Archive for the ‘New Launches’ Category

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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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*68 New Magazine Launches In May: A Very Healthy Month Indeed…

May 31, 2016

May brought a profusion of glorious new titles to our summer garden just in time for the upcoming vacation reading most of us plan on doing. From titles who have been around for a bit, but just started to appear for the first time on newsstands, such as THC: The Hemp Connoisseur, with its first national issue, to Posi+tive – another online publication that’s discovering the power of print, May was a month with a flourishing frequency population of 25 new titles… Of course, as you can tell by the cover images,  some of the new titles were late discoveries or their first arrival to the newsstands such as Military Kids’ Life, GayLetter, Illumine, and Providence. However,  as my policy has been and will continue to be, no magazine will be featured on the Launch Monitor unless I have a physical copy of the new magazine.  Better late than never!

Combine that very healthy number of 25 with 43 brand new specials out there for our reading pleasure and the total for May was 68 new magazines on our nation’s newsstands! A magnificent May indeed…

Enjoy! And keep in mind, if it is not ink on paper, it is not a magazine.

*Total for May changed from 70 to 68 due to 2 duplications of Special titles

Up first, our beautiful Frequency covers:

Chart Driving Line Fab U Plus Femme Rouge Franchise Gayletter Genome GQ Style HOMES Illumine Jewish in Seattle King Kong Living the Country Life Long Range Military Kids' Life MITT Our Quilting Positive Providence RUM 1 The Hemp Connisser The New Territory Toke Well Upcycled Style World Index

And now, our Specials covers…

10-Minutes Recipes 101 Container Garden Ideas 175 Moments A Guide to Cast Iron Cooking A Guide To National Parks 2 A Guide To National Parks 3 A Year in Space America's National Parks America's Parks Annie's Coloring Pages Beyonce Birthday Cute Cats Easy Herb Gardening EXPLORE Finding Dory Flow Sketchbook Get Together 1 Green Side Up Hitler Homo Culture Island Style KOBE Little Looms On the Front Lines Outdoor Living Paleo Recipes PEOPLE American Heroes PEOPLE Prince Prepper Prince 1 Sharks 4 Slow Cooker Summer StyleWatch Love Your Body summer Classics Summer Decorating 1 Sunset Outdoor Living Superheores Unleashed The Genius of Prince The Secrets of Natural Remedies Travel America VIntage Gardens Weeknight Recipes Wildlife World War II Elite

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Newell Turner: It’s Good To Be Home – Metropolitan Home, That Is. The Relaunch Of The Magazine Brings It Back To Its Original Urban DNA – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Newell Turner, Editor-in-Chief and Hearst Design Group Editorial Director.

May 9, 2016

“What’s more exciting though than it actually being Met Home is that it’s a magazine. And it’s really just starting what I want to push more, that artistic side of magazine making, not just cranking out a product on an assembly line, but finding ways to be artistic with the product. I think that’s what is going to set us apart from everything else that’s out there. We are an experience and we have to be more of that than ever now.” Newell Turner

“I believe the digital age allows for many wonderful things, but it also makes us so disconnected from reality in the digital platforms that to come back to this (print) is very special. And that’s what it should be actually.” Newell Turner

Met Home Metropolitan Home returned to newsstands recently and while the magazine is uniquely modern and contemporary for today’s fast-paced world, the familiar urban appeal is back as the magazine hones in on its original DNA very successfully. The man who began his career , in his own words, on the lowest possible rung of the original Met Home’s ladder, is back, only this time, he’s at the top of the masthead, bringing his passion for the brand along with him. I spoke with Newell Turner on a recent trip to New York and we talked about the magazine that began it all for him. And how excited he is to see it return.

As a former student of mine, Newell’s talents and creative capabilities are something that I have witnessed first-hand and as his career has developed and grown over the years, I have been amazed by the strides of excellence and above all, savviness that he has shown in everything that he has done.

I was excited to hear the prognosis for Met Home’s future and the clear vision that this pilot issue has given for the forward-movement of the brand. So without further ado, I give you the Mr. Magazine™ interview with a man who knows Met Home better than anyone else on the planet, Newell Turner, Editor-in-Chief and Hearst Design Group Editorial Director.

