Useful, accessible information on circulation and audience development for magazine publishing professionals.


December 1st 2017

is the 335th day of the year and there are 30 days remaining until the end of the year.

 



TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES:
Pope Francis has asked for forgiveness from Rohingya Muslim refugees for all of the hurt they have endured. (These would be the same refugees that he could not mention in Myanmar!)

Prince Henry and his intended make there first tour together
as an engaged couple, all is right with the world - bring on
your nukes Kim!)



Dame Angela Lansbury says she is "troubled" and "devastated" that comments she made about sexual harassment were taken "out of context". Dame Angela has now said: "There is no excuse whatsoever for men to harass women in an abusive sexual manner. I am devastated that anyone should deem me capable of thinking otherwise. Those who have known the quality of my work and the many public statements I have made over the course of my life, must know, that I am a strong supporter of women's rights. Lastly, I would like to add that I am troubled by how quickly and brutishly some have taken my comments out of context and attempted to blame my generation, my age, or my mindset, without having read the entirety of what I said."




Rising like monster on Bali's horizon, when Mount Agung erupts again it could destroy the valley below.


Royal Bank of Scotland is to close 259 branches - a quarter of its network - in a move expected to result in 680 job losses.

Kim Jong Nam, the murdered half-brother of North Korea's leader, had a dozen vials of antidote for lethal nerve agent VX in his sling bag on the day he was poisoned, a Malaysian court was told this week.

Syria Kurdish-led authorities held local elections on Friday in the swathes of northern Syria they seized with U.S. help, pushing ahead with autonomy plans opposed by both Turkey and Damascus.

Sundance Film Festival organizers say they are working with law enforcement to make the annual independent film showcase in January a safer place in the wake of sexual harassment accusations sweeping Hollywood.

BORN TODAY:
1081 – Louis VI, French king (d. 1137)
1443 – Magdalena of France, French princess (d. 1495)
1530 – Bernardino Realino, Italian Jesuit (d. 1616)
1844 – Alexandra of Denmark (d. 1925)

1871 – Archie MacLaren, English cricketer (d. 1944)
1923 – Dick Shawn, American actor (d. 1987)
1933 – Lou Rawls, American singer-songwriter,
producer and actor (d. 2006)
1934 – Billy Paul, American soul singer (d. 2016)

1951 – Treat Williams, American actor
1958 – Alberto Cova, Italian runner
1966 – Katherine LaNasa, American actress, ballet
dancer and choreographer

1970 – Sarah Silverman, American comedian, actress, and singer
1977 – Lee McKenzie, Scottish journalist
1981 – Luke McPharlin, Australian footballer
1987 – Vance Joy, Australian singer-songwriter


DIED TODAY:
2011 – Christa Wolf, German author and critic (b. 1929)
1975 – Anna Roosevelt Halsted, American journalist (b. 1906)
1825 – Alexander I, emperor and autocrat of Russia (b. 1777)
1633 – Isabella Clara Eugenia, infanta of Spain (b. 1566)
1521 – Leo X, pope of the Catholic Church (b. 1475)
1135 – Henry I, English king (b. 1068)
660 – Eligius, bishop and saint

TODAY IN HISTORY:
1420 – Henry V of England enters Paris.

1822 – Peter I is crowned Emperor of Brazil.

1828 – Argentine general Juan Lavalle makes a coup against governor Manuel Dorrego, beginning the Decembrist revolution.

1918 – The Kingdom of Iceland becomes a sovereign state, yet remains a part of the Danish kingdom.

1919 – Lady Astor becomes the first female Member of Parliament to take her seat in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. (She had been elected to that position on November 28.)


1941 – World War II: Emperor Hirohito of Japan gives the final approval to initiate war against the United States.

1952 – The New York Daily News reports the news of Christine Jorgensen, the first notable case of sex reassignment surgery.

1958 – The Central African Republic attains self-rule
within the French Union.

1960 – Paul McCartney and Pete Best are arrested
(and later deported) from Hamburg, Germany, after accusations of attempted arson.

1973 – Papua New Guinea

1974 – TWA Flight 514, a Boeing 727, crashes northwest of Dulles International Airport, killing all 92 people on board.


1974 – Northwest Airlines Flight 6231, another Boeing 727, crashes northwest of John F. Kennedy International Airport.

1981 – Inex-Adria Aviopromet Flight 1308, a McDonnell Douglas MD-80, crashes in Corsica, killing all 180 people on board.

1990 – Channel Tunnel sections started from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 metres beneath the seabed.

