h1

Setting The Numbers of New Magazine Launches Straight… A Mr. Magazine™ Musing.

June 30, 2015

As many of the readers of this blog know my hobby turned education turned profession is consumed by my collecting and studying new magazines. I have every new launch that appeared in the United States of America (that I could get my hands on) since I arrived to my adopted country in 1978.

So, needless to say when I read some of the reports about the total number of new magazine launches and the way some media reporters publish press releases about those numbers without bothering to check or question, I get mad. I have a good reason to be mad. I publish every cover of every new magazine, every single month on my sister blog http://www.launchmonitor.wordpress.com

All that media reporters have to do is add those numbers. And those numbers are by no way the final numbers, they are the least number of new launches. I am sure that I have missed some new magazines published in far away places of these United States of America. My collection of first editions is approaching the 30,000 mark.

So, in order to set the record straight for the first half of 2015 compared to the first half of 2014, here are the numbers:


Total number of new magazines in the first half of 2014: 123 with frequency and 311 specials and book-a-zines.
Total number of new magazines in the first half of 2015: 118 with frequency and 293 specials and book-a-zines.

Watch this space for the complete charts and graphs about the comparison of the first half of 2015 and that of 2014 in the coming few days….

And, if you don’t want to spend a penny or a dollar buying any of these new magazines, just visit my blog http://www.launchmonitor.wordpress.com

And that’s all I have to say about that…

h1

“Engaging” A Global Audience With Quality Content & Creative Expertise – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Nick Singh, President, Engaged Media Inc.

June 30, 2015

“I believe magazines will always be there and being strong financially and being a decent size, but not too big gives some companies an advantage in the marketplace… I think trying to figure out this business and what works is challenging and exciting. Putting together a nice group of folks, along with some good strong content, whether it’s editorial or art, and finding out this really helps sales is exciting.” Nick Singh

Withstanding disruption and looking at innovative techniques to move print forward in a digital age is something that Engaged Media is proficient at, especially with Nick Singh at the helm. Nick is President of Engaged Media and his 20-plus years of publishing-industry experience, combined with exemplary leadership skills have driven EM’s continued expansion during unprecedented change in the print-magazine industry over the past decade.

Nick has led EM’s continued expansion globally, increasing EM’s presence in the United States, India and the Philippines over the past 3 years. His primary focuses on leadership development, operational excellence and providing his organization with a clear and concise vision have led to consistent market-share gains for EM.

I spoke with Nick recently about the ever-changing landscape of the magazine media world. From newsstand to distribution, his thoughts were concise and bulleted toward a profitable future for Engaged Media and spot-on advice for the magazine industry at large.

From the gamut of titles that his brand covers, we discussed where the ideas for all the different subject matter came from and if there were any topics Engaged Media shied away from. It was a very compelling conversation.

So, I hope you enjoy this revealing and interesting discussion as I picked the brain of yet another innovative and creative magazine maker of our time and learned quite a bit about the scope and reach of a brand that knows few boundaries as it strives for excellence and expertise in its continued success. Get ready for the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Nick Singh, President, Engaged Media Inc.

But first, the sound-bites:

2015-05-15 11.43.51 On the genesis of Engaged Media and how the company separated from its relative, Beckett Media: Long story short, this one owner stepped in and he owns about 30 other companies, non-publishing for the most part, insurance and healthcare, coding and other areas, and he acquired both Beckett and us, we were basically one company. In 2008, we learned how to turn it around as fast as we could because we had to, no more leverage from the banks. So, in 2012 we separated the companies into two different companies because the Beckett model is a very successful model, but it’s in sports collectables.

On whether he thinks the pendulum is swinging back toward making money at the newsstands: We’ve been doing OK; it’s just that last year when Source shut down was probably the biggest hit because there are inefficiencies. I think people are being optimists and I try to stay middle-of-the-road and as close to reality as possible.

On whether he believes the single-copy sales and distribution model should be reinvented: It isn’t a profitable business model for some publishers to be on newsstand, and yet for others like us and our competitors in our segment; we do rely heavily on newsstand. We also do high quality, high-priced items and that means a lot to us, but not everybody has the same business model, so something has to change, yes. And there has to be better efficiencies and a new model. What that is; we don’t know.

On his thoughts on the rising cover prices of bookazines and where he sees the trend heading: Right now we see some $12.99’s working, at least in our categories and from a competitive perspective, we see some folks doing some nice magazines at $9.99. We’re testing some $12.99’s and we’ve been doing $9.99’s for a while. The $12.99’s seem to work, even in Wal-Mart where they try to be the low price leader. I don’t know where this trend will go, what sort of price limitations or ceiling there will be, if any.

On the most pleasant moment he’s had during his career at Engaged Media Inc.: Growing newsstand has been very pleasant for us and growing profitability has also been very pleasant. Since 2012 to 2015 we’ve been able to grow, and not just newsstand, but also with a good editorial team and a good art design team. I think that’s been very pleasant for us, just this level of growth.

On the major stumbling block he’s had to face and how he overcame it: Changing our business model. I think working with our partners; working closely with a lot of our partners and meeting mutually on what works and what doesn’t. The old way that we used to do business was get copies out everywhere and anywhere, where now we kind of selectively pick and choose where we want to be, there are certain chains that we don’t pick or certain areas geographically because we don’t find them profitable.

On the gamut of topics Engaged Media publishes and if there’s one category they won’t touch: Probably the broader entertainment categories; we’ve tried. We’ve dipped into many categories and there are two or three that we might touch, but our secret sauce so to speak is getting quality people and quality editorial and we’ve done some things without quality editorial and we’ve learned. So we will not touch things that we don’t have the expertise in.

On whether or not he has a favorite title from his broad stable of magazines: That’s a great question. No favorites from my side. Our editors of course do and the newsstand team, I’m sure they do as well, and our ad sales team. Our digital online team probably does too, based on which ones are performing the best. But no, I don’t have any favorites in particular.

On what makes him click and tick and motivates him to get out of bed in the mornings: I believe magazines will always be there and being strong financially and being a decent size, but not too big gives some companies an advantage in the marketplace. It’s not easy; I think it’s challenging and that makes it fun. I think trying to figure out this business and what works is challenging and exciting. Putting together a nice group of folks, along with some good strong content, whether it’s editorial or art, and finding out this really helps sales is exciting.

On whether he can ever envision a day where Engaged Media has no print publications: No, I cannot.

On the future of print for Engaged Media: I think the future of print for us is if we’re 95% print today, I would love to see our print growing slightly in the new categories as needed, specific categories that we do have some expertise in and that we think we can do better, faster and cheaper than some other folks, it would be a market share flag and it would be surviving the newsstand.

