Archive for the ‘New Launches’ Category

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The Magnolia Journal: 2017 Magazine Launch Of The Year…

February 9, 2018

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 06: Doug Olson, president, Meredith Magazines accepting The Launch of the Year Award from Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni at the American Magazine Media Conference 2018 on February 6 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for The Association of Magazine Media)

And The Winner Is…

The Magnolia Journal took top honors at the American Magazine Media Conference in NYC on February 6 for the 2017 Launch of the Year award. Yours truly and the MPA: The Association of Magazine Media presented the award to the Meredith title. From a field of 212 new magazines launched with a regular frequency between Oct. 2016 and Dec. 2017, we selected 20, and then we carefully brought that 20 down to 10 finalists for the top honor of 2017 Launch of the Year. We are all pleased to see Meredith and The Magnolia Journal receive this award.

Why The Magnolia Journal you may ask? Well for one, the magazine will launch its spring issue on February 13th with a 1.2 million rate base. And as I told the press:

“It’s been a long time since a magazine has generated as much buzz in the marketplace as The Magnolia Journal has. The connectivity of the content and the design made and continues to make this magazine fly off the shelves. Under the leadership of editor in chief Joanna Gaines, this print product creates a very interactive experience for readers. “All in all, The Magnolia Journal burst onto the scene, and in less than a year, floated to the top, deserving the Launch of the Year award–an honor well-deserved.”

I asked Doug Olson, president of Meredith Magazines, his thoughts about this award. Here’s what he had to say:

And here’s a quick reminder on who were the top 10 finalist:

Looking forward to the 2018 Launch of the Year… Keep those new magazines coming.

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January Brought Us 19 New Titles For The New Year & Some Very Honorable Mentions…

January 31, 2018

When wintry winds blow fierce and cold, what’s a person to do? Why, curl up with a good magazine, of course. And January certainly brought us an exceptional array to choose from. Magazines who discovered the print life after being digital only, like “Dun” magazine, and companies like Away luggage that there is life “Here” as you travel there.

Also there were “Bursts of Color” for the New Year, and “Gin” for those of us who needed a little warming from the inside-out. From the “Hungry Girl, ” Lisa Lillien’s own kitchen filled with recipes and advice, to “Kitchen Toke,” where one could spend the first long winter month of the year learning how to cook with cannabis; these new batch of titles January cooked up were deliciously diverse.

And for those who love the world of watches, and how things such as collectible cars, architecture, travel and style revolve around the face of “time” like a second hand, there’s a new title from Hodinkee, the website that has become one of the most articulate voices in the industry, called – you guessed it – “Hodinkee.” The premier launch also includes 500 limited editions copies with a special black matte cover. (As shown below)

And two honorable mentions, “Reputation”, a magazine in two volumes for the ultimate Taylor Swift fan, and “Paul Ryan,” an unofficial title all about, who else, Paul Ryan, follow our January list. And while not frequency titles, these deserve to be highlighted because the power of the printed word and the dynamic effectiveness of a magazine’s cover spans the spectrum from celebrity-hood to politics (unofficial though that political title may be).

So, enjoy these great new magazines that gave us hours of reading pleasure during the cold days of January, and will continue to entertain us for many months to come.

See you soon for a Fabulous February!

******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 or arriving to the national newsstands for the first time.

And now our “Honorable Mentions”

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Hottest Magazine Launches Of The Year: Announcing The 10 Finalist…

January 24, 2018

As long as we have new magazines, hope springs eternal for the magazine media industry. There is no better indicator about the industry than the continued faith in the medium through the launch of new magazines.

It is once again time to honor and celebrate those new titles that were born this past year. This time “The Launch of the Year” is being selected from all of the new magazines that were started from October 2016 (the cutoff date for the previous magazine of the year event that was hosted by Mr. Magazine™ and min) through December 2017. Beginning in 2018, we will be following the calendar year, with magazines launched between January 2018 and December 2018.

To honor and celebrate those new magazines, Mr. Magazine™ and MPA: The Association of Magazine Media will come together to pay tribute to “The Launch of the Year” during the American Magazine Media Conference in New York City on February 6.

By the end of December 2017 a total of 212 new magazine titles arrived on the scene with the intent to publish on a regular frequency, and you can add to that another 600+ bookazines and specials that are not included in this selection. You can view all the new titles at the Mr. Magazine™ Launch Monitor here.

The criteria for the selection process is as follows:

• We must have actual physical copies of them.

• The number one criteria point is the audience’s reaction to that magazine. How did the overall marketplace react and how did its intended audience respond to it? And just as important; how did the industry behave toward it? These questions are the first thing I ask upon selection of “The Launch of the Year.”

