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Posts Tagged ‘Best Life’

A Look at The Relaunched Best Life

On the right is the cover of the relaunched Best Life, the Rodale title that had folded in 2009. According to WWD, the magazine is in a test phase, but there is already plans for a second issue in the spring.

What can you expect out of the updated Best Life? Fashion coverage and articles about rich guys being amazing.

Even though the new Best Life sounds exactly the same as the folded version, its editor-in-chief, Steve Perrine, thinks this time it will have staying power.

“There are things luxury magazines can do that no other format can,” Perrine told WWD. “There is a reason why newsweeklies are struggling. You can get that information more timely online. You can’t get that luxurious feeling from a Web site or digital edition of a magazine the way you can from that big, physical, beautiful magazine.”

We shall see, won’t we?

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Best Life to Return

Best Life, the spinoff of Men’s Health that folded in 2009, is coming back. The New York Post reports that it will return this fall as a “special interest publication,” with a planned distribution of 300,000.

As in its previous life, Stephen Perrine will return as Editor-in-Chief and David Zinczenko will serve Best Life’s Editorial Director.

The men’s title launched in 2004 with a rate base of 500,000, but was shut down just five years later. “Best Life could not meet our internal benchmarks, and we have made the decision to focus our resources on our core brands,” Rodale’s former CEO Steven Murphy, said at the time.

Rolling Stone Expands Sales Team

3letter.lrg.jpgRolling Stone has had a tough couple of years: it downgraded the size of its mag, lost staffers, and hedged so long in making a viable Web presence that by the time Jann Wenner took back RollingStone.com, it was too little, too late.

But 2010 is looking up for the venerable music title, with enough cash trickling back in that Wenner could afford to hire Michael Wolfe , a veteran of GQ and Rodale‘s Best Life, as the newest associate publisher of sales.

Joining Wolfe will be Tracy Monahan, formerly of Details and Teen Vogue, as the associate publisher of marketing.

Full press release after the jump.

Read More: Rolling Stone’s Web Failure Wasn’t So Shabby, After All. But Now What? –All Things D

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FishbowlNY’s 2009 Lists: A Timeline Of Magazine Closings

taylor_swift_blender_cover-x622200.jpgIt’s been a tough year for the publishing industry, and magazines in particular have had it rough. Every major publisher has had to shutter at least one of its titles, and some of our favorite glossies have gone to that great magazine rack in the sky.

While it would take forever to list all the over 400 magazines that have folded this year, we here at FishbowlNY put together a timeline of some of the bigger names that were shuttered this year. The bad news? It looks like in the last six months of the year the number of titles snowballed. Here’s hoping that 2010 looks a lot brighter.

After the jump, our timeline

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Exclusive: Outside Plagued by Layoffs, Late Payments to Freelancers

cover_mar2009_toc.jpgYesterday, we received a tip that in the past six months Outside and Outside’s Go had laid off employees, cut pay of remaining staffers, and was waiting more than half a year to pay some freelancers. After speaking with a half a dozen former Outside staffers and freelancers, we’ve confirmed that the tip is true and the reality isn’t pretty.

In the past six months at Outside, between five and seven people (from a staff of roughly 50) have been laid off, editor Christopher Keyes told us. Three of these layoffs came when Outside’s Go dropped to four issues per year. Furthermore, there have been two rounds of pay cuts for senior staffers — and one for junior staffers — and the company is imposing a weeklong furlough in June, applicable to all employees except sales staff.

“Like every other magazine, we are looking to weather the current conditions,” Keyes said. “We have a five-week production cycle in June, so we are having a furlough. It’s company-wide but salespeople will be working that week.”

Keyes stressed that the pub has always taken a long time to pay writers, but they always get paid. “While it’s true that Outside has a long payment cycle, it’s an independent publication and in 32 years we’ve never defaulted on a payment. There’s no doubt people will be paid.”

While paying freelancers late “has always been an Outside thing,” according to one source, in conjunction with the deteriorating economic climate, “it’s only gotten worse.” Multiple people with intimate knowledge of the situation at Outside reported payments being sent an average of four to six months after publication, with some invoices nine to 12 months past due. One person confirms being owed more than $10,000, and sources say that’s the case for other contractors, as well.

