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

December 4, 2014

Originally posted on Mr. Magazine:

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…

View original 2,359 more words

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From Russia With Love 4: Specialization Is The Name of the Game. The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Alexey Vasin, Za Rulem

December 4, 2014

On the banks of Moscow River and Kremlin Propelling a publishing company that was founded in 1928 into the uncertain magazine media future of today might seem like a daunting task, especially when at one time the magazine they published had a circulation of 5 million. Of course, in those years Za Rulem had the only auto magazine in the entire country (the former Soviet Union).

Today, Alexey Vasin, General Director of Za Rulem, has plans to bring the contemporary worlds of print and digital together and continue the success of his predecessors before him, if not surpassing them.

On my recent trip to Moscow, Alexey took time out of his busy schedule to speak with me about the many different extensions of the Za Rulem brand and the platforms being designed and offered to the audience. It was a very entertaining and enlightening discussion.

So sit back and enjoy the last installment of my first trip to Russia as you read the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Alexey Vasin, General Director, Za Rulem.

Alexey Vasin
Husni with Alexey Vasin, General Manager, Za Rulem

But first the sound-bites…

On Za Rulem, past and present: The publishing house of Za Rulem was founded in 1928 and published the magazine. It was the only auto magazine in Russia and the circulation of the magazine was 5 million. Now, it is still the leader of men’s auto magazines in Russia, with probably the largest audience among all the monthly men’s magazines.

On the future of print and digital within Za Rulem’s market: Right now, we are not very profitable in digital either. But it is still important and necessary, because the concept people have of getting information is changing.

On the biggest challenge they face going into the future: Other problems are moving from a printed press to other media. We also have some specialized challenges. For several years we’ve suffered from distribution problems, especially with the kiosks.

On whether he is enjoying his job more now or five years ago: Good question. It was always work, but now it has more tension. It is definitely more challenging than before, especially before the crisis.

On what keeps him up at night: (Laughs) Too many things to mention.

And now for the lightly edited conversation with Alexey Vasin, General Director of Za Rulem:

Samir Husni: Tell me a little about Za Rulem, past and present.

A. Vasin Alexey Vasin: The publishing house of Za Rulem was founded in 1928 and published the magazine. It was the only auto magazine in Russia and the circulation of the magazine was 5 million. Now, it is still the leader of men’s auto magazines in Russia, with probably the largest audience among all the monthly men’s magazines. There are about seven million readers of Za Rulem magazine and the circulation of the magazine is 114,000 monthly.

Za Rulem has four supplements: Moto magazine, the first motorcycle magazine in Russia, and one about logistics and trucks. And two supplements which will be issued in two weeks. We also have our regional newspaper, Za Rulem-Region, which is published in several regions with separate circulations, there are 22 regions in Latvia, but due to the economy, circulation has been reduced to five regions. Also, we publish books and catalogs on the auto topic. And they have many editions.

Za Rulem is actively developing digital. We have a website, which was launched in 1998, one of the first about automobiles in Russia. The audience of the website is about 2 million a month. In 2012, we created a mobile app for tablets and we also have an app suitable for Androids and iPads. We have also estimated that we are the best application for iPads in Russia.

Samir Husni: You mentioned that you started with a circulation of 5 million and now you’re at 114,000…

Alexey Vasin: (Laughs) Our parents started with 5 million. It was the only one at that time (during the Soviet Union era). The market was very different, an innocent time.

Samir Husni: As we are propelling into digital, where do you see the future of print fitting in? In the United States very few magazine companies are making any money from digital.

Alexey Vasin: Right now, we are not very profitable in digital either. But it is still important and necessary, because the concept people have of getting information is changing. And we have to provide our readers with information in the best and most suitable of ways. And concerning the commercial success of digital, we are not lonely in this movement.

Recently we attended a conference in London, where many interesting things about digital content was presented. And we hope that if we unite we will be successful. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy in the beginning.

Samir Husni: Five years ago, most publishers in the United States put their bets on the tablet, this is the future and this is where we’re going to get the money. And that did not happen. Now they’re saying it’s mobile.