On how involved he is with the actual ideas for the magazines’ subject matter: We have a very good team, it’s not just me or about me. We facilitate good thinkers, people who are always creative and out there and we get plenty of ideas from these folks. And we put it through the test; whether it’s from our customers, from advertising, from retailers or wholesalers or national distributors; we kick around a lot of ideas. There’s no “one” place where they come from; our advertising sales reps, our editorial team and our newsstand team are all very, very strong.

On what keeps him up at night: Declining margins. (Laughs) If our partners aren’t profitable, then we’re not going to be profitable. I’d love to see this industry turn around or at least stabilize somewhat. I think that’s what keeps me up at night.

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ conversation with Nick Singh, President, Engaged Media Inc.

Samir Husni: You’re one of the bigger players, especially on the newsstands when it comes to single-copy sales, yet you’re one of the best-kept secrets in the industry. Tell me a little about the genesis of Engaged Media and how you moved from Beckett Media and all the sports collecting magazines under that umbrella to the world of Engaged Media and the many titles that you have now.

Collectibles-13 Nick Singh: We do try to stay below the radar and fortunately we’re able to test a lot of issues and we do a lot of category analysis. We have an international team; we have roughly around 100 employees, 45 or so here in the U.S. and 45 abroad, from the Philippines to India, from our parent company. So we do have decent backing by a private owner who owns about 30 companies.

Engaged Media started roughly about 10 years ago, even though we didn’t use the name Engaged Media then. We purchased or acquired Beckett Media and about three other companies in southern California. Beckett was and still is in Dallas and we’re in southern California with the acquisition of a few small publishers.

A few of us came from Primedia or TEN – the Enthusiast Network or Source Publishing, whatever you might want to call them today; I still have a lot of friends there. So, about ten years ago we came into this company and it was in a lot of debt. We learned our lessons quite a bit and our new owner; I call him new, but he’s seven years new now, I’ve been here for 10 years running a couple of departments, production and circulation, with the new owner in 2008, because we were in high debt and heavily leveraged, when the market crashed we had to learn how to stand on our two feet and become cash flow positive and get rid of the debt somehow.

Long story short, this one owner stepped in and he owns about 30 other companies, non-publishing for the most part, insurance and healthcare, coding and other areas, and he acquired both Beckett and us, we were basically one company. In 2008, we learned how to turn it around as fast as we could because we had to, no more leverage from the banks.

So, in 2012 we separated the companies into two different companies because the Beckett model is a very successful model, but it’s in sports collectables. It was a great brand and still is and Beckett.com is a good revenue stream and a great business model. It’s a completely different business model from our enthusiast publication side where we have Diesel World, Gun World, hunting magazines with some survivalist elements that seem to be working right now, like American Survival Guide. And we have the Homes category, with Cottages & Bungalows, Romantic Homes and these niche titles that did not fit into the Beckett model, so we’re roughly 90 to 95% of the print business, that’s if we combine the two companies.

But as we separated, we learned quite a few lessons. We learned that using newsstands as 60% of our revenues and then ad sales, subscriptions and the very small digital, which has grown pretty fast, but it’s still only about 1 to 2 % of our total revenue, so we think that there’s a lot of upside in digital. We still learned that on newsstand, we can make a profit if it’s done correctly, but also, if not done correctly, we could lose a lot of money. It’s a high-risk, high-reward business for us. The good thing about newsstand is we can pull out whenever we want; there’s no sub-liability with long-term sub-liabilities or advertisers. It’s not advertising-based-strong like our core publications are in the automotive and outdoor segments. So, it allows us to test a lot of things.

Now we realize that there are many challenges. (Laughs) Last year we took the chance and decided to grow revenues and market shares in newsstand and we were able to fortunately move up to, I’m guessing the top 13 or 14 publishers in newsstand in the country or North America, but with that comes a huge price because when Source shut down our margins tightened up quite a bit. And then TNG (formerly The News Group) picked up a lot of businesses and we’re great partners with TNG, but it’s costing us a lot more. Our revenues are up again this year, hopefully the margins are getting better, but right now they’re tightened for sure. And that’s where we are today.

Samir Husni: Do you think the pendulum is swinging back towards not only hope for the newsstands, but also toward the thinking that there is actual money to be made there?

Nick Singh: We’ve been doing OK; it’s just that last year when Source shut down was probably the biggest hit because there are inefficiencies. I think people are being optimists and I try to stay middle-of-the-road and as close to reality as possible.

Many of the things that we did to grow our revenues, many of those specials, maybe if we did 100 specials; I would say that 50 of them didn’t work; it was probably our worse success rate. The good thing is we’ll never do those 50 again, the 50%.

We’re hearing everything with distribution has been fixed, but looking at Q4 and Q1, efficiencies are still low and the wholesaler wants to charge for efficiencies, but if we were to turn it around the other way and say, hey Mr. and Mrs. Wholesaler, why don’t you completely take over the distribution and increase the efficiencies, but if you lose sell or revenues or lose efficiencies, then maybe you should be responsible for it, right? I don’t see that happening and I don’t think anybody wants to be responsible for that efficiency, although the charges were inefficient. I still inefficiency so far; I haven’t seen any actual numbers that prove that it’s getting better.

Samir Husni: With all the changes that have taken place in our industry from the demise of the Mom and Pop wholesalers to the national distributors becoming just two or three major players and the wholesalers maybe two major players; do you think it’s time to reinvent the single-copy sales and distribution model? Do we need that multifaceted distribution channel?

Nick Singh: I don’t think so. I think yes, we need to change and become more efficient; 21 days to get on sale is a long time and that hasn’t changed since I started in the business in the 1990s. I’ve been doing this for 20-something years and I know you’ve been even longer, since the 1970s. And it still takes 21 days to get on sale.

It isn’t a profitable business model for some publishers to be on newsstand, and yet for others like us and our competitors in our segment; we do rely heavily on newsstand. We also do high quality, high-priced items and that means a lot to us, but not everybody has the same business model, so something has to change, yes. And there has to be better efficiencies and a new model. What that is; we don’t know.

Samir Husni: I’ve noticed also that the cover prices have risen, especially with the so-called bookazines. When we hit $7.99 we were sure people wouldn’t go for that. And then $9.99, now it’s $11.99 and recently I bought some for $13.99. Where do you see the red light being erected; the point where you decide people are just not going to pay $15 for a bookazine?

Small Spaces Big Ideas-12 Nick Singh: Right now we see some $12.99’s working, at least in our categories and from a competitive perspective, we see some folks doing some nice magazines at $9.99. We’re testing some $12.99’s and we’ve been doing $9.99’s for a while. The $12.99’s seem to work, even in Wal-Mart where they try to be the low price leader. I don’t know where this trend will go, what sort of price limitations or ceiling there will be, if any. We haven’t tested anything at $14.99 or $15.99. We think these work pretty well in the bookstores, but not in the other classes of trade so far.

Samir Husni: Since you became president of Engaged Media Inc., what has been the most pleasant moment that you’ve had in your career and why?

