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Magazines

People Accounts for 20 Percent of Time Inc.’s Revenue

A lot of people are dependent on People. The glossy — according to magazine consultant John Harrington  raked in about $1.5 billion last year; meaning it accounts for 20 percent of Time Inc.’s revenue.

With that much riding on one magazine, Harrington told The New York Times that People needs to adapt, and do so quickly. “It’s got to do something that is uniquely different from what it used to do because that information is available so much quicker from other sources,” he said.

Despite People being Time Inc.’s best performing brand, Jess Cagle, People’s editor, insisted he’s not stressed. “I certainly don’t think that I am responsible for the survival of Time,” he told the Times.

No word on what everyone else at the publisher thinks.

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Moms are Not Pleased with GQ

Moms who shop at Lands’ End are not fans of GQ’s July issue, which featured a topless Emily Ratajkowski. According to The New York Times, Lands’ End sent the magazine as a gift to its most loyal customers, who are now telling the company how outraged they are by the female body.

The moms took to Lands’ End’s Facebook page to show their disgust. “My 14-year-old son brought in the mail today & was quite disturbed & fascinated by a ‘gift’ Lands’ End sent us — a copy of GQ magazine with an absolutely OBSCENE cover!!!” wrote one mom, who will surely find that issue under her son’s mattress one day.

Another mom marveled at the porn empire that is GQ. “I ordered Christian private school children’s uniforms from your company and you sold my home address to a magazine company that peddles in soft porn for men???”

The backlash was so severe that Edgar Huber, the CEO of Lands’ End, issued an apology. In the email, he informed the customers that GQ had been replaced with Condé Nast Traveler.

Here’s hoping Lands’ End moms don’t have an aversion to photos of rich people standing on beaches.

Time Publishes Robin Williams Commemorative Issue

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Time has published a special issue dedicated entirely to Robin Williams. The issue — available Friday, August 15 — features tributes penned by Bill MaherDick Cavett, Alan Alda, Joan Rivers, Patch Adams, Jim Norton, Gilbert Gottfried, Margaret Cho, Lewis Black, Nathan Lane and more.

Time’s Richard Corliss and James Poniewozik have also contributed pieces honoring Williams.

“[On the USO tours], the amount of energy he brought when we would get off of a helicopter and walk towards the troops — the amount of energy he gave to them was unbelievable,” wrote Black. “It was really incredible to be in that kind of giving presence… It’s proof again that the good die young, and pricks live forever. He’s gonna be missed. There’s a hole, and it’s it’s gonna take a long time to be filled.”

Food Network Magazine Makes Editorial and Publishing Hires

food network magazineFood Network Magazine has made a few hires on the editorial and one on the publishing side.

Editorial additions to the Hearst owned glossy include Steven Barbeau as deputy art director; Sarah Bruning as senior features editor; Erica Cohen as market editor; and Yasmin Sabir as senior editor. Barbeau was most recently a senior designer for Flex Magazine. Bruning comes to Food Network from Natural Health and Fit Pregnancy, where she served as a features editor. Cohen was most recently an assistant editor at HGTV Magazine. Sabin most recently served as a senior associate food editor at Woman’s Day.

On the publishing side, Food Network has hired Kara Freisinger as sales director. She most recently served as a freelance account manager for Real Simple.

Remembering Robin Williams

Robin Williams, who died yesterday at the age of 63, brought a lot of joy into the hearts of his fans. Throughout his 40 year career, he was featured on countless magazine covers. We thought showcasing a few of them would be a nice way to remember the actor (and Muppet magazine).

As you’ll notice, while Williams dealt with severe depression, substance abuse issues and anxiety, the one almost constant feature of each cover is Williams’ smile. Seems fitting.

Read more

How Prevention Increased Newsstand Sales

While most magazines were experiencing a rough first half of the year, Prevention somehow kept its head way above water. As we reported yesterday, the glossy posted the biggest single copy sales increase of any magazine reporting to AAM.

To what did Prevention attribute its 13 percent jump? Well, its focus helps: People feel fat in the beginning of the year, so they reach for magazines that are dedicated to helping them lose some of that tub. Prevention also benefited from a proactive mission to be seen.

Ad Age reports that Prevention recently passed one million fans on Facebook, and the brand has been popping up on TV:

A TV special, Love Your Whole Life, based on Prevention’s January 2014 ‘Best Year Ever’ editorial franchise, ran in more than 130 markets, including New York, L.A. and Chicago. And Anne Alexander, [VP and editorial director of the magazine] who is the co-author of New York Times bestseller The Sugar Smart Diet, has appeared on TV multiple times to discuss the topic and her book.

Time Inc. Testing Higher Prices for People

Time Inc. has come up with a brilliant idea to increase revenue: Make rich people pay more for the pleasure of reading about other rich people.

According to The New York Post, the publisher is currently charging different prices for People — single copies of the glossy are more expensive in affluent cities and less expensive in other areas. The move comes on the heels of People raising its cover price to $4.99 — its first price hike in five years.

“Magazines are one of the few products that have one price nationally,” Time Inc.’s CEO, Joe Ripp, told the Post. “That makes no sense to me.”

We agree. Hopefully the wealthy readers of People somehow manage to cope with this dramatic change in their lives.

Kristen Stewart Covers September Elle

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Elle has given Kristen Stewart the honor of gracing the cover of its all-important September issue.

Here she is doing her best LL Cool J (circa 1987) impression. Not bad.

Viva Italia! WSJ Talks with Italian Vogue EIC

Fun lede from Tim Blanks for his feature interview profile of Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue.

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The publication is celebrating its 50th-year anniversary:

Franca Sozzani’s [Milan home] office is a complete mess. “It’s a disaster,” she agrees. “I don’t know how long I can survive in it.” Boxes wait to be packed or unpacked (it’s impossible to tell which), pictures are propped against walls and there are piles of books, piles of stuff. On top of one lies a VHS copy of Al Pacino’s Scent of a Woman. Sozzani has no clue why or how.

Read more

Magazine Circulation and Newsstand Sales Decline

magazine stack GMagazines, as much as we love them, continue to struggle. According to the Alliance for Audited Media’s latest report — which covered the first half of this year — total circulation was down two percent and single copy sales declined by 12 percent.

A big reason for newsstand sales dropping so severely was Source Interlink shutting down. The wholesaler was responsible for distributing about 30 percent of magazines sold in stores across the country.

Finding success among the glossies reporting to AAM was difficult, but here are the winners for the first six months: American Rifleman and Prevention (talk about polar opposite audiences). Rifleman had the biggest circulation increase — up 12 percent compared to last year; while Prevention had the biggest single copy increase — up 13 percent.

As for the losers, well, sorry Reader’s Digest (circulation down 35 percent) and Good Housekeeping (single copy sales down 33 percent).

Better luck — to all the magazines — during the second half of the year.

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