Archive for the ‘New Launches’ Category

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New Magazines Are Here To Stay: Mr. Magazine’s Study Shows An Increase In Survival Rates Of Magazine Launches 2006 – 2015.

August 18, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 11.16.03 AMSurvival rates of new magazines are on the up.  More magazines are remaining in business after ten years of publishing despite all the news of doom and gloom some try to project.

Almost two out of every ten new magazines launched ten years ago are still in business today.  That rate of survival has been the domain of magazines launched four years ago.  The survival rate after four years is now at three out of ten titles remain in business.

The chart below looks at all the new magazine launched since 2006 until the end of 2015 with an intended frequency of four times or more (needless to say I have them all and they all fit my definition of what is a magazine, yes, you guessed it, ink on paper…)

Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni’s

New Magazine Launches and Survival Rates 2006 – 2015*

__________________________________________________________

Year                            Total                  Total                  Survival

Launched                   Launches           Survived            Percentage

 2006:                           332                     57                       17.17%    

2007:                           245                    56                       22.86%

2008:                           195                    38                       19.49%

2009:                           197                     37                       18.78%

2010:                           190                     56                       29.47%

2011:                           176                     51                       28.98%

2012:                           237                     71                       29.96%

2013:                           195                     61                       31.28%

2014:                           232                     83                       35.78%

2015:                           236                     106                     44.92%

____________________________________________________

Total:                          2235                   616                     27.57%

*Source: Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni’s Guide to New Magazines and Mr. Magazine’s Launch Monitor.

Numbers above represent magazines that were launched since 2006 with an intended frequency of 4 times or more.  The survival numbers reflect those magazines that are still being published as of August 15, 2016.

 

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From My Vault Of Classic “New” Magazines – Real Needs And TIME. Part 1.

August 10, 2016
A Mr. Magazine™ Musing
Starting today, I am going to go ahead and open my classic “new” magazines’ vault and start reporting on some words of wisdom editors, publishers, marketers and circulation folks used to write to introduce their new magazines, their readers, and their advertisers.
Consider this an informative journey down memory lane, for there is much we can learn from these masters; things we can either repeat or avoid in today’s marketplace.

My first two magazines are Real Needs from 1916 and TIME from 1923. Enjoy.

Real NeedsReal Needs: A Magazine of Co-Ordination Vol. 1, Number 1, March 2016

Edited by Charles A. Lindbergh

Magazines are permanent

“The first number of this Magazine, though published in December, bears the date of March. That is because it is to be a permanent publication, and it will take until March to do the organizing.”

Magazines are real information providers

“As the Magazine is published mainly for the purpose of furnishing information that is usually kept from the public, and which should be known by everybody, I ask those who believe in the work to aid in giving it circulation. After reading a copy, unless you desire to preserve it, hand it to someone else to read.”

Magazine’s Ad/Ed ratio

“This magazine will be published in the form of a small book, suitable to carry in a coat side pocket… Only 16 pages can be allowed for advertising out of 192 pages in each issue, so better get the space early.

TIMETIME: The Weekly News-Magazine Vol. 1, No. 1 March 3, 1923

From the Masthead:

TIME, the Weekly News-Paper. Editors – Briton Hadden and Henry R. Luce.

The Magazine’s Audience

Roy E. Larsen, Circulation Manager of the magazine reports in the first issue:

“Time The Weekly News-Magazine

  • the man who wants the fact
  • the man who wants to do his own thinking after he has the facts
  • the busy man

Is there such a man?”

“The response to the announcement of the News-Magazine idea has supplied the answer. Such a man exists.”

Audience Psychographics and Demographics Circ. 1923

“Who is he? Is he merely a distinguished citizen? Is he necessarily President of a great university? or an Ambassador? or a Magnate? or a Bishop? or a Member of the United States Senate? As a matter of fact the man was found in Ohio, among the lesser nobility. It is also discovered in flight to Florida. His twin-likeness was tracked down in Boston, and the postmaster reported his alias – in Chicago.”

“He must live somewhere! Of that there is no possible doubt, no possible probable shadow of doubt, no possible doubt whatever. Furthermore, he is not as elusive as the Scarlet Pimpernel, nor as extinct as the Dodo.”

Until next time, stay tuned!

 

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Mr. Magazine™ Launch Monitor: July Held Strong With 60 New Titles – 10 With Regular Frequency

August 1, 2016

Summertime brings hot temps, great tans, super vacations & awesome magazines to accompany us on those funfilled, beach-driven days. And July proved true to that statement, with 10 new titles promising regular frequency. From adult coloring to home remedies and special herbs – July was a month that gave us some wonderful summer magazine reading.