Nick Singh: Growing newsstand has been very pleasant for us and growing profitability has also been very pleasant. Since 2012 to 2015 we’ve been able to grow, and not just newsstand, but also with a good editorial team and a good art design team. I think that’s been very pleasant for us, just this level of growth.

So for us it’s a little bit of a different strategy than maybe other folks because of the growth we’ve seen three years in a row, roughly a 20 to 25% growth rate. Next year, let’s hope that we can sustain that. But what’s really going to make a big difference for us, and the pleasantry may be over, is if the same level of margins aren’t there. Then we’d have to look at other avenues like digital and all those things. But I’m not sure if anybody’s got that figured out yet. My most pleasant moment has been growing newsstand and growing a good company.

Samir Husni: What has been the major stumbling block that you’ve had to face and how did you overcome it?

Nick Singh: Changing our business model. I think working with our partners; working closely with a lot of our partners and meeting mutually on what works and what doesn’t. The old way that we used to do business was get copies out everywhere and anywhere, where now we kind of selectively pick and choose where we want to be, there are certain chains that we don’t pick or certain areas geographically because we don’t find them profitable.

I think that’s been the best change in our business model, even with our subscription base. We don’t go after new subscriptions if it doesn’t make any sense. We don’t do rate-based; we’re a direct response advertiser, so it’s all about if they’re getting direct responses and phone calls to increase our advertiser’s businesses. We like the return-on-investment strategy for us and for our customers at the same time.

Samir Husni: You have quite the stable of magazines. You can go from Flea Market Décor to Young for Kids to Knife Illustrated to Gun World to American Homesteader and then to Fantasy Football; you really run the gamut of topics. Is there one category where you said no, we won’t touch that one?

Nick Singh: Probably the broader entertainment categories; we’ve tried. We’ve dipped into many categories and there are two or three that we might touch, but our secret sauce so to speak is getting quality people and quality editorial and we’ve done some things without quality editorial and we’ve learned. So we will not touch things that we don’t have the expertise in.

Samir Husni: Do you have any favorites from all of the titles that you put out? Would you say this is my firstborn or that you treat all your children equally?

Nick Singh: (Laughs) That’s a great question. No favorites from my side. Our editors of course do and the newsstand team, I’m sure they do as well, and our ad sales team. Our digital online team probably does too, based on which ones are performing the best. But no, I don’t have any favorites in particular.

Samir Husni: If someone dropped in on you at home and you were sitting down with a magazine and relaxing, which one would it be?

Nick Singh: I just walked into an acquisition meeting recently with probably my favorite magazine right now and that’s Fantasy Football.

Samir Husni: I just finished a new book called Inside the Great Minds of Magazine Makers and now I want to get inside your mind, so what makes Nick click and tick and motivates you to get out of bed each morning and say this is going to be a great day?

Nick Singh: I think seeing a couple of new business models that I won’t go into detail about right now, but that we think could be a way out of this thing; it’s mixing in the print magazine, digital and some online assets, whether it’s e-commerce business or other content management businesses, is exciting and motivational.

I believe magazines will always be there and being strong financially and being a decent size, but not too big gives some companies an advantage in the marketplace. It’s not easy; I think it’s challenging and that makes it fun. I think trying to figure out this business and what works is challenging and exciting. Putting together a nice group of folks, along with some good strong content, whether it’s editorial or art, and finding out this really helps sales is exciting.

I don’t think this business will be the same in four or five years and that excites me every day because what do we do? Do we walk out and leave or do we keep improving and doing things better, faster and cheaper? And I think of course the latter is the answer. So that excites me every day, just trying to figure this thing out.

Samir Husni: Can you ever envision a day where Engaged Media has no print publications?

Nich Singh: No, I cannot.

Samir Husni: What do you believe is the future of print for your company?

Bugout-12 Nick Singh: I think the future of print for us is if we’re 95% print today, I would love to see our print growing slightly in the new categories as needed, specific categories that we do have some expertise in and that we think we can do better, faster and cheaper than some other folks, it would be a market share flag and it would be surviving the newsstand. I don’t think there will be as many players in five years, but I would like to see that revenue share be more mixed and diverse to probably 50% print.

Samir Husni: How involved are you with bringing in actual ideas to the team? For example, when I look at one of your newest magazines Bugout, or Go Gluten Free or Low Sugar Living; how involved are you in suggesting those trends or ideas? Do you wake up at night and say we should do a magazine about that?

Nick Singh: We have a very good team, it’s not just me or about me. We facilitate good thinkers, people who are always creative and out there and we get plenty of ideas from these folks. And we put it through the test; whether it’s from our customers, from advertising, from retailers or wholesalers or national distributors; we kick around a lot of ideas. There’s no “one” place where they come from; our advertising sales reps, our editorial team and our newsstand team are all very, very strong. We have somebody with 30 years of experience on our newsstand team, Gus Alonzo.

We have ideas coming from everywhere. And what we do is shut down a lot of the ideas or we keep them alive if we think they have legs. We have a few more of that hasn’t been done or somebody is doing it, but we don‘t think they’re doing it well enough in new categories.

So, we measure it and we look out. Bugout was a no-brainer that came from a lot of our advertisers; it’s kind of survivalist-meets-automotive, which makes a lot of sense. We’ll see where that one goes. We keep testing the ones that make a lot of sense to us, but there’s still a lot of risk involved, if we’re able to take the risk and currently we are able to manage risk OK, I would say.

Samir Husni: If I wanted to describe you in one word, would it be Victorian, Romantic or American; I’m just looking at some of the different titles of the magazines that you have. Or would it be Maximum Drive? What word defines Nick?

Nick Singh: Enthusiast.

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

Nick Singh: Declining margins. (Laughs) If our partners aren’t profitable, then we’re not going to be profitable. I’d love to see this industry turn around or at least stabilize somewhat. I think that’s what keeps me up at night.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

h1

Mr. Magazine™ Monday Morning Global And Local…

June 29, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 8.36.53 AM The new issue of Mr. Magazine™ Monday Morning is out. To read the June 29 issue click here. The free emailed newsletter contains the best of the Mr. Magazine™ blog and appears every Monday morning in subscribers e-boxes.

To subscribe to the Mr. Magazine™ Monday Morning click here.

Have a great week. Hit the newsstands and buy a magazine or two. There is no better experience than sitting down or laying back with a magazine in your hands. And remember, “if it is not ink on paper, it is not a magazine.”™

h1

Why What Worked For Magazines In 2007 Won’t Work Today. A Very Strong First Six Months In The Land of New Magazines. A Mr. Magazine™ Musing.*

June 26, 2015

The numbers are strong for the first six months of 2015: 411 to be exact. 118 with frequency and 293 specials and book-a-zines. Major publishers are rediscovering the power of print.

samir2015 If the world of magazines and magazine media has changed at all in the last seven to eight years, and we all know that it has, then why does the industry insist on continuing to create magazines as though we’re still living in the year 2007? It’s a conundrum that, quite frankly, I fail to understand. We all know that we live in a digital age, not even Mr. Magazine™ will argue with that, but we also know, according to research from some of the largest publishing houses on the continent, that print is still a valued friend that the buying public will not turn their backs on. In fact, from Bauer’s Simple Grace to Meredith’s Parents Latina, the big players are back in the print game with vim and vigor.