AND ANOTHER THING!
Facebook to spot suicidal tendencies... give me a break!
Click here to read.

For previous 'And Another Thing' articles, click here.

LATEST STRAIGHT TALK
The Myths of Circulation.
Click here to read.

For previous 'Straight Talk' articles, click here.
CircSpot.com publishes cartoons from time to time; to check out some of the best, click here.

Day 335 of 365: Teachers' Day (Panama); Rosa Parks Day (Ohio and Oregon, United States); Freedom and Democracy Day (Chad).
LA WEEKLY CUTS.
'LA Weekly's staff was gutted Wednesday as Voice Media Group completed its sale of the alternative newsweekly to a newly created company, Semanal Media' says Lauren Raab at the L.A. Times.

The majority of the editorial staff were shown the door and says Ms. Raab 'all but one of the staff writers.' As you can imagine staff were left bewildered and notes Ms. Raab 'what will happen next is unclear.' For more, click here.
BAD THIELINGS AT GAWKER?
'Gawker Media L.L.C. bankruptcy lawyers said Wednesday that Peter Thiel shouldn’t be allowed to bid on its namesake blog, Gawker.com' notes Jonathan Randles at marketwatch.com 'unless the billionaire venture capitalist agrees to settle or otherwise end potential legal claims Gawker is pursuing against him related to the former blog publisher’s demise.

You may remember that Hulk Hogan wrestled Gawker to the ground with a law suit a while back which he won, effectively ending Gawker. 'Among the concerns Gawker Media’s lawyers cite is what they describe as Thiel’s “long history of vindictive conduct” against the publisher' notes Mr. Randles quoting one of the lawyers on the case. For more, click here.
WE'RE MOVING ON!
Sandow the diversified media, technology and information services company, continues to expand its New York City presence with the announcement of its newly opened headquarters. The company has invested in a larger, state-of-the-art, 45,000-square-foot space in the iconic, H.J. Kalikow & Co., LLC-owned 101 Park Avenue building to support significant growth.

They have taken an entire floor of the Class A building, one of the largest single floor plates in the city.

MOVE OVER, IT'S DARLING!
Time for other magazines on the newsstand to move over and make room for Darling magazine as the magazine 'has partnered with Barnes & Noble to have its winter issue sold at all 623 stores across the country this holiday season' notes Sara Guaglione at mediapost.com.
Even move exciting is select 'locations will offer a “Hello Darling” tote bag with every Darling magazine purchase.' Frankly we have more than enough tote bags, but people do love them! For more of Ms. Guaglione's article, click here.
RETOUCHED CORBYN.
'GQ has admitted that there was “retouching” of the image of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on this month’s front page' reports the editor of Press Gazette Dominic Ponsford.

Now call us stupid, but "retouching" is nothing new, just ask Lupita Nyong'o who has had her own brush, excuse the pun, with the airbrush recently.

What seems to be causing the concern with Corbyn cover, who is the leader of Her Majesty's opposition in case the name is not familiar, has been outlined by Tory MP Henry Smith. He told The Sun: “For someone who claims authenticity to have Jeremy Corbyn’s front cover GQ picture airbrushed ironically exposes his hypocrisy. Now we know it’s not just the dangerous far left policies that have been stylized to make them more saleable.”

Mr. Ponsford points out that 'a spokesperson for British GQ said: “There was minimal retouching, as all GQ covers tend to include, in order to ensure our cover stars look their best.” For more, if you care, quick here.

'Not for the faint of heart’: Publishers scramble
to make
their annual
sales numbers.

NEW C.E.O. AT FORBES MEDIA.
First he was the chief operating officer and he did so well at that he was made president.

He was so good at being president that he has now be made the new chief executive officer as from January 1st 2018. So well done to Mike Federle who will succeed Mike Perlis who will remain a strategic advisor to management and the board as well as vice chairman.

Day 334 of 365: National Day (Benin); Regina Mundi Day (South Africa); Bonifacio Day (Philippines).
GOOD CUTS AND BAD CUTS...
First the "good" cuts, not that any cuts are really good you understand, but pagesix.com is reporting that 'a relatively light four staffers are expected to be let go from Teen Vogue following the news that the magazine is folding its print edition' says Oli Coleman.

Meanwhile the New York Post is reporting that Buzzfeed 'is chopping 8 percent of its workforce amid reports that shortfalls in revenue are delaying the news site’s bid to take itself public' scribes Keith J. Kelly. Mr. Kelly also notes that '
board member Greg Coleman, who has served as president for more than three years, is going to “take the opportunity to transition into a new role” as an adviser to the company.' Good for him as the saying goes, for more on the good cuts, click here, and bad cuts, click here.