And it was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, when it came to the special issues. Commemorative, beautiful covers that walked us down galaxy lane as we relived the many different faces of the TV show and the films. Along with our friends from across the Milky Way, July specials also featured the human fascination with what we put in our bodies, with delectable epicurean magazines loaded with covers that made our mouths water and new healthy-living magazines that showed us how to eat right, while never losing that great taste.

And, as always, a quick reminder that if I do not have a physical copy of the first issue, you will not see it in the launch monitor.  So, if I missed your launch please send me a copy of your first issue to:

<strong>Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni</strong>

<strong>P.O. Box 1062</strong>

<strong>Oxford, MS 38655</strong>

To see the July launches or those that arrived on the stands for the first time click here.

 

 

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Niépi Magazine Launches In The U.S. – Teaching Us Cuisine & The Art Of Living As Only The French Can – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Peter S. Walsh, Publisher, Niépi Magazine, U.S.A.

July 21, 2016

A Mr. Magazine™ Launch Story

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 7.15.43 PM “I’m a huge believer that print helps to monetize the digital audience. And as evidence of that is the fact that All Recipes was digital-only and then launched print.” Peter S. Walsh

(On whether he believes newsstands are dead or dying) “I would never use those words because I have too much respect for all of the good people who are in the newsstand industry, whether it’s retailer, distributor, national distributor, wholesaler, or publishers. We’re all aware over the last 25 years how much things have changed, in that the amount of magazines that are being distributed through the system has grown tremendously, but the amount of space for display has not. Yet, the largest and the most sophisticated and healthiest publishers like Meredith, like Condé Nast, like Hearst; they continue to launch magazines in print.” Peter S. Walsh

 Niépi – defined as a Balinese ceremony held on the night of New Year’s during which noise is made to scare away demons and our own fears. Niépi Magazine embraces that definition – only from a food state of mind.

The magazine was created and founded by Frédérique Barral and her daughter, who were both diagnosed as gluten intolerant. A native of France, Frédérique decided that she and her daughter needed to take control of the ingredients that went into their bodies, learn about them and decide what went into their foods. And it was in that mindset the idea for Niépi magazine was born and began publishing a French language version in France and Belgium in 2014.

Peter S. Walsh is a businessman who knows quite a bit about the magazine media business, from circulation to distribution to print production, Peter has done it all for many, many years. And he knew a great title when he saw it. That’s why when he was approached about publishing an English language version of the magazine, he did his research and Niépi magazine was born in the United States. It’s scheduled to debut on newsstands in early September.

I spoke with Peter recently and we talked about the magazine; about its origins; its name, and its future. Oh, and if you’re trying to tie the meaning of the name in with the food category – think about it this way: learning to live free of the demons that can affect our bodies, or in Peter’s words, “It’s teaching its readers about sustainable, organic food and showing people ways to eat so that it enhances their health and wellbeing.” And it’s extremely memorable and the tagline totally befitting: Cuisine & the Art of Living.

So, make some noise and create your own “Niépi” as you read and enjoy the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Peter S. Walsh, Publisher, Niépi Magazine, U.S.

But first the sound-bites:

Peter Walsh Head Shot 7_17_16On why he decided to launch a print magazine in the food space in today’s digital age: I’m a huge believer that print helps to monetize the digital audience. And as evidence of that is the fact that All Recipes was digital-only and then launched print. I thought there was a really great opportunity in the marketplace for a magazine that sets out up front that it’s covering organic, natural foods, sustainably-sourced foods, etc.

On what Niépi brings to the marketplace that isn’t already there: Our editorial mission is to show people beautiful food and recipes so that they’re eating things that are healthy and natural, which increases their wellbeing and overall health. And we’re covering it from the viewpoint and through the prism of the French people, or in particular, this French editor.

On his expectations for the magazine: In terms of the newsstands, like all magazines, I want to put it where I believe the readers are. And we believe that overwhelmingly the readers are female and we believe that we’ll attract an audience that is younger than, let’s say, Bon Appétit’s audience. So, what I want to do is, and am accomplishing this now with the help of Curtis Circulation, is get into Whole Foods and Kroger and Mariano’s Fresh Market and other great markets. The first order of business is bringing it into those retailers that are really devoting space to organic produce and foods.

On whether he feels the newsstand is dead or dying: I would never use those words because I have too much respect for all of the good people who are in the newsstand industry, whether it’s retailer, distributor, national distributor, wholesaler, or publishers. We’re all aware over the last 25 years how much things have changed, in that the amount of magazines that are being distributed through the system has grown tremendously, but the amount of space for display has not. Yet, the largest and the most sophisticated and healthiest publishers like Meredith, like Condé Nast, like Hearst; they continue to launch magazines in print.

On anything else he’d like to add: I hope that I defined it correctly as sustainable, organic food and showing people ways to eat so that it enhances their health and wellbeing.

