stand and went to pay for her things and I remember thinking, we’re not a library, buy the magazine. (Laughs) But then the next person behind her picked it up and began reading it and I could see her stop at a page, like she was having an “aha” moment and I could almost hear her thinking: I’ve never thought of this, what a great idea. And she put it in her cart to buy it.

After that, I followed her to the register and asked her why she was buying the magazine. And she said, this (pointing to the article) just looks so delicious and I loved this story (she flipped through the magazine) and there’s just so much more to read and I don’t have time to read it all here. The flip quality to her was very important. And she was talking and pointing out to me the articles she really wanted to read as the cashier was ringing up her purchases. At that moment, I just pulled out my credit card and told her I was going to buy her groceries. (Laughs)

Samir Husni: (Laughs too) That’s a great story. Danny, I’ve read references that have been made about you, such as you’re the green Martha Stewart. But you’re not on the cover.

Danny Seo: Oh, yeah, I’m not.

Samir Husni: Are we ever going to see a Danny Seo cover one day?

Danny Seo; No, in fact, that’s in my contract. I will never be on the cover. It’s interesting, there is another publisher, a major magazine publisher, when we were talking about doing this magazine; we met in a room and they mocked up covers and I just saw a wall of me and I just looked at them and asked, “Why on earth would you want to put me on the cover?” And they said because you’re a brand, you have products in thousands of stores; you’re on TV all the time, so we have to put you on the cover. And I remember just saying, “Do you not want to sell magazines?” (Laughs)

This magazine is not a vehicle for me or to push me; it’s not an ego-driven project. It’s a magazine where also I don’t promote my products on the pages. People are investing $10, which is three times the normal price for a magazine, they deserve a better product. And I’m not going to advertise to my reader things that are only in my lifestyle. I have a very strong philosophy about how to live, how to eat and travel, about beauty and home and that philosophy is what I want to present. I think once you lose that trust or that bond about why you’re doing something like this, you lose the reader forever. That’s my commitment from myself to the readers. It’s about them and there is no other motive when it comes to the things we recommend or talk about.

Samir Husni: Any plans to increase the frequency from quarterly?

Danny Seo: In 2016 we’re going to six issues. We actually needed to increase the issues for Issue 2, but we couldn’t get more of the paper that we use.

Samir Husni: I know you’re a very busy man, but when you unwind or get your “me-time” and forget Naturally for a second, what magazine do you like to spend time with?

Danny Seo: I really love so many magazines. My all-time favorite magazine and it’s almost impossible to find in the United States is Jaime. It’s a brilliant magazine. We just came back from Ireland where we did a photo shoot and I actually went into a bookstore and bought back issues of the magazine. It was another inspiration for me in doing our magazine. I think Donna Hay is another beautiful publication; it also has that archival feel to it. Up in Canada, they do some great titles.

In the United States the titles that I really love is Real Simple, it’s one of the benchmarks that we look at and for news, I think New York Magazine is great and some of the supplement titles from the newspapers, like WSJ are fantastic too.

Samir Husni: My typical last question; what keeps you up at night?

Danny Seo: Nothing, I sleep really well. (Laughs)

Samir Husni: Thank you.

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The 30 Hottest New Magazine Launches and The One Hottest Re-Launch…

November 14, 2014

Newsweek-7 The number of new magazines being launched each year in the country isn’t growing smaller just because print is “supposedly” declining; quite the contrary. Between October 2013 and the end of September 2014 there was a total of 862 new magazine launches – with 232 of those promising frequency.

For a declining medium, print magazines are audaciously responding to that sentiment loudly and clearly with a courageous repudiation to their critics. Defining 862 new launches as “declining” is an understatement, to say the least.

In honor of the blood, sweat and tears (and let us not forget ink too) that were poured into every one of those 862 new launches and their predecessors from years past, once a year in conjunction with MIN (Media Industry Newsletter), I present the 30 hottest magazine launches of the year at a breakfast event in New York City. Click here for more information about the event.

The question I’m asked most often about the event is my selection process and what criteria do I use to select the 30 hottest launches for any given year? And because being one of the hottest new launches doesn’t guarantee success, I always feel compelled to point that fact out. But being chosen does mean something; it means that the angst and hard work of the magazine’s staff and all the people that are behind that product has been noticed and acknowledged. And in today’s media world the criteria for selection is very stringent.

In reaching my decision on what makes a hot magazine, by far the number one criteria point is the audience’s reaction to that magazine. How did the overall marketplace react and how did its intended audience respond to it? And just as important; how did the industry behave toward it? These questions are the first thing I ask upon selection of the hottest 30.

