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Posts Tagged ‘Reader’s Digest’

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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FishbowlNY Readers Respond: The Media’s Biggest Misstep In 2009 Was Gourmet‘s Closing

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Wow, people really cared about Condé Nast‘s epicurean magazine Gourmet, huh? Not only did our readers vote it the saddest magazine closing in 2009, but also the biggest media misstep (by 39 percent) made in a year that was chock-full of wrong turns and dead-ends.

Surprisingly, nobody thought BusinessWeek‘s sale to Bloomberg LP was the biggest mistake (except for former BusinessWeek employees, of course), while only 4 percent thought that The New York Post‘s firing of editor Sandra Guzman after speaking out against its controversial cartoon was the biggest blunder. In fact, what about the cartoon itself, which we didn’t put on our poll but certainly belongs in the Top 10 “D’oh!” moments of 2009.

Meanwhile coming in second place was our all-encompassing reference to “Everything the Tribune Co. has done this year,” which ranges from endlessly pushing back their filing of a Chapter 11 reorganization plan while their lenders grew impatient, to letting some of their best writers and editors go over to the Chicago News Cooperative. All of those things lead to 24 percent of our readers shaking their heads at the many, many mistakes of Sam Zell and Tribune Co.

With 12 percent of the votes, readers chose to pick Rupert Murdoch‘s war with Google as the biggest mistake of the year…although since Murdoch has yet to act on his threats, and the move to Microsoft’s Bing might actually be beneficial to Murdoch and other news companies in the long run, we’ll have to wait to see how that pans out.

Coming in with four percent was Long Island newspaper Newsday‘s decision to put up a pay wall for its Web site, so have fun paying for your news next year, guys. Also given four percent of the vote was Reader’s Digest‘s bankruptcy filing, though the publisher’s decision to shut down Purpose Driven Connection was probably one of the best moves of the year.

And of course, nine percent of our readers decided to be contrary and choose “Other.” Maybe they were thinking that the government’s lack of a bailout for the media was the biggest misstep we saw in 2009?

Previously: Reader’s Digest Files For Ch. 11, What Was The Media’s Biggest Misstep in 2009?, Video: News Corp. Gets Grinchy With Google , Is the New York Post Comparing Obama to a Rabid Monkey?

Fiscal Times Will Have Powerhouse Of Journos, Content

jackie.jpgNow see, this is the kind of publication we hope to see more of in 2010: The Fiscal Times, set to launch next year, will be an online-only entity that “will aim to drive the conversation surrounding our nation’s most pressing economic issues.”

Sure, there are plenty of economic blogs out there right now, but there are two things that make us excited about The Fiscal Times. One is its content sharing agreement: the news org already has a deal with The Washington Post, and is working on arrangements with other publications, much in the way that The Business Insider has done. Secondly, The Fiscal Times really has culled some of the best financial reporters and editors: Ann Reilly Dowd, formerly of Fortune and Money; Elaine Povich from The Chicago Tribune and Newsday; Dan Morgan, an ex-investigative reporter for The Washington Post and Eric Pianin, a 28-year veteran of The Washington Post. What’s more, TFT’s editor-in-chief is Jackie Leo (at left), who formerly held the same position at Reader’s Digest and was editorial director of Consumer Reports.

With this group, it finally makes sense why the organizations that are sharing content would actually want to take articles from The Fiscal Times, and not the other way around.

Says one of the founders of the publication, Peter G. Peterson, “The Fiscal Times is a new entity whose time has come, an independently supported publication comprised of top journalists and opinion makers covering the critical economic issues of our time.” We might actually believe him.

Read More: Fiscal Times launching next year –Twitter

The Fiscal Times’ Twitter

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Reader’s Digest Dismisses Publisher

rdcover.jpgminOnline is reporting that Reader’s Digest publisher Tracey Altman has been let go, as the magazine’s publisher, Reader’s Digest Association, struggles to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, where its been since August.

“I was laid off,” Altman told min, which added that she has “retained a lawyer to deal with severance and other legal matters.”

A Reader’s Digest spokesperson confirmed that Altman had left the company and said Eva Dillon, president of Reader’s Digest Community, will be assuming her responsibilities. Altman had been named vice president and publisher of the magazine in September 2008.

Since entering Chapter 11, RDA has reshuffled execs, and has made plans to move its offices to New York City.

Tracey Altman Out as Reader’s Digest Publisher –minOnline

Previously: Reader’s Digest Moves To NYC As Part of Restructuring Plan

Reader’s Digest Moves To NYC As Part of Restructuring Plan

rdjjjjj.jpgAfter filing for Chapter 11 this August, Reader’s Digest Association has been working on a restructuring plan to get itself out of debt. Some of this has been the unfortunate (but par for course) shuttering of titles, like Rick Warren‘s ill-fated The Purpose Driven Connection magazine.

Yesterday, editor-in-chief Peggy Northrop mentioned at the ASME luncheon that the Reader’s Digest brand would never again launch a magazine that wasn’t able to perform across different media platforms. And today, RDA continues its attempts to get back in the black, and no it doesn’t involve firing staffers. It looks like the company will be moving its staffers from its offices in Pleasantville, N.Y.