• Major industry leaders’ launching new print magazines certainly is something that must be recognized because it speaks of the power of the medium. These people aren’t in the business of wasting dollars on something that has no value. In the past there have been new offerings from publishing giants such as Hearst, Condé Nast, Meredith and the southern-born Hoffman Media. For companies as distinguished and successful as these to create and bring new titles into this digital world signifies the good health and power of print.

• And then there are the entrepreneurs, with their vision and determination to launch their magazine no matter the cost to their wallets and their emotions; they are no less amazing. Some of the best titles we’ve seen in a long time have been from relatively unknown publishers who are not without experience, just without the stolid names that audiences know so well.

• The criteria for selection is based on factors that include creativity and audience reaction first and foremost, and then industry trends and as always, those rogue wildcards out there that just won’t be denied and seem to make some of the best magazines around.

• Also, something has to grab our attention to be selected as “The Launch of the Year,” based on the comparative analysis.

Based on that criteria we were able to bring the nominations down from 212 to 20 titles and now to 10 titles that will compete for “The Launch of the Year.” The winner will be announced during the American Magazine Media Conference that will take place Feb. 6 in New York City.

This is an exciting time in the world of magazines and magazine media; print is indeed the new new media, the possibilities are endless! And so, without further ado, Mr. Magazine™ gives you the 10 remaining nominees:

Airbnb Magazine
Airbnb Magazine – published by Hearst Magazines, 300 W. 57th Street, New York, New York. 10019 https://airbnbmag.com

Airbnbmag is an example of a travel-destination website taking a leap into print to further humanize their digital brand. With tantalizing art and content of exotic, domestic and international escapes to complement, this magazine makes taking a vacation more of a unique experience than your budget or schedule might allow.

Alta
Alta – published by Journal of Alta California, 765 Market St., Suite 34-D, San Francisco, Calif. 94103 https://altaonline.com

This William Hearst III magazine (and not a Hearst magazine as he likes to remind everyone) details the different facets of life in California for — you guessed it — Californians. Whether it’s the current political discourse, musicians in the Valley, or a yarn spun of Californians past, this magazine will keep you up-to-date in West Coast trials and tribulations.

Girls’ World Bake it Up!
Bake It Up – published by Bauer Media, 58 West 40th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10018, https://kidstir.com/girls-world-bake/

What little girl doesn’t remember piping dough, mixing flour and topping freshly-baked cookies with sprinkles while listening to Brittney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” in their childhood home? Fast forward 20 years and Girls’ World Bake it Up! is a direct representation of that. This celebrity, food mashup, combines recipes, art projects and other fun activities preteen girls will drop their cell phones for.

Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street
Milk Street – published by CPK Media LLC, 177 Milk Street, Boston, Mass. 02109, https://www.177milkstreet.com

You may have seen Chris Kimball on late-night TV testing recipes to perfection on America’s Test Kitchen. Since leaving America’s Test Kitchen, he started his own magazine. Milk Street is a cultural cooking oddity that presents the reader with a take on food not yet previously explored. It’s the blending of cultures, ingredients, art and content in a perfect concoction of a magazine.

Goop
Goop – published by Condé Nast, 1 World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007, https://goop.com

Goop is another example of a digital entity discovering print and securing a major partnership between celebrity and publisher. Gwyneth Paltrow serves as editor (and go-to model) for Goop. This chic lifestyle magazine expresses the need for six much-needed distinctions in life: wellness, travel, food, beauty, style and work.

The Golfer’s Journal
The Golfer’s Journal – published by The Golfer’s Journal, 191 Avenida La Pata, San Clemente, Calif. 92673. https://www.golfersjournal.com

There’s more to golf than hitting a small, dimpled ball in, around or near a hole. Golfing is a lifestyle full of luxury and hardships that can only be experienced by those who’ve invested time and money into the sport. Detailed stories, accompanied by beautiful photos teeming with green, will satiate your golfing mind into a clear escape to the fairway.

The Magnolia Journal
The Magnolia Journal – published by Meredith, 1716 Locust St., Des Moines, IA 50309-3023. https://magnoliamarket.com/journal/

Chip and Joanna Gaines have won the hearts of many television viewers with their shiplap and all-white interior lifestyles, and now they’re winning the hearts of readers, too. Magnolia Journal is yet another example of a brand taking print form and taking the newsstand by storm. You’ll find stunning centerpiece designs, interior makeovers, farm-friendly recipes and even a sighting of the four Gaines’ children in each issue.