For example, when you have a website like Net-A-Porter launching a print magazine and when you read the CEO of Net-A-Porter telling people that her company is not complete without print, that firm declaration is enough for me to consider what that company has done, with the investment of time and resources, something worthy of being a hot launch. It’s simply the case of an entity listening to the pulse of its audience. And that’s what this entire business is all about: audience first.

Or a company like Bauer launching a weekly print magazine in this day and age; that alone is an indication the magazine should be included as a hot launch. And to go even further, when you have a magazine like Dr. Oz The Good Life that sells out on the newsstands and goes for a second printing, a first since 2000 when O: The Oprah Magazine was introduced, how dare I not name it as a hot launch?

Other criteria include the ability to be such a beautiful and rich magazine experience that the product can entrance an audience that is so far-removed from its intended consumer, through unbelievable photography, exquisite paper and undeniable style, it refuses to be ignored, such as Angler’s Journal, where the passion and beauty of fishing comes alive and can ignite an intense desire to flip through its pages and read its awesome content, even if the person doing so has never been fishing in their life.

And while there is no scientific formula for the selection process, there is a tangible connection between myself and magazines. I didn’t choose them; they chose me, so the living and breathing passion that I have felt for magazines over the last 30 years has instilled within me an innate ability to meld with ink on paper. We are conjoined.

Also, something has to grab my attention to be selected as a hot new launch, based on the comparative analysis of all the other magazines that are out there. To me, every new magazine is a good magazine. Any new launch is a good launch.

However, when you’re looking at 200 or 300 new magazines, invariably a magic quality will surface and single out those titles that float to the top like delicious cream. It’s when I begin to skim the top of that cream that I discover those 30 hottest new titles.

So without further ado; here are the 30 Hottest New Launches for 2014 in alphabetical order:

8 by 8-25
8 by 8
What happens when you combine a great creative art director with his love and passion for the game of soccer? You get a beautiful, artful magazine called 8 by 8, a beautiful magazine that the beautiful game deserves.

Angler's Journal-12
Angler’s Journal
Angler’s Journal brings the fishing life to the pages of a beautiful, oversized, well-done publication. It combines both stories and photography to give the reader (even people who aren’t interested in fishing) a passion for the sport.

Animal Tales-11
Animal Tales
If one thing stands out to me about 2014, it’s that this could easily be described as the year of the child. There have been more print magazines born into the marketplace for children than I can ever remember. We are celebrating our children from every angle, from the interactivity of puzzles to fantasy characters and the love between children and animals. Children’s magazines are hot and they happen to be scorching in ink on paper.

Bella Grace-10
Bella Grace
A major departure for Stampington & Company Publications, who normally focus on crafts and the crafting way of life; Bella Grace exemplifies a journal for women that celebrates the beauty of life and life’s adventures.

Chance-33
Chance
Chance looks at the world through the lens of theater and design. It’s a provocative way of enjoying great design in panoramic display and puts a new spin on art, photography and life without leaving anything to chance.

Closer-13
Closer Weekly
Most think a company would have to be crazy to launch a weekly magazine in this digital age. But when that magazine covers celebrities, icons who the audience (people over 40) of that magazine can relate to, you know it’s a hot launch.

Craft Beer-9
Craft Beer and Brewing
Craft beer is the “in” thing in beer these days and this magazine is a bible for everything you need to know about it and the actual brewing of this kind of libation. This magazine leaves nothing behind, teaching the reader how to brew it, drink it and enjoy the different aspects of craft beer.

Dinosaur-31
Dinosaur
Anyone willing to defy cultured extension deserves to be named one of the hottest new launches of the year, let alone the magazine is presented in a way that reflects the name, the audience and the industry as a whole. Dinosaur is definitely one of the hottest new launches of the year.

Dr. Oz-8
Dr. Oz The Good Life
Who doesn’t like the good life? It’s the dream of every living, breathing human being on Earth. And Dr. Oz now has a magazine to help us all discover that elusive chimera. The magazine covers how to boost one’s health through eating right, relationships and basically how to live life to the fullest. It’s definitely a hot launch.

Food & Travel Quarterly-20
Food & Travel Quarterly
When Benjamin Franklin said in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes, he should have added, except that the human race loves to eat and travel. Now we have a magazine that combines two things that people love in a colorful, beautiful way.

Girl's World-27
Girl’s World
In their continuous attempt to meet each young girl or young woman’s needs in their stable of magazines, Bauer Publishing has filled in the gap between the very young and the very teenaged groups of young women with Girl’s World. This magazine is a stepping stone for the girl who’s preparing to come into her own as a young woman.