Below are but a few new titles from major publishing companies that have launched new print titles within the last six months:

•Bauer – Simple Grace
•Harris – Ballistic
•Hearst – Trending NY
•Hoffman Media – Enjoy Every Day
•I-5 Publishing – Dogster and Catster
•Meredith – Parents Latina
•National Geographic – History
•Rodale – Organic Life
•Smithsonian – Smithsonian Journeys

And for the first six months of 2015, the numbers are standing strong and proud (with more details and comparisons next week):

• Total New Launches: 411
• Frequency: 118
• Specials: 293

IMG_8285 It’s not the ingredients for the recipe that need to change, we’re adding distinctive and enticing elements to the pot; it’s the way we’re mixing that delicious stew in the same old way, which is continuing to produce magazines as though the year was 2007 instead of 2015.

What do I mean by that? First of all, before the Internet explosion magazine media was complacently successful following the ad path and content trail set years before. And it worked. After 2007 and Web mania, that model ceased to be profitable or proficient. And the prophets of print gloom and doom had a field day crying, “Print is dead,” all the while publishers were holding their collective breaths and fearing the worst.

When TV was invented, radio didn’t die; when a popular brand such as “MASH” or “Dallas” lived its lifespan and died a natural death; the entire television industry didn’t curl up its toes and jump in the grave with it, of course not. So why with the advent of digital, did print publishers allow their ink on paper child to hang its head, pack its bags and go into exile, or in some cases, commit suicide?

Fear and the lack of understanding that digital wasn’t going to replace print; its mission was to promote and co-exist with it.

But we as an industry must learn print’s place in today’s digital world. Print must have that collectability factor that we never worried about before, because if you want to know how to replace your doorknob, you can bet your shiny new keyhole that Google can tell you that information quicker than next month’s issue of your favorite DIY magazine. You, as a publisher, instead should concentrate on showing your audience the most dazzling and up-to-date doorknobs on the market today, or the oddest places people install doorknobs on their doors, or…well, you get my meaning. Content-driven information that excites the reader and causes that little niggle in the pit of his/her stomach as they’re about to toss that magazine, once read, into the trash; now that’s the collectability factor.

I have outlined nine roles print media can play in today’s magazine environment:

1. Be curators of content. There’s too much content and a scarcity of curation. Print can say: we’ve done the research for you, now here are the answers. The uniqueness of print’s ability to validate those responses by using the trust factor of research and explanation is incomparable.

2. Be analyzers of data. Google knows more about me than my wife. We must analyze the data so we know our audiences. Rather than focus groups, take10 readers to lunch. Listen to their challenges. Then feed their hunger. The lunch table most publishers should use when offering their audience sustenance is social media. Nowhere can you gain a better understanding of your reader’s wants and needs than social media platforms. Once again, digital and print working together.

3. Be creators of solutions. Amid so much conflicting content, validate information for readers. Let them depend on you by being one step ahead– preview the near future.

4. Be masters of opinions. Start conversations and lead public debate – you are the authority. Then, importantly, let the audience know they’re being heard, even if you don’t agree. This can happen through social media or the interactivity of your print audience, preferably both.

5. Be makers of experiences. Share and create experiences that lead to engagement.

6. Be suppliers of addiction. Nobody needs a magazine, so you need to make readers dependent on you. Dispense the drugs the audience needs. Change their wants to needs. Today everyone wants and needs stability in our sometimes crazy world; they need a reason to hope and believe that tomorrow is going to be better than today, so Bauer gave us “Simple Grace” to hold onto. They saw the want and the need of this type of content in our world.

7. Be witty storytellers. Fulfill your readers’ needs, but don’t forget the cliffhanger to make them buy the next issue.

8. Be provokers of emotions. Create content that stirs emotional reactions.

9. Be innovators in print. Let’s keep doing things differently.

Exercising these nine stratagems into the way we stir our pots will mix things up a bit and change the texture of our stew in a positive way.

Many people thought the onset of digital with all its many devices was going to change the world of magazine media, and in some ways, it did. For one it showed us that bells and whistles don’t really matter; in the world of devices, digital and otherwise, there is really only one thing that matters when it comes to magazine reading; it’s called content.

In a recent interview I did with Martha Stewart Living Publisher, Daren Mazzucca, he elaborated on that sentiment when I asked him why Meredith decided to remove all the bells and whistles from its digital entity and make it a straight replica of the magazine:

“I think it makes the most sense. I believe that tablet access for all brands has kind of flattened out a bit; if you look at two or three years ago when we all believed that tablets were going to soar and some believed they would replace print, but that hasn’t been the case. The paper format is still the primary vehicle that women want to engage with. They curl up with it, take it with them, and tablets have pretty much plateaued in the marketplace.”

Today, in 2015, it’s more about the experience than ever before. We are all bombarded by notifications of information on a minute-by-minute basis and sometimes when your Smartphone seems to have a life of its own, those notifications can become second-by-second. It’s a fast-paced, never-slow-down existence that we lead.

However, there does come a time when all of us want to disconnect from our digital realities and just have a lean-back experience with a glass of wine and our favorite magazine.

Travel+Leisure’s Editor-in-Chief, Nathan Lump, said it best about the lean-back experience in a recent Mr. Magazine™ interview:

“I think for me, it’s really true in the sense that when you think about it, we have so much information at our fingertips; no one necessarily needs to read a magazine in order to learn things, so those that do are obviously making a very conscious choice that they want to give a certain amount of their leisure time to that experience.”

And without a doubt, we have to make sure that experience is phenomenal and merits a return visit to our publication. Let’s be provokers of emotion and reaction. Take the topic your audience is crying out for and then make them emotionally care about the words you’ve put together.

And always be print innovators; we have to continue to do things differently and not be afraid to take the path less traveled – even if that path takes us over the rainbow and far, far away. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto – and we have to remember that…

*The above is an updated version from my article that I wrote for the Magazines At Retail conference earlier this month.

h1

“Plugin” To The World Of Electric Cars & The Lifestyles Of Their Owners – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Dusan Lukic, Editor-in-Chief, Plugin Magazine

June 25, 2015

“We decided that we had to go with print because if you’re talking about lifestyle and life stories; if you’re talking about photography; you just have to showcase all of that in print. And there are still a lot of people who are willing to pay for that in a print format.” Dusan Lukic (on why he chose ink on paper for Plugin)

Plugin English-6 Welcome to another installment of the Mr. Magazine™ International Interviews where I had the extreme pleasure of speaking with Dusan Lukic, editor-in-chief, Plugin Magazine, from his office in the beautiful city of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Dusan is a veteran of magazine publishing and knows his way around the small market, having worked at Adria Media in Ljubljana from the very beginning. Publishing licensed powerhouse titles such as Elle and Cosmo, Dusan and his team are now proudly publishing their first international offering with the new Plugin Magazine. With an English version and a German and Slovenian version as well, the beautifully-done, sleek coffee table collectable is an amazing journey into the eco-friendliness of electric cars and the lifestyles of their owners. It’s certainly what you need to “Plugin” to the world of alternative automotive experiences.