... AND SADLY MORE CUTS.
'ESPN on Wednesday began its latest round of layoffs' reports Anthony Crupi at Ad Age. The cuts amount to 150 members of staff 'in various production, technology and digital content positions.' For more, click here.
WANT TO COMPETE AGAINST FACEBOOK -
GET A FACEBOOKER!
'Refinery29 has hired a Facebook exec to help it compete against Facebook' scribes Peter Kafka at recode.net who asks 'digital media companies are in a tough fight for ad dollars with Google and Facebook. Will hiring a Facebook exec help?'

The common sense answer would be "YES!", you would not hire a taxi driver to operate a Boeing 747 would you!

Sarah Personette is the person who was at Facebook and is now competing against them, she will be Refinery29's new chief operating officer. For more, click here.
USING WIRED WILL COST $10 A MONTH.
Actually $9.99 which as all marketers know is really $10.00 and the reason is 'Wired is planning to put up a metered paywall in January' says Sara Guaglione at Media Post.

“The simple reason that we’re going to a paywall model is that I think it’s going to make money, and I’d like us to make more money,” said Wired editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson to the Wall Street Journal - let's hope he is right. For more, click here.

Postmedia to close community newspapers across southern Ontario.

Sale of community and commuter newspapers
between Torstar and Postmedia announced.

Day 333 of 365:
HUFFPO AND FAIRFAX PART COMPANY.
'HuffPost Australia‘s joint venture with Fairfax Media has come to an end' notes Zoe Samios at Mumbrella.

She says it is 'believed Fairfax Media will redeploy staff members... into the metro business, while others will be left without jobs as the Huffington Post’s local team is expected to be reduced to a handful of contractors.'


For more, click here.
AND THE WINNER IS...
'Holyrood has been named Scottish Magazine of the Year at the PPA Scottish Magazine Awards 2017' scribes Laura Rutkowski at the P.P.A.


We suspect the staff at the magazine are doubly happy because they also took the award for Business and Professional Magazine of the Year and not to be left out says Ms. Rutkowski 'Mandy Rhodes was named Business and Professional Editor of the Year.'

Other winners include Malcolm Triggs, The Drum, Ross Russell and Lucy Galloway; for all the details click here.

TRONC WEILDS THE AX.
'Tronc Chairman Michael Ferro on Tuesday started cutting jobs at the beleaguered Daily News — wiping out the entire senior ad sales team and more than 20 others, sources tell Media Ink' scribes Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post.

Other departments that saw the ax man cometh were the finance and IT departments and we have no doubt there is more to come.

You may remember Tronc purchased the New York Daily News from Mort Zuckerman earlier this year. For more details, click here.

JOHNSON BUILDING TO BE APARTMENTS.
'The former Johnson Publishing headquarters, the longtime home of Ebony and Jet magazines, is getting a new title: apartment building' says Ryan Ori at the Chicago Tribune. For more, click here.

Publisher Title May Return at Time Inc. in Meredith Deal.

WELL DONE C.N.N.
Donald Trump, President of the United States (yes it's real, not a nightmare) invited C.N.N. to a White House Christmas party. C.N.N. have said “C.N.N. will not be attending this year's White House Christmas party. In light of the President's continued attacks on freedom of the press and C.N.N., we do not feel it is appropriate to celebrate with him as his invited guests. We will send a White House reporting team to the event and report on it if news warrants.”

Firstly, well done C.N.N. and we hope N.B.C., C.B.S. and A.B.C. have the Christmas balls to join in with you. We know Fox will go because their standards have always been far lower but well done you!

We shall not be going either. We would rather rip out our hair, hammer our fingers and do terrible things to our bodies with cucumbers than attend a function with Donny, Sarah, Barron, Jared and pardoned turkeys who are probably regretting the president's mercy.

LAUER OUT.
He was the highest paid person in television news but as Mike Allen at Axios says 'Matt Lauer... was fired following "a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace," NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said this morning in an email to NBC News staff.' The news was announced this morning by Lauer's former co-anchor Savannah Guthrie who noted "This is a sad morning. … We are devastated. … We are still processing this."

Wonder how long it was before the folks at N.B.C. were chatting to the Nora and Gayler over at C.B.S. who we are sure had sage words of advice as how to deal with this. For more of Mr. Allen's report, click here.


Day 332 of 365:

So you may not have heard but it was announced yesterday that Prince Harry, Henry to use his real name is to marry Megan Markle an actress. This is all very nice and we would love it even more if it were not for the fact that between now and the wedding their lives but especially Ms. Markle will be minutely dissected like no lives before. Magazines will have them on covers, web sites will go mad and it will not be too long before advertisers use the event to push their own goods.