Alexey Vasin: (Laughs) Well we haven’t invested all of our money in those things. But when it comes to content, we created a series of things.

Samir Husni: All of the predictions now are on specialized magazines; they will have the most prominent spot in the future.

Alexey Vasin: Such specialization has been here for many years. And talking about our market, we already have only auto magazines and there are even ones for particular models.

Samir Husni: Even with the motor magazines in the States we have specialized ones for baggers, the motorcycles that have bags on the sides.

Alexey Vasin: We are moving in that specialized direction. And, as I said, we are specialized already as we are all about vehicles of some type. And while many other magazines have their auto departments, we are concentrated only on autos.

Samir Husni: What do you think is the biggest challenge you’re facing as you move toward the future?

Alexey Vasin: (Laughs) We have many obstacles. Some just in general with our market and some that are very particular. Speaking about the general ones, it is of course, the reduction of interest in print and switching audience attention to other channels of communication, such as digital.

But from the other side we have the potential for further development. We have the audience and we have the advertising budget.

Other problems are moving from a printed press to other media. We also have some specialized challenges. For several years we’ve suffered from distribution problems, especially with the kiosks.

Samir Husni: Yes, it seems like every publisher I’m meeting with, it’s the same: distribution and distribution.

Alexey Vasin: Yes, but when we are active on every channel of distribution, we have almost a 90% presence in Russia, which is one of the highest. So we can’t avoid the general market woes.

Samir Husni: If someone asked you: are you enjoying your job more or less than five years ago, what would you tell them? If you look at 2008; are you having more fun now or does it feel more like work?

Alexey Vasin: (Laughs) Good question. It was always work, but now it has more tension. It is definitely more challenging than before, especially before the crisis. But we are actively moving forward and managing to have a lot of fun and celebrations. (Laughs) It is interesting challenges though.

Samir Husni: Do you live the lifestyle of the magazine? Are you an avid car person or no?

Alexey Vasin: (Laughs) It is easy to be a motorist in Moscow, everyone has a car. There are some researchers from Europe and they found that only 12% of motorists are really into cars and this topic, so that is our target audience.

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

Alexey Vasin: (Laughs) Too many things to mention.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

And with this, From Russia With Love 4, I conclude my news, views and interviews regarding the Russian media. Until my next trip around the world and its many many magazine and magazine media outlets, here’s to a great magazine day.

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From Russia With Love 3: The State and Challenges of Newspapers. The Mr. Magazine™ Interview with Pavel Filenkov, CEO, Kommersant

December 3, 2014

On the banks of Moscow River and Kremlin As in the United States, newspaper markets in Russia are facing many challenges, both in mastering the digital realms and in increasing revenue. I spoke with Pavel Filenkov, CEO at Kommersant Publishing House on my recent trip to Moscow and we talked about the future of newspapers in Russia and whether the level of journalism all publishers globally are experiencing, with digital figured into the equation, is as elevated as it has been in the past.

His answers are seemingly unique, yet extremely familiar as, once again, I realized that while many miles and customs may separate us, in the end we all face similar challenges.

I hope you find the Russian viewpoint of newspaper publishing as intriguing as I did as you read my interview with Pavel Filenkov, CEO, Kommersant Publishing House.

Husni and Filenkov
Husni with Pavel Filenkov, CEO, Kommersant Publishing House

But first, the sound-bites:

On whether he sees the cup half empty or half full when it comes to newspapers in Russia, especially his own: Our newspaper market is of course overheated. I think we have three times more newspapers than we really need. We have, at this moment, approximately 6,000 to 8,000 newspapers.

On whether he believes journalism has improved or declined over the last 5 to 10 years: In Russia and in every country, there is government which this country needs. And every country has journalists, which I can also say this country needs, but I am not sure that our country needs the same level of journalism that we have now, or as we had two years ago.