But first, the sound-bites:

NewellTurner2 On how it feels to have started at the bottom rung of the magazine’s (Metropolitan Home) masthead and to now be at the very top of it: Right, I was at the lowest rung. (Laughs) I show my editorial assistants now; look, I didn’t even have a title when I started on the masthead; I was below the address. So, stop complaining about titles around here. (Laughs again) There are moments where I’ve thought about it; I feel a huge responsibility to it, because as you know, in the beginning I was there with Dorothy (Kalins), who was the founder of the magazine, and the magazine had such a passion, back to that word again that I feel like we’ve really tried to infuse this with. And I wanted to bring that passion, not only for the magazine, but to build a passion with the audience for the magazine.

On the original title of Apartment Life: It was the early 70s, maybe ’73 or ’74, and it was Apartment Life for a while. We kept that rubric, the phrase Apartment Life is still the rubric; it’s our small space column, and we’re just really going back to the brand and looking at what it was and what it wanted to be, and seeing a void in the market for that very concept.

On recreating the moment that he found out that Met Home was going to relaunched: When we bought Lagardère, I emailed David (Carey) the next day and said, hey, by the way, did we get Metropolitan Home, which it had been a part of the company, but it had been closed. And he said that he had no idea, because we had gotten a huge amount of property content when that purchase happened, so many real magazines, but then a lot of archival material as well. About a week later he emailed me back and said yes, we did get Metropolitan Home and that was right about the time that I was reorganizing or creating the Hearst Design Group. So, it was immediately on my horizon as an opportunity to grow the Group in a few years. But about a year and half ago Michael Clinton came to one of our issue previews and said, hey, by the way Newell, what about Metropolitan Home? (Laughs) I said, well, it’s on my horizon. And he said that he thought there was a white space for that market and we should look at it.

On how he manages to handle the Design Group and four magazine titles: First of all, you have great people (Laughs), you hire really good editors in chief, because the editors in chief are the ones still primarily responsible for their magazines. As a group, both as a business and as a product going out there and creating content, we have much more strength as a group than we do individually. So, we are doing versions of this throughout Hearst, but we’re the only group that is truly integrated. None of the other groups are as integrated as we are, staffing-wise and production-wise.

On the only constant, besides change, in this business: What’s the only constant? Hopefully, beautiful content and beautiful products. I hope creativity; I actually want to believe that creativity is going to grow out of all of this. What we’ve already done is engage people in new ways.

On when that first relaunched issue of Metropolitan Home hit his desk: I didn’t want to look at it anymore. (Laughs) I was tired of it already. I was already thinking about the next issue. It makes me very happy to see it. I look at it; it looks very new to me, but it also looks very familiar as the magazine that I started at. It was also fun to work on because it was really only four of us working on this project full-time, and so I played many roles. I got to do everything from assigning, copy editing, pulling products for product stories, and it was fun to reengage on all of those levels.

NewellTurner On whether the “At Last” phrase on the cover of the magazine was for him: “At Last?” No, that’s for all of the people; the Facebook fans that have a following. I think there is a club called “We Miss Met Home.” It is a little bit for me, I suppose, “At Last” it’s back. I was very sad when it closed. I felt like it had just drifted for a long time with not a lot of effort put into it. And for something that had begun with so much passion and such an exciting staff, to see it drift and just fade away was really sad to me. So, it is exciting to bring it back.

On whether artistic differentiation s the future of magazine publishing: Yes, I think that we’re not an algorithm, gathering product like so much of the content on the web is. I’m also going to say more and more that I could care less about three trillion eyeballs seeing this. I would much rather have 300,000 and 800,000 readers. I think a smaller, special, more passionate audience is the future.

On what he believes is the power of print in this digital age: The art side of me, the passionate side of me, loves the feel of a magazine. And I love the experience of holding it and studies say that people retain more when they’re holding a magazine. I think that what’s wonderful today is that as a journalist we don’t have just one platform to tell a story on and I feel like we in print are only just beginning to understand the opportunities on all of the platforms.

On anything else that he’d like to add: I want to believe that we’re only just beginning to experiment and push the creative side of it. I had wanted to do more and I think that we’ve done a lot in this issue, but I really want to push that and play with it more, whether it’s a combination of special papers or really tapping into the creative photography and writing, I really want to push all of that.