The dissection has already started, so we are going to attempt to try and save you from as much as follows with our guide to what is to come.

NO COMPARISON.
Firstly, it is absurd to compare the abdication of King Edward VI so he could marry a divorced woman. Harry… let’s stick with Harry, is a major royal but has really gone from major to minor because of the births of George, Charlotte and Tracey, well she is not here yet, but will be next year. The U.K. media are patting themselves on the back because Harry is marrying a black woman – how modern is that? Well… not that modern actually and we wonder if he would be allowed to marry Ms. Markle if there was a real chance he could be king one day? The royal family may like to be considered modern, but the queen still has a click wheel iPod – that is so not modern!

WILL SHE OR WON’T SHE BE A PRINCESS?
In a few weeks we shall worry about what she will be called. It will not be Princess Megan, probably Princess Henry of Wales if you want a good each-way bet.  It will not be too long before we start learning of minor royals who hate the future Princess Henry of Wales and of course there will be rumors about her weight.

BEST TO STAY ON THE CLOSET.
Stories about Ms. Markle’s family will come out and we shall all wonder who will be the bad seed – again good each-way bet it will be Ms. Markle’s sister.

Some will wonder if she is an alien, others will work out how she is already related to the royal family. How many ways do we think we can compare her to Diana… just you wait, there will be a myriad of ways to be sure.

AN AMERICAN PLOT!
Wait for the story about how this is a plot to get the royals back to run America, post Trump. It could happen, Ms. Markle is an American citizen, so if she has a baby, that baby would be an American citizen as well as a British citizen, so could in theory become president, and if the order of succession was interrupted also be the monarch of the United Kingdom – no doubt if this occurs, Trump will blame Obama – or Hillary.

Talking of Trump, will he be invited to the wedding? Since weddings are all about the bride it is difficult for us believing Humpty Trumpty would be able to stay out of the limelight for too long – in fact expect an announcement any day now about how Trump arranged the marriage – and let’s face it, he’s had enough of his own to know just how to do that. Expect the Obamas to be invited in their own right as friends, but as for Humpty... wait and see.

HATE… HATE… HATE!
What royal will take the sparkle out of Ms. Markle and Harry’s romance? Our bet, according to the press will be Camilla Princess of Darkness, because basically she hates everyone, including her mother-in-law, the current Queen. She’ll hate Ms. Markle because a) she’s American, b) reminds people of Diana, c) is beautiful, d) reminds people of Diana, and e) reminds people of Diana!

The Princess Royal might get a look in here too but of late Auntie Anne has been pretty cool so she may just be given a pass.

CAREER WOMAN.
Ms. Markle is an actress in a basic cable television show in the United States, a show that for the most part consists of actors walking up and the down the office, looking at each other and wearing out the carpet. There will be a debate as to whether she can carry on acting or not, which is silly really because from now on she will be acting everyday for the rest of her life.

 

EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

The light and dark themed covers, featuring Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) respectively, hit newsstands this Thursday (30th November) and are the latest in Empire’s portfolio of Star Wars exclusives.

Empire’s very own Star Wars obsessive, James Dyer, has spoken to all the main cast members, to find out what fans can expect when the film opens in cinemas on 14th December.

Offering its readers an irresistible package, Empire has opened its prized archives for the first time since 1997 to produce a bespoke 40 years of Star Wars supplement focusing on the original trilogy. Also included with the issue is an exclusive LucasFilm double-sided art print.


This new issue builds on Empire’s long and special relationship with Star Wars, which has included a whole host of exclusive and innovative styles of publishing.

In September Empire published two covers with the extra special subscribers cover making use of a holographic sheen to show the hand of Daisy Ridley's Rey handing the lightsaber to the robotic hand of Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker. And in November 2016 the magazine published six collectible 3D covers showcasing characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In 2005 the magazine joined forces with LucasFilm to publish a limited-edition ‘breathing’ Darth Vader cover which produced sound using chip technology embedded in its spine.

Elsewhere in the magazine, readers can look forward to exclusive interviews, never seen before exclusive pictures, a comprehensive review of the year, including Empire’s Top Twenty Films of 2017 and a look ahead to the potential 2018 Oscar nominees.

TIME INC. BOUGHT BY MEREDITH - THE DAY AFTER.
There is a saying in the United Kingdom that simply says "after the Lord Mayor's show' and basically it refers to the fact that everything is tarted up for the show, but then it is back to normal the day after.