GQ Style-30
GQ Style
New to the United States, but published in other countries of the world, GQ Style is the perfect addition to the wardrobe of men’s magazines. It focuses only on style and fashion and is a beautiful accoutrement to the core GQ staple.

Live Happy-21
Live Happy
Happiness is becoming a science and the “happy” application methodology has found a home between the pages of Live Happy magazine. In this magazine, the science of being “happy” is explained and the audience is invited to join the movement. It’s upbeat and uplifting; something needed in our fast-paced, often dizzying society.

Modern Pioneer-4
Modern Pioneer
Modern Pioneer reaches back into the past to help readers survive the present and anticipate the future in a more earthy and natural way. It’s getting back to our roots in the best of ways. Just a great magazine.

Mud & Obstacle-22
Mud & Obstacle
This magazine captures the growing trend and love of elite obstacle racing and mud running and releases it onto the pages of print. While it may not be a new trend in sports, it is new to the pages of a magazine and has both male and female loyalists. The magazine is bold and forceful, similar to the sport and is a very welcomed addition to the family of print magazines.

Naked Food-3
Naked Food
This magazine was born from personal tragedy in order to help prevent and reverse diseases that are caused by unhealthy eating. It’s a magazine that has an honorable proposal: it’s a national health initiative that proposes the switch from the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) to the New American Kind and Enlightened Diet (N.A.K.E.D.). The initiative focuses on preventing and reversing chronic degenerative diseases.

Naturally Danny Seo-19
Naturally, Danny Seo
Captivation of a trend at its best and applying it to food, home, style, travel, beauty and entertaining; Naturally, Danny Seo showcases the lifestyle authority of Danny Seo and brings a new generation into the sustainable lifestyle. It’s an amazing replica of a man’s life’s work and practices what it preaches by using premium recycled paper for its product. Going green is up front and shining in this magazine.

Nautilus-32
Nautilus
Humanizing science and culture, Nautilus magazine is a rare breed in the genre of true science magazines. Pleasant to read and even more pleasant to look at, each issue combines the sciences, culture and philosophy of a certain topic into a single story told by the world’s leading thinkers and writers.

one-1
One
One magazine comes from the One Club and is a magazine for creative people in advertising and design. It was an online product that moved, according to its director of content, to an entirely new entity called print, new, at least for the One Club. This is the post-digital era, as they call it in the magazine. So we have another digital entity discovering the power of print. I can only support this move and revel in it.

Pando Quarterly-29
Pando Quarterly
Another digital entity discovering print; Pando Quarterly offers great content and charges the reader a membership for it. It’s a sustainable concept and one that should benefit this sharp magazine fully. This is another example of intelligent, investigative journalism that another media organization had all but written off.

Politico-26
Politico
Probably one of the best executed magazines that was born from the womb of a printed newspaper and then a website, Politico came into this world a genius. Smart, quick and arrow-sharp, Politico is a force to be reckoned with on the field of political magazines.

Porter-28
Porter
A successful website and a virtual store have created a powerful print tool that only adds to their overall achievements. A fashion magazine for the stylish, intelligent woman of now, Porter magazine shows off its luxury retailer traits excellently. To paraphrase its CEO, now you can say we are a multi-media company.

Rescue Me-6
Rescue Me
We’ve had a few magazines that focused on the adoption of children; Rescue Me brings the adoption of animals to the forefront of the reader’s mind. This magazine has a mission, something more than just showcasing the beauty of pets. It expounds on the need of animals and how the people-to-pet relationship is of mutual benefit to both.

Sofia The First-5
Sofia the First
A magical fairy tale that teaches children to be bold, curious and kind; Sofia the First embodies the interactivity of first screen, second screen and even third. From the television series to the online games and now to the print magazine, it’s definitely the year of the child.

The Pitchfork Review-23
The Pitchfork Review
After more than 17 years online, Pitchfork has come into the print world with a vengeance. It combines long-form feature stories, photography, illustrations and other ephemera with selected recent pieces from the website. Another digital entity that has recognized the power of print.

Sunshine School 3-16Sunshine School 1-14Sunshine School 2-15

Sunshine School 4-17

The Sunshine School Series
Kids don’t read print? I beg to differ. This wonderful series of books is interaction at its best. These four titles launched by Penny Press are a prime example of what print does and can do to entertain our children with something that is not only tactile and can be shared between the laps of parent, grandparent and child, but also teaches in a most interactive way. Kudos to Penny Press.