On what someone would find him doing if they showed up unexpectedly to his home one evening: Consuming media on multiple platforms simultaneously. (Laughs) Watching television, usually something I recorded, because I can’t stand the commercials and I fast forward through them, reading a magazine or a newspaper with my iPhone or iPad at hand, either looking up or going back and forth, reading things on different subjects.

On what keeps him up at night: My iPad; I go to bed with the iPad. I start reading and then I just can’t stop and it goes from one thing to the next. I’m not worried about publishing and that may sound really cocky and over-confident, but I really do feel like there’s a future for the size and the kind of magazine, not specifically Metropolitan Home, but this kind of focused magazine. I believe there is a real future for it.

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Newell Turner, Editor-in-Chief and Hearst Design Group Editorial Director.

TurnerandHusni Samir Husni: How does it feel to produce a magazine that when you began, your name was at the lowest end of the masthead, but it’s now at the top of that masthead; how does that feel to you?

Newell Turner: Right, I was at the lowest rung. (Laughs) I show my editorial assistants now; look, I didn’t even have a title when I started on the masthead; I was below the address. So, stop complaining about titles around here. (Laughs again)

There are moments where I’ve thought about it; I feel a huge responsibility to it, because as you know, in the beginning I was there with Dorothy (Kalins), who was the founder of the magazine, and the magazine had such a passion, back to that word again that I feel like we’ve really tried to infuse this with. And I wanted to bring that passion, not only for the magazine, but to build a passion with the audience for the magazine.

And I think that’s what Met Home had done so brilliantly. In the beginning it developed a relationship and an audience with the Baby Boom generation, and now we have this opportunity to do it for the next big group, meaning Gen X and first-wave millennials.

But to answer your question; it’s kind of astonishing. (Laughs) I like to tell people here, especially the youngest editors, who all today want a new title and a promotion after their first involvement in a story, way before they even produce a story by themselves; I tell them to keep putting one foot in front of the next and look at what can happen, just hang in there.

So, 30-plus years later, I got to bring back this magazine that started my career. And as I told Dorothy; we had spoken a couple of times about it and I had sent her a couple of issues, and I said that I really saw myself as going back to the DNA of the brand and rebuilding it from there, as opposed to where it was when it died. And she wrote me a really wonderful email back about that, because I feel like the magazine had kind of lost its position. It’s called Metropolitan Home, but most of the houses were suburban and country and weekend houses.

I wanted to bring it back to being very urban and more contemporary and that’s really coming right back to the heart of what it was in the beginning.

Samir Husni: For those who don’t know the history of Metropolitan Home; it started as Apartment Life.

Newell Turner: Yes, it did. We don’t have an exact date, because it didn’t have a frequency.

Samir Husni: Yes, it was an SIP from Better Homes and Gardens.

Newell Turner: Yes, and it was the early 70s, maybe ’73 or ’74, and it was Apartment Life for a while. We kept that rubric, the phrase Apartment Life is still the rubric; it’s our small space column, and we’re just really going back to the brand and looking at what it was and what it wanted to be, and seeing a void in the market for that very concept. And that’s what really happened.

Samir Husni: Can you recreate for me that moment when the hierarchy, whether it was David Carey or Michael Clinton who said first that they wanted to do this, to relaunch Metropolitan Home?

Newell Turner: Well, it didn’t happen quite like that. (Laughs) When we bought Lagardère, I emailed David (Carey) the next day and said, hey, by the way, did we get Metropolitan Home, which it had been a part of the company, but it had been closed. And he said that he had no idea, because we had gotten a huge amount of property content when that purchase happened, so many real magazines, but then a lot of archival material as well.

About a week later he emailed me back and said yes, we did get Metropolitan Home and that was right about the time that I was reorganizing or creating the Hearst Design Group. So, it was immediately on my horizon as an opportunity to grow the Group in a few years. But about a year and half ago Michael Clinton came to one of our issue previews and said, hey, by the way Newell, what about Metropolitan Home? (Laughs) I said, well, it’s on my horizon. And he said that he thought there was a white space for that market and we should look at it.

And that’s when Kate (Kate Kelly Smith) and I started thinking about and considering what we could do with it. From the business side, we were very careful not to create a product that would cannibalize the business of our other magazines in the Group, but instead, build something that would add to the portfolio and I think Met Home is going to play a big role in that, because we do a lot of cross-magazine sales to advertisers. We want advertisers to come to us with all of their advertising dollars and then let us cover the world for them in the shelter/decorating category.

So, that’s how it started really. Michael said let’s look at it and do it as a pilot, which is a new concept as far as I know; it’s new here at Hearst. It’s basically the same concept as it is in television. You create a product; you put it out there; you see how advertisers and consumers respond to it.

With advertisers, we sold out of ad pages, which was terrific. We did a consumer interest survey back in October; again, with no product, with no pages or images to show people, just testing reader memory of the title, Metropolitan Home, and also readers’ interests in contemporary and urban content and a magazine that would focus on that.

Interestingly, the results that came back aligned almost exactly with the demographic that we had theoretically gone out to capture. And that’s the median age of 38; household income of $150,000 and up; female/male ratio of like 70/30. All of which are very different from our other magazines, most shelter publications have a median age of readers in their 50s and the household income is much lower, except for Veranda, which is the highest in the category at around $124, 000 per household and then a much younger readership of 38.

The response rate of people interested came in at a median age of 38 for Met Home. So, that was a real strong indication that we were on the right path with something that we were creating. And then like I said, we didn’t have anything to put out there, we were just selling it with this brochure. And with advertisers, everybody was trying to figure out who and what the millennials are.

We started out, I would say, talking a little more millennial, but then as it evolved we realized that it’s Gen X that’s coming first, and they’re in their 40s and the ones who are really beginning to make serious decisions about homes and purchases for their homes. And in the process of going right at them, also build a relationship with the first-wave millennials.

I don’t know how much you’ve read about millennials, but everyone tends to talk about them as one big group, but there’s really a first and a second-wave, just like there was with the Baby Boomers. And the first-wave is in their 30s and they’re starting to make some purchases. Unfortunately for us, decorating is probably the last item on the disposable-income list of where they’re going to spend money, long after food, entertainment and clothing, but by their late 30s and 40s, most people are starting to make enough to at least think about some purchases for the home, if not make their first actual home purchase.

Samir Husni: Your group, the Design Group at Hearst, was started as an experiment, in terms of appointing one person, you to handle the group; you were heading three magazines and now you have four. They’re applying the same formula with Jay at Town & Country and Esquire. Is this the future, doing more with less? And how do you manage to handle all four titles now?

Newell Turner: First of all, you have great people (Laughs), you hire really good editors in chief, because the editors in chief are the ones still primarily responsible for their magazines. As a group, both as a business and as a product going out there and creating content, we have much more strength as a group than we do individually.

So, we are doing versions of this throughout Hearst, but we’re the only group that is truly integrated. None of the other groups are as integrated as we are, staffing-wise and production-wise.

As you know, we have three core teams, one for each magazine, of about six people per team. And then we have three large departments that work across all three magazines. We just decided, and I decided especially, that we’re going to have to take big steps if we’re going to get anywhere with this integration. We’re going to have to make big, bold moves and some things are going to work and some things aren’t. If it doesn’t work, we’ll step back a little bit, but as David has said, we’re never going back to where we were in the beginning.

And it was those big moves out of the gate that really got us to where we are and got us as integrated as we are. And really this integration, I think, is the future because our entire process of magazine making was antiquated on one hand, but yet working with all of the latest tools of the industry on the other. And no one had ever really stopped and asked: we have this to do it with, but we’re still doing it that way and does that make sense?

So, we had that rare opportunity that Hearst gave us to stop and literally just take it apart and scrub it is the best way to describe it. And honestly, it’s the first time in my entire life or my career that I’ve had a job description. There were no job descriptions in any of the magazines. And we wrote job descriptions for people and that may sound old-school, but it’s actually imperative for people so they can kind of understand what they do, especially now that we’re this integrated, because we’ve really cleaned up jobs, so we’ve really enabled people to focus on what they do and do best.

At the same time, the tools that we use have enabled people to do more and by that I should say that we’re going to be doing some new implementations here that are based on a model in Spain that we’re just starting to look at. But it’s really going to take advantage of the tools even more. To make what our employees are doing now work better.

Everything is changing so fast; it’s like today you’re doing it this way, and then two months later there’s a new way to do it and it’s a better way, but you’re still kind of holding on to some of the old ways and trying the new ways. You end up with these very overly-complicated processes that are neither here nor there and don’t work either way to their max.

Samir Husni: In this sea of change, what’s the only constant besides change?

Newell Turner: What’s the only constant? Hopefully, beautiful content and beautiful products. I hope creativity; I actually want to believe that creativity is going to grow out of all of this. What we’ve already done is engage people in new ways.

So, someone that typically edits just one magazine, and has for years, you want to keep your good employees, but year after year, they’re editing the same magazine; it’s got to get boring. And I’ve left jobs because I thought what I was doing was all I could do.

Now this person that I’m kind of making up is editing across all three magazines and during every monthly cycle is engaging in different ways with different core teams, different content, different voices and it just keeps the job interesting. And even though it’s more streamlined, there’s more variety and interest in it. Even people that we’ve had leave after we’ve done this have said this has been the most engaging and interesting experience of my career.

It’s worked really, really well. And it’s worked on all fronts, from the business side to the editorial side. We’ve had parts of it where employees have gone through a lot of changes, where staffing has changed. But for the most part we’ve pretty much held together.

Samir Husni: When that first issue of Met Home landed on your desk…

Newell Turner: I didn’t want to look at it anymore. (Laughs) I was tired of it already. I was already thinking about the next issue.

It makes me very happy to see it. I look at it; it looks very new to me, but it also looks very familiar as the magazine that I started at. It was also fun to work on because it was really only four of us working on this project full-time, and so I played many roles. I got to do everything from assigning, copy editing, pulling products for product stories, and it was fun to reengage on all of those levels.

I also think it’s healthy for me to reengage like that, because it reminds me of what people are actually doing and it helps me see how they’re jobs are working, where maybe I’ve been asking too much of some people, and where some people can do more.

And I want more creative voices writing for the magazine. There’s no reason we should be working with the same people over and over again. This gave us an opportunity for me to prove that you can bring in new voices and you don’t have to be this slave to some mythical voice that really isn’t a voice at all. It’s been so home that there’s no voice to it anymore.

We were looser in the editing process; we intentionally didn’t over edit people in putting this together, because I wanted to make the point to some of our team that you don’t have to work copy so hard, especially when you’re hiring great people to work for you and write for you. Let their voices come through.

We used Met Home and we’re still using it as an opportunity to try things and demonstrate things for the other magazines in the Group.

Samir Husni: Is it Newell’s passion from the heart, the “At Last” phrase on the cover?

Newell Turner: “At Last?” No, that’s for all of the people; the Facebook fans that have a following. I think there is a club called “We Miss Met Home.” It is a little bit for me, I suppose, “At Last” it’s back. I was very sad when it closed. I felt like it had just drifted for a long time with not a lot of effort put into it. And for something that had begun with so much passion and such an exciting staff, to see it drift and just fade away when it died was really sad to me. So, it is exciting to bring it back.

What’s more exciting though than it actually being Met Home is that it’s a magazine. And it’s really just starting what I want to push more, that artistic side of magazine making, not just cranking out a product on an assembly line, but finding ways to be artistic with the product. I think that’s what is going to set us apart from everything else that’s out there. We are an experience and we have to be more of that than ever now.

And weirdly, that’s just back to the beginning of magazine making. It’s where magazines started, as beautifully crafted, specially-made, limited production products.

Samir Husni: I still remember your design assignments from class, where you always differentiated yourself from the rest of the class technically, in terms of your artistic abilities and drawings of those images in your head. Is that the future of magazine publishing?

Newell Turner: Yes, I think that we’re not an algorithm, gathering product like so much of the content on the web is. I’m also going to say more and more that I could care less about three trillion eyeballs seeing this. I would much rather have 300,000 and 800,000 readers. I think a smaller, special, more passionate audience is the future.

I also feel really strongly about this, and I don’t even know if it relates to the conversation, but we have got to charge what we’re worth and stand by that price. We’re $9.99 on the newsstand and I’m not embarrassed about it. I don’t think that we’re going to have any issues with it, knock on wood. If we move forward and start with subscriptions, I don’t want discounted subscriptions. I received something out of my Instagram feed from Condé Nast Traveler‎, beautiful cover, six issues for $6, that is the most depressing and sad thing that I’ve ever seen. If we don’t value what we produce, then why do we expect the consumer to value it?

And that’s not in just magazine publishing, that’s in real estate; that’s in everything out there. And we have got to value it and charge what it’s worth and I think consumers will appreciate it then.

Samir Husni: What do you believe is the power of print in this digital age?

Newell Turner: Well, I’m multiplatform, so let me say, I’m an avid subscriber to Texture and I think that’s partly because I like to be able to get a magazine the moment I want it and not have to go in search for it on the newsstand.

The art side of me, the passionate side of me, loves the feel of a magazine. And I love the experience of holding it and studies say that people retain more when they’re holding a magazine. I think that what’s wonderful today is that as a journalist we don’t have just one platform to tell a story on and I feel like we in print are only just beginning to understand the opportunities on all of the platforms. And not just doing a video because you can do one on the website, but how do you tell a story on Snapchat? And not only how do you tell that story, but how do you make one that makes sense for Snapchat and your subject? In our case, a shelter/decorating magazine.

To me, the many platforms that we have to play with and the way that we can integrate them together and have them function independently are really exciting to me.

Samir Husni: That’s one of the things that I teach now-a-days, that media companies have to be platform agnostic. But you have to keep in mind that some of our audiences are platform specific.

Newell Turner: Much of our audience is still platform specific. I just think that in the digital age people are more attracted to tactile things than ever before. And I think that’s going to play to our advantage as the print platform, that desire to touch. That’s why we’re all playing with varnishes and textures on our covers to increase that sense of tactile quality.

I believe the digital age allows for many wonderful things, but it also makes us so disconnected from reality in the digital platforms that to come back to this (print) is very special. And that’s what it should be actually.

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

Newell Turner: I want to believe that we’re only just beginning to experiment and push the creative side of it. I had wanted to do more and I think that we’ve done a lot in this issue, but I really want to push that and play with it more, whether it’s a combination of special papers or really tapping into the creative photography and writing, I really want to push all of that.

I’ve used the analogy to HBO so much that it’s kind of boring, but we really have to be an amazing product like the HBO product is. Something that people are willing to pay for, and then enjoy the process of telling the stories the way you want to tell them, and not feeling like you have to win everybody with your first issue. Taking your time and pacing the magazine.

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

Newell Turner: Consuming media on multiple platforms simultaneously. (Laughs) Watching television, usually something I recorded, because I can’t stand the commercials and I fast forward through them, reading a magazine or a newspaper with my iPhone or iPad at hand, either looking up or going back and forth, reading things on different subjects.

Samir Husni: Any final words of wisdom to the students majoring in journalism at your alma mater, Ole Miss?

Newell Turner: Yes, no job is too small. And getting your foot in the door is everything, and then being patient, and hopefully finding good mentors. I’ve had good mentors and I try to be a good mentor to my staff here. And I think that’s a wonderful aspect of business and our business in particular. And this is really important; I told one of my staff when I left another job, I said the one piece of advice I could give you is never burn a bridge, because in this business, we cross paths over and over again. It’s happened too many times. So, never burn a bridge in this business because you’re going to be working with people again and you don’t want to have that problem.

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

Newell Turner: My iPad; I go to bed with the iPad. I start reading and then I just can’t stop and it goes from one thing to the next. I’m not worried about publishing and that may sound really cocky and over-confident, but I really do feel like there’s a future for the size and the kind of magazine, not specifically Metropolitan Home, but this kind of focused magazine. I believe there is a real future for it.

So, I’m not really worried about publishing. I think people are always curious and want to know more; people want to better their lives, it’s the American Dream, to have a better life. And we are one of the best platforms and products to help them get there. We’re kind of built into the American Dream. We believe in knowing everything and we want to have a better life and magazines provide the best way to get that.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

h1

From ACT 6 Experience With Love: Linda Ruth Reports — Enthusiast Publications Light Path To Success. Chapter 11.

May 2, 2016

Joe Berger Joe Berger drew from his experience as a consultant to magazine publishers in telling the assembled ACT 6 group that, not only can downward trends be reversed by committed publishers, but it is still possible to make money on the newsstand. Not only are newsstand sales a direct source of revenue, but they also create indirect revenue streams, through highly-qualified subscription generation and contribution to rate base. Smart publishers won’t turn their backs on newsstand, because it’s still a visible, public way to get magazines seen. Not only will a great editorial product and a well-crafted cover drive sales, it will also generate lots of PR. But as they move into newsstand, consumer magazine publishers need to make sure they ask, and answer, the essential questions: who is going to manage your newsstand sales? How to get on the newsstand? Who will manage the finances? Who are your competitors? What are your costs? When will you launch? When will you evaluate results and plan to go forward? Where do you want to be displayed? Where do you expect to be seen? Unasked questions, Berger reminded the group, can result in legendary disasters.

“And I wish that someone had given me that list of questions when I was starting out,” commented Monique Reidy, publisher of the regional lifestyle magazine Southern California Life.
Her advice to publishers is to ask questions. “Talk to smart people who have accomplished what you are setting out to do,” she said. Learn from them.”

Aaron Day One of the smart people that Ryan Waterfield has learned from is Eleanor Roosevelt. The publisher of another regional lifestyle magazine, Big Life, Waterfield took as her motto Roosevelt’s advice that we do something that scares us, every day. Big Life was born of the resolution to do just that, and from Waterfield’s passion for the mountains and the sky. “Be authentic,” Waterfield advised. “Share your passion. Try something new.”

Waterfield and Reidy were part of a panel of enthusiast publishers, moderated by Aaron Day, the CEO of Trend Offset Printing. In only six years, Trend has grown its business by 120 million dollars. They have done so through adding value to their printing services—value such as workflow solutions, a digital storefront, and mailing and delivery solutions.

In support of Trend’s conviction that print is alive and well, Ron Adams, the Publisher and Founder of Via Corsa, spoke of his publication as the evolution of an idea. The value of magazines, Adams said, goes beyond the 45 minutes it takes to read it. It continues through the weeks, and months, and maybe years in which you keep the publication and refer to it—it refers to their staying power, their collectability. And a publisher who understands the audience adds immeasurably to the collectability of the publication.

Via Corsa’s unique value proposition is its role as a post-purchase companion. Other auto magazines are guides for the purchase. By contrast, the Via Corsa reader has bought that dream car and now wants to get out and drive it. What adventures might there be, what experiences with the car? Via Corsa brings the answers to these questions to life through event sponsorship, co-partnerships, and memorabilia, in addition to the editorial content of the magazine itself. Via Corsa readers already have their cars. The publication encourages them to go out and enjoy them.

Adams was followed by Brandie Gilliam, Founder and Creative Director of Thoughtfully magazine, a publication whose mission is to advocate for a life lived passionately, beautifully, and, yes, thoughtfully. “We see ourselves as creative curators and inspiration enthusiasts,” Gilliam said. “Since we’re here, we might as well do it right.” For Thoughtfully, doing it right grew from a blog, to a site, and then to print, propelled into thought-leader status through the content developed throughout her media. Having created the magazine she wanted to read, Gilliam grew it from a lifestyle into a community, with readers, advertisers, and retailers participating in the experience.

Finding a unique opportunity in an exploding market is what Garrett Rudolph’s Marijuana Venture is all about. While editorial content existed for end users, nothing existed for the business end of the marijuana market. Rudolph saw the opportunity and seized it, launching an eight-page, black-and-white publication and growing it to its current size of 164 pages with 100 advertisers per issue and a distribution of 15,000 copies. It hasn’t always been easy—for example, his bank flagged some checks from his advertisers and peremptorily closed his account—but his unique value proposition, speaking to the business, rather than the consumer, has paid off.

Bauer’s Simple Grace also found an underserved market niche—one that led to a distribution of 300,000 copies across the nation. “What magazine readers have been missing is hope,” explained Carey Ostergard, Deputy Editor. “There is a huge untapped market for it.” Not anger, not judgement, not politics, or church speak, or being right or wrong—just love, and peace, and acceptance for the (mostly) women who have experienced pain and suffering and are turning to their religions for solace. Built around daily devotions, features, and storytelling, Simple Grace speaks to women who are strong, faithful, and devoted to their families. “What’s next? Perhaps branching off the brand, creating a version for girls. Offering something every day that cannot be googled, cannot be found online.” And continuing to offer a loving safe place for people to go—a space you can find on the newsstand. “Newsstand,” said Ostergard, “is still alive. And it’s open to newcomers.”

Click below to watch Joe Berger’s presentation at the ACT 6 Experience:

Click below to watch Aaron Day moderates the new magazine launches panel:

Watch this space for the final ACT 6 Experience as reported by Linda Ruth…

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