Yesterday we were all full of the sale of Time Inc., to Meredith until a price and an actress took over the headlines, but that has not deterred all from ruminating over the sale.

'Get ready for a bloodbath under Time Inc.’s new owner' says Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post, a man not known for getting the facts wrong and he says the first to fall will be the 'publishing giant’s CEO' - Rich Battista to you and I. Mind you notes Mr. Kelly 'Battista will be just one casualty among many' and when you consider the resources Meredith already has, and how many of these resources are duplicated at Time Inc., it is not too difficult to work out that some will have to go.

Meanwhile Joe Nocera 'a Bloomberg View columnist and formerly an editor at Time Inc., doesn't think the Koch brothers will influence the coverage in, say, Time magazine.' Writing in adage.com he says the reason for this is because 'he doesn't think Time magazine will be around much longer in recognizable form.'

Only Time will tell (excuse the pun!) as to whether Mr. Kelly and Mr. Nocera prove to be correct, but we cannot ignore two things that have concerned us in the past. Firstly Time magazine had gotten very boring and very advertorial for our liking, and secondly despite all the work done by Rich Battista and Joe Ripp before him, the share price of Time Inc. consistently moved in the wrong direction - until the sale - and as we say, after the Lord Mayor's show it is back to normal, and in the past, normal has not been Time Inc.'s friend. For more from Mr. Kelly's article, click here, and for Mr. Nocera, click here.

Meanwhile... Meredith now have a number of new title's to deal with, and one way to deal with them is to sell them, could they be planning to get rid of Sports illustrated? For more on this, click here. As was noted earlier Time magazine may not be around for much longer in its current form, but could this also be sold? Remember not so long ago David Pecker's A.M.I. expressed interest in Time magazine, but just that, now that Meredith have it, they may be willing to part with it whereas Time Inc. were more interested in a job lot. For this part of the story, check the Daily Beast, by clicking here.
KARP IS FISHING FOR A NEW JOB.

'Tumblr CEO David Karp, who founded the blogging service back in 2007, is leaving the company' says Kurt Wagner at recode.net and Mr. Karp made the announcement 'on his personal blog Monday after sharing it internally with Tumblr’s team.' for more, click here.


Vanity Fair Unveils Four Avengers

Twitter, Square, Reddit, Foursquare and Others Call on FCC To Preserve Open Internet

Barack Obama Congratulates Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Engagement

As Amazon’s Media Ambitions Grow, Publishers Are Wary


Day 331 of 365: Lancashire Day (United Kingdom); Teacher's Day (Spain).
MEREDITH BUYS TIME INC.
Meredith Corporation announced it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of Time Inc. for $18.50 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $2.8 billion. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of Meredith and Time Inc., and is expected to close during the first quarter of calendar 2018.

The press release says there are many key strategic and financial benefits of the transaction, for example:

Creates unparalleled portfolio of national media brands with greater scale and efficiency; continues the strong and growing contribution from local media; accelerates Meredith's digital position by adding significant scale. It also provides advertising and consumer revenue diversification and growth; enhances financial strength and flexibility and will increases total shareholder return.

As to the "how do we pay for this" portion, put simply, Meredith has secured a total of $3.55 billion – which includes a $350 million undrawn revolving credit facility – in fully committed debt financing from RBC Capital Markets, Credit Suisse, Barclays and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. Meredith has also secured $650 million in preferred equity commitment from Koch Equity Development (KED). Funds will be used to finance the transaction and refinance existing debt.

KED has deployed in excess of $8 billion of industry agnostic principal investments over the last five years. Its $650 million investment in Meredith follows more than $2 billion of passive, preferred equity investments supporting four similar strategic transactions involving publicly traded entities. KED will not have a seat on the Meredith Board and will have no influence on Meredith's editorial or managerial operations. KED's non-controlling, preferred equity investment underscores a strong belief in Meredith's strength as a business operator, its strategies, and its ability to unlock significant value from the Time Inc. acquisition. Rothschild, Inc. and Credit Suisse are serving as financial advisors to KED and Jones Day is serving as legal counsel.





"We are creating a premier media
company serving nearly 200 million American consumers across industry-leading digital, television, print, video, mobile, and social platforms positioned for growth."



Meredith Corporation
Chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy.



 

'Time has struggled with declining advertising revenues since it was spun off from Time Warner in 2014' notes the B.B.C. and notes Sydney Ember and Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times 'the deal could represent the beginning of the end for one of the country’s most celebrated magazine publishers, whose titles commanded the attention of global leaders and chronicled world events, sometimes with striking photography.'