I hope you enjoy the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Dusan Lukic, Editor-in-Chief, Plugin Magazine, as you get a glimpse into the world of magazine publishing from the beautiful country of Slovenia.

But first, the sound-bites:


On the genesis of Plugin Magazine and why it was done in both an English version and a German version:
We came up with the idea of adding a lifestyle element to it and thought about maybe doing it for a chain of hotels, so it would have a controlled distribution. Then we decided to just go national with it and do an English version and a German version because we discussed it with the distributor and they agreed that we should do both because that would be the easiest thing to do with the first issue.

On how the lifestyle element of the magazine is presented:
We’re going to be highlighting the people who are buyers or are thinking about buying electric cars. They’re people who aren’t prepared to give up their freedom of riding around, yet they want to be more environmentally friendly, so they’re considering or have already bought an electric car. On that same note, they also do not want to give up their comfortable home, but they want it to be more eco-friendly. So basically, our target audience is people like that, which usually mean more men than women.

On why the company chose a print component when the magazine deals with the eco-friendly subject of electric cars:
We chose a paper that is quite environmentally friendly. We also have a website; of course, we really started with the website before the magazine. We also have a social media presence too, but we decided that we had to go with print because if you’re talking about lifestyle and life stories; if you’re talking about photography; you just have to showcase all of that in print.

Dusan_Lukic On whether he feels the pendulum is swinging back toward print in Europe the way it is in the United States:
Basically, there is no simple answer to your question. We know what we think; we think that in some markets, print is far from dead and in other markets we have our digital to split the difference.

On the history of Adria Media:
Adria Media is quite an old company; we started with our first magazine in 1996 and I’ve been with the company since the beginning. We started with a car magazine that no longer exists and then we started adding other magazines, either our own or through licensing. We now have 13 magazines and 10 websites, but it’s still a small company, about 120 people.

On the major stumbling block Europe and his company in particular is facing in today’s magazine media market:
In Slovenia, we’ve always been a small market, but we know how to operate in a small market. Of all the countries in this part of Europe, Slovenia was hit hardest by recession. And of course, consumer confidence sank to floor-level and one of the first things that people stopped buying was magazines.

On the hefty cover price and whether that was due to the first issue being ad-free:
It’s like this; we did the first issue without advertising and that was on purpose. What we didn’t want to do was to contact the car industry and the fashion industry without a product on the market. Now we are discussing different ad strategies since we’ve published the first issue.

On what keeps him up at night:
Currently worrying about the future and the stories that we have to do. If you’re a publisher for a small market and you go international, one of the things that you have to do is learn to think like the big international publishers do. I know what I’m doing thanks to my education, but still it’s hard. We know our market here and we know our reader, but we don’t exactly know what would be interesting to our readers outside of this country.

And now the lightly edited Mr. Magazine™ interview with Dusan Lukic, Editor-In-Chief, Plugin Magazine…

Samir Husni: Can you tell me a little about the genesis of Plugin Magazine? Why both an English and German version and why it’s ad-free? And also what’s the mission with this magazine? You say you want people to live smart, drive green and Plugin.

Dusan Lukic: Well, you know that Slovenia is a really small country and of course in Europe, generally print media doesn’t do that well, and that fact is even more obvious here. For example, we have a much distorted advertising market; almost 80% of advertising money goes to television.

We’ve done what we can basically; we have quite a big publishing company; we do a lot of licensed titles; we do Elle, Playboy, Cosmo and others, but we started thinking there’s 2 million in the country and if we only think locally from the beginning, then we’re doomed from the beginning. So we switched and started thinking instead, what else can we do? What is out there that hasn’t been done yet?

We do a car magazine here also, so we’ve sort of found a niche with electric cars and so we started thinking about an electric cars magazine and plugging highways and things like that into it.

But then again, anyone can do a car magazine, so we needed to do something better and different. We came up with the idea of adding a lifestyle element to it and thought about maybe doing it for a chain of hotels, so it would have a controlled distribution. Then we decided to just go national with it and do an English version and a German version because we discussed it with the distributor and they agreed that we should do both because that would be the easiest thing to do with the first issue.

We also have a really good knowledge of the languages here, because Slovenia is close to Austria, so a lot of people speak German and English is a language that is spoken quite a lot here and it wasn’t hard to find people who could write in English or translate.

Samir Husni: Tell me about the concept of Plugin, because the magazine is technically divided into two sections: driving and living. How is the concept of the lifestyle element done? Is it the lifestyle of the electric car owner or driver or the car itself?

Plugin German-5 Dusan Lukic: We’re adjusting a little bit now with the magazine. All the stories that are in it about electric cars, there are two really big ones in the first issue and there is going to be more, but they’re going to be done in more of a lifestyle-type way. We’re going to be highlighting the people who are buyers or are thinking about buying electric cars.

They’re people who aren’t prepared to give up their freedom of riding around, yet they want to be more environmentally friendly, so they’re considering or have already bought an electric car. On that same note, they also do not want to give up their comfortable home, but they want it to be more eco-friendly. So basically, our target audience is people like that, which usually mean more men than women.

What we want to do is make a very interesting lifestyle magazine and also use it to showcase to those people the electric cars and the Plugin hybrid. This target generation, let’s call it 35-50 years old, affluent enough; they know how to live nicely, yet they’re very environmentally conscious and friendly. They don’t want to read a specialized car magazine; they don’t want to read a specialized architectural magazine, but they do like to read nice stories about all of the areas in Plugin.

Samir Husni: Since one of the focuses of Plugin is environmentally friendly electric cars; why did you decide to go with print when some people say print is not environmentally friendly because it involves the killing of trees?

Dusan Lukic: That’s not true, basically. We chose a paper that is quite environmentally friendly. We have a website; of course, we really started with the website before the magazine. We also have a social media presence too, but we decided that we had to go with print because if you’re talking about lifestyle and life stories; if you’re talking about photography; you just have to showcase all of that in print. And there are still a lot of people who are willing to pay for that in a print format.

Samir Husni: In the United States we’re starting to see the pendulum swinging back toward print. Five years ago everyone was talking about the fact that print was dead; now they’re talking about print’s changing nature or the decline of print. Do you see that happening now in Europe, even though you’re having trouble with advertising, newsstands and single-copy sales? Not the same print that we had before the digital age, but a different print business model that’s on the horizon?

