Archive for March, 2020


Change Is The Only Constant… Get Ready to ACT (Amplify, Clarify, & Testify)… April 21 to 23, 2020

March 6, 2020

The Magazine Innovation Center’s ACT 10 Experience Connects Future Industry Leaders To Current Industry Leaders…

It’s all about the Experience. From CEOs to editors; publishers to marketers; printers to digital and social media professionals, the ACT 10 Experience will welcome industry leaders to Oxford, Miss. and to the University of Mississippi, School of Journalism and New Media’s Magazine Innovation Center (MIC) on April 21 through April 23, 2020.

Where else but the ACT (Amplify, Clarify, and Testify) Experience can a student of magazines or marketing sit down with the head of a corporation and brainstorm together? It’s truly like no other professional conference.

This year the ACT 10 Experience will focus on the following six topics under its 10th anniversary theme:

 Change Is The Only Constant

  • Transformation of magazines from pure ink on paper entities to multi- magazine media platforms: print, digital, video, audio, events, and social media
  • The future of social and marketing roles of magazines and magazine media
  • The future of paper and printing industries
  • The future of circulation and distribution
  • The future of advertising and marketing
  • The future of magazine launches

The leaders attending are a phenomenal mix (Click here for agenda) of CEOs, publishers, editors, marketers, printers, paper and digital professionals. There are 55 confirmed speakers from around the globe presenting an array of information and ideas that showcase solutions to the challenges the industry faces today. And with the theme: Change Is The Only Constant, the conversations should be lively and provocative ones.

Over the years, the ACT Experiences have had an amazing track record when it comes to the end results after each and every Experience. Contacts have been made for students, jobs and internships procured and industry professionals have admittedly gained new insights and information about what is being done at the Magazine Innovation Center at the School of Journalism and New Media on the campus of the University of Mississippi with the ACT Experiences.

Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, the Magazine Innovation Center’s founder and director, is calling in all the national and international magazine giants available to the summit. This call to arms will address the topical theme: Change Is The Only Constant, in typical magazine fashion: head-on and straight up, the only way to face any elephant in the room.

Bonnie Kintzer, president & CEO, Trusted Media Brands will be there to answer Mr. Magazine’s™ call; Andy Clurman, president & CEO, Active Interest Media will also be in full outdoor battle gear, ready to take on any challenge; Vicci Rose, executive vice president & CRO, Us Weekly, will fly in from the East Coast with all the celebrity power she can bring with her; Daren Mazzucca, senior vice president & group publisher, Meredith Corp. will also come from the East, Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple each sending a big thumbs-up along with him. And speaking of the power of the thumbs (digital), Joe Hyrkin, CEO of issuu, and Karolyn Hart, founder & CEO, InspireHub will also be on hand to share those integrated digits of importance as both print and digital continue to work together to rein in this monumental challenge called “change.”

Also from across the pond, Simon Leslie, CEO & cofounder, Ink, will be hopping over from the U.K. Sanne Groot Koerkamp from The Netherlands will also be there and Sue Holt, director, ITP Consumer, United Arab Emirates was thrilled to be on Mr. Magazine’s™ team, as he was thrilled to have her there.

Then, fellow southerners from Garden & Gun Magazine, Rebecca Wesson Darwin, president & CEO and David Di Benedetto, senior vice president & editor in chief, will be onsite as well, so it may get a bit rowdy! Us Southerners know how to throw a party, whether we’re born down south or transplanted here.

Dan Heffernan, vice president & chief product manager, Advantage CS, will be onboard for the summit and Krifka Steffey, director, Merchandise & Newsstand, Barnes & Noble, definitely wanted to be there, plus the usual suspects, Bo Sacks, president, Precision Media, Tony Silber, president, Long Hill Media, & James G. Elliott, president, James G. Elliott Co. Without the latter three nimble magazine and magazine media cohorts, the ACT Experiences would never go off as smoothly as they do, and that’s also thanks to our official ACT scribe, Linda Ruth, PSCS Consulting.

And of course, those upstart entrepreneurs wouldn’t dare miss a Mr. Magazine™ call: Tyler Nacho, publisher and editor in chief, Kill Pretty Magazine, Andréa Butler, editor in chief, Sesi Magazine, and Doni Ambrosine, editor in chief, Culturs Magazine, Chris Walsh, founder & editor in chief, Fifty Grande Magazine, and John Thames, CEO/publisher, Covey Rise and Bourbon+ Magazines.

“The ACT Experience was created 10 years ago as a think and do forum where our students, the future industry leaders, could connect and interact with the currents industry leaders,” said Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, founder and director, Magazine Innovation Center. “In addition, the Experience showcases what I like to refer to as our 3 M’s: Magazines, Music & Mississippi.”

Space is limited and the registration fee has been underwritten by Quad, our Leadership sponsor. So, ACT today and get registered! Click here to join us!

See You at ACT 10!

April 21 – 23, 2020


Steve Cohn On B. Smith’s Magazine Missing Link… A Mr. Magazine™ Guest Blog

March 3, 2020

My friend Steve Cohn, a legend in the magazine media reporting world, was the editor in chief of MIN: Media Industry Newsletter for more than 30 years. It is rare to find anyone in the magazine media world who does not know Steve or who was not touched by his more-than-positive style of media reporting.  When he retired, he left a void in the world of magazine media reporting, a void, I am quick to add, that has not been filled yet.

So, without any further ado, here is a column by Steve that I am honored and proud to host on the Mr. Magazine™ Blog.

B. Smith Style was a blemish in the late entrepreneur’s remarkable career

By Steve Cohn

After Barbara Smith (1949-2020) passed away on February 22 following a seven-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, her obituaries recapped the remarkable life of a woman who rose from obscurity to becoming a successful model (in 1976, she became the second African-American to be on a Mademoiselle cover) and a successful businesswoman.  By 1999, Smith—who by then had branded her first name as “B.”—owned three restaurants (near Times Square, on Long Island’s East End, and in Washington, D.C.’s Union Station), authored cooking and lifestyle books, had product lines in Bed, Bath and Beyond and La-Z-Boy, and had a syndicated TV show.

Very Martha Stewart-ish (though Stewart has yet to own a restaurant), and in December 1999 Smith further emulated Stewart by launching B. Smith Style with her husband and business manager Dan Gasby.  “It was a lifestyle bimonthly that had the ‘back-office’ financial support [printing, etc.] of Time Inc.,” says University of Mississippi journalism professor Samir Husni, who, as “Mr. Magazine,” has charted launches in his annual Guide to New Magazines since the mid-1980s.

Time Inc. was following the game plan that it established with Martha Stewart with the 1990 launch of Martha Stewart Living.  That, too, was in tandem with Stewart’s TV show to the degree that MSL’s circulation quickly surpassed 2 million. The success emboldened Stewart to end her relationship with Time Inc. in 1997 and form Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (which went public in 1998 and was sold in 2015 when she established a magazine partnership with Meredith Corp.). With Smith being portrayed as “the next Martha,” B. Smith Style seemingly filled a Time Inc. void.

I recall as Media Industry Newsletter (min) editor-in-chief having lunch with Smith and Gasby shortly after the launch, and they were bubbling with optimism.  And why not?  The magazine-media economy was generally buoyant in early-2000 with strong automotive, beauty/fashion and packaged-goods categories augmented by pharmaceutical following the Food & Drug Administration allowing prescription drugs to be advertised in consumer media.

But they never discussed a business plan (circulation forecast, etc.), and that turned out to be a red flag.  I heard nary a word about B. Smith Style after my meeting, and in December 2000 the magazine quietly folded.

Why?  “Lack of advertising,” says Husni.

One would have thought that Time Inc. management would have urged Smith and Gasby to follow Stewart’s role model and hire seasoned professionals on the business side to strengthen advertising, marketing and public relations.  “They had huge egos and would not listen,” say sources familiar with the matter. “Further, the pressure caused by the effects from the disastrous [January 2000] Time Warner merger with AOL probably lessened Time Inc.’s oversight.”

The African-American magazine community has always been known for being very supportive.  Essence (which profiled B. Smith as she was becoming a celebrity) had a kinship with Black Enterprise because both launched in 1970 with help from the Nixon administration’s “Black Capitalism” program. The late Ebony (1945) and Jet (1951) founder John Johnson was the role model for Essence founders Ed Lewis and Clarence Smith and their BE counterpart Earl Graves.

But I was told that Smith and Gasby never sought any outside advice or sale.  “They were arrogant.”

How sad, because B. Smith Style could have made an excellent complement to the women’s beauty-and-lifestyle Essence, which was owned by Time Inc. from 2005 until just prior to the company’s 2018 acquisition by Meredith Corp.

We can only surmise what would have happened to B. Smith Style in the 21st century with digitization and her illness. But given Smith’s talent and fans, the magazine deserved to be a larger part of her legacy.


January & February Welcomes 15 New Titles… The Mr. Magazine™ Launch Monitor

March 2, 2020

We celebrated a New Year and a New decade in January and now February has come and gone and we have 15 wonderful new titles to also celebrate!

Easyriders has been around since 1970 and documents the stories of riders, their machines, and the places they take us. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the newly, relaunched magazine is expanding the brand to include exclusive product collaborations and new insider events. The magazine (now printed in a larger size and with more editorial pages), has changed from monthly to quarterly, but will excite and tantalize the bike lover even more with all those extra editorial pages! Remember the tagline? It’s more than a magazine, it’s a lifestyle!

Founder and Editor in Chief, Chris Walsh, describes Fifty Grande as a biannual that explores the U.S. and does good along the way. The first issue features seasoned writers and new ones alike exploring the main theme of hometowns. This new magazine’s mission is to inspire more people to take advantage of all the incredible places and experiences across the country, connect with its communities and do good along the way. This is a magazine for the fun and adventurous—those who aspire to a life well-lived and see traveling, open-mindedness and new experiences central to that pursuit. Welcome to the world of magazines, Fifty Grande!


From Meredith another successful partnership seems to have been born! The largest and leading media and marketing company, reaching 185 million American consumers every month and nearly 90 percent of U.S. millennial women—and globally recognized lifestyle tastemakers Drew and Jonathan Scott have joined forces to create a new quarterly magazine called Reveal. With its tagline —”It all starts at home”— Reveal will share the twin brothers’ “dream big” philosophy on life, and will infuse ideas and storytelling that inspire personal growth and happiness into every issue with home at the core. Welcome to the fold, Reveal!

Until next time…

See you at the newsstands!!

***And please remember, if Mr. Magazine™ can’t physically hold, touch and purchase the magazine, it does not enter the monthly counts. And counts now include only the titles with a regular frequency that are either new, first-seen on Mr. Magazine’s™ radar, or arriving to the national newsstands for the first time. 


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