On the impact of digital on print newspapers in Russia: We have to move in the direction of digital media. We do not see a model way, but the quantity of advertising money, which is in the digital field and the printed field, is approximately the same.

On whether the content of newspapers overall is a reflection of the general audience: I agree to some extent with that statement, but here in Russia we have a much more important problem, which limits the future development of our newspapers. And it’s the problem of distribution.

On the distribution problems of his newspaper, Kommersant: Our subscription base is collapsing because we have only one partner in distribution, the Russian post office. And the price of delivering newspapers is growing from month to month and year to year. In fact, our distribution through the Russian post office is absolutely inefficient.

On what he sees as the light of the future for his newspaper: We hope that we will have the capability to get money from the digital outlets in publishing. That’s why we are trying to develop a digital print system from Adobe.

On what keeps him up at night: Too many things. (Laughs) I go to bed very late and I wake up quite early.

And now for the lightly edited conversation with Pavel Filenkov, CEO, Kommersant Publishing House:

Husni and FilenkovSamir Husni: Tell me a little about the state of newspapers, specifically yours, but also in general, in Russia. Do you see the cup as half full or half empty and specifically about your paper first?

Pavel Filenkov: I think all are an advertising market, especially our newspapers. It’s just 100% part of unstolen money from oil. The lesser the price of oil, the less money we have, (Laughs) as the price of oil has fallen. So, of course, our income has fallen approximately the same percentage.

The estimation of how much our advertising market has fallen this year is about 12% among newspapers. The advertising in magazines has fallen even a bit more and a little less in business newspapers. As we are a business newspaper, of course, our percentage has fallen a bit less, around 4% for this year.

Of course, we understand that we have no reason to hope that the price will go high, so we think that next year will be worse than this one. The decrease in advertising incomes will of course continue and we think that decrease next year will be approximately 15%. But, this is certain, we have fun news also.

Our newspaper market is of course overheated. I think we have three times more newspapers than we really need. We have, at this moment, approximately 6,000 to 8,000 newspapers. Of course, not all of them are really working, but maybe around 5,000 are. It’s too many for our country.

And as a result of this, there is a lapse in the advertising market, and maybe a big part of these newspapers will die. And the main newspapers will divide their money, their heritage, and their piece of this pie.

So, I think that the newspapers that will survive during the next year will not have the poor health that we have at this moment. Of course, the quantity of newspapers will reduce, but the ones that survive will be status quo or maybe even in a better state economically.

But I do understand that this logic is, to some extent, crocodile logic, complete with crocodile tears, but we have to see things realistically. (Laughs)

Samir Husni: You have this vast number of newspapers; do you think in the last 5 or 10 years journalism has improved or declined? Are we better overall journalist’s today or are good journalists becoming few and far between?

Pavel Filenkov: We can see our country as a country with constant political and economic sedation. Of course, we will not see a reason why our journalism should become more worthy.

But our country changes and the newspapers should change as well. And of course, we are trying to satisfy external conditions and we try to go together with our country. And when we try to perform under these new conditions, I’m not sure that we become better,

If we can see our level of journalism from that point of view, I think in the future we will have journalism of more worth. But if we can also see journalism as a need of our society, then I think the level of this profession may become higher or at least stay the same.

In Russia and in every country, there is government which this country needs. And every country has journalists, which I can also say this country needs, but I am not sure that our country needs the same level of journalism that we have now, or as we had two years ago.

Samir Husni: What about the impact of digital? Has the advancement of digital impacted the printed newspaper at all?

Pavel Filenkov Pavel Filenkov: We have to move in the direction of digital media. We do not see a model way, but the quantity of advertising money, which is in the digital field and the printed field, is approximately the same. But when we consider money in the digital field, 90% of this money belongs to context advertising. And only 10% belongs to real media advertising. And in print areas, the average is absolutely different, about 100% of the money is real advertising money, maybe a small percentage is context advertising money.

That’s why we can set only media advertising money, not context, so we can get from the Internet, from digital, only 10% of the market. So we cannot get from the digital area more than 10% of our income. But we are ready to go into this area.

