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Posts Tagged ‘Reader’s Digest’

Reader’s Digest UK Sold for About Two Dollars

Reader’s Digest UK has been sold for the low price of just one pound, which works out to about $1.67. The New York Post reports that Better Capital, which bought the magazine after it declared bankruptcy in 2010, sold the glossy to Mike Luckwell, who used to run HIT Entertainments.

The United States version of RD is doing much better than its UK counterpart. The magazine increased its publishing frequency last year after Robert Guth, president and CEO of Reader’s Digest Association, said RD’s digital business was strengthening.

One quick fun fact about RD UK’s new owner? Luckwell’s HIT Entertainments is the company responsible for launching the Bob the Builder show.

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Cover Battle: Reader’s Digest or The New York Times Magazine

Welcome to the first FishbowlNY Cover Battle of 2014. Today we have Reader’s Digest versus The New York Times Magazine. We chose RD because well, we’re impressed with the new look. We hope it wins, because RD’s art team, led by design director Dean Abatemarcodid a wonderful job. However! We leave it up to you. By that we mean don’t mess this up.

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Boring Guy Tom Hanks Tops ’100 Most Trusted People in America’ List

Reader’s Digest just published a piece titled the “100 Most Trusted People in America” and Tom Hanks took the top spot. This is not surprising. Hanks is perhaps the most boring dude alive. You know those dreams you have where nothing significant happens and you wake up knowing you had a dream so you feel like you should tell someone about it but it’s so vague you end up not saying anything? That’s what hanging out with Hanks is like.

Anyway, Sandra Bullock was number two in the poll. Which uh, see above.

Other highlights:

Reader’s Digest to Increase Publishing Frequency

Reader’s Digest is upping its publishing frequency. Starting next year, there will be 12 issues of RD printed each year, up from 10 this year. Robert Guth, president and CEO of RDA, credited RD’s growing digital business with the increase.

“As digital becomes a driving force for our business, the economics are changing as well,” said Guth, in a statement. “Our digital issues are garnering unprecedented demand and readers have been vocal about their desire for new content on a more-frequent basis. The growing demand for Reader’s Digest is a tribute to our editorial team, led by Liz Vaccariello, who continues to guide the editorial direction of the publication in ways that resonate strongly with our reader.”

Ad pages for RD are also a factor, as they’ve increased by 30 percent since 2010.

Mark Jannot Joins Reader’s Digest as Chief Content Officer

Mark Jannot has been named Chief Content Officer at Reader’s Digest North America, a new position at the company. Jannot comes to Reader’s Digest from Bonnier, where he was Editorial Director of Popular Science, Popular Photography, American Photo, and Sound & Vision. Jannot was succeed at Bonnier by Jacob Ward.

At Reader’s Digest, Jannot will be responsible for content across the varied platforms for Taste of Home, The Family Handyman and the company’s “U.S. Enthusiast” brands, including Birds & Blooms, Country, Country Woman, Farm & Ranch Living, and Reminisce.

“Mark Jannot has a reputation for editorial excellence,” said Dan Lagani, President of Reader’s Digest North America. “His experience in the digital and magazine spaces makes him an ideal candidate to speed the brand transformation underway with our Milwaukee businesses, where we are focused on creating a great consumer experience for our Taste of Home, The Family Handyman and Enthusiast brands across media platforms.”

Reader’s Digest Offers Subscriptions on iPad

At the behest of its readers, Reader’s Digest is adding Apple’s subscription system to its iPad app. According to paidContent, a subscription will run grandpa (we kid!) $1.99 per month or $14.99 per year.

Single issues are still available for $1.99, though we don’t know why anyone would pay that for one issue if they can now get an entire month for the same price. Maybe because they’re old are frightened by — okay, sorry, we’ll stop.

Dan Lagani, President of Reader’s Digest North America, said that this is just the beginning. “[There will be] more Reader’s Digest brands becoming available via iPad subscriptions — both in the U.S. and around the world,” he commented.