Dusan Lukic: There’s no simple answer to that in Europe. I certainly hope that’s the case. But if you look at our biggest market for our German issue, which is Germany, you’ll find the country still has a really strong print base. If you look at their car magazines, there are about 300,000 different car magazines for a country of 80 million.

And then on the other side we have the U.K. and they don’t really sell a lot of digital issues, percentage-wise, but on the other side of the U.K., the biggest car magazines sell only 50,000, but you’ll find online subscribers at around 15 or 20,000.

Basically, there is no simple answer to your question. We know what we think; we think that in some markets, print is far from dead and in other markets we have our digital to split the difference.

Samir Husni: Tell me a little about Adria Media.

Dusan Lukic: Adria Media is quite an old company; we started with our first magazine in 1996 and I’ve been with the company since the beginning. We started with a car magazine that no longer exists and then we started adding other magazines, either our own or through licensing. We now have 13 magazines and 10 websites, but it’s still a small company, about 120 people.

We started with some really niche products. The first magazine was about Formula One, then a car magazine, one about sports climbing, and then we shifted our focus more toward the women’s side. We have three glossy weeklies; we have Elle, Cosmo; we have a magazine called Sensa, which is about inner well-being. And we’re the first magazine company here in Slovenia to really embrace digital. In 2009, we had about 16 or 18% share of our advertising revenue from digital, which was, even for European standards, quite high then.

We were the first to start doing digital versions of the magazines. But in the last few years we’ve had to really consolidate the company because our revenues went down 30% more. The advertising market shrank, the copies-sold went down and television became all-conquering.

But we’re still alive and we’re the only magazine publisher here. There is another company that went bankrupt and their titles got picked up by another publishing company, but they’re selling it again, so we are basically the only stable magazine publisher here.

Samir Husni: What do you think is the major stumbling block facing your company specifically and magazine companies in general in Europe?

Dusan Lukic: In Slovenia, we’ve always been a small market, but we know how to operate in a small market. Of all the countries in this part of Europe, Slovenia was hit hardest by recession. And of course, consumer confidence sank to floor-level and one of the first things that people stopped buying was magazines.

The other thing was this big shift of advertising money to TV. The problem is we basically have one national TV station. We have two commercial channels, but they’re owned by the same company. We also have the largest Internet portal in Slovenia and they have done deals that are still being investigated by the anti-competition authority. But basically they really lowered prices, they were almost dumping prices and then they gained 75 or 80% of the advertising market.

So there is very little left for everybody else and that includes magazines. In Europe, the normal share for television is 40%, maybe 50%, but not 70 or 80%.

The third thing is a lot people bought magazines in grocery stores before the recession. Now there are chains here that do not sell magazines at all. They have food items cheaper than some of the larger chains that do still sell magazines, so as the consumers started shopping with those for the cheaper food prices, all of the impulse buyers that used to buy magazines on the way out aren’t doing that anymore. We’ve lost a lot of business to the stores that no longer sell magazines.

So, there are three of four factors that figure into it and while each by themselves might not present a big problem; altogether they do.

Samir Husni: What’s the solution?

Dusan Lukic: We didn’t go for the big advertising because once you lower your prices you can never get them back up. We managed to get into contact with some of these retailers and put together special magazine packages for them that they could sell at the cash price. We got some sales there.

We also optimized our own internal structure to cope with the loss of revenue. And we’re trying to get some licensed titles to start publishing and do some smaller titles.

And of course the biggest thing we’ve done is Plugin and going international. International markets are big and they’re different; we have to learn a lot about them, but the opportunities are much bigger than if you just stay close and within your own country’s borders.

Samir Husni: I noticed that you not only went international, but you also went with a hefty cover price, because if there’s no advertising, the magazine needs to sell for almost 8 Euros?

Dusan Lukic: It’s like this; we did the first issue without advertising and that was on purpose. What we didn’t want to do was to contact the car industry and the fashion industry without a product on the market. Now we are discussing different ad strategies since we’ve published the first issue.

It seems to have been a good decision, because in Slovenia we’re not really used to big companies telling us about advertising. And that’s what’s happening to us now. I think it was the right decision to do the first issue ad-free and now we can go all-out.

In fact, in our first Slovenian issue, we had about 25 ad pages. And we’re thinking that the next international issues will be similar.

Samir Husni: So, you’re actually publishing three editions? German, English and Slovenian?

Dusan Lukic: Yes and I’ll say this, financially speaking, the Slovenian edition doesn’t really make much sense, but we are a Slovenian company and we are working in Slovenia and it is a topic important to the Slovenian people, so we felt we had to do it regardless of the amount of money we would make.

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

Dusan Lukic: (Laughs) Currently worrying about the future and the stories that we have to do. If you’re a publisher for a small market and you go international, one of the things that you have to do is learn to think like the big international publishers do. I know what I’m doing thanks to my education, but still it’s hard. We know our market here and we know our reader, but we don’t exactly know what would be interesting to our readers outside of this country.

And just thinking about the next story, who to get for the next interview and how to promote the magazine. Those are some of things that keep me up at night.

Plus, I like to read, so I read magazines long into the night because I don’t have time during the day. And I read about 50/50 print and digital. Some magazines have to be read in print, architecture magazines or car magazines with great photography. I still prefer to read them in print if possible. Some magazines are really good in digital, so it’s different.

Samir Husni: Thank You.

h1

Scintillating & Addictive – Cosmo Spain Holds Its Own With Its American Sister – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Ana Ureña, Editor-In-Chief, Cosmopolitan Spain

June 23, 2015

“One of the things on one post-it is “create addiction.” And every time I look at content, because my editors will show me and get my opinion or they’ll show me the finished feature; I’ll look at it and ask myself does this piece create addiction or why would someone want to read more? Or would I want to read more next month? So, that’s one of the messages and if the answer is no, it doesn’t create addiction or that it’s boring; we won’t run it. We don’t run things just to run them. It has to have that special spark.” Ana Ureña (on her use of post-it-notes for inspiration)

ana cosmo spain In a series of Mr. Magazine™ Interviews I’ll be speaking with some of the editors, publishers, CEOs of different magazines and magazine media companies overseas. The first of these interviews is with the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan Spain, Ana Ureña. Ana joined the magazine in December 2014 and is an open and entertaining person with firm ideas of how to create and maintain that special spark she believes Cosmopolitan the brand has always had.

Ana’s contention is that Cosmo the brand speaks to all women, from all walks of life and from each and every country of the world. Therefore the content must be translatable to all, from the U.S. to Spain and everything in between and all around.

Our conversation was fun-filled and totally free-spirited, and focused in part on the empowerment of women, something that Ana feels is the most important role Cosmo plays in its audience’s lives. Creating enrichment and positivity with readers using a page-by-page value check is something that she strongly believes in.