For example, our auditorium in digital and our auditorium in print are approximately the same. Even on the internet we have more loyal readers. Only 10% of our money from the print area, do we get from the Internet.

We don’t have a model yet for how to get more money from that market. That’s why our development in the Internet area is very limited. We have finished the period of time when we invested in digital with all of our allotted money for that area. We finished that strategy because we aren’t getting a very high response from the investment.

So, at this moment, my strategy for Kommersant is to invest enough money to support our development level in the Internet; however we don’t consider the Internet our salvation.

Samir Husni: Have you noticed that with the printed newspapers, some people are saying the problem isn’t with ink on paper, it’s with what’s being put inside the paper: the content.

Pavel Filenkov: I agree to some extent with that statement, but here in Russia we have a much more important problem, which limits the future development of our newspapers. And it’s the problem of distribution, because at this time we have a lapse in both channels of distribution. Our subscription base is collapsing because we have only one partner in distribution, the Russian post office. And the price of delivering newspapers is growing from month to month and year to year. In fact, our distribution through the Russian post office is absolutely inefficient.

Samir Husni: It’s costing more than you’re bringing in.

Pavel Filenkov: Yes, exactly. And we have a very big problem with our retail, because the standard way of distribution is retailing by means of kiosks and outlets, and the quantity of these street kiosks is reducing from year to year. I don’t know why, but this is politic of our power, to reduce the number of street kiosks.

So, at this time we have more than a 50% return from our retail. Of course, this is an absolutely inefficient way of distribution. That’s why the problem of distribution is much more important for the survival of newspapers. It’s much more important than all our other problems, levels of journalism or technology or development; for us, all these problems are much less important than distribution.

Samir Husni: Very true. If you can’t get the paper into the hands of the readers…

Pavel Filenkov: Yes, but we are trying to use different ways of delivering and distributing newspapers. For example, for us a very important channel of distribution is on board distribution. The other problem is just printing our newspaper, but we still have enough of a printing press to print it.

We print our newspaper and it’s necessary to understand, the circulation of our newspaper isn’t big for Russia. We print about 100,000 to 120,000 copies and this is a low circulation because we are a business newspaper and our readership isn’t as big as other papers that print1 million to 2 million copies.

Our circulation is so low we have to print out the newspaper in 14 or 15 different places in order to deliver the paper on time to the different regions of the country.

Samir Husni: In the midst of all this gloom and doom that we face as journalists in the industry, where is the bright side? What do you see as the light as you move toward the future?

Pavel Filenkov: We hope that we will have the capability to get money from the digital outlets in publishing. That’s why we are trying to develop a digital print system from Adobe. We have our application in all electronic magazines and the Apple Store in Google Marketplace. Our application is produced for all platforms: tablets, PC’s IOS and Androids. And we believe that this will be another revenue stream for us in the future. So, that’s one channel.

The next channel, which we hope will give us another possibility to survive, is a way to deliver some services to our readers. For example, information services, databases, approaches to some loyal services, registration services and others as well. So we have created a special company which provides these services. And these services can be accessed by means of our site. For us, this is a way to attract additional readers and get more revenue, not just by advertising, but by the means of giving our readership much more value. Almost all of these services are payable services; they aren’t free of charge, so for us this is another important way of income.

At this time we get approximately the same money that we get from the Internet, about 10% of our advertising income we get from these services. And of course, we have a very good partnership between our newspaper and these services. The newspaper, in this case, serves as advertising for our company and our information facilities. We see these two ways as things we are going to develop.

Samir Husni: And this venture into e-commerce…

Pavel Filenkov: Yes, we tried to launch an e-commerce in its simplest form, as an eShort, but we stopped the project because we realized that we are not good sellers when it comes to jewelry or books and songs; we are not professionals. But we are professionals in the area of information, so we’ll produce our kind of goods.