Notes C.N.N. 'in a prepared statement, Meredith President Tom Harty called the deal "transformative. When you combine our strong local television business ... with the trusted, premium multi-platform content creation of Meredith and Time Inc., it creates a powerful media company serving consumers and advertisers alike."

Of course what the deal does do is allow all those shareholders who hung on to their shares when times were hard to cash in and reduce their loses. No doubt the price will go higher, but at the moment shares are still trading below the 2017 high back in March when the share price was $19.65.

According to recode.net 'Charles and David Koch say they’re investing in the magazine business because it’s a good investment — not because they want media outlets to carry their conservative messages.' We can think of at least 650,000,000 reasons as to why we find that hard to believe, but for now at least, we take them at their word.
B&T STOPS CIRCULATION AUDIT.
'Misfits Media has dropped out of having the circulation of its print titles B&T and Travel Weekly verified by the Audited Media Association of Australia' scribes Tim Burrowes at mumbrella.com.au.

This is probably to be filed in the "no big surprise file" because as Mr. Burrowes notes 'over the last decade, B&T has been redesigned and relaunched several times, including moves from weekly, to fortnightly, to monthly frequencies. It now publishes about five times a year.'


This now leaves AdNews 'as the last remaining media industry print title to have its circulation verified' and since their circulation is just below 5,000 it makes us wonder just how long it can be worth auditing that title. For more, click here.

THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING,
BUT WHAT CAN THEY SAY?
'Exposés on predatory perv Harvey Weinstein have unleashed a tide of lurid allegations against some of the most powerful men in showbiz and politics' report the staff from the New York Post. The staff then conject as to why 'Men’s magazines are surprisingly silent on Hollywood’s sexual misconduct' - but in all honesty what can they really say that has not been said already?

The staff note 'GQ likes to style itself as a beacon of liberal moral authority' but 'Editor-in-Chief Jim Nelson churns out yet another of his pearl-clutching columns about President Trump.'

You might think Esquire got it right because 'Esquire Editor-in-Chief Jay Fielden at least manages not to miss the fact that American males are caught in the middle of an historic reckoning over sexual misconduct. Nevertheless, he elects to dwell not on Weinstein, but on Hugh Hefner.' For more, click here.

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foxyform.com

Content marketing specialists know there is a great return on investments especially when teamed up with a quality telemarketing... Ronen Ben-Dror explores some options. Click here to read.

Native advertising is here to stay, probably. It is a good thing, possibly. So why can't Glen Martin decide whether he likes native or not? Click here to read.

We act as if “native advertising” is something new, so what is it and how should we best use it... an introduction to "native advertising!" Click here to read.

Just how safe is your data? With so much data held by publishers, could it be "hacked?" Elaine Tyson and Roy Beagley asked the people that know, the fulfillment bureaus themselves. Click here to read.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau found that more than a third of web traffic is fraudulent and BPA says only 40% of ads measured are actually viewable, but how much of a problem is this? Click here to read more....

Telemarketers are well aware of the Personal Identifier Question and recent changes in rules regarding the PIQ have caused somewhat of a debate in the industry. Ronen Ben-Dror of Blue Valley Telemarketing takes a look at what gives. Click here to read more....

Customers of telemarketing services often commission work without undertaking even the most elementary checks. What should the informed customer look for when choosing an outbound telemarketing agency? Click here to read,

Publishers need to address the USPS's suggested increase before it is too late. Click here to read,

Social media channels today are playing an interesting role in the future and the publishing world now views social media as a positive exchange with subscribers, so To Tweet or Not to Tweet, That Tis the Question Click here to read more....

How Well Do You Know Your Audience? The more you know, says Ronen Ben-Dror, this could eliminate the battle of qualifying leads. Click here to read more....

When executing a direct mail program, you should give lots of thought to the requirements of merge/purge. This could end up saving you a great deal of money, not forgetting making your life a great deal easier. Karen Tyson explains...

5 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Planning Your Audience Development Efforts by Kinjal Husges. Click here to read more....

To develop a realistic circulation forecast based upon current economic, industry, and company conditions is part of any circulation director's job. Benefit from the accountant's view and read Peter Sangiorgio's 5 Simple Tips to consider when developing a Circulation Budget. Click here for Peter's insight.

Businesses that put their customers front and center will ultimately win and the secret to successfully scaling CRM practices into any large organization is to really understand your markets. Benefit from Pam's years of experience and learn how to segment your file and become a success. Click here for Pam's insight.

Sending out a direct mail campaign requires a good lettershop operation... Karen Tyson explains....