Trending NY-2
Trending New York
This is innovation in print at its best. A brand new weekly magazine for women in New York that overcomes distribution troubles by just handing the magazine out on the streets of New York. It’s a unique magazine that had a unique way of introducing itself and it is a compliment to all the other magazines it was born from, such as Elle, Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire. It’s an utterly new way of doing business and deserves its spot among the 30 hottest new launches.

Uomo Moderno-18
Uomo Moderno
How can a men’s magazine add anything unique and different to an already crowded market? Well, you put an Italian twist on it, of course. Uomo Moderno is chic and sophisticated and very Italian. From the clothes to the exquisite content, Uomo Moderno is Italian living at its best.

Vapor Lives-34
Vapor Lives
Vaping is the hottest trend right now and vapor cigarettes are the hottest thing on the market. Here comes Vapor Lives, capitalizing on that trend and publishing not one, but two titles; one for the industry and one for the vaping audience.

Willow and Sage-24
Willow and Sage
The name conjures up images that are comforting and whimsical. It’s filled with great recipes for creating homemade bath and body items that soothe and replenish the soul. It’s a hot launch and a wonderful idea and another Stampington & Company product that may deviate from their “crafty” origins, but definitely enhances their repertoire.

Re-launch of the year:
Newsweek-7
Newsweek
Newsweek has to be the re-launch of the year, no question. Its print death was widely exaggerated by one of the most celebrated editors of our time, but like the phoenix it rose from the ashes and its dismal fate to become better than ever. With a different publishing and business model, Newsweek now sets the standard of what a weekly should be. It looks and reads like a monthly, but is published on a weekly basis. Just an excellent and timely re-launch.

Join the celebration on Dec. 5 when THE Hottest Magazine Launch from the aforementioned list will be announced. Click here for more information
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Magazines “For the World’s Most Important People…” The New Crop of Children’s Magazines. A Mr. Magazine™ Musing.

November 10, 2014

Peppa Pig-1 The launch of the latest new children’s magazine: Peppa Pig started me thinking about the importance of creating second and third screens for children. It’s not a new idea; Sesame Street has done it for years by linking its television program on national public television together with many successful magazines and movies.

In a sweeping gesture of digital omnipotence; many seers in the kingdom of publishing have said that children aren’t reading print anymore; they’re spending all their time on tablets and other digital outlets, but it would seem the rebellious subjects over at Redan Publishing would beg to differ.

This year alone, they’ve launched Sophia the First, re-launched Disney Junior and Sesame Street magazines; continued publishing Thomas & Friends, Strawberry Shortcake, Disney Princess and many others.

Redan children's mags-3 I have two grandchildren; one almost seven and the other a three-year-old and both of them are avid television and tablet viewers and users like the rest of their digital native generation. So what caught my attention about Peppa Pig magazine was the intriguing invitation to parents that was between its covers:

Need more Peppa time but away from the TV? Need to keep your Peppa fan busy, entertained, and fuel that bubbling imagination? This magazine is for you! We’ve got great ‘together’ activities, stories, recipes, crafts and more.

In my mind, there was no doubt, this was a call-to-arms for parents; a plea to join forces with the creativity and imagination that only an ink on paper product can physically instill in your child, not to mention the parent/child bonding, where the only thing separating the small lap from the large lap is that tactile magazine. This is where we see the power of the printed word and the interactivity between grandparent, parent, child and magazine come alive. This is where the magazine industry as a whole can see the advantage and possibilities of magazines becoming a second or third screen in the land of children’s entertainment.

The time my grandchildren spend engaging with magazines and then relating that information with what’s on the tablet or on television is amazing. Peppa Pig is a standout for me because of what an avid watcher my almost three-year-old grandson is of the program. Throw in a book and now a magazine of his favorite pig? He’ll be in hog heaven. He will now be able to flip actual pages along with the program.

Storytime-5 And it’s not just publishers in the United States; in the U.K., a company called Luma Works recently began publishing a monthly children’s magazine called Storytime. The magazine is jam-packed with famous fairytales, adventure and all kinds of talking animals and monsters. It’s an amazing and extremely interactive magazine that will have children and parents alike involved and captivated.

Animal Tales-16 Bauer recently launched Animal Tales – a magazine targeting children ages 6-12 and all about the wonderful world of animals.

Highlights for Children has: Highlights Hello – a magazine “aimed strictly at babies and toddlers”, Highlights High Five (My grandchild’s favorite magazine so far) – for ages 2-6 and “designed to spark children’s natural curious and creative natures and” its traditional Highlights magazine for children 6-12.

highlights-3-1 Christine Cully – Highlights editor – believes that children are the most important facets of their audience and all of the magazines they publish are geared toward that belief. She always ends her emails with “…for children are the world’s most important people.” Indeed they are.