Reader’s Digest Association Looking for Buyer

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Reader’s Digest Association (RDA) has hired advisers to help the company find buyers, which might include other media companies or a private equity firm. RDA is reportedly hoping to get an offer around $1 billion.

Sounds like a lot for a company that is experiencing some dark times. According to Folio, revenue for RDA is down 21 percent through 2011′s first quarter, and despite doctor’s loving Reader’s Digest, its circulation continues to drop.

If RDA is looking for hope, it should look no farther than Myspace’s recent sale. Sure, News Corp. lost a ton of money on the deal, but it proves that there’s always someone out there looking to buy whatever someone else is selling.

Will Reader’s Digest Association Sell Off Popular Food Website Allrecipes?

Earlier this week we reported that Mary Berner was stepping down as CEO of Reader’s Digest Association, and now Adweek is providing some potential backstory to this change.

The naming of CFO Tom Williams as Berner’s replacement prompted speculation that the company plans to sell off some of its assets, in particular, the highly popular food website Allrecipes.com, which RDA bought in 2006, prior to Berner’s arrival. This raises some eyebrows, because of just how well Allrecipes is doing:

Seattle-based Allrecipes has more than doubled its traffic in that time, becoming one of the biggest food sites on the Web. In March, monthly uniques approached 17 million, making Allrecipes the top food site, per comScore.

The word is that Berner “clashed” over this direction of the company with its new board. In the past, Berner has conceded Allrecipies was a “hot topic,” but has not stated that the company plans to sell it.

Reader’s Digest Delays Chapter 11 Emergence

rda2.pngIt looks like it will be a little while longer before the Reader’s Digest Association is out of bankruptcy court.

Although the Reader’s Digest publisher had planned to emerge from Chapter 11 today, the company said this morning that it was delaying, “to address an issue” dealing the pension plan at its U.K. division the Reader’s Digest Association, Ltd.

“Last month, the U.K. entity came to an agreement with the trustees of its pension plan and the U.K. Pension Protection Fund (PPF) to resolve the company’s U.K. pension fund deficit,” the company explained. “This agreement was contingent on approval from the U.K. Pensions Regulator, which has now indicated that it will not approve the pension application. In light of this unexpected ruling, the U.K. entity is now reviewing its options in an attempt to find a solution.”

This problem doesn’t affect any of RDA’s U.S. holdings, the company added, and RDA should be out of Chapter 11 in a few weeks.

RDA entered bankruptcy in August, in an effort to reduce its $2.2 billion in debt to $550 million through a pre-packaged plan.

Previously: Reader’s Digest Plans To Restructure Debt Through Ch. 11

2010: The Year Of The e-Reader Paradox

kk.jpgYou may have been reading books digitally for over a year now, you may have gotten a Kindle in your stocking this Christmas, or you may still be one of the millions of Americans who don’t see the point in purchasing a giant, clunky device that seemingly performs the same functions as downloading a newspaper’s application on your iPhone or buying a book. But no matter which category you fall into, this will be the year of the e-reader: devices like Apple’s much-anticipated Tablet and Microsoft’s Courier herald its arrival in a siren song for newspaper and magazine publishers. Why else would News Corp. be making deals with Sony for exclusive New York Post digital content, or Hearst be working with Skiff to develop its own device and e-reading platform that promises to “create an entity by publishers, for publishers” with its own advertising model. You know, just what consumers are asking for.

Right now, it seems like what consumers want is just an afterthought. Giving readers a rewarding reading experience is only the honey that will lure advertisers to buy space on digital devices, thus supplementing declining print ad revenues. With the print world taking a nosedive in advertising in 2009, it’s seductive to think that new technology will be the salvation of the (former) print media, bringing the money back while cutting down on overhead (like those pesky union drivers that deliver the papers). But is the e-reader technology really on the side of the news industry?

Josh Benton of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University recently gave a talk at Mediabistro’s ebook Summit on this subject and came to an odd conclusion: e-readers will attract a mainstream audience the moment they become functional Web devices (like a large iPhone, or small laptop!), which will also happen to be the point at which these devices will stop making money for publishers. Not following? Here, we’ll help.

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