For years the concept of earning and deferring income has confused many, but it is not that difficult. Get the facts behind earned and deferred income from Peter Sangiorgio. Click here to read more....

To be added to the weekly alert, complete the form below. Or click here to send an email.
foxyform.com

Cash flow is probably the most important resource any business has. Benefit from Peter's insight and knowledge. Click here to read this exclusive article.

Circulation can be an asset on a sales call. Peter Lenahan explains what to do, and as importantly not what to do in this exclusive article. Click here!

How to manage a telemarketing campaign and make it work for you. Karen Tyson explains....

While all major publishers maintain marketing databases, it is just as important for small publishers too. Pam would argue it’s more important than ever to maintain a database as a tool for identifying, developing and implementing strategy. Click here!

Getting a direct mail package printed takes advance planning. Karen Tyson has some thoughts and ideas as to how to make this sometimes daunting prospect easier to handle... Karen Tyson explains....

Rebecca Sterner is one of the most respected people in the audience development job function. Now you can benefit from Rebecca's knowledge on Setting Up an Auto Renewal Program. Click here.

Enjoy and benefit from this exclusive article for CircSpot.com written by Peter Lenahan who explains why the circulation staff keep the sales force motivated, and how that benefits all concerned. Click here!

Reader's response: One of most intelligent articles I have ever read on ad sales and the all-important relationship with circulation. Well said. Harry S, Sacramento, Calif - via email.

Free magazines are different from "Controlled" as we all know, but the distinction is becoming less and less relevant to advertisers. Click here!

Evaluating how a campaign is working while agents are in the process of communicating with current or potential clients, live monitoring is an essential tool. Can companies afford to waste all those efforts on a careless approach to monitoring the campaign? Of course not. Click here to read more....

An accurate call list is an extremely important aspect in waging a successful telemarketing campaign. Scrubbing the list is the responsibility of the publishing company and the telemarketing agency. Click here to read more....
 

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LES, POVS AND COMMENTARIES.
PROMOTIONS WE HAVE RECEIVED - AND WHY THEY ARE GOOD (OR BAD?)

 

WWD does good email subscription promotions.  This one is hard to resist.  It’s got a good subject line – “URGENT:  Prices Going up in July.  Lock in Lower Rate Today”.  The email subject line is just like envelope teaser copy – it has to pull prospects into the promotion and this one accomplishes the mission.

The copy and design is clean, colorful and loaded with benefits – the biggest of course is “Beat the prince increase!  Last chance for Current Rate”.

And, if you order with this offer, you can also save 20% on the 6 month online access price and pay only $59.  It looks as if this might actually be a last chance.  And, it’s always good to think a last chance offer might actually be a last chance for something.  This offer was overused in mail efforts – but you don’t see it as often in email. The offer is used to good effect here.

There’s a prominent Subscribe button to make ordering easy.  Following that is a picture of the web site and arrows that call out the features of the site.  Clearly, WWD offers a lot for the money.  And as subscription promotions are all about the offer, this is a winner. To see a larger version of the offer, click here.

This TV Guide gift effort is colorful and loaded with smart ideas – a two for one offer, special donor renewal price, holiday gift cards, multiple premiums and a reply-by date to move prospects along.

This is a very good email offer for a subscription to the print edition of WWD.  There is a lot to recommend the creative.  First, the email looks the way you expect WWD to look – smart, elegant and intriguing.

Second, the copy is filled with proven direct marketing technique.  The headline says “Summer Special for Industry Insiders” and that’s an appeal to the recipient’s ego.  It’s very flattering to be considered an industry insider and to be recognized as such by an industry leader such as WWD is even more appealing.  If done correctly, flattering prospects is a smart move.

There is a very strong subscription offer being made and the email leads with that offer – a 34% price saving on a six month subscription.  Offers drive promotions and it’s important as a marketer to remember that fact. 

You can’t miss the call to action – a GET IT NOW button to order coupled with a prominent respond by date.  This technique generally moves prospects along to order as it creates a fear of missing out.  Direct marketers have used reply by dates for years and years in mailed offers.

There are also benefits offered in addition to the special subscription price – more content, a new, bolder look and “extras” such as daily email of top stories and three issues of Beauty Inc.

This email offer uses smart direct marketing technique developed through many years of print campaign testing and marries it to the immediacy of email.  It’s difficult to ask for more.