My suggestion is that anyone who questions the future of print takes a look at these children’s magazines. Whether they’re print-only, a second or third screen or even the hundredth screen, doesn’t matter, but what does is showing the children of this world that we do care about them and their wants and needs. I believe if we abandon print and that tactile relationship that provides our children with the different sizes, feels, different types of paper and typography and, provides interactivity at the same time; if we abandon that, we cannot expect the children to create that. And being able to experience all of those sensations can be vital to the wholeness of a child’s environment.

So, don’t give up hope…ever, and thanks to the folks at Bauer, Highlights, Redan and the many other children’s magazine publishers, for since the dawn of the digital age, they have added more print magazines in their stable aimed at children of every age.

And for those of you who may have thought reading material for the digital native generation had disappeared; do me a favor, go to the newsstands and pick up a copy of one of the magazines mentioned in this article and put it in front of your child and see what happens.

I would love to hear from you on their reaction…

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A Healthy October Harvest of New Magazines…

November 7, 2014

Welcome to October and 74 wonderful new magazines and magazines reaching a wider distribution than their regional areas. This month there were 13 titles with intended frequency appearing on the nation’s stands with and they were as diverse and different as the autumn leaves scattered across a field. From Sudoku to Yoga – and everything in between, October was an awesome month for magazines.

So enjoy our new covers and get ready for a November to remember! And just in case you are bored this weekend, why don’t you stop by a newsstand and pick up a copy or two from the magazines shown below. I know you will not regret your decision. Enjoy the weekend.

Up first our frequency:

BIZ New Orleans-55Chic Metropolitan-57Crazy for Sudoku-7CyberTrendJoural of AMerican Law-53Not of U-49Shalom Tidings-51Shoes UPStorytimeSilent SportsSweet Tea Times-52The California Sunday Magazine-56Yoga+Health-50

And now our specials:

Wine Lovers' Guide to South AmericaNational Geographic - Places of a lifetimeMake Believe Ice PrincessLife - Seeing is BelievingAmerica's Most Highly Decorated HeroesExodusWWII Greatest BattlesTuscan HomeLegends of CountryLife - Gone with the windInside the Criminal MindWorld of Warplanes-11Women's Health-1Vintage Hoidays-28Ultimate Car-16TV Guide Marilyn-30Top 100-24The Vietnam Wars-15The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire-44The Eco-Living Book-37The Civil War-14The Bible-8The Best for Your Kitchen & Home-46Tactical Training-33Super Star Quilts-2Spin U2-39Southern Cast Iron-21Sons of Anarchy-38Rimfire-47Pro Secrets for DIY-7People-17People Tribute-29NCIS-3Make It Knits-6Magical Moments-6MAD-2How DNA Shapes Your Life-13Holiday Home-10Holiday Crochet-40Herbal Remedies-3Healthy Recipes Around the World-18Halo-41Halloween Fun-zine-12Greatest College Rivalries-48Golf's Greatest-4Gluten-Free Recipes-45George Strait-5Froning-25Football's Greatest Quarterbacks-35Five Seconds of SUmmer-23Fast & Healthy-31Country Sampler's Christmas-42Cooking Light-19Christianity-4Carry Gun Companion-36Call of Duty-22Battle of the Bulge-27Bake It-32Annie's Christmas-43AK vs AR-3450 Great Westerns-5

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John Mack Carter: The Father of New Magazines and A Mentor. A Mr. Magazine™ Musing.

October 2, 2014

To the masses, John Mack Carter was “the storied magazine editor who headed the nation’s top three women’s magazines, including a 20-year stint at Good Housekeeping.” Mr. Carter died last week at his home in Bronxville, N.Y., after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 86 years old.

To me, John Mack Carter was the father of new magazines and a mentor.

FullSizeRender I met him the first time in the early 1980s when he came to the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism School to speak to our class. It was a dream come true and the beginning of a lengthy mutual friendship and professional relationship.

In 1987 he came to Ole Miss to speak to my students on “Service Journalism… Today and Tomorrow.” The picture above, from November 6, 1987, shows John Mack Carter, director of new magazine development, Hearst Magazines, and editor in chief, Good Housekeeping, seated to the left with James Autry, president of the magazine group at Meredith, and standing left to right, Pamela Fiori, editor in chief of Travel & Leisure, Dorothy Kalins, editor, Metropolitan Home, David Jordan, editor, Better Homes and Gardens, and Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni.