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

Pavel Filenkov: Too many things. (Laughs) I go to bed very late and I wake up quite early. I’m trying to do as much every day as I can and for me that is the result of my sleeplessness. Also, I wish to spend as much time with my work and my family as I can.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

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From Russia With Love 2: The Burda Russia Story. The Mr. Magazine™ Interview with Jürgen Ulrich, CEO, Burda Russia

December 2, 2014

IMG_7502 While miles and oceans may separate the USA and Russia, when it comes to magazine publishing and the media industry in general, the defining line is vague. Their troubles and triumphs are very similar to our own. On a recent trip I made to Moscow to give a keynote speech at the annual conference of the Press Distributors Association (PDA), that congruent fact was driven home to me clearly. From distribution, advertising challenges to the future of print; the USA and Russia amazingly are facing the same problems. See my first entry From Russia with Love.

In my interview with Jürgen Ulrich, we talked about the love between an audience and a brand, the enormity of the Burda brand itself in Russia, the very young distribution system in the country and the power of print. It was very familiar territory for me.

So, I hope you enjoy the Russian perspective from the magazine world as much as I did as you read my interview with Jürgen Ulrich, CEO, Burda Russia…

But first the sound-bites:

On whether Burda is the number one publisher in Russia:
From a print run standpoint, I would say yes.

On whether he’s worried about the demise of print and the rise of digital:
I would say no; I’m not even afraid of it from any other perspective, in fact, it’s good because technology is one thing that drives our portfolio.

On the biggest stumbling block facing magazine media in Russia:
In Russia, I think we’re facing some different issues, in general. First of all, I would say it’s not an old industry in the country, from a magazine perspective. Of course, this means it’s a very young distribution system as well.

On his most pleasant surprise since coming to Burda Russia in 2011:
The most pleasant surprise, I would say, is how much people really love our brands. It shows definitely that the industry is very much alive.

On the biggest stumbling block he’s already overcame:
Probably the political situation, where we are fighting on the one side with a struggling economy and on the other side, having to change the business model more toward the future, so adding additional revenue streams to our business and in this case, it might mean digital or whatever it covers, an eco-mass.

On why magazines in Russia are so cheaply-priced:
I think it’s a combination of everything. First of all, yes, it’s about income. If you see Moscow, Moscow is not average Russia.

On what keeps him up at night:
(Laughs) What keeps me up at night? Everything that isn’t solved in the daytime. So you can imagine at the moment it’s a lot.

Husni and Ulrich
Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni with Jürgen Ulrich, CEO, Burda Russia at the company’s headquarters in Moscow.

And now for the lightly edited Mr. Magazine™ conversation with Jürgen Ulrich, CEO of Burda Russia publishing company.

Samir Husni: You have 80 different titles. Burda Style – the magazine – is the largest women’s magazine around, but is Burda the number one publisher here?

Jürgen Ulrich: From a print run standpoint, I would say yes. Of course, you do have Cosmopolitan, which is in a totally different segment. We still have in the food segment a title which is, from a monthly print run, bigger than even Burda Style. It’s a user-generated content title which at that stage, I’d say we founded a new segment about six or seven years ago, so we’re still getting a lot of letters from the regions, so it’s not even email driven or digital; it’s really letters from the regions. It has an editorial team of two people and they create a monthly food title of about 100 to 150 pages.

So the segment is quite different, we’re covering a lot of communities, starting from food which is one of our core competencies and going to crafting, where we cover sewing, knitting and from an eco-system point of view, having a digital layout of our brand into new technologies.

In the home interior and design segment; we just acquired one of the famous Russian publishers, so we’re now with the brand Salon, and your home ideas are more or less present in the segment and upscale. So this is something that is totally new to Burda, because we’re a mass market and very successful here and I would say the biggest one in terms of covering that kind of audience.

I think the success stories, we understood from the beginning and we know distribution very well, which is basically the key for us to the point-of-sale and to the final consumer. And with that we’re adding a lot of additional new products and going already more niche, so we’re seeing this development of cost coming up.

Samir Husni: From 1987, were you the first international licensees?