The National
The National – published by Ink, 1375 Spring St., Atlanta, Ga. 30309, http://www.amtrakthenational.com

Airline magazines can be read in-flight, but can this new railroad magazine be read in-rail? Of course it can — and anywhere else for that matter. This anecdotal publication was born from the heart, mind and soul of America’s railways and features content along each and every potential stop. If you have a minute to spare, climb aboard The National for an unforgettable reading and viewing experience.

The Pioneer Woman
The Pioneer Woman – published by Hearst Magazines, 300 W. 57th St., New York, New York, 10019, http://thepioneerwoman.com

Ree Drummond is a mainstay on morning television screens across the nation. She’s a fan of what most country cooks are, too — real food. Her brand mantra translates into the new Pioneer Woman magazine. You’ll get more hearty recipes, more Oklahoma prairie views and more of hunky husband, Ladd, in this stunning magazine of life on the ranch.

Type
Type – published by Type Magazine, 801 Third St. S., St. Petersburg, Fla. 33701, https://www.typemag.org

Renowned designer Roger Black is back with a vengeance in his new magazine Type. If you’re not hopping on the typography bandwagon, just know you’ll soon be left behind in a cloud of Comic Sans and Papyrus. The magazine displays stunning representations of typography and allows the reader a pairing of applicable content to complement.

Stay tuned for the naming of the top 10 finalist to be announced the third week of January 2018 and looking forward to seeing you at the American Magazine Media Conference in New York City on Feb. 6, 2018. Click here for more information about the AMMC.

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Hungry Girl Magazine: The First New Magazine Of 2018

January 1, 2018

“Lisa Lillien here, also known as Hungry Girl. And since this is the first-ever issue of the Hungry Girl magazine, here’s a little about me!” …And so begins the story of the first magazine launch of 2018.

The new magazine is published by Meredith Corp. publishers of Better Homes & Gardens, The Magnolia Journal, Parents, allrecipes, Martha Stewart Living, Rachael Ray Every Day, and many other titles.

The Hungry Girl was launched as a daily email by Lisa Lillien who writes in the premiere issue, “and due to the popularity of that email (it now reaches over 1.1 million subscribers!), the brand grew. Next, I started writing cookbooks and appearing on TV. And now, with 12 books and tons of TV appearances under my belt, I thought a magazine would be the perfect extension of the Hungry Girl brand.”

Needless to say, Mr. Magazine™ agrees 100% with Ms. Lillien. The Hungry Girl magazine is the perfect extension of the brand. The magazine is now available on the newsstands and sells for $9.99 a copy.

Happy New Magazine Year Y’All…

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The 20 Hottest Magazine Launches Of 2016/2017 — Mr. Magazine™ Teams Up With The MPA: The Association of Magazine Media To Present “The Launch Of The Year” At The American Magazine Media Conference Feb. 6, 2017.

December 26, 2017

As long as we have new magazines, hope springs eternal for the magazine media industry. There is no better indicator about the industry than the continued faith in the medium through the launch of new magazines.

As 2017 winds down and a new year is upon us, it is once again time to honor and celebrate those new titles that were born this past year. This time “The Launch of the Year” is being selected from all of the new magazines that were started from October 2016 (the cutoff date for the previous magazine of the year event that was hosted by Mr. Magazine™ and min) through December 2017. Beginning in 2018, we will be following the calendar year, with magazines launched between January 2018 and December 2018.

To honor and celebrate those new magazines, Mr. Magazine™ and MPA: The Association of Magazine Media will come together to pay tribute to “The Launch of the Year” during the American Magazine Media Conference in New York City on February 6.

So far, we have 201 new magazine titles that arrived on the scene with the intent to publish on a regular frequency, and you can add to that another 600+ bookazines and specials that are not included in this selection. You can view all the new titles at the Mr. Magazine™ Launch Monitor here.

The criteria for the selection process is as follows:

• We must have actual physical copies of them.

• The number one criteria point is the audience’s reaction to that magazine. How did the overall marketplace react and how did its intended audience respond to it? And just as important; how did the industry behave toward it? These questions are the first thing I ask upon selection of “The Launch of the Year.”

• Major industry leaders’ launching new print magazines certainly is something that must be recognized because it speaks of the power of the medium. These people aren’t in the business of wasting dollars on something that has no value. In the past there have been new offerings from publishing giants such as Hearst, Condé Nast, Meredith and the southern-born Hoffman Media. For companies as distinguished and successful as these to create and bring new titles into this digital world signifies the good health and power of print.

• And then there are the entrepreneurs, with their vision and determination to launch their magazine no matter the cost to their wallets and their emotions; they are no less amazing. Some of the best titles we’ve seen in a long time have been from relatively unknown publishers who are not without experience, just without the stolid names that audiences know so well.