In 1995 John Mack Carter wrote the introduction to my tenth anniversary edition of the Samir Husni’s Guide to New Magazines. It sums up my relationship with the legendary magazine editor, creator and friend:

A New Start For the Bible on New Magazines
1995 New Consumer Magazines1995 New Consumer Magazine - John Mack Carter foreword p 11995 New Consumer Magazine - John Mack Carter foreword

Whoever coined the phrase “There are no new ideas” was not only wrong, lacking in all imagination and probably a dunderhead – he or she was clearly not in the magazine business. Every year when University of Mississippi Professor Samir Husni comes out with his comprehensive report on the newest titles dawning in the magazine world, I’m awed by the scope of the bright new ideas out there and the ingenuity used by publishers to bring them to print. There are always curious new trends to ponder (Chicago Bride and Cincinnati Wedding suggest that the recent boom in wedding titles has gone, if not loco, at least amazingly local) and mysteries we may never solve (what’s behind those eight new magazines all about tattoos?). Only a few of the infant ventures will survive, of course, and indeed some are already dead as of this writing (Over the Edge, Pure). But that’s not always the point. To many publishers, the payoff is sometimes just the thrill of bringing these new titles to life and, in publishing’s maternity ward, it is Samir Husni who has established himself as the watchdog nurse on duty, our record keeper of birth certificates.

I first met Samir in 1982 when I arrived on the campus of the University of Missouri for a journalism conference and encountered a young grad student so exceptional that, in 1978, his professors back in his native Lebanon shipped him off to the U.S. to study “for four or five years, till the civil war cools down,” he says today, wryly. That hiatus was just about up when we met and he had to be thinking of his future while bombs continued to fall back home and faraway cousins dodged sniper’s fire as they zigzagged their way home through the Beirut streets. The newspaper headlines must have grown too much for this journalism student to bear because he turned his attention to magazines – more specifically to new ones. He did his doctorate dissertation on start-ups and, knowing that I share his odd passion for them, showed me the finished manuscript. “This should be a book!” I exclaimed when I saw how information-packed it was. He soon found a publisher and new editions have come out every year since.

Not surprisingly, Samir has a personality trait common to all smart publishers who attempt to launch new titles: he can spot a gap in a market and fill it. Back in the mid-1980s, academia had a need for an expert on start-ups, so soon after he got his Ph.D. this young man moved to Ole Miss and set himself up as the university world’s equivalent to what I was doing out of corporate offices in New York and we continued to be great friends. We worked together often, serving jointly on industry panels, lecturing to each other’s groups (me to his students at Ole Miss and him to my staff in New York and to the members of the American Society of Magazine Editors when I was its president) or just sharing wild ideas over breakfast when he happened to be passing through New York.

Being experienced in start-ups, I recently launched this new division at Hearst Magazines and made acquiring the publishing rights to Samir’s book one of my first tasks. We are now officially in cahoots with each other and have marked the occasion by overhauling this book for its milestone 10th anniversary edition. We’ve added hard covers, expanded the editorial content to include “The 50 Most Notable Launches,” given it a new graphic design and introduced color photos. My hope is that it continues to serve not only as the bible of our business but as an inspiration and invaluable resource to the publishing faithful whose new, daring ideas are poised to appear in our 11th, 12th and other future editions.

John Mack Carter
President
Hearst Magazines Enterprises

Thank you, John Mack Carter. I am sure you are more than proud of what you’ve accomplished and helped accomplish in the magazine world.

John Mack Carter, my friend and mentor, may you rest in peace.

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A Different Kind of Storytelling: Dan Brewster’s New Adventure From Magazine Publishing to DARA’s World of Ecommerce, Global Artisans and Digital Dreams. The Mr. Magazine™ Interview

September 9, 2014

“The business model for what we’re doing is not entirely dissimilar from the magazine business model except we’re doing ecommerce instead of selling advertising. Customer acquisition, customer conversion rate and average order value are going to be the three critical leverage points on the revenue side.” Dan Brewster

With a background steeped in magazines and magazine publishing, Dan Brewster is certainly no stranger to storytelling and content. Having been the president-CEO of Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing and publishing president of American Express Publishing Corporation, the man knows a thing or two about what it takes to put out a product and make it work.

DARA His newest venture, a website called DARA Artisans, dedicated to sharing the handmade work of incredible craftspeople worldwide, is beautifully done and connects artisans with a global marketplace where their work can be appreciated and sold throughout the world. The website’s name comes from his lovely wife, Dara, co-founder of the site, and coincidentally translates globally into many different words that reflect the project’s deeper mission: preserving ancestral designs and crafts that can enrich today’s world as well as mirror generations of art before they’re lost to time.