Jürgen Ulrich: It was the first international brand. We started with new brands in 1995. You can see a lot of brands that really came into the market on concepts that were adapted from locals to the Russian market starting in 1995.

Samir Husni: As a CEO of a major publishing company; are you worried about the demise of print and the rise of digital instead?

IMG_7499 Jürgen Ulrich: I would say no; I’m not even afraid of it from any other perspective, in fact, it’s good because technology is one thing that drives our portfolio. And the printing business itself, it’s also technology-driven. Burda, as a company in Germany, ran their own printing house, and there is now one in India as well, so there is still a huge demand for print and it’s technology-driven.

If you do it in the right way, I think this will help to further publish additional new products, going more into niche and offering different solutions as well to all kinds of clients or advertisers. I think it’s a good thing, if you handle it right.

Samir Husni: I’m one of those people who believe that print will be with us as long as there are humans. (Laughs)

Jürgen Ulrich: (Laughs)

Samir Husni: What do you think is the major stumbling block facing the magazine industry here in Russia?

Jürgen Ulrich: In Russia, I think we’re facing some different issues, in general. First of all, I would say it’s not an old industry in the country, from a magazine perspective. Of course, this means it’s a very young distribution system as well, which for the size of the country runs totally different from the States and from Germany. So we have quite some issues getting the magazines to the consumer.

The other thing is the general development of the media industry; the speed is quite different from other countries. Granted, the industry is very young, but the speed of new technology is as fast-growing as everywhere, so we’re facing this in a combination. We need to hurry here as well and of course; it’s an emerging market, which has its ups and downs, more regular than in other well-known countries.


Samir Husni: In those last three years as Burda Russia CEO; what has been your most pleasant surprise?

Jürgen Ulrich: The most pleasant surprise, I would say, is how much people really love our brands. It shows definitely that the industry is very much alive. If we can handle distribution and get the product in the hands of people, they really do love our brands. It’s nothing like print is dying at all.

Samir Husni: And the biggest stumbling block you’ve already overcame?

Jürgen Ulrich: Probably the political situation, where we are fighting on the one side with a struggling economy and on the other side, having to change the business model more toward the future, so adding additional revenue streams to our business and in this case, it might mean digital or whatever it covers, an eco-mass. Is it an event business as well?

And more or less analyzing the opportunities of each brand and this in combination with our need to speed up is very important. We just started this year implementing a new asset management system; call it a media or digital asset management system. With fewer resources we can increase our output to be more efficient, to publish our content to different kinds of channels at the same time.

So, it’s a lot of things as well as the staff is struggling a bit, because they have new things to learn, but they catch on very quickly. It’s not so easy for everyone, but I think we’re doing quite well.

We’re switching to Censhare, a German system, which is, from our perspective, a very good platform toward developing new revenue streams. So not focusing on only print, but going much further into retail. Our staff considered it to be much more toward retail. So connecting consumers as the reasoning behind every single thing we do. Looking into the audience and understanding their needs.

If you look at our portfolio we have advisory, education, different kinds of emotional products. So understanding the needs and driving consumers to buy the products of our advertisers.

Samir Husni: I was walking and looking at the newsstands here in Moscow and discovered that magazines are cheap. Is it the economy or the marketplace, or just standard prices?

Jürgen Ulrich: I think it’s a combination of everything. First of all, yes, it’s about income. If you see Moscow, Moscow is not average Russia. You have the regions where the pocket money for items of lifestyle is definitely less than Moscow. From that perspective, it’s a different thing.

And of course, from a mass market perspective, if you look at the kiosk, you find more mass market titles than really high-end titles.

Samir Husni: And what’s the split between subscription and newsstand? Is it mainly newsstand?

Jürgen Ulrich: For us, if you look at our portfolio, it’s mainly newsstand-driven. Adding now some segments like the interior segment of course, we go further into news segments, where it’s more advertising-driven. Everything depends on the audience ultimately. Where the money is being spent and where are the needs? Those are questions that we’re looking into.

Samir Husni: And the split between revenue from advertising and revenue from circulation?