As Keith Kelly reported this morning:

“Some of the 600 employees based in [Pleasantville] will be relocated to White Plains, N.Y. But executive offices and Reader’s Digest magazine’s editorial will move to space at 750 Third Avenue that was recently vacated by S.I. Newhouse’s Condé Nast Publications.

So some editorial staffers will be going to White Plains while the corporate headquarters and other editorial staffers move to NYC to share in the same building as Condé Nast. (FishbowlNY previously reported that The Economist is also moving into that building in the second quarter of next year.) While it’s always terrible to have to pick up your life and move elsewhere for a job, relocating to New York isn’t the worst thing to happen to a magazine staff in the last, oh say, 24 hours. In terms of restructuring, this is one of the more positive moves we’ve seen in awhile, which it should be obvious by the very un-restructuring phrase in CEO Mary Berner‘s letter to the staffers, “Some of you will be excited by this change…”

Berner’s full memo to RDA staffers after the jump.

Previously: Reader’s Digest Files For Ch. 11

Read More: Reader’s Digest moving to NYCNew York Post

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ASME Luncheon: “35 Ways To Win A National Magazine Award”

ellies.jpgThe American Society of Magazine Editors is gearing up for submissions to its 2010 National Magazine Awards. For the first time ever, the awards will include a separate ceremony for digital media, which last year included four categories. This year, they have been expanded into 12 different awards, including blogging and podcasting.

This afternoon at The Princeton Club, members of ASME gathered to hear Will Dana of Rolling Stone, Peggy Northrop of Reader’s Digest, and John Rasmus of <a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/National-Geographic-Adventure-profile.html"National Geographic Adventure give their opinions to moderator Cindi Leive of Glamour on what it takes to win both the digital and traditional awards, arguably the most prestigious in the industry. All three of the panelists have both judged and won previous magazine awards.

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min Honors Magazines, Editors At First Editorial & Design Awards

dining in america.jpgEven as the media industry is seeming falling apart all around us, the industry still insists on honoring its members. There’s no better time than the present to look on the bright side, we suppose.

This morning, min announced the winners of its first Editorial & Design Awards, awarding prizes in 27 different editorial and design categories. The award breakfast also celebrated the induction of several notable magazine industry movers and shakers into min’s Hall of Fame, including keynote speaker Jackie Leo, formerly of Reader’s Digest, Ladies’ Home Journal‘s Sally Lee, Ellen Levine of Hearst, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia chief creative officer Gael Towey and John Rasmus of National Geographic Adventure, as well as Vogue editrix Anna Wintour and former Variety editor Peter Bart.

Other top winners of the day included Food Network Magazine‘s win for Best Launch and Fortune, which nabbed the Best Feature award for its “Three Days that Shook the World” piece on the economic collapse of last fall. BusinessWeek won for Best Investigative & News Coverage for its cover story on subprime mortgages (and snagged a prize for best use of social media), while epicurean pub Saveur was honored for best design for a single issue for its Dining in America issue.

Entertainment Weekly, which recently cut staffers as part of Time Inc.‘s budget slashing, took home a number of awards including best photojournalism for its special Photo Issue, the best blog award for its PopWatch blog, best online column for Ken Tucker‘s “Watching TV” column and the top profile or Q&A prize for a feature story on Cheeta the chimp’s life after Hollywood. Self magazine, a Conde Nast title also recently plagued by staff cuts, took home two prizes.

See a full list of the winners here.

min Announces Editorial & Design Award Winners –min Online

More Web Focus: More.com Names Site Director

moredotcom.jpg Jodie Green joins Meredith Corp.‘s More brand as director of its Web site, More.com. Lesley Jane Seymour, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, announced the appointment today.

The former vice president of editorial at Waterfront Media, Green will be charged with the overall editorial direction of the site, including developing traffic-building content and strategic partnerships.

In her two decades’ worth of experience, Green has worked for such companies as Rodale, Reader’s Digest and Comcast.

Press release after the jump.

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Former Reader’s Digest VP Wildman Joins Bonnier

wildman headshot.jpgMark Wildman is leaving Reader’s Digest to join magazine publisher Bonnier Corp. as senior vice president of corporate sales and marketing. Wildman was most recently vice president of integrated marketing at Reader’s Digest Association, but his replacement, Maureen Polo, was announced last week. He will start at Bonnier on November 6.

While at RDA, Wildman worked to establish the integrated sales and marketing group for the company’s Food & Entertaining Affinity. Before joining Reader’s Digest in 2007, Wildman worked as executive director at Conde Nast Media Group.

“Bonnier is a strong, forward-thinking organization with more than 50 consumer media brands like Saveur, Popular Science, Field & Stream and Parenting,” Wildman said. “As consumers continue their shift toward real and meaningful, the Bonnier brands are very well-positioned, delivering specific well-defined audiences which are highly engaged and emotionally invested in the content.”

Full release after the jump

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