• The criteria for selection is based on factors that include creativity and audience reaction first and foremost, and then industry trends and as always, those rogue wildcards out there that just won’t be denied and seem to make some of the best magazines around.

• Also, something has to grab our attention to be selected as “The Launch of the Year,” based on the comparative analysis.

Based on that criteria we were able to bring the nominations down from 201 to 20 titles for “The Launch of the Year.” By the third week of January 2018, we’re going to tighten the nominations and bring the 20 down to 10. During the American Magazine Media Conference we will select “The Launch of the Year” from those remaining 10.

This is an exciting time in the world of magazines and magazine media; and with the New Year upon us, the possibilities are endless! And so, without further ado, Mr. Magazine™ gives you the 20 nominees:

Airbnb Magazine

Airbnbmag is an example of a travel-destination website taking a leap into print to further humanize their digital brand. With tantalizing art and content of exotic, domestic and international escapes to complement, this magazine makes taking a vacation more of a unique experience than your budget or schedule might allow.

Alta

This William Hearst III magazine (and not a Hearst magazine as he likes to remind everyone) details the different facets of life in California for — you guessed it — Californians. Whether it’s the current political discourse, musicians in the Valley, or a yarn spun of Californians past, this magazine will keep you up-to-date in West Coast trials and tribulations.

American Affairs

American Affairs is a quarterly journal that expresses public policy and political thought in a strained era of political tension. What started as a blog by a business analyst has grown into a much-requested magazine full of intellectual political thought from the tech, finance and investment industries.

Girls’ World Bake it Up!

What little girl doesn’t remember piping dough, mixing flour and topping freshly-baked cookies with sprinkles while listening to Brittney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” in their childhood home? Fast forward 20 years and Girls’ World Bake it Up! is a direct representation of that. This celebrity, food mashup, combines recipes, art projects and other fun activities preteen girls will drop their cell phones for.

Broccoli

What once used to be a taboo subject — marijuana — is now a mega million dollar-business endeavor with a cult-like following. It’s only natural that weed magazines should arise from this cultural and social phenomenon, but where’s the specific go-to for women who like to smoke and toke? Or wake and bake? It’s all right here in Broccoli, ladies. Always follow your mom’s advice and eat your vegetables, but treat yourself to your own particular helping of Broccoli.

Carnivore

Hunt. Kill. Clean Eat. is Carnivore’s mantra. This magazine satiates the prehistoric parts of our brain and gives field-to-table a completely different meaning with its survivalist content. From gun and knife preparation to wild game wine pairings, Carnivore has everything you need to know for your off-the-grid excursions.

Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

You may have seen Chris Kimball on late-night TV testing recipes to perfection on America’s Test Kitchen. Since leaving America’s Test Kitchen, he started his own magazine. Milk Street is a cultural cooking oddity that presents the reader with a take on food not yet previously explored. It’s the blending of cultures, ingredients, art and content in a perfect concoction of a magazine.

Cuba Trade

This interesting concept proves magazines are direct reflectors of our societies. Without the loosening of restrictions for trade and travel between the U.S. and Cuba, this magazine would’ve never been possible. Cuba Trade explores the inner workings of Cuba, both sociocultural and political, to show what news channels have been denied access to for years.

Goop

Goop is another example of a digital entity discovering print and securing a major partnership between celebrity and publisher. Gwyneth Paltrow serves as editor (and go-to model) for Goop. This chic lifestyle magazine expresses the need for six much-needed distinctions in life: wellness, travel, food, beauty, style and work.

Nail

Nail’s sharp wit scratches the surface of a day-in-the-life of a creative in mainstream America. Nail acknowledges that in the midst of your creative juju, there are external forces at play trying to bring you down, like the current political climate. Part comic book and part magazine, Nail gives the reader a visceral experience into the lives of creatives today.

National Geographic Science

National Geographic has its geography and history covered, now it’s time for its brand new Science to blow your mind. This sub brand follows in its grand magazine’s footsteps with stunning photography and a walk on the scientific wild side. They’re also taking on a new trend in magazine media with high cover prices and limited advertising.

Okra

Okra is a southern culture magazine documenting the lives of real, backroads, backwoods, southerners through the lens of a photographer. This Mississippi-based magazine outlines the handmade goods, food and liquor that keep the South running in more ways than one. For the real, all-encompassing southern experience, take a bite of Okra.

Ranger Rick Cub

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, there are two loves in life: babies and animals. Ranger Rick Cub readers are subscribing to the magazine before they even learn to read, but that doesn’t stop the unique storytelling experience in the magazine. Beaming with colorful photos of real and cartoon animals and large, bold typography, Ranger Rick Cub will soon be your newborn’s favorite magazine.

ROVA

Digital nomads look no further. ROVA is your go-to magazine for tricks and travel tips while burning the blacktop in your newly-acquired RV. No matter which directional route you’re taking, ROVA is prepared to give you the best hints at an enjoyable travel experience. ROVA will help you say you’ve been everywhere, man.

The Golfer’s Journal

There’s more to golf than hitting a small, dimpled ball in, around or near a hole. Golfing is a lifestyle full of luxury and hardships that can only be experienced by those who’ve invested time and money into the sport. Detailed stories, accompanied by beautiful photos teeming with green, will satiate your golfing mind into a clear escape to the fairway.

The Magnolia Journal

Chip and Joanna Gaines have won the hearts of many television viewers with their shiplap and all-white interior lifestyles, and now they’re winning the hearts of readers, too. Magnolia Journal is yet another example of a brand taking print form and taking the newsstand by storm. You’ll find stunning centerpiece designs, interior makeovers, farm-friendly recipes and even a sighting of the four Gaines’ children in each issue.

The National

Airline magazines can be read in-flight, but can this new railroad magazine be read in-rail? Of course it can — and anywhere else for that matter. This anecdotal publication was born from the heart, mind and soul of America’s railways and features content along each and every potential stop. If you have a minute to spare, climb aboard The National for an unforgettable reading and viewing experience.

The Pioneer Woman

Ree Drummond is a mainstay on morning television screens across the nation. She’s a fan of what most country cooks are, too — real food. Her brand mantra translates into the new Pioneer Woman magazine. You’ll get more hearty recipes, more Oklahoma prairie views and more of hunky husband, Ladd, in this stunning magazine of life on the ranch.

Type

Renowned designer Roger Black is back with a vengeance in his new magazine Type. If you’re not hopping on the typography bandwagon, just know you’ll soon be left behind in a cloud of Comic Sans and Papyrus. The magazine displays stunning representations of typography and allows the reader a pairing of applicable content to complement.

Woolly

The folks at Casper Mattress know the key to a good night’s sleep is not only a premium mattress, but a premium magazine. This unconventional magazine accurately matches quirky content to their mattress-buying audience as a branded supplement. Instead of counting sheep at bedtime, count the days until the next issue of Woolly comes around.

Stay tuned for the naming of the top 10 finalist to be announced the third week of January 2018 and looking forward to seeing you at the American Magazine Media Conference in New York City on Feb. 6, 2018. Click here for more information about the AMMC.

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Venture South Magazine: Connecting The Dots Regionally For People Passionate About Hometown Destinations And All That Goes With It – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Jason Niblett, Co-Founder & Publisher…

September 21, 2017

A Mr. Magazine™ Launch Story…

“There was such a desire for something like Venture South in Laurel (Miss.). There are so many dynamic things happening here right now. We have the HGTV series, “Home Town,” that’s filming its second season. And last year we had the Matthew McConaughey movie, “Free State of Jones,” which is about our county. Once we announced the magazine, it has just been insanely popular. It’s crazy.” Jason Niblett…

It’s always uplifting to Mr. Magazine™ to find that the entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and well in this country, especially when it comes to the magazine business. Venture South Magazine is a hometown publication, but with large regional possibilities. And one of its co-founders and publisher, is not oblivious to that fact. He sees the potential of this magazine reaching far beyond the city limits of Laurel, Miss.

Jason Niblett is a University of Mississippi graduate and a newspaper man that has stepped off the broadsheet and onto the slick and glossy pages of a monthly magazine. And he is ready to move it as far as possible into the marketplace.

I spoke with Jason recently and we talked about this hometown endeavor that has suddenly found itself with a noticeable popularity and readership. And no one could be happier about it than its publisher. Having planned to offer it free to the public, depending on advertisements for its survival, Jason and his two other partners in the magazine, were shocked when they found themselves with about 200 subscriptions before the first issue even came off the presses. But that kind of shock is a good thing to new magazine publishers and owners.

So, grab your glass of sweet tea and come along with Mr. Magazine™ as we “Venture South” and learn about the spirit of one entrepreneur that just won’t be denied, the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Jason Niblett, co-founder & publisher, Venture South Magazine.

But first the sound-bites:

On the genesis of Venture South: I’ve been working for newspapers for many years. And of course, with the newspapers we’ve always had the newspaper-style magazine that we were required to do. I’ve always done social and lifestyle magazines, and I’ve had this concept in the back of my mind for a long time; something for everyday, normal people, not all about the million dollar houses, the gardens, huge swimming pools, but a magazine that everyone could use. From girls’ night out, to family weekends; things like that.

On whether he believes people think he has lost his mind for starting a print magazine in a digital age: (Laughs) Probably so. But there was such a desire for something like Venture South in Laurel. There are so many dynamic things happening here right now. We have the HGTV series, “Home Town,” that’s filming its second season. And last year we had the Matthew McConaughey movie, “Free State of Jones,” which is about our county.

On how he is taking what he learned from his newspaper career and applying it to his new magazine business: Definitely market research and demographic information that I’ve learned over the years at the newspaper. We have beautiful lifestyle magazines already, and we did not want to be a lifestyle magazine. There’s a huge audience in Mississippi that’s just normal, everyday people; the nurses, teachers, office personnel; those are the normal people in Mississippi. Of course, there’s the upper class echelon, but that audience isn’t huge, especially in our area. And so, you definitely have to learn how to target your audience.

On whether he has any plans to “venture further south” than his own city limits: Absolutely. We had a name that I’d had in the back of my head for five or six years, and once the three of us starting meeting, we were all leaning toward that name and going in that direction. Then suddenly, we had an epiphany and decided that wasn’t what we needed to name the magazine. We knew that we needed to go in a different direction where we could expand into New Orleans, Mobile, or Pensacola, or wherever. There is potential to do just that, explore and expand more regionally.

On the first conversation he had right after the first issue came out: One of my former high school teachers emailed me and she was just telling me how wonderful the magazine was. She loved the content and the direction and ideas. And she lives in Mendenhall, Miss. She started sharing it around, and that’s why we see the potential for a more regional publication, because once she started pushing it toward the city she lives in, and her friends and family in surrounding areas, and even her hometown of Natchez, Miss., we began to receive requests for subscriptions and we had planned to be just a free distribution-type magazine.

On any advice he would offer students should he ever speak to a class: Keep an open mind. When I was at the University of Mississippi, I was majoring in broadcast journalism. I went to NewsWatch 12 and the SMC (Student Media Center). I didn’t pay too much attention to the Daily Mississippian or to the yearbook, because I wanted to be on TV. I did that for about six months after I left Ole Miss, and I hated it. I ended up in newspapers.

On the advice he would give his newspaper colleagues about their own magazines: A problem that we had at our operation was not to make it a glorified people section of the newspaper. You have your daily, weekly, or biweekly newspaper, or whatever frequency you have, for that people section. Your magazine needs to be something nicer, with exceptional features, photography, and design. Don’t skimp on your freelancers, and if you don’t have the skills to design it yourself, hire a good graphic artist, because there are so many magazines in Mississippi that look like nothing but glossy, people sections.

On what he would have tattooed upon his brain that would be there forever and no one could ever forget about him: That I always tried to be a big community proponent; family first, work second, but if you enjoy your job, you don’t really have to work. (Laughs)

On what someone would find him doing if they showed up unexpectedly one evening at his home: Definitely playing with the dogs. And I do love to cook; I joined one of those meal delivery services to try different things, and we’ve been doing that for about a year now. We get this cardboard box every week and sometimes the food is great and sometimes it’s not, but we’re always trying it. We love to travel to the Coast a lot, even if it’s just to walk on the beach or grab something good to eat. Here lately, we’ve been reading a lot of magazines and reading industry publications.

On what keeps him up at night: It’s definitely advertising, even though we broke even. It’s one of those things that you have to trust in God, because yesterday was a horrible advertising day and we’re going to press very soon. And then that afternoon late, bam, bam, bam; we booked several ads. So, I try to just have faith, because this is definitely a God-thing when I talk about divine intervention for the timing and everything. It’s all going to be okay. Even when I get stressed out, I know that it’s going to be okay. So, I try not to let that keep me up at night. (Laughs)

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Jason Niblett, co-founder & publisher, Venture South Magazine.

Samir Husni: Tell me about the genesis of Venture South magazine.

Jason Niblett: I’ve been working for newspapers for many years. And of course, with the newspapers we’ve always had the newspaper-style magazine that we were required to do. I’ve always done social and lifestyle magazines, and I’ve had this concept in the back of my mind for a long time; something for everyday, normal people, not all about the million dollar houses, the gardens, huge swimming pools, but a magazine that everyone could use. From girls’ night out, to family weekends; things like that.

That was in the spring. I was working for a newspaper corporation in Laurel, Miss. And in Laurel, there were two newspapers, which it was a struggle for both newspapers to make it. And I knew that our newspaper was probably in trouble, but I thought that they would get rid of me and put the newspaper operation under a neighboring operation in Hattiesburg. So, we were all surprised when the paper closed completely in June.

