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Posts Tagged ‘Merri Lee Kingsly’

Saveur Celebrates Successful Year With Gourmet Potluck Feast

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Saveur Publisher Merri Lee Kingsly and Editor-in-Chief James Oseland have a great time at their holiday party Tuesday night

We’ve been to enough media parties to become very well-versed in how to delicately eat hors d’oeuvres while chatting with someone and balancing a glass of wine. We know to steer clear of the mini sliders and stick to anything that can be consumed in one bite.

But when we arrived at Saveur‘s jam-packed test kitchen-cum-party space on Tuesday night, we knew we would have to throw all our party rules out. The theme of the potluck party was simplicity and celebration, and it was catered by some of the best chefs in the biz, who mingled among the crowd or served their food from steaming chafing dishes themselves. And never mind that one-bite rule; we dug into Scott Conant‘s balsamic glazed ribs, Christopher Lee‘s black truffle and bucheron cheese potato gratin and chocolate cupcakes topped with caramel buttercream and crumbled bacon, which sounds weird but was delicious.

After a successful year that saw Saveur leading its category in ad sales, publisher Merri Lee Kingsly was absolutely beaming as she and editor-in-chief James Oseland welcomed all the participating chefs, including Marco Canora, John DeLucie, Alex Guarnaschelli, Gavin Kaysen, Michael Laiskonis, George Mendes, Seamus Mullen, Pichet Ong, Zak Pelaccio, Michael Psilakis and Bill Telepan.

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The chefs, with Kingsly and Oseland

More photos after the jump

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The Experts Weigh In On Condé Nast Closures

4 times square.jpgIn the day following the news that Condé Nast has decided to shutter four magazines, including Gourmet and Cookie, we reached out to some experts in the field to get their reactions. Here’s what we’ve heard:

“It made sense for a company that had two rival magazines to close one of them. It has been a very competitive year for magazines in the epicurean category, and we have had a lot of success. But Gourmet saw newsstand sales fall by 25 percent.”

Merri Lee Kingsly, publisher of Gourmet rival Saveur

“Seeing a major media company like Condé Nast blindly shutting down four prominent publications without even trying to first migrate them to digital is a prime example of how out of touch many media companies are. Folding Gourmet, a magazine with over six decades of a strong readership, is the ultimate proof that the management of Condé Nast is very short-sighted when it comes to understanding the opportunities that exist within the digital publishing landscape. This is truly a sad day for magazines. I have this to say to all print publishers: Don’t kill off another publication! We have the opportunity reshape our industry with digital publishing. Major media companies need to have the vision to realize this.”

Jim Gaines, former editor at Life, Time and People, and current editor-in-chief of digital media company FLYP

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ABC Report Shows Single-Copy Sales Continuing To Drop

saveur2.jpg The Audit Bureau of Circulations released its important report for the first half of the year today, and the findings are not that surprising: total paid and verified circulation, single-copy sales and verified subscriptions are down overall.

However, the ABC said total paid subscriptions were basically flat in the past year. Compared to historical numbers, between the December 2007 and December 2008 reports, paid and verified circ was flat and single-copy sales were down 11.12 percent. Between June 2007 and June 2008, circulation was unchanged and single-copy sales declined 6.34 percent.

Single-copy sales were down the most in this report — more than 12 percent — with almost all of the top 25 top sellers suffering a decline. The biggest newsstand seller, Cosmopolitan, saw a 7.8 drop, although Woman’s Day, OK!, Family Circle and In Style saw the biggest declines in single-copy sales among the top 25, with each logging a more than 20 percent drop.

Meanwhile, the consumer magazines that saw the biggest newsstand growth included Mother Earth News, Women’s Health, Ebony, GQ, Essence, Sporting News, Time, National Geographic International, Real Simple and Runner’s World.

Despite its recent financial challenges, Reader’s Digest remained one of the top 25 consumer magazines in regards to paid and verified subscriptions, along with AARP, which saw a 400 percent jump in subscriptions.

