The Power and Future of PRINT…Part VII As told by Magazine and Magazine Media Makers…January 7, 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 seventh 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.
97. “We’ve never believed print is dead. We hope to launch in the U.S., as I said, new print magazines every 24 months.” David Carey, President, Hearst Magazines.
98. “First and foremost our print is a very good business all around the world. We have profits that we want to generate for our parent company and we’re good at publishing magazines. And so we believe in them; we have a portfolio of titles. In any given year we’ll have brands like Town & Country and Woman’s Day that are having terrific years and then sometimes you have others that have an off year.” David Carey, President, Hearst Magazines.
99. “The types of content pieces that are created in the magazine, the opportunities that it affords us from an editorial perspective to continue to celebrate the entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial capitalism around the world that the world is increasingly moving to a place where those are the types of people that do tell the stories of business; it gives us access in a way that we would not have with just digital.” Mark Howard, Chief Revenue Officer, Forbes magazine.
100. “How it all worked out was we were seeing so many dynamic people and so many amazing creations and these great efforts in curation and sharing, but we thought, it’s still not enough. We wanted to propagate it further in a way that was almost sacred to people and we thought that magazines were in that category.” Blake Brinker, Publisher, Creativ magazine.
101. “I get motivated every day when people come up to us and say, creativity is the most important thing we have and you’re putting it into this beautiful print publication that I can get on a monthly or bimonthly basis. Just wow; what you’re doing is so inspiring and the world needs this, with the things that are happening in the world today, we need something like this to give people hope and optimism. With all the negativity that we hear every day, this is an incredible amount of positivity showcasing people doing absolutely amazing things.” Brad Thomas, Editor-in-Chief, Creativ magazine.
102. “The industry has gone through some peaks and valleys. I can remember when some of the people, where I serve on the board; some of the people there would say well, print is dead. We have to shift to digital; we have to get out because of postage and paper and all of these kinds of things. We don’t have to do that anymore. People understand that there is a very valuable role for print. And people like the tactile feel. In my view, print is never going to go away. It’s never going to go away.” John Temple, President & CEO, Guideposts.
103. “The print magazine was the foundation by which we brought the brand back, so even the savviest digital people on our team know how important the print vehicle is. No, I don’t think we could have brought it back without print; I mean that’s what people knew and loved and adored. And frankly, people don’t necessarily know that we’re back online, but they know that we’re back in print.” Beth Fuchs Brenner, Chief Revenue Officer, Domino Media Group.
104. “Growing up, I always had a knack for physical things and I was never that great when it came to technology, so for me the printed product was a natural choice when I chose to make the magazine. For a magazine that’s mission is to ignite the renaissance of this area of the world; I don’t think digital-only can achieve that; people need to feel the tangible aspect of things.” Ibrahim Nehme, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, The Outpost magazine.
105. “I know that magazines have always been and continue to be a really rare and wonderful thing. I think, especially with a magazine like ours, it is a uniquely, immersive experience. It’s such a pleasure to have this beautifully curated collection of stories, ideas, sometimes quizzes, exercises; things that have been put together to challenge readers and to lift them up and get them to see their own life in a new way.” Lucy Kaylin, Editor-in-Chief, O, The Oprah Magazine.
106. “I suppose it could, simply because there are so many other ways to express one’s ideas. There are obviously so many formats and platforms out there today. But I wouldn’t love that; I wouldn’t think that would be a positive thing. O, as a print publication is incredibly special and it’s lush and beautiful and it’s tactile and something that is very well-enjoyed in bed, in a hammock, on the couch or in the tub. The physical nature of it is one of the very special things about it.” (on whether the magazine could exist without the print component), Lucy Kaylin, Editor-in-Chief, O, The Oprah Magazine.
107. “I still feel like the magazines are a core part of people being in that community and we know from our own data that our magazine subscribers are the most loyal buyers when it comes to art e-commerce store. Those people are very committed to following the pursuit of their art and they look to us to provide instruction in a lot of different formats. I would say the magazines are still a core part of the communities, whether they are Watercolor Artist or Acrylic Artist or somebody who likes to draw.” Jamie Markle, Group Publisher, Acrylic Artist magazine.
108. “Despite the fact that some people may be saying, oh, print is dead or it’s challenged, it’s encouraging to me that as a corporation, we understand our customers’ needs, this magazine is something they want, they want a print product. Our results are double what we expected.” Patty Craft, Community Leader & Content Creator/Editor, Acrylic Artist magazine.
109. “I think the future is incredibly bright for print and I think that if you just look at what we’ve been doing at Hearst, which is Food Network and HGTV as partners, you can also see Esquire and Elle partnering on cross-content things. Diversity is key. We have a very diverse portfolio at this company. I think the successful print publishers are going to be the ones who are innovative, but whether it’s print, digital or TV, everything is really all about content and that’s what print does so well.” Dan Fuchs, Publisher & Chief Revenue Officer, HGTV magazine.
110. “I think that every major publisher would tell you that the newsstand is a major factor in launching a publication. So they need it there for that. It may certainly be smaller and carry less titles, but for the major publishers launching new titles it will remain necessary to maintain it in some way.” John Harrington, editor-in-Chief, The New Single Copy.
111. “I’m such a firm believer in print. I think one big mistake magazines make is they start looking to cut corners and they denigrate the actual physical print product and in this case Modern Farmer is a luxury item with a high cover price and the actual object looks and feels luxurious. And at the end of the day, the print is the legitimizer of everything that flows from it. Yes, we have a great website; we have a fantastic digital director running it and we’re all over social media, but the print is the true legitimizer and the hub from which everything else flows. And there’s just no substitute for sitting down with a magazine and a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, whatever your poison is, and flipping through it.” Sarah Gray Miller, Editor-in-Chief, Modern Farmer magazine.
112. “I think the brands are strong. As a long-time editor, I am very much attached to print. But I would say that my title over the past couple of years hasn’t been editorial director; it’s really been brand manager. I’m a brand steward and it’s about the brand. And I can see that in certain areas maybe print would provide better and in other areas maybe a digital-only aspect of that brand would exist.” (on whether the many brands could exist without a print component), Kim St. Clair Bodden, Senior Vice President/Editorial Director, Hearst Magazines International.
Stay tuned for Part VIII of the Mr. Magazine™ “Quotable” Retrospective…