Through creativity, such as the Cosmo Pose hashtag promotion she came up with for readers to send in their own Cosmo Power Pose, Ana is bringing fun and vitality to the Spanish arm of the brand.

So, I hope you enjoy this internationally-flavored Mr. Magazine™ interview with a young woman who knows what she wants out of life and is determined to help her readers find their own strength and focus along the way – a conversation with Ana Ureña, Editor-In-Chief, Cosmo Spain.

But first, the sound-bites:

On the difference between Cosmo Spain and its American counterpart: Right now, nothing. (Laughs) No, I’m kidding. I’m a very big fan of the American Cosmo and when I first started at Cosmo in Spain, I did think there was a lot of content that we were missing out on and weren’t using in the same way they were in the American edition. I think that Cosmo as a brand talks to all women, so you could take any content from any Cosmo and it would translate into any country, that’s the beautiful thing about the magazine, because it speaks to all women about women issues and challenges. And it does it in a really fun and happy way.

On using her post-it-note inspiration system:
When you came over a couple of months ago a lot of the things that you said about “common sense” really hit home and I didn’t want to forget what I’d learned, so I thought why not put it on a post-it and put it up on the board where I could see it every day when I went into the office and make those points of interest my own.

Ana_Ureña_ANiv_B On the creation of the hashtag Cosmo Pose:
When I first walked into the offices I started looking at all the Cosmo covers that had been published over the years in many editions, not just the Spanish one. And I noticed that most of the girls on the covers were in a special pose where they had their hands on their hips, either one or both. And I thought wow; almost all of them are doing that on every cover. I didn’t know why, but I thought it was a fun and interesting concept.

On her newspaper background and whether she has found any difference between newspapers and magazines:
Well, the only difference is in newspapers we used to do everything more quickly. (Laughs) The magazine is a monthly so we have more time to think about things. But I think the approach for me is still the same because you still have to think of interesting stories to tell and stories you think the readers are going to want to read and that’s going to enrich their lives.

On the balance between Cosmo Spain’s digital and print presence: I’ve always had Twitter and that’s always been there, that hasn’t changed. So, when I was at the newspaper, I used to Tweet every day about what I was thinking, which was always so interesting. (Laughs) But I have never stopped using Twitter.

On the major stumbling block she’s had to face:
The biggest challenge for me has been the lack of time because you never have enough time to finish everything you have to do. When I was working for the newspaper I was working from home because I was freelancing. I could work at 2:00 a.m. in my pajamas, no problem, but here I have to be in the office and I can’t be in the office in my pajamas at 2:00 a.m. because people would think that I’m a crazy lady, so I have to get things done within the work hours.

On her most pleasant moment:
My most pleasant moment has definitely been interacting with the readers because they reach out and that’s never happened before. I can tell that they’re reading the magazine; I can tell that they’re reading the website or whatever aspect of Cosmo they’re interested in.

On whether or not the magazine would be transformed into herself if she struck it with a magic wand:
No, it would definitely be the whole team. One of the issues that I have personally with magazines is it’s not good if the magazine becomes the editor. The magazine has to be a magazine, it’s the brand. And the brand is Cosmo, it’s definitely not me. But if course I bring a little bit of me to the magazine, but there’s a little bit of me, a little bit of the art director, of the features editor; a little bit of all of us. And that’s what makes it Cosmo.

On what keeps her up at night:
I’m usually a really good sleeper. I’m usually so tired by the end of the day that I just knockout and go to sleep. Maybe the problems of the world bother me, but definitely not my job because it’s something that I really like and enjoy.

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Ana Ureña, Editor-In-Chief, Cosmopolitan Spain.

Ana_ureña_B Samir Husni: You’re the editor of Cosmopolitan in Madrid, Spain. And you have an American and Spanish background. What would you say is the biggest difference between the American Cosmo and the Spanish Cosmo?

Ana Ureña: Right now, nothing. (Laughs) No, I’m kidding. I’m a very big fan of the American Cosmo and when I first started at Cosmo in Spain, I did think there was a lot of content that we were missing out on and weren’t using in the same way they were in the American edition. I think that Cosmo as a brand talks to all women, so you could take any content from any Cosmo and it would translate into any country, that’s the beautiful thing about the magazine, because it speaks to all women about women issues and challenges. And it does it in a really fun and happy way.

When I first started looking at the Spanish Cosmo, it had lost a little bit of its spark, but I found that the American one was filled with a lot of spark and fun and obviously, it’s about that fun, fearless woman. And I think that’s the DNA of the magazine. So, we’re trying to bring all of that excitement and fun back into the Spanish edition.

Samir Husni: Can you tell me a little bit about your philosophy as an editor? I understand that you use post-it-notes for inspiration?

Ana Ureña: I do. As a matter of fact, when you spoke in Spain few months ago a lot of the things that you said about “common sense” really hit home and I didn’t want to forget what I’d learned, so I thought why not put it on a post-it and put it up on the board where I could see it every day when I went into the office and make those points of interest my own.

One of the things on one post-it is “create addiction.” And every time I look at content, because my editors will show me and get my opinion or they’ll show me the finished feature; I’ll look at it and ask myself does this piece create addiction or why would someone want to read more? Or would I want to read more next month? So, that’s one of the messages and if the answer is no, it doesn’t create addiction or that it’s boring; we won’t run it. We don’t run things just to run them. It has to have that special spark.

Another post-it message is “does it make me feel better?” I always want positive articles in the magazine; I don’t want anything negative or anything that would make the reader feel bad about herself when she sees it or when she reads it.

And I also ask myself would I spend money on this magazine to read its content or can I find it on Google for free? And if the answer is that I can find it on Google for free, we don’t run it because there’s no point. We’re not helping the reader at all.

And the last post-it is “what is the takeaway value for the reader?” Every page has to have takeaway value for our reader. They have to learn something new on every page. Even the contents page, I don’t care, every page has to have something. Maybe a small link to something, or a quote of someone famous or a tip for the day; it just has to have something. The thing about Cosmopolitan, at least for the Spanish edition, is it has two different ways to read it. They can read it very quickly by just reading the titles or the bullet points or they can read it slowly and take in the meat of every article and really enjoy the experience.

Samir Husni: Since you became editor in December 2014, you’ve been introducing even more new and fun things for your audience; for example, I noticed that you have the hashtag Cosmo Pose. Tell me a little bit about that and how you’re putting that into practice.

Ana Ureña: When I first walked into the offices I started looking at all the Cosmo covers that had been published over the years in many editions, not just the Spanish one. And I noticed that most of the girls on the covers were in a special pose where they had their hands on their hips, either one or both. And I thought wow; almost all of them are doing that on every cover. I didn’t know why, but I thought it was a fun and interesting concept.