We’ve also been tracking epicurean magazine Saveur since sitting down with its publisher Merri Lee Kingsly last week. Today, Kingsly told us the magazine’s circ is up 4.3 percent, while its epicurean competitors, Food & Wine, Gourmet and Bon Appetit have all seen double-digit declines.

Related: So What Do You Do, Merri Lee Kingsly, Publisher of Saveur?

Also: Listen to Fishbowl NY editor Amanda Ernst talk about Kingsly, Saveur and the upcoming ABC numbers on Friday’s podcast.

FishbowlNY Editor Amanda Ernst Joins This Morning’s Menu

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It was an all-blog morning as GalleyCat editor Jason Boog and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven welcomed FishbowlNY editor Amanda Ernst to the mediabistro.com Morning Media Menu podcast.

Amanda spoke about the Audit Bureau of Circulation’s semi-annual report due out on Monday and what it might mean for the magazine industry. She also discussed one magazine that is expected to post positive numbers in the upcoming report, Saveur and her recent interview with the epicurean magazine’s publisher Merri Lee Kingsly. Saveur is leaving its competitors in the dust by approaching ad sales in a new and different way, motivated by Kingsly’s unconventional approach, Amanda explained.

Also discussed: Sen. Edward Kennedy‘s upcoming memoir and how it will fare against Dan Brown‘s much-hyped new release and A&E‘s acquisition yesterday of Lifetime.

You can listen to all the past podcasts at BlogTalkRadio.com/mediabistro and call in at 646-929-0321.

Saveur Seeks 100 Readers’ Tips

saveur logo.jpgEpicurean magazine Saveur is taking user-generated content to the next level.

This year’s “Saveur 100″ list in the January/February issue will be completely made up of reader’s submissions. For over a decade, the list has been giving readers the Saveur editors’ 100 favorite food-related things, from ingredients and recipes to wine and spirits, restaurants, markets, chefs, cookbooks and more.

Last year, Saveur gave readers the chance to win the 101st item on the list. Publisher Merri Lee Kingsly told us that issue — January/Feb 2009 — was the magazine’s best selling issue of the year, a difficult feat considering what great difficulty other mags had on newsstands at the beginning of the year.

For next year’s issue, Saveur‘s editors are asking readers to submit suggestions for consideration by telling the editorial staff what they love in 1,000 words or less. The editorial team will pick from the entrants and run 100 reader suggestions in the issue.

And speaking of Saveur publisher Kingsly and newsstand numbers, check out this interview with Kingsly, in which she reveals why the magazine is reporting increases in ad page sales, subscriptions and newsstand sales, while other American magazines — including Saveur‘s epicurean competitors — are struggling. And stay tuned for the Audit Bureau of Circulation’s numbers that come out on Monday. They’re sure to show how the hard work of Kingsly and her team is paying off.

Related: So What Do You Do, Merri Lee Kingsly, Publisher of Saveur?

Earlier: PIB Miscalculated Saveur‘s Ad Pages For First Half Of Year

Saveur Takes Over Shake Shack To Celebrate Burger Issue

saveur1.jpgHere’s some proof that magazine parties aren’t dead. We just got back from munching on yummy burgers and crinkle-cut fries at Saveur‘s party celebrating its August issue, which is all about burgers. Of course, the shindig took place at one of New York’s hippest burger establishments: Shake Shake on the Upper West Side.

saveur2.jpgIn between mini servings of cheeseburgers, fries and shakes (we recommend the basil), we chatted with publisher Merri Lee Kingsly, who has been working to close the magazine’s October ad pages. “It looks like we’re going to be up 10 percent,” she said. “Maybe more.”

We also managed to catch editor in chief James Oseland before he ran back to the office. We picked his brain about his recent stint judging on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” Yes, the food on the show really is that good, he said. “It’s amazing because some of these chefs are used to working with a staff of 20 people,” he said. “They’re not used to chopping onions, let alone working in an unfamiliar kitchen.”

Saveur also had another thing to celebrate this week: the launch of its newly designed Web site. Kingsly said there were the usual glitches when it first launched on Monday, but things seem to be running smoothly now, allowing the magazine’s staff to relax, kick back and enjoy a burger.

More photos of today’s party after the jump

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PIB Miscalculated Saveur‘s Ad Pages For First Half of Year

saveur.pngSaveur‘s publisher Merri Lee Kingsly pointed us to an error in the Publishers Information Bureau numbers for the first half of 2009.

In recently released ad page and revenue statistics, PIB said the epicurean magazine was down 14.83 percent compared to the January to June numbers from last year. However, Kingsly said the stats agency had incorrectly compared its January to May numbers from 2009 to January to June numbers from 2008, resulting in a serious error.

A spokesman for the Magazine Publishers of America said the error in Saveur‘s numbers stemmed from the magazine’s June/July double issue. In 2008, ad pages and revenue from that issue were counted towards the first half of the year, but this year those numbers were counted towards the third quarter.

The error has since been corrected, and Saveur‘s real numbers for the first half of 2009 are 193.61 ad pages — up almost 11 percent from last year — and $8.3 million in reported revenue, an increase of 19.2 percent year over year. This growth despite the tough ad environment means Saveur is the fourth top earner for monthly magazines, Kingsly said.

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What’s Next In Epicurean Magazines: 4 Questions For Saveur Publisher Merri Lee Kingsly

saveur.pngNewspapers are dying, magazines are closing and more journalists are finding themselves without paying gigs every day. Everyone is wondering: what does the future hold for the media? We brought the questions to the front lines, asking leaders in the field to tell us: what’s next?

As publisher of epicurean magazine Saveur for the past 18 months, Merri Lee Kingsly has seen impressive growth in the pub’s ad sales. Earlier this month, Kingsly announced that Saveur‘s June/July issue was the largest in the publication’s 15-year history with 22 percent more ad pages and 14 new advertisers compared to last year. And the Ellie-winning magazine is preparing to get even more visibility (and, hopefully, ads), thanks to editor-in-chief James Oseland‘s cameo on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and a new Web site set to launch later this summer. We asked Kingsly about her successes so far and what makes Saveur different from all the rest.

FishbowlNY: As other magazines struggle, Saveur‘s recent June/July issue has 22 percent more ads than last year. Why do you think you have been so successful?

Merri Lee Kingsly: We are true to our mission. Everything we do is very much about the tradition and heritage of food. We’ve never been about the hottest restaurants and the hottest chefs and the new places to go, and I think that is the key to our success. When you look at the whole competitive set, which has forever been about the hottest restaurants and the hottest chefs, they’ve really followed the weak economy. They are only talking about how people are huddled in their kitchens making stews for the weekend. These are magazines that forever talked about going out and eating and traveling and they have changed their tune in such a drastic angle that they’ve not only confused the reader but they’ve chased the advertiser away. They have abandoned their luxury market. We haven’t. We haven’t changed the formula; we’ve been doing the same thing for 15 years.

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Saveur Ad Pages Continue To Rise

saveur.pngAt a time where stories of magazine closures and dwindling ad revenues have become the norm, food magazine Saveur remains one shiny beacon of hope for the industry.

Yesterday, publisher Merri Lee Kingsly announced that the culinary mag had just produced its largest June/July issue in the publication’s 15-year history with 22 percent more ad pages and 14 new advertisers compared to last year.

This month’s issue is just the latest taste of Saveur‘s <a href="incredible ad page growth this year: the Ellie-winning magazine is up 11 percent in ad pages year to date. Kingsly credited the boost to the pub’s alliance with Virtuoso, an international network of luxury travel agencies. Who said the luxury ad market was dead?

“We strongly believe in staying true to our mission by offering unique programs for each type of client — it’s the only way to reach and remain true to our readers,” Kingsly said in a statement.

And in related news, The Los Angeles Times has a story today about printed news aggregator The Week, which has sold 10 percent more ads in 2009 compared to last year. It’s heartening to hear that there are still advertisers out there.

Earlier: Food Magazine Gobbles Up Ad Pages

Full Saveur release after the jump

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