Jürgen Ulrich: In this case, you could say close to 50/50. It depends on which segment you’re looking at.

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

Jürgen Ulrich: (Laughs) What keeps me up at night? Everything that isn’t solved in the daytime. So you can imagine at the moment it’s a lot.

We have to hurry with a lot of things in order to switch our business model and get it organized. But on the other hand, I trust in my team. I have a very good team.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

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From Russia With Love: Different Media, Similar Challenges… A Mr. Magazine™ Musing.

December 1, 2014

On the banks of Moscow River and Kremlin
On the banks of the Moscow river with the Kremlin in the background.

The Russian press and magazines face the same challenges as the American magazines and magazine media. Distribution, advertising and the future of print are mainly the three major areas of concern a visitor to Moscow discovers during the first few hours of his visit to Russia. Amazingly they are the same challenges facing the American magazine market.

unnamed-2
Husni surrounded by hosts Dmitry Martynov (left) and Alexander Oskin during the PDA annual conference Nov. 25

I was invited to keynote the annual conference of the Press Distributors Association (PDA) in Moscow last week. My hosts, Dmitry Martynov and Alexander Oskin, president and chairman of the board of the PDA respectively, asked me to address their annual conference on a topic close to my heart, the power of print in a digital age. I was more than happy to oblige.

The PDA arranged for me visits with major magazine and newspaper companies in Moscow and visits with leaders in The State Duma (The Russian Congress) and the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications. My host at The State Duma was Andrey V. Tumanov, first deputy chairman of the committee for information politics, information technology and communication. At the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communication, I met with the agency’s deputy head Vladimir V. Grigoriev.

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At The Federal Assembly of The Russian Federation The State Duma with Duma member Mr. Andrey V. Tumanov

During my visit to the Duma I was treated to a tour of the chambers of all major political parties in Russia and a lunch at the Duma’s cafeteria. At the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communication Mr. Grigoriev and I engaged in a healthy conversation about the future of print in a digital age. His main areas of concern are books and preserving archives and historical records. “We have records on paper since the invention of paper and they still exist,” he told me. “With digital you have to update the digital files almost every five years to preserve them. Technology and technological devices are changing so fast, that what you save today will not work tomorrow unless you keep on updating the files.”

At the Federation of Press
At the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communication with Deputy Head Mr. Vladimir V. Grigoriev

Mr. Grigoriev is focusing the agency’s effort on books as the major printed medium to preserve. He sees little, if any, role of news in newspapers or magazines. “The newspapers and magazines have to be in the business of explaining and editorializing. They have to tell their audience what the news means to them or how it impacts them.”
Mr. Grigoriev adds, “It is the not the medium that have the problem, it is what you put in the medium.”

The PDA arranged for an additional three meetings with different media companies. I met and interviewed the CEO of Burda Russia Jürgen Ulrich, the CEO of Kommersant Pavel Filenkov, and the General Director of Za Rulem Alexey Vasin. In the next three days I will be publishing my interviews with the aforementioned media leaders.

At my final dinner with my hosts Dr. Martynov and Dr. Oskin of the PDA, we engaged in a conversation about the problems facing the Russian and American press and magazine markets. The challenges are many, and the similarities are even more. Maybe, we can leave the political differences aside and work together to find common ground to solve the magazine and magazine media challenges together. As I usually say, there is hope, there is always hope.

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Mr. Magazine™ Monday Morning Special Double Issue…

November 24, 2014

mmnov24 Naturally, Danny Seo, is the lead interview in this week’s edition of Mr. Magazine™ Monday Morning. This week’s issue is a double issue for the weeks of Nov. 24 and Dec. 1. Click here to read the issue and click here to subscribe to the free weekly newsletter.

From the entire team at Mr. Magazine™ we wish each and everyone of our readers a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Also we are truly thankful for the support of our sponsors at the Mr. Magazine™ web and blog sites and, of course, the Mr. Magazine™ Monday Morning. Without your support there would have not been a Monday Morning newsletter.

All the best and a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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