Then when I was reading a book about body language, there was one pose in the book called the power pose and it was exactly the same as the Cosmo Pose. If you stand with your hands on your hips and you feel powerful, right? The author was saying if you have a job interview, for example, and you’re nervous, go into the bathroom and stand in front of the mirror and do the power pose for a count of 20 and you’ll be able to ace your interview because by doing that pose you’ll begin to feel more powerful.

And I knew that was also the Cosmo Pose and I thought what a great way to empower women; if they practice every morning just doing the Cosmo Pose they will feel better about themselves, which is what Cosmo is all about.

So I started a hashtag called Cosmos Pose and I was encouraging girls to either send us or upload to Instagram or Twitter their Cosmo Poses so we could show the best of our Cosmo communities. I’m hoping people will really get into this and start sending them in because we’re turning 25 this year and we want to do something big with all the Cosmo Poses at the end of the year, like a composite, just something fun.

Samir Husni: My understanding is for the next issue you’re actually giving away a Selfie Stick for someone to use to take their Cosmo Pose?

Ana Ureña: That’s right because sometimes it’s hard to take a selfie of a Cosmo Pose because it’s a very close-up shot and you can’t get your whole body in the picture. But with a Selfie Stick you can actually take a longer distance shot by yourself; you don’t need any help. And you can take the picture and send it to us.

Samir Husni: You came from a newspaper background; how did you make the switch from newspapers to magazines and as a journalist, are you finding any difference between the two?

Ana Ureña: Well, the only difference is in newspapers we used to do everything more quickly. (Laughs) The magazine is a monthly so we have more time to think about things. But I think the approach for me is still the same because you still have to think of interesting stories to tell and stories you think the readers are going to want to read and that’s going to enrich their lives.

When I was in newspapers I used to do a lot of fashion and lifestyle, obviously, but I always used to try and get a human angle to it or something that would pull a reader in. And that’s something that we try to do in Cosmo as well. When we tell a story we always want it to be something with a human side.

Samir Husni: In this digital age where you feel that you have to be in contact with your readers on a second-by-second basis; how are you balancing between your digital presence and your print presence?

Ana Ureña: I’ve always had Twitter and that’s always been there, that hasn’t changed. So, when I was at the newspaper, I used to Tweet every day about what I was thinking, which was always so interesting. (Laughs) But I have never stopped using Twitter. So, the Twitter feed remains a constant and also the Instagram feed.

Samir Husni: What has been the major stumbling block that you’ve had to face since you became editor of Cosmopolitan and how did you overcome it?

Ana Ureña: The biggest challenge for me has been the lack of time because you never have enough time to finish everything you have to do. When I was working for the newspaper I was working from home because I was freelancing. I could work at 2:00 a.m. in my pajamas, no problem, but here I have to be in the office and I can’t be in the office in my pajamas at 2:00 a.m. because people would think that I’m a crazy lady, so I have to get things done within the work hours. And the things that I can take home, I do. But there are some things that I’m still struggling with to get done.

Samir Husni: And what has been your most pleasant moment since you became editor?

Ana Ureña: My most pleasant moment has definitely been interacting with the readers because they reach out and that’s never happened before. I can tell that they’re reading the magazine; I can tell that they’re reading the website or whatever aspect of Cosmo they’re interested in. They ask questions and they reach out to you and that means that someone is out there and someone is listening.

Samir Husni: If I gave you a magic wand that you could strike the magazine with and it would immediately transform itself into a human being, who would that be, Ana?

Ana Ureña: (Laughs) No, it would definitely be the whole team. One of the issues that I have personally with magazines is it’s not good if the magazine becomes the editor. The magazine has to be a magazine, it’s the brand. And the brand is Cosmo, it’s definitely not me. But if course I bring a little bit of me to the magazine, but there’s a little bit of me, a little bit of the art director, of the features editor; a little bit of all of us. And that’s what makes it Cosmo.

Samir Husni: Do you have to be a Cosmo person to work at Cosmo?

Ana Ureña: Definitely. (Laughs) I was a Cosmo girl before I came here. I just realized it.

Samir Husni: What motivates you to get out of bed in the mornings and say it’s going to be a great day?

Ana Ureña: Coffee. (Laughs) Strong coffee.

Samir Husni: (Laughs too) What makes Ana click and tick and gives you that energy from within?

Ana Ureña: I am constantly wondering what’s going to come at me today; the surprise element and I love that. Every day is different.

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

Ana Ureña: (Laughs) I’m usually a really good sleeper. I’m usually so tired by the end of the day that I just knockout and go to sleep. Maybe the problems of the world bother me, but definitely not my job because it’s something that I really like and enjoy.

Samir Husni: Thank you.


And Back In The U.S.A….

Cosmo 1-1Cosmo 2-2Take note of the differences between the two July covers of the American version of Cosmopolitan – one for subscribers and one for the newsstands.

This isn’t the first time a magazine changes the word “sex” that appears on the newsstand edition to the word “fun” or “love” on the subscription cover. Cosmo is taking a page from its sister publication Redbook which used that approach for years a while back.

The newsstands’ cover reads, “WILD SUMMER SEX 8 Surprise Moves From Foreplay to Fireworks!”

The subscribers’cover reads, “WILD SUMMER FUN 8 Surprise Moves for Hotter Date Nights!”

Gone are the SEX, the foreplay and the fireworks.

So my simple question, what gives? You be the judge and let me know what you think…

h1

The Power Of Print: Mr. Magazine™ Monday Morning Special Issue.

June 22, 2015

Mr. Magazine™ Monday Morning 6/22 What do MORE, Vanity Fair, and Forbes have in common? All three magazines have illustrated the power of print in a digital age from three different perspectives.

MORE was able to get the First Lady of The United States of America to edit an issue of the magazine, a first in the history of American magazines and the history of a sitting First Lady.

Vanity Fair
was able to generate enough buzz on social media about the Caitlyn Jenner interview, along with amazing photographs taken by Annie Leibovitz, to create a case study which should be copied time and time again on how to best use digital to promote print in today’s marketplace.

Forbes, on the other hand, shows the power of print via its Brand Voice and how to use that brand voice to promote both the advertisers and the content of the magazine.

All in all this past week has been a great reminder about the power of print and to quote Lesley Jane Seymour, editor in chief of MORE magazine, ““Print is not dead; it’s very much alive and if someone hasn’t gotten that message from the recent ink on paper wonders that we’ve had, then they must have been hiding under a rock.”

To read all three exclusive interviews with the editor in chief of MORE, Lesley Jane Seymour, the publisher of Vanity Fair, Chris Mitchell, and the chief revenue officer of Forbes, Mark Howard, subscribe to my Mr. Magazine™ Monday Morning here, or click here to read this week’s issue, and of course you will also find my musing about the power of print and the death of “PRINT IS DEAD.”

Enjoy your week.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,760 other followers

%d bloggers like this: