The Power and Future of PRINT…Part IV As told by Magazine and Magazine Media Makers…January 4, 2016
A Mr. Magazine™ “Quotable” Retrospective…
I have been a firm believer in print and its power even when many doubted its future and even its role in today’s media world. I have been quoted as saying, “As long as we have human beings, we will have print.” And that quote stands firm and true as we enter into a brand New Year.
Of course, I’m not oblivious to the fact that we live in a digital age…just check the many devices you and I are using on a daily basis, even the platform that you’re reading this on now as we connect. Yet that did not deter my belief in the role and future of print. Nor, will it ever.
However, as an academic and a professor of journalism, I’d rather share with you what others from the field say about the future and the role of print in today’s media world and tomorrow’s; that way it isn’t just my word you’re hearing and reading. Never would I yearn to be lumped in with others who pontificate to high heaven with their opinions and speculations for the condition of magazines and magazine media; be it print or digital or any other platform that may arise before I can finish writing this. The blah-blah-blah disease spreads pretty fast on its own, without any help from Mr. Magazine™
And so without any further ado, here is the fourth installment of the 136 quotes (in random order) that Mr. Magazine™ has accumulated over the last two years through the wonderfully informative conversations I have had with the game changers and the passionate entrepreneurs in the magazine industry.
49. “But the reality is, to actually create a beautiful, curated, well-edited printed magazine; it’s not an easy process. And when we really looked at the space and thought about who our reader and customer was and what she’s really interested in right then, which is having some me-time, we felt the reader was looking for a publication where she could actually turn off her phone or the TV and have an appointed reading time with a tangible product that she can hold in her hands and go through page by page.” Danny Seo, Naturally Danny Seo magazine.
50. “The biggest challenge, and it’s a daily one, is to listen to the readers. You know, I put my personal email address in Reminisce and Reader’s Digest. I read every consumer letter and I respond to every one of them. That engagement with the audience is so very important.” Liz Vaccariello, Editor-in-Chief, Reader’s Digest magazine.
51. “I’m a firm believer in print; I love print and my kids love print. My eight-year-old daughter asked for magazines on her Christmas list, which I think is a good sign. But I think every media finds its place in our lives.” Maria Rodale, CEO & Chairman, Rodale Inc.
52. “We’re having our biggest print magazine readership in our 97-year history right now. You just have to listen to your readers and understand the medium that you’re working in and not try to make it something it doesn’t want to be. If you try to make a magazine like a website, it’ll be a bad magazine.” Randall Lane, Editor-in-Chief, Forbes magazine.
53. “In fact, our new magazines plus digital, now account for 32% of the profits of our U.S. companies. These are businesses that 5 years ago either did not exist or were in a loss position.” David Carey, President, Hearst Magazines.
54. “We believe print is a really unique way to experience content and a really unique way to engage with our readers. The tactile quality of the paper that we’re producing the magazine on, the photography; all of it, really comes to life on paper in a way you can’t necessarily get on a digital screen.” Christopher Lukezic, Publisher, Pineapple magazine.
55. “We keep hearing: print is dead, print is dead. Well, no, print is not dead. What’s happening is it’s shifting and the people who are on the internet, it’s in their best interests to promote the internet over print and they’re saying it as loud as they can.” Buzz Kanter, Publisher, TAM Communications.
56. “I love print magazines and I will never give up the fight or the belief that I have in their value. I was just at the beach with my family and everyone that I saw there had a print magazine. I mean, you just don’t read on an iPad when you’re at the beach.” Ryan Waterfield, Co-founder & Editor-in-Chief, Big Life magazine.
57. “Our particular niche, which is inflight magazines, bucks trends because more and more people are traveling each year, so in fact, where you might have a decline in newsstand titles, we’re actually getting more readers.” Michael Keating, CEO & Co-founder, INK Global.
58. “When I deal with the Internet, I don’t feel there’s a sense of accomplishment necessarily or permanence with it; it’s so fleeting. And I wonder if that’s something that my generation is responding to, in terms of something tangible. When I finish reading a book or a magazine; I can look at it and say, I finished that, rather than just moving on to the next click or page.” Seth Putnam, Editorial Director, Collective Quarterly magazine.
59. “We had a very successful website, but we felt that the engagement with the material was superficial. People were only spending a few minutes, even less than a minute, on an article and not really thinking deeply about the topics we were raising.” Sam Hine, Publisher, Plough Quarterly magazine.
60. “The magazine is an outlet. We all need something to inspire us and if it’s going to inspire other people, so much the better. I get emails from people telling me they cry when they look through the magazine or they tense up. And when I read that I say, wow, it’s not just me. There are other people who appreciate what I’m doing.” Jimon Aframian, Editor-in-Chief, Jimon magazine.
61. “Now that digital media are around, print hasn’t disappeared, but it has changed. And it’ll continue to change and I would expect it to. It would probably be very boring living on this planet if things didn’t change.” Mariette DiChristina, Editor-in-Chief & Senior Vice President, Scientific American magazine.
62. “We may change the (publishing) model in different ways; we may become more sophisticated about printing and delivering content by zip code or by ways in which our readers define themselves, but I think that there’s still a robust market for print having had such a long tradition of creating content.” Norman Pearlstine, Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer, Time Inc.
63. “I do believe there will continue to be an audience for a printed product who will be willing to pay for that delivery system.” Norman Pearlstine, Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer, Time Inc.
64. “Having to figure out how to make a story a compelling one, but where a desire for fairness really forces you to understand what people do; why they do it, and to really seek out that kind of balance, I think doesn’t come automatically. And that’s one of the things that I always worry about.” Norman Pearlstine, Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer, Time Inc.
Stay tuned for Part V of the Mr. Magazine™ “Quotable” Retrospective…