On what motivates him to get out of bed in the morning: I tell people all of the time that I am a bit of a magazine geek. And I’ve been involved with magazines since 1981 when I started with ICF, a division of the Hearst Corporation here in Chicago. Over the years I’ve worked for companies such as Hearst and ADS Publisher Services. And I am somebody who just finds magazines one of the greatest media out there. I enjoy the format.

On what someone would find him doing if they showed up at his home one evening after work unexpectedly: You’d probably catch me at my desk or on my couch. I read a lot of magazines and also I wear a lot of different hats in my business. I am one of the owners of Niépi, that’s part of it. I am an owner.

On whether this is the first time he’s been a magazine owner: It is, yes. For 35 years I’ve either been a circulator or a consultant to publishers. And I continue to do that and I specialize in circulation and I also, over the last 10 years, have specialized in print production, because I currently do a lot of graphic design and printing projects. I print catalogs as well as I print magazines. So, to a small publisher I have been functioning as the circulation department and the production department.

On whether it makes a difference that he’s an owner this time around, rather than a hired consultant: Of course it does. It makes me want to work harder and obviously over the last three or four months I’ve had to set up many, many different parts of the structure, including the postal and the fulfillment, e-commerce, the website and social media.

On what keeps him up at night: To be brutally honest, what keeps me up is will our editorial be compelling enough to attract readers and to have them return and repeat purchase, whether that’s on the newsstand or subscription, because I tell people all of the time as good a circulator as I am; I can print it and make it look beautiful, but I cannot make people buy the magazine. And that’s the Catch-22.

 

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Peter S. Walsh, Publisher, Niépi Magazine, U.S.

Samir Husni: How did you reach the decision to launch a print magazine, especially in the food space, in this digital age?

cover01-2Peter S. Walsh: I’m a huge believer that print helps to monetize the digital audience. And as evidence of that is the fact that All Recipes was digital-only and then launched print.

What happened in this particular case was that I am a consultant and a long-time circulator, and a gentleman who was an American, but lives in the south of France, met this couple that had started this magazine in 2014. He met them within just the last year. And when he met them he thought it was a beautiful magazine and he realized that they produced it in French, in France and Belgium, and he asked them would they be open to a co-publishing or royalty agreement where we would do it in English, and so we’re calling this the International version – English language version, of Niépi.

So, John, my financial partner, found me after poking around the newsstand business a little and realized that he needed someone to kind of steer the ship. And some people referred him to me. We sat down and talked. I was very impressed with the magazine and even though I knew the category of cuisine and food titles well, I wasn’t recently familiar with it, but I did a lot of research after John and I talked. I thought there was a really great opportunity in the marketplace for a magazine that sets out up front that it’s covering organic, natural foods, sustainably-sourced foods, etc.

And of course, we see how the supermarket industry has been doing in the last few years, where more or less the largest supermarkets have plateaued or flattened. And the ones that are growing are the ones that are devoting more space in their produce department to organic foods.

Samir Husni: What’s the expectations? Food has become the sex category of the 21st century in magazines; we have more food titles in the marketplace than ever before. You name the specialty and it’s there. What does this new magazine bring to the market that’s not already there?

Peter S. Walsh: You’re right. Years ago we had the very large food titles like Bon Appétit, Gourmet, which obviously Condé Nast folded years ago in 2009, and Food & Wine. And they’re all very large. And as you indicated, in recent years the category has fragmented into subject-specific food titles, such as gluten-free or sugar-free, etc. And I believe those are all covered in what we’re doing.

Our editorial mission is to show people beautiful food and recipes so that they’re eating things that are healthy and natural, which increases their wellbeing and overall health. And we’re covering it from the viewpoint and through the prism of the French people, or in particular, this French editor.

Samir Husni: You’ve been involved before with the magazine Naked Food and you’ve done other things in this category, so you’re no stranger to the niche. Now, if you would please put your newsstand cap on and tell me about a magazine with a French name, one that has gorgeous pictures in it; what do you think your expectations should be? Do you think that people are going to stop in their tracks and say: what’s this?

Peter S. Walsh: Actually, the name Niépi is not French. It’s French spelling because the couple that founded the magazine is from the south of France. The name Niépi is from the island of Bali and they have sort of a New Year’s celebration that goes on for about a week. And in the middle of it, they call one evening of the festivities Niépi. And what they do is people go outside and bang on pots and pans and make lots of noise and you may have heard about this in other cultures as well. The idea is that they’re casting out evil spirits and starting the New Year fresh.

It’s also a bit of an allegory of embracing our lives and casting away fear and living a little more fearlessly. And in the case of our magazine, the couple liked the theme and then they changed it to a French spelling, but the idea is that food and the way people approach it, it just so happened that this couple, Frédérique Barral and her daughter, were having some health issues, They became diagnosed as gluten intolerant, so they started the magazine talking about gluten-free, and again, it’s the two of them saying to the readership: take control of your diet. Take control of the ingredients in the food that you put into your body. So, that’s the reason behind the name.

When I was introduced to the magazine I thought: OK, it’s not an English language word. We’ll immediately need to spell that out to the reader, so if they see it on the newsstand they’ll know what it is. But with that said, I still liked the name Niépi because it’s short and cute, and because it’s memorable. People can remember it very quickly. And what we did is add the tagline right below it, which is Cuisine & the Art of Living.

In terms of the newsstands, like all magazines, I want to put it where I believe the readers are. And we believe that overwhelmingly the readers are female and we believe that we’ll attract an audience that is younger than, let’s say, Bon Appétit’s audience. So, what I want to do is, and am accomplishing this now with the help of Curtis Circulation, is get into Whole Foods and Kroger and Mariano’s Fresh Market and other great markets. The first order of business is bringing it into those retailers that are really devoting space to organic produce and foods. Of course, we’ll also be in every Barnes & Noble because we pay the promotional fee. Also, like most food titles, we’ll have a lot more subscriptions than we will have newsstand sales.

Samir Husni: I noticed that you have a hefty cover price.

Peter S. Walsh: Yes, $9.95. And that’s quarterly.

 Samir Husni: People keep telling us that the newsstand is dead or dying; is it?

Peter S. Walsh: I would never use those words because I have too much respect for all of the good people who are in the newsstand industry, whether it’s retailer, distributor, national distributor, wholesaler, or publishers. We’re all aware over the last 25 years how much things have changed, in that the amount of magazines that are being distributed through the system has grown tremendously, but the amount of space for display has not.

Yet, the largest and the most sophisticated and healthiest publishers like Meredith, like Condé Nast, like Hearst; they continue to launch magazines in print. And what we try to do is just basically be targeted and be very vigilant about where the copies go, because I like high sell-through. I want to get a 50% sell-through and I remember years ago when 50% was a low sell-through, so that shows you my age. (Laughs)

There was also a study recently that I read, which I was very interested in, and it showed that when people have great discounts off of their newsstand price; when they sell subscriptions at discounts of 50% or 60%, or more, then that’s connected to lower sell-throughs on the newsstand. And I thought that was really insightful and intriguing.

Cover prices have obviously gone higher. We’re printing a magazine that will be on heavier paper and it’ll be thicker than most of the other magazines that are in the space. And we know that quarterly $10 is not too much. Our basic subscription is $29.95, so that’s 25% off the newsstand. And if we increase frequency, I hope we can do six issues next year in 2017, and if things are profitable and the marketplace wants more, we’ll increase it to maybe 8, 9, or 10 issues in 2018. We’ll lower the cover price a bit if we increase frequency.

Samir Husni: Is there anything else that you’d like to add?

Peter S. Walsh: I hope that I defined it correctly as sustainable, organic food and showing people ways to eat so that it enhances their health and wellbeing.

Samir Husni: And the first issue will hit newsstands when?

Peter S. Walsh: Around September 1, 2016. We’re shipping around August 15th.

Samir Husni: What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

Peter S. Walsh: I tell people all of the time that I am a bit of a magazine geek. And I’ve been involved with magazines since 1981 when I started with ICF, a division of the Hearst Corporation here in Chicago. Over the years I’ve worked for companies such as Hearst and ADS Publisher Services. And I am somebody who just finds magazines one of the greatest media out there. I enjoy the format.

When I was with Times Mirror Magazines, I was the guy who got cross-merchandising into Wal-Mart and Kmart. So, we put hunting and fishing magazines in the hunting and fishing departments, rather than the mainline and it was shortly followed by craft magazines, etc. I’m a great magazine devotee. I literally touched or worked on hundreds of magazines. I’ve been able to catch lightning in a bottle a few different times and I really like talking about magazines, whether it’s the operations or whether I’m selling advertising, which I am starting to do with this magazine.

Samir Husni: If I showed up at your house one evening unexpectedly, what would I find you doing; reading a magazine; reading your iPad; watching television; or something else?

Peter S. Walsh: You’d probably catch me at my desk or on my couch. I read a lot of magazines and also I wear a lot of different hats in my business. I am one of the owners of Niépi, that’s part of it. I am an owner.

Samir Husni: Is that a first for you, being an owner?

Peter S. Walsh: It is, yes. For 35 years I’ve either been a circulator or a consultant to publishers. And I continue to do that and I specialize in circulation and I also, over the last 10 years, have specialized in print production, because I currently do a lot of graphic design and printing projects. I print catalogs as well as I print magazines. So, to a small publisher I have been functioning as the circulation department and the production department.

Every facet of magazine publishing is interesting to me and I’m not an editor; I’m not trained as an editor, but I hire editors and designers. As far as the business side of publishing magazines, that’s really my passion. It really is.

Samir Husni: Does it make a difference that you’re an owner this time around, rather than a hired consultant?

Peter S. Walsh: Of course it does. It makes me want to work harder and obviously over the last three or four months I’ve had to set up many, many different parts of the structure, including the postal and the fulfillment, e-commerce, the website and social media.

Of course, being an owner and having partners; I have people to answer to and I’m giving this 110% of my time.

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

Peter S. Walsh: To be brutally honest, what keeps me up is will our editorial be compelling enough to attract readers and to have them return and repeat purchase, whether that’s on the newsstand or subscription, because I tell people all of the time as good a circulator as I am; I can print it and make it look beautiful, but I cannot make people buy the magazine. And that’s the Catch-22.

I believe that the editorial mission and the brand that comes from editorial and the design together; that is what drives a magazine. All great magazines; people can instantly tell. What is Rolling Stone about editorially? Well, we all know it’s rock and roll, but it’s also politics and it’s liberal. And that’s a voice that’s been going on since Jann Wenner was throwing the bundles off the back of his station wagon in San Francisco in 1967, same thing with Time or Playboy.

I think that if we want to be a great magazine and be around for the long term, we have to be compelling editorially and be of service to our readers. The proof is in the pudding and we’ll see when we get out there.

Samir Husni: Thank you

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Local Pittsburgh & Local Arts Magazines: Two Regional Publications That Believe Both In The Printed Word & The Need For It Today More Than Ever – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Jeff Rose, Owner/Publisher, Local Pittsburgh & Local Arts Magazines

July 19, 2016

Local Pittsburgh 1“The first reason is that I think people are on digital overload. You look at your phone and your computer all day or your tablet all day, and it’s not comforting. If you go to sit on your porch and you want to just read something; our publication is set up to be interesting, fast reads. We’re not trying to do five page essays on things, because I don’t think people’s attention spans allow for that anymore.” Jeff Rose… (On why he still sees a need for print in this digital age)

 “Millennials, the younger generation that has been overloaded from the day they were born with digital, are now discovering the pleasures of reading a book or reading a magazine. It’s almost like an escape; you don’t have to worry about your tablet and that email that’s popping up in the middle of your reading something.” Jeff Rose

Any publication that puts its readers first by putting its content first will receive a big thumbs-up from Mr. Magazine™. Content is king because your audience is your kingdom; without them there would be no need for you – or your advertisers.

jeff roseLocal Pittsburgh magazine has been devoting itself to its “kingdom” for three years now and Owner/Publisher Jeff Rose is a firm believer that his audience is and always will be first and everything else is secondary. I spoke with Jeff recently and we talked about his regional publication and his newest launch, Local Arts, which focuses on Pittsburgh’s art scene.

Jeff’s take on publishing is straight-on, no holds-barred customer and stories first. He doesn’t believe in cultivating advertising relationships based on advertorial or any other ties that bind, other than good old-fashioned, well-written content.

He is a man who calls himself a “small” businessman, but in reality his integrity and strong belief in his brand make his outlook and professionalism cast a very big shadow indeed. Plus, he is print passionate and gives some very good reasons why the world still needs to be flipping pages with their fingers, not their mouse.

So, I hope that you enjoy this very informative and straightforward interview with a man who is just as informed and candid as his opinion, the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Jeff Rose, Owner/Publisher, Local Pittsburgh & Local Arts Magazines.

But first the sound-bites:

LocalArtsOn how he moved from direct marketing and coupon-type publications into the consumer side of publishing with Local Pittsburg and Local Arts magazines: My business partner and I felt that, in the city of Pittsburgh anyway, there wasn’t any publication that was a champion of small business and of stories that mattered. Everything that was being done in Pittsburgh was pay-to-play. There are some good publications in Pittsburgh, without a doubt, but we just felt there was a gap there.

On how he decided to fill that gap: We looked at the demographics of some of the other publications. They were either really high-end or we have a weekly city paper that’s published that’s really just more or less covering the bars and some of the weekly activities, but there was nothing on a quarterly basis that was really talking about things going on in and around the city and that was speaking to people who engage in the city.

On why he decided to launch a local arts magazine: About a year ago we brought on a full-time editor, before we were basically flying by the seat of our pants. The editor had some background with a web page that focused on the arts and so he started introducing stories on painters and on performing arts, but I noticed that he was only getting a couple of pages in the back of the book. And I noticed in other publications and in newspapers; everywhere was devoting just a little bit of space to the arts, but not a lot.