A particular point of freelancer ire is how Outside sends reporters and photographers around the world, with them fronting the cost of those trips for overly long periods of time. One person said the magazine’s failure to reimburse these expenses in a timely fashion puts the writers and photographers in a difficult position, as they can have thousands of dollars on their credit cards for half a year or more. “A lot of people want to work for Outside because they send people all over the planet, but it’s very expensive and freelancers expense everything,” the source explained. “[Outside owner Larry Burke]‘s mentality is, ‘Hey, I sent you to the far reaches of the world, you should feel lucky.’ You can’t do business like that.”

Payment delays are apparently taking a toll on the magazine’s famed freelancing ranks. “Men’s Journal pays better and on time, so why would I even bother with Outside,” said a freelancer who’s written for the two competing pubs.

Several of the sources who spoke with FishbowlNY said that even amid the magazine’s payment delays, they were repeatedly assured that Outside wasn’t in financial trouble, although one person did equate securing payment from the company to “squeezing blood from a turnip.” We also obtained an internal company email indicating that Outside sought investors in March 2008. (It’s after the jump and includes the plea, “It would help to have a warm body in that office.”) [UPDATE: A clarification -- The company was seeking investors for Go only.]

Keyes assured FBNY that Outside is in good financial standing. “I feel really good about our longterm viability,” he said. “This April’s issue is 140 pages, while last year’s was 136.”

Some people we spoke with question the continued publication of Go earlier this year, especially given the battered market. (Best Life, a similarly themed book, folded earlier this March.) Ironically, Go is reportedly paying its writers more quickly than parent Outside — although still months late — but many within the company wonder why the money-hemorrhaging magazine still exists.

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Financial Week Still Winning Awards from the Great Magazine Beyond

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Maybe they need to start a special posthumous category for magazine related awards. We noted the other day that Best Life was up for an Ellie despite the fact it folded earlier this month, and Dealscape is currently reporting on the sad phenomenon of Financial Week.

You may recall that Financial Week shuttered its print edition back in December but planned to live on on the Internets — before also shutting down the website a few weeks ago. However! That hasn’t kept the mag from winning awards. As Dealscape points out Financial Week just won a number of Neal Awards Thursday including ‘Best news coverage’ and here’s a kicker, ‘Best Web site.’ The lesson here? Actually we’re not sure there is a lesson other than a lot of good smart people are (hopefully temporarily) losing their jobs in this Great Media Transition we seem to be undergoing, and with any luck will be out of sooner than later.

44th Annual National Magazine Awards Announced

the coveted9890 ellie.jpgASME has announced this year’s National Magazine Award Finalists. There is a bit of a last hurrah sense about this year’s ceremony — Best Life nominated for the Magazine Section award no longer exists, and New York recently pulled itself of out of the MPA altogether, and Newsweek, up for three awards, which is in the midst of a core overhaul. Not to mention, as everyone who reads this blog is aware many of the mags up for awards are struggling to survive this downturn and it’s hard not to wonder, looking at the list, how many will still be around for next year’s awards or whether the Ellies will have to adjust their guidelines to include online only publications.

Anyway! enough doom and gloom aside, despite its struggles on the Web Conde Nast still reigns supreme in the print world. The New Yorker leads the pack with 10 nominations, including General Excellence, Reporting and Feature Writing. GQ follows with eight nominations (their highest ever), including two for reporting. The complete list of nominees after the jump.

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Rodale’s Best Life Folds

bestlifeandersoncoopermagazinecoverawardsmagazinecovers.jpgA letter from editor Stephen Perrine Rodale CEO Steve Murphy was just sent out to staff announcing that the May of Best Life issue will be its last.

Dear Colleagues,

Today we are announcing that we will cease publication of Best Life. The May issue, appearing on newsstands next month, will be our last.

Despite the great work of the sales team and the talent of the editorial staff, given the challenges of the advertising market and general conditions, Best Life could not meet our internal benchmarks. We have made the decision to focus our resources on our core brands and capitalize on opportunities across new and emerging media platforms.

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Fashion Magazines Hit Hard by Economic Downturn

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We’re starting to get a sense of how bad a hit the mag industry has taken this year. WWD is reporting that fashion and luxury titles have borne the brunt. The industry as a whole saw a 10% decline in ad pages in the third quarter as a result of significantly reduced spending from major ad categories like “pharmaceutical, automotive, technology, and beauty.” However, the numbers get even scarier where fashion is concerned:

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