In the spring, we had moved our office across town to a place that was a little bit cheaper, and about a week later, I got an email that my salary had been cut drastically. So, I knew that it was time for me to figure out what I was going to do next. I had been laid off from three different newspapers throughout my career and I’m only 38 years old. That’s a lot of layoffs for someone my age.

So basically, me and two of my friends decided that it was time to pull the trigger and do our own thing. So we started meeting that spring, after I received that email about the salary cut, and I had planned on sometime this fall, maybe winter, quitting my job to do this magazine. Then I find out my last day to work would be July 14, because we were being laid off and the paper closed.

So, everything accelerated, but honestly it was perfect timing, and definitely some divine intervention, because right after we started selling advertising, we had our media kits ready, but we didn’t have our premier edition to show everybody, we started hearing that there were two other groups, one an individual and one a corporation, looking at Laurel for starting a magazine. And so we knew we had to get ours out. Thankfully, we were able to break even for the first one, which was wonderful. But we had to get it out to stave off any victims of the competition.

Samir Husni: After seeing what’s happening with newspapers, and after being laid off three different times, do you still believe in ink on paper? Why are you starting a print magazine in this digital age; do people think you have you lost your mind?

Jason Niblett: (Laughs) Probably so. But there was such a desire for something like Venture South in Laurel. There are so many dynamic things happening here right now. We have the HGTV series, “Home Town,” that’s filming its second season. And last year we had the Matthew McConaughey movie, “Free State of Jones,” which is about our county.

And once it was announced that the paper was closing, my own phone and the office phone rang constantly for the next few weeks with people telling me that I had to do something. And of course, while I was still at the office, I was very professional in closing down that operation the way that it needed to be. Once we announced the magazine, it has just been insanely popular. It’s crazy. (Laughs)

Samir Husni: We’re seeing a lot of new magazines appearing, and as you mentioned earlier, almost every newspaper in Mississippi has its own magazine, or two or three. I remember in one of my seminars at the Mississippi Press Association, I challenged the newspaper people to follow more of a magazine style on a daily or weekly basis, because the problem is not with the ink on paper, it’s with what you put on that ink on paper. How are you taking what you learned from your newspaper career and offering it now on a monthly platform to your audience?

Jason Niblett: Definitely market research and demographic information that I’ve learned over the years at the newspaper. We have beautiful lifestyle magazines already, and we did not want to be a lifestyle magazine. There’s a huge audience in Mississippi that’s just normal, everyday people; the nurses, teachers, office personnel; those are the normal people in Mississippi. Of course, there’s the upper class echelon, but that audience isn’t huge, especially in our area. And so, you definitely have to learn how to target your audience.

Samir Husni: You mentioned that you broke even with the first issue, which is rare in our business. If you wanted to use your crystal ball for a minute; what does the future hold for Venture South? And also, with a name like Venture South, do you plan on going beyond the city limits, maybe down toward the Gulf Coast?

Jason Niblett: Absolutely. We had a name that I’d had in the back of my head for five or six years, and once the three of us starting meeting, we were all leaning toward that name and going in that direction. Then suddenly, we had an epiphany and decided that wasn’t what we needed to name the magazine. We knew that we needed to go in a different direction where we could expand into New Orleans, Mobile, or Pensacola, or wherever. There is potential to do just that, explore and expand more regionally.

Samir Husni: When you mention the “three” of you, who are you referring to?

Jason Niblett: Lacey Slay, our editor and designer, and Kevin Dearmon, who handles advertising, are the other two owners. And Lacey and Kevin both hold down full-time jobs in addition to the magazine. I’m the only full-time person.

Samir Husni: What was the first phone call or conversation you had after the magazine was distributed?

Jason Niblett: One of my former high school teachers emailed me and she was just telling me how wonderful the magazine was. She loved the content and the direction and ideas. And she lives in Mendenhall, Miss. She started sharing it around, and that’s why we see the potential for a more regional publication, because once she started pushing it toward the city she lives in, and her friends and family in surrounding areas, and even her hometown of Natchez, Miss., we began to receive requests for subscriptions and we had planned to be just a free distribution-type magazine. And we ended up with 200 subscriptions before the magazine even launched.

Samir Husni: If you were to come and speak to journalism students here at the University of Mississippi, what advice would you give them?

Jason Niblett: Keep an open mind. When I was at the University of Mississippi, I was majoring in broadcast journalism. I went to NewsWatch 12 and the SMC (Student Media Center). I didn’t pay too much attention to the Daily Mississippian or to the yearbook, because I wanted to be on TV. I did that for about six months after I left Ole Miss, and I hated it. I ended up in newspapers.

So, keep an open mind and definitely learn the different concepts and multimedia, and always have integrity and do what’s right, and you will be blessed.

Samir Husni: What advice would you give your colleagues at other newspapers about their own magazines?

Jason Niblett: A problem that we had at our operation was not to make it a glorified people section of the newspaper. You have your daily, weekly, or biweekly newspaper, or whatever frequency you have, for that people section. Your magazine needs to be something nicer, with exceptional features, photography, and design. Don’t skimp on your freelancers, and if you don’t have the skills to design it yourself, hire a good graphic artist, because there are so many magazines in Mississippi that look like nothing but glossy, people sections.

And we want to be debt-free, because we know in the publishing industry that debt can weigh you down, or put you out of business. We’re actually working out of my house, we turned a third bedroom into an office. We close the door when we’re done for the day and we stay out of that room, but you also have to be disciplined enough to get up in the morning, get a shower and get dressed, and act like you’re going to work. If you don’t, the day gets away from you.

Samir Husni: Who’s going to be on the cover of issue two?

Jason Niblett: Actually, we’re doing a story on “Phantom of the Opera” at the University of Southern Mississippi. So, that’s probably going to be our cover story.

Samir Husni: If you could have one thing tattooed upon your brain that no one would ever forget about you, what would it be?

Jason Niblett: That I always tried to be a big community proponent; family first, work second, but if you enjoy your job, you don’t really have to work. (Laughs)

Samir Husni: If I showed up unexpectedly at your home one evening after work, after you had closed that office door, what would I find you doing? Having a glass of wine; reading a magazine; cooking; playing with your dogs; watching TV; or something else?

Jason Niblett: Definitely playing with the dogs. And I do love to cook; I joined one of those meal delivery services to try different things, and we’ve been doing that for about a year now. We get this cardboard box every week and sometimes the food is great and sometimes it’s not, but we’re always trying it. We love to travel to the Coast a lot, even if it’s just to walk on the beach or grab something good to eat. Here lately, we’ve been reading a lot of magazines and reading industry publications.

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

Jason Niblett: It’s definitely advertising, even though we broke even. It’s one of those things that you have to trust in God, because yesterday was a horrible advertising day and we’re going to press very soon. And then that afternoon late, bam, bam, bam; we booked several ads. So, I try to just have faith, because this is definitely a God-thing when I talk about divine intervention for the timing and everything. It’s all going to be okay. Even when I get stressed out, I know that it’s going to be okay. So, I try not to let that keep me up at night. (Laughs)

Samir Husni: Thank you.

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August Sparks 18 New Frequency Titles & A Different Approach To Mr. Magazine’s™ Monthly Launch Monitor…

September 5, 2017

With the autumn season approaching, changes are imminent. And for many, those changes are welcomed and long overdue, from cooler weather to football season to pumpkins, s’mores and bonfires. For Mr. Magazine’s™ Launch Monitor, changes begin with this month’s listing of new magazines. Just as there’s a time for everything under the sun, it is time for a new look over at Mr. Magazine™ Launch Monitor headquarters and those changes consist of displaying and documenting the heart of the magazine industry: the frequency titles.

While specials, annuals and bookazines play a major role in the magazine marketplace, the heartbeat and life’s blood of the industry has been and always will be those frequency titles that show up at the newsstands or in your mailbox on a regular basis, whether that is weekly, monthly, or bimonthly. So, beginning with August’s beautiful, and might I say, healthy number of new titles, the Mr. Magazine™ Launch Monitor will list only frequency magazines. That way you can enjoy these gorgeous new magazines here and at the newsstands on a customary level. Also included will be the magazines that arrive to the newsstands for the first time or those which we failed to list in a prior month or that we missed when they first appeared. In addition, magazines that change their name are also included in the count for future researchers to be aware of. Case in point, People Style that used to be Style Watch and MASS that used to be MMM.

So, without further ado, Mr. Magazine™ presents 18 new frequency titles that will give you pleasure and delight (such as the new title Shrimp, Collards & Grits, a new magazine that brings the South to your front door) to a magazine that personalizes and shows the strength in regional titles (J, the magazine all about downtown Jacksonville, Fla. and the many new and wonderful things going on there), to a new title that comes in a box for founding members (the Golfer’s Journal – and please note that the black box this title is sent in to founding member subscribers is also displayed next to the magazine, so it is not listed in the count).

To see all of our beautiful 18 new magazine covers for August 2017, please visit Mr. Magazine’s™ Launch Monitor

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