I recently spoke with Dan about this artfully done and very well-received website and about his thoughts and opinions on the magazine media world in general. The conversation was rich with thoughtful insights and lighthearted banter.

So, sit back and enjoy the Mr. Magazine™ conversation with Dan Brewster and be prepared to be enlightened and entertained.

But first the sound-bites…

dan brewster


On switching from one type of storytelling in the magazine world to the art of DARA:
I decided to embark on a new course when the light bulb went off in my head and it was something that combined my passion for storytelling, travel and for wonderfully handmade goods from around the world. That was the evolution.

On where the name came from:
DARA is coincidentally my wife’s name. And we did retain a branding agency to develop alternatives and they said we can’t come up with a better name.

On whether DARA will ever morph into a print product:
It’s a possibility. We’re certainly going to look at multi-platforms, which I think is probably the future for most brands.

On his major stumbling block with the new venture:
Customer acquisition, customer conversion rate and average order value are going to be the three critical leverage points on the revenue side.

On how he plans to overcome that stumbling block:
We’ve taken pages out of many case studies. We began developing our social media platform several months ago. We now have unique visitors from over 100 countries.

On whether the timing of the website’s launch was good or bad:
You know, I really don’t make judgments according to timing, never have. Certainly the investment philosophy of our business helped.

On how he would grade the magazine industry as a whole today:
Well, I don’t know how to grade it. I think that the magazine model for the future is going to have to be multi-platform.

On where he sees DARA three years from now:
Three years from now; I can send you the executive summary of our business plan, but I see us actively involved with 500 or more artisans from around the world.

On what keeps him up at night:
Well, I did anticipate that you might ask that. (Laughs) What keeps me up at night is my obligation to the constituencies that I serve.

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ conversation with Dan Brewster, Founder, DARA Artisans…

Samir Husni: Tell me a little bit about this move from one type of storytelling and publishing to another type.

Dan Brewster: Certainly the essence of what I’ve done most of my business life is storytelling. And after I left the magazine publishing business I ran a small privately-held investment firm that I had started a number of years earlier. And I just got less and less interested in that business. Even though several people had come to me, including private equity firms with the opportunity to reenter the publishing business, the change was so imminent and the future so unclear that I didn’t want to take that step.

I remember having a long conversation with Rob Garrett, who ran an investment firm, and he asked me to try and peer into the future of media and I said, Rob, it’s going to be the intersection of data and content. And how that’s going to manifest itself exactly, I don’t know. But I wrote a paper about it back in 2003. And we had done data regression modeling at American Express going back to 1993.

So, I decided to embark on a new course when the light bulb went off in my head and it was something that combined my passion for storytelling, travel and for wonderfully handmade goods from around the world. That was the evolution.

Samir Husni: And where did the name DARA come from?

Dan Brewster: Well, DARA is coincidentally my wife’s name. And we did retain a branding agency to develop alternatives and they said we can’t come up with a better name because interestingly DARA translates into Khmer, Gaelic, Arabic, Hebrew and a number of other languages and typically means strength, hope, wisdom, integrity; all the things that we wanted to express in this adventure.

Samir Husni: Although it may seem quite a departure from publishing and magazines, looking at the website and the ideas and stories on it, somehow it feels as though you’re flipping through the pages of an actual magazine. Are we going to see a Dara in print?

Dan Brewster: It’s a possibility. We’re certainly going to look at multi-platforms, which I think is probably the future for most brands. And we began this with the intention of creating a magazine-like feel, combined with ecommerce. And that was very deliberate. In fact, our graphic designer, who had worked with me at American Express and Travel+Leisure back in the 90s, had run a studio in Venice for 11 years. I called her and five days later she was here and she hasn’t missed a day of work since. And that’s been over a year ago. We really wanted to create that sensibility, the mix of content, commerce and community.

Samir Husni: And what do you think is going to be your major stumbling block?

Dan Brewster: The business model for what we’re doing is not entirely dissimilar from the magazine business model except we’re doing ecommerce instead of selling advertising. Customer acquisition, customer conversion rate and average order value are going to be the three critical leverage points on the revenue side.

Samir Husni: How do you plan to overcome that?

Dan Brewster: We’ve taken pages out of many case studies. We began developing our social media platform several months ago. We now have unique visitors from over 100 countries. We have a dedicated staff sending our messages out through email newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and we have also talked to Carolyn Everson, who is the chief revenue officer at Facebook about using their analytics, as well as Google analytics, to find look-a-likes and as soon as we have a sufficient customer base we will have our own in-house regression modeling capabilities.

IMG_2034bw_939c500a-a670-417e-9cb8-c2913ccef799 Samir Husni: Let me shift gears just a little bit; I looked at the website and its offerings and what really grabbed my attention is your picture with your wife in front of the Aleppo Castle. And your story, what you wrote about it; it was right before the so called Arab spring. As our global village becomes closer and closer, instead of hearing good news, we’re hearing more and more bad news. So do you think it’s the best of times or the worst of times to launch DARA?
(Picture above: Dara and Dan Brewster in Aleppo with Adam (left), a Syrian artisan, before the war broke out. Reposted with permission from DARA’s website).

Dan Brewster: You know, I really don’t make judgments according to timing, never have. Certainly the investment philosophy of our business helped. We never attempted to time the markets; it’s an unusually perilous exercise. (Laughs) It’s something that no one can forecast. Fortune Magazine I believe was launched shortly after The Depression, if not during. Very, very difficult to make any judgments on that basis, certainly it’s the best of times in terms of technology evolving.


Samir Husni: I know you mentioned that you don’t want to get involved in the publishing industry again, but will we ever see Dan Brewster back in magazine media ventures?

Dan Brewster: What I was trying to say earlier is that at the time when I left Gruner+Jahr, I didn’t want to run another strictly publishing business. But do I believe that Dara can migrate into various print vehicles, a magazine being one option? Probably, with controlled circulation and a catalog would be another option.

Samir Husni: As an outsider now with all the experience, having been there and done that; if someone asked you to give a report card on the magazine media today, what grade would we get? A, B, C, D or is it an F?

Dan Brewster: Well, I don’t know how to grade it. When I was chair of the MPA in the 90s, I remember giving a speech saying that we’ve seen fairly steady quarterly profit growth at every major magazine publisher for about a decade now and what we’re overlooking is that growth has come from increased advertising revenue and spending. But if you look at the consumer economics, they have loaded over that period of time. The cost of acquiring a subscriber has gone up even though our ability to identify prospects has improved. And we’re at an artificially low price point for our revenues to drive advertising volume, and newsstand is dissipating. This is going to become a problem the moment we hit an advertising recession, we’re going to get caught in a whipsaw where the consumer economics are going to rapidly erode and the advertising revenue will follow. And that has certainly turned out to be the case.

So, I think that the pure magazine publishing model with very few exceptions, highly-targeted special interest magazines, controlled circulation luxury magazines and some other exceptions, enthusiast publications is certainly an exception; I think that the magazine model for the future is going to have to be multi-platform.

Samir Husni: If you look at the speeches and the talks from the 90s, everybody was forecasting something similar to what happened in 2008, once the economy collapsed everyone was saying that we need to be more consumer-centric. Do you think it happened or do you see that the magazine publishing model in the United States is still not consumer-centric, but rather advertising-centric today in 2014?

Dan Brewster: Well, if I go back to the early 80s I recall an editor at TIME magazine saying, we don’t edit the magazine for what people want to know, we edit the magazine for what they should know. And TIME magazine’s profits went steadily down. (Laughs) I think that we need to be much more responsive to consumer needs and tastes. The 80s and early 90s philosophy of cramming circulation down people’s throats in order to collect advertising revenue is obviously not a model that’s going to continue working.

And by consumer-sensitive, I think that one of the things that the technology age has given us is the adaptability to identify customer prospects much better than before and to deliver to them much more precisely exactly what they want.

Samir Husni: Where do you see DARA three years from now?

Dan Brewster: Three years from now; I can send you the executive summary of our business plan, but I see us actively involved with 500 or more artisans from around the world. I see the business model beginning to shift from our taking inventory in order to control the brand to one where we have relationships that enable artisans to drop ship from various parts of the globe. I envision the brand as being a very strong brand with multiple platforms, possibly including even retail.

We are going to be the most effective consumer-direct, high-end product company out there.

Samir Husni: Just drawing on your rich background in magazines and media publishing and all the other business models you’ve worked with; is there anything that if you had the opportunity to redo or not do you can identify?

Dan Brewster: Of course I can, but I prefer not to. (Laughs)

Samir Husni: My typical last question; what keeps you up at night?

Dan Brewster: Well, I did anticipate that you might ask that. (Laughs) What keeps me up at night is my obligation to the constituencies that I serve and those constituencies are my investors and future investors, our staff, which is extraordinarily talented and committed to this project for both its likely business success, but also the sense of purpose that’s associated with it. And to the world of artisans who are carrying on ancestral traditions that are not as appreciated as I think they will become.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

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