On the non-traditional sizes of both magazines: Well, because we were Local Pittsburgh and there was already a publication called Pittsburg Magazine; if I had gone traditional magazine size, I think there might have been some confusion. Then when Local Arts came along, if I had done it the same size as Local Pittsburgh, it would have been thought of as maybe just a supplement. I wanted it to be different.

On why he thinks there’s still a need for a printed publication in this digital age: The first reason is that I think people are on digital overload. You look at your phone and your computer all day or your tablet all day, and it’s not comforting. If you go to sit on your porch and you want to just read something; our publication is set up to be interesting, fast reads. We’re not trying to do five page essays on things, because I don’t think people’s attention spans allow for that anymore.

On the most pleasant moment he’s had on this journey: I don’t know if there’s been a single moment; it’s ongoing. Being a small business owner, it’s frustrating at times. I’m question myself and what I’m doing, but it’s when I walk in to talk to a client and instead of them saying that they like the ad we’re running for them, they say to me that they read a certain article and found it totally immersive and that the magazine is publishing good pieces.

On the biggest stumbling block he’s had to face: Well, when you hear all of the time that people are putting all of their money into digital or that they don’t believe in print anymore; it’s frustrating because first off, in a lot of instances, the I-put-all-of-my-money-into-digital, especially when it comes to small business owners, really means that they don’t have a marketing budget. And that’s really what it comes down to.

Local Pittsburgh 2 1On anything else he’s like to add: Things changed tremendously when I brought on an editor who understood that end of the business. That was kind of an A-ha moment for the company. As a magazine, you need to think of readership first.

On what someone would find him doing if they showed up unexpectedly to his home one evening: I’m a Netflix and Amazon Prime documentary junkie. I watch documentaries constantly. So, that’s probably what you would find me doing, because I don’t get home until 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. and that’s pretty much what I do.

On what motivates him to get out of bed in the morning: The pure panic of knowing that I have to pay bills and pay people; I have to go out and finish up articles; I have deadlines coming up. So, pretty much sheer panic gets me out of bed every morning. (Laughs)

On what keeps him up at night: I always second-guess and question myself. Not so much question what we’re doing, but how we’re doing it. In other words, when we went with the smaller size for Local Arts; I loved it and it received great reviews, but I immediately questioned myself. Should I have gone with a larger size? Should I have stayed with the Local Pittsburgh size?

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Jeff Rose, Owner/Publisher, Local Pittsburgh & Local Arts Magazines.

Samir Husni: Tell me the history behind Local Pittsburgh and Local Arts; I know you were in the direct marketing, advertising and coupon-type publications for about 15 years, but what gave you the idea to move into the consumer side of things with Local Pittsburgh and then just this year, Local Arts magazine?

Local Pittsburgh 3Jeff Rose: My business partner and I felt that, in the city of Pittsburgh anyway, there wasn’t any publication that was a champion of small business and of stories that mattered. Everything that was being done in Pittsburgh was pay-to-play. So, all of the articles coming out, anything that was written, you could basically trace it back to an ad on the page or two that followed. And the content was really lousy and people weren’t reading, and because of that I think other publications were struggling. There are some good publications in Pittsburgh, without a doubt, but we just felt there was a gap there.

Samir Husni: And how did you decide to fill this gap?

Jeff Rose: We looked at the demographics of some of the other publications. They were either really high-end or we have a weekly city paper that’s published that’s really just more or less covering the bars and some of the weekly activities, but there was nothing on a quarterly basis that was really talking about things going on in and around the city and that was speaking to people who engage in the city; young families living in the city; singles living in the city; graduate students; people who go out and spend money in these small businesses that are engaged in local events and go to the art galleries and volunteer. And we felt that we could fill that gap and so far, so good.

Samir Husni: I know that Local Pittsburgh has been publishing for three years now and then you launched Local Arts earlier this year; why did you decide to branch specifically into the arts?

Jeff Rose: About a year ago we brought on a full-time editor, before we were basically flying by the seat of our pants. The editor had some background with a web page that focused on the arts and so he started introducing stories on painters and on performing arts, but I noticed that he was only getting a couple of pages in the back of the book. And I noticed in other publications and in newspapers; everywhere was devoting just a little bit of space to the arts, but not a lot.

In the last five to eight years in Pittsburgh, we’ve witnessed a restaurant renaissance and now we’re kind of experiencing an art renaissance going on here. A lot of local artists from Brooklyn and from other large cities are moving to Pittsburgh because it’s affordable. And the art scene here is bursting. I realized that no one was doing a publication that was focused on this.

Our publication, as opposed to being an art publication like a lot of the others are, they’re basically written for artists and written for art collectors; we write for the general population that might be interested in art and want to know more about what’s going on in the arts and aren’t trying to educate themselves. So, we take it from a different point of view than a lot of other art publications across the country and what they seem to focus on.

Samir Husni: One thing that I noticed about both magazines is that you opted for a different size, not the traditional magazine size. Local Pittsburgh has more of a horizontal flow and Local Arts is a bit larger than a square. Why is that?

Jeff Rose: Well, because we were Local Pittsburgh and there was already a publication called Pittsburg Magazine; if I had gone traditional magazine size, I think there might have been some confusion.

Also, I just felt like that if I was going to do something to make the publication stand out immediately, it had to be a change in format and a little bit non-traditional, so that’s why we went with Local Pittsburgh that way, and we’ve gotten excellent reviews on it. People really like reading a publication in that format.

Then when Local Arts came along, if I had done it the same size as Local Pittsburgh, it would have been thought of as maybe just a supplement. I wanted it to be different.

No, we are toying with the idea of going more traditional with Local Arts, just because of the fact that it’s very picture-heavy. When people read it, things need to pop off of the page. But that wouldn’t be until next year. We’re getting very good reviews on the size it is now; people like it and it’s similar to a playbill size or something that you’d pick up at theatres or galleries.

Samir Husni: I hear people ask all of the time: why would you need a print publication in this digital age, especially for a local market where everyone can Google something or go to their mobile phone and get the information? Why do you think there’s still a need for a printed publication?

Jeff Rose: The first reason is that I think people are on digital overload. You look at your phone and your computer all day or your tablet all day, and it’s not comforting. If you go to sit on your porch and you want to just read something; our publication is set up to be interesting, fast reads. We’re not trying to do five page essays on things, because I don’t think people’s attention spans allow for that anymore.

We want something that can be read in comfort; you have an extra 15 or 20 minutes at a coffee shop or a couple of minutes before a business meeting; you’re at a restaurant eating by yourself. In the past, people went to read newspapers and it was to gain information and to find out the news that was going on in the world. Today, I think people pick up publications as a way to relax and escape from what’s in front of them all of the time. And I think that’s why it’s been successful

Millennials, the younger generation that has been overloaded from the day they were born with digital, are now discovering the pleasures of reading a book or reading a magazine. It’s almost like an escape; you don’t have to worry about your tablet and that email that’s popping up in the middle of your reading something. I see people reading on their phones and suddenly a call comes in. Reading print is that alone time, away from all of that.

Samir Husni: What has been the most pleasant moment for you since you began this journey?

Jeff Rose: I don’t know if there’s been a single moment; it’s ongoing. Being a small business owner, it’s frustrating at times. I’m question myself and what I’m doing, but it’s when I walk in to talk to a client and instead of them saying that they like the ad we’re running for them, they say to me that they read a certain article and found it totally immersive and that the magazine is publishing good pieces.

We publish pieces that no one else publishes, because to me content is first and everything else follows. The rest of Pittsburgh seems to always tie their content in with the advertising. And I look for stories that you can’t sell ads about, because they’re not profitable stories, but they’re good stories, so you sell the readership. And when you sell the readership, then the advertising gets seen. Then there’s real time spent looking at something and readership means that ads are getting seen and people are talking about them and our advertisers win.

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

Local Pittsburgh 4Jeff Rose: Well, when you hear all of the time that people are putting all of their money into digital or that they don’t believe in print anymore; it’s frustrating because first off, in a lot of instances, the I-put-all-of-my-money-into-digital, especially when it comes to small business owners, really means that they don’t have a marketing budget. And that’s really what it comes down to.

It’s frustrating. I’ve been in with clients when they tell me that they don’t believe in print or they’re not putting in a print marketing budget because they don’t think it works much, and I look on their desks and it’s full of magazines and newspapers. So, I know that they’re reading print, but I think that they’re scared because all they’re being told is you have to spend money on Facebook and Twitter and it’s become beaten into their heads.

But I do see it starting to turn around again and it’s doing so a lot with small businesses. They’re engaging back with print, I believe, more than the larger companies, and that’s because it’s harder to turn a big ship than a smaller one.

Samir Husni: Is there anything else that you’d like to add?

Jeff Rose: Things changed tremendously when I brought on an editor who understood that end of the business. That was kind of an A-ha moment for the company. As a magazine, you need to think of readership first.

It’s easy to sell your soul; it’s easy to have a big company come to you and ask you if they promise to spend $20,000 in advertising with your publication, will you write four articles that they want, or when you do write an article on healthcare, I need you to not say anything bad about what we’re doing here in Pittsburgh.

It’s hard to turn away that money, but ultimately, over a period of time it gets recognized by everyone else. I have people who notice that we don’t sell our soul. And if you have good readership, it might be a slower course to success, but it will be a stronger course. It’s one that doesn’t have weak legs beneath it. You’re not one client away from going out of business, which a lot of times these companies do if they tie themselves in with big partners.

Samir Husni: If I showed up unexpectedly to your home one evening after your workday is done, what would I find you doing; reading a magazine, or reading your iPad; watching television, or something different?

Jeff Rose: I’m a Netflix and Amazon Prime documentary junkie. I watch documentaries constantly. So, that’s probably what you would find me doing, because I don’t get home until 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. and that’s pretty much what I do.

 Samir Husni: What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

Jeff Rose: The pure panic of knowing that I have to pay bills and pay people; I have to go out and finish up articles; I have deadlines coming up. So, pretty much sheer panic gets me out of bed every morning. (Laughs)

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

Jeff Rose: I always second-guess and question myself. Not so much question what we’re doing, but how we’re doing it. In other words, when we went with the smaller size for Local Arts; I loved it and it received great reviews, but I immediately questioned myself. Should I have gone with a larger size? Should I have stayed with the Local Pittsburgh size?

I always tell people that I’m the guy that buys a black car with a red interior, but stays up three nights wondering if I should have bought a red car with a black interior. It’s not so much second-guessing myself as it is just asking myself questions and rethinking.

We do a lot of research within our advertisers, within the people we write stories on. We’ve gone to a lot of different art people in the city who are respected and we’ve asked them what they thought about the size of Local Arts and it’s about 50/50. Some say yes, but eventually it might be nice to go to a full size and some say no, it sets yourself apart and people like the size. So, I think that’s the biggest thing, me just questioning things.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Magazine Launches First Half 2016 Vs. 2015: More Specials, Less Frequency

July 1, 2016

The total number of magazine launches in the first half of 2016 totaled 396 titles divided between 99 titles with a regular frequency and 297 specials and book-a-zines. Compare those numbers to the first half of 2015 where 412 titles were launched divided between 118 titles with a regular frequency and 294 specials and book-a-zines.

Needless to say the first half of 2016 witnessed a decrease of 19 titles with frequency and an increase of 3 titles in the special book-a-zine category. The total loss of the first half of 2016 from that of 2015 stands at 16 titles.

To check each and every title please visit the Mr. Magazine™ Launch Monitor here.

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Mr. Magazine™ Launch Monitor: 58 New Titles Arrive In June…

July 1, 2016

June showed steady numbers as the lazy, hazy days of summer began, with a total of 58 new titles, 13 of which were with promised frequency. Adult and teen coloring crafts were once again in the forefront as three new titles hit newsstands and regional made a strong showing as publisher, Arkansas Wild delivered two new titles this year following the launch of the first one late in 2015: Bike Arkansas, Fish Arkansas and Paddle Arkansas. From the cannabis world, and a spinoff of the successful “Marijuana Venture” magazine, comes a new title: Sungrower & Greenhouse, that is dedicated to cannabis growers who use natural sunlight.

It’s a great variety of impactful titles that will help make those long summer days a breeze as you enjoy each one. See you next month for a fantastic July!

And, as always, a quick reminder that if I do not have a physical copy of the first issue, you will not see it in the launch monitor.  So, if I missed your launch please send me a copy of your first issue to:

Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni

P.O. Box 1062

Oxford, MS 38655

Up first, our June frequency covers:

B Magazinebike arkansas fishing arkansas Mirror Mirror Modern Comfort Modern Farmhouse Style paddle arkansas Project Calm ranch horse journal Refined Home Star Tastic Coloring Book Sungrower & Greenhouse True Colors

 

And now our Specials:

USA Today Ali Special100 American OriginalsBarbarosaBest of Hobby Farms

Colorado RailroadsCountry CottageCupcakesDory's Adventure

Drinks and SnacksEat Smart Lose WeightEssence PrinceFood & Wine Fast & Fresh

Founding FathersGarden Tips 1Good Housekeeping Light & Easy RecipesHidden Hollywood

History of the RifleI Love Lucy 1Just Swap ArtKnit Scene

KumihimoLIFE Ali SpecialLIFE Science FictionLog Home Living

Men's Fitness Special Collector's Issue 1OXSPaula Deen Potluck DishesPEOPLE Ali Special

Popular SciencePrevention Fit in 10Prevention Instant CalmRolling Stone Prince

Secret SocietiesSports Illustrated ALI SpecialSpy PlanesSUNSET Best Outdoor Cooking

The Complete FishermanThe GreatestThe Note Remembers ALIThe Power Issue

The Vanishing WomenTIME Ali SpecialTIME The Science of HappinessUSA TODAY SPORTS ALI

 

Women's Health Over 50

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