We recently received an interesting direct mail package offering a subscription to House Beautiful magazine.  It’s interesting for a number of reasons. Click on the picture below for more details.
The New York Times wants me back - nice. An outer envelope that perforates on the right, left and top which then revels a single order form and a postage paid reply envelope (not shown.) It is an interesting offer '50% off for 16 weeks' - the 50% off I understand, but the 16 weeks has me a tad confused... more than a quarter, less than a half and not quite a third. If it was intended to get me thinking, it did.

I can get all the digital elements my little heart desires and access to nytimes.com. Ordering is made easy, I can phone, go online even use the USPS and try and reduce their losses.

Sadly, the reason I canceled my subscription weighs heavier on my mind as does the all-singing, all dancing offer I received, so for the moment NYT - thanks, but no thanks. To enlarge the image on the left, click on the image.
We recently received the regular offer from Opera News and this offer, like our old nanny Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way. '3 Risk-Free Issues' always a vote grabber, a free gift offer of a CD, an involvement device, savings of 68%, and a reply by instruction. We may have died and gone to heaven!

Inside, or the reverse depending on your point of view, 'Free' is mentioned not once, nor twice but four times in as many paragraphs and an excellent re-stating of what we are going to get, or not if we don't reply in ten days. The Free issues are even restated on the reply card. Whoever wrote and designed this should be sent a bag of onions, because they sure as hell know them. It looks good, does all the right things and Opera News mail it regularly, so we can conclude that it works for them. (Click here or on the thumbnail to view larger image.


We received our monthly renewal offer from TV Guide this week, and it does all the right things and looks good, and makes ordering very simple. As with many publications the actual renewal date is not mentioned, something which annoys me as a subscriber, but pleases me as a marketer - can you tell I am a Gemini? IF you click on the image above, you can see what happens at the ordering stage, although this is made as simple as possible. Interestingly, for an online order form, and a renewal form at that, TV Guide offers a Bill Me option.
Here's a good offer from Oracle Magazine for a qualified controlled publication. It has good benefits copy and makes requesting Oracle Magazine easy with a couple of "Subscribe Now" buttons.  There is interesting PS copy offering a new publication for those who might be interested in Java Magazine as well as Oracle. The design is clean, uncluttered and attractive. To view the offer, click here. Not sure why the publisher is only offering six free issues, but given the quality of the promotion there must be a very good reason.

Here is the latest offering from People magazine. Nice personalized outer envelope, and a simple and concise brochure showing good covers and copy that sells the subscription. To order, it's old school, snail mail - no mention of ordering via the web anywhere. Nice package and well done to People for knowing that direct mail via the post office is still a good way to get orders.

Click on the image to see large versions.
people
Here’s what appears to be an advance renewal offer from Vegetarian Times.  It’s a renewal sweeps – smart idea because the original sub order was placed through PCH.  We’re assuming it’s an advance renewal as only one copy of the subscription has been received thus far.  The offer is a strong one –a 78% saving on the renewal plus a chance to win $25,000 (along with other prizes).  Package includes clever “sweeps” techniques on the outer envelope, an offer deadline and small flyer detailing prizes.  Good job, Vegetarian Times!

Click on the image to see large versions.
people
We received this double postcard from GQ magazine. The card looks great, has a nice cover and a nice free gift, but also has a rather confusing offer. '24 issues of GQ for only $20.00 - that's 83c (plus 17 cents shipping and handling) per issue; in other words $24.00 then. If you add 83 cents to 17 cents, you get $1.00 which if you then multiply by 24 issues you get $24.00. Click on the image to see large versions.
people
When my subscription of 'The Week' arrived last week, inside the envelope was an offer for 12 issues of 'The Oldie' magazine. As far as I am aware these magazines are independent of each other, but have a great deal in common.

This is a nice way of promoting a magazine that is probably already known to readers of another magazine and would be fairly cheap to produce and execute. Nice offer. Click on the image for a larger view of the outside and inside.
people
Always nice to get something from 'The Economist' as they always do things so well.

A free copy of 'The World in 2013' is a nice incentive for the readers among us, and a free tablet cover for the tecchies to boot - which also indirectly pushes the digital version.

The predominant red is great as it screamed "ECONOMIST" as soon as I opened my email. Oh and 69c a copy, they got me! [Click here or on image for large version].
people
'People' really knows how to use it's house file. Good offer, nice creative and use of personalization.

The offer is strong and the order form is pre-populated - what's not to love?
people
(Click on the image to see larger size and also the order form page.

This is an interesting offer. On the one hand it pushes newsstand sales, you can save $1.00 if you print out the coupon. However if you clicked on the Save $1.00 link you can also subscribe and get eight issues free.

An offer is an offer,
even though this offer
is not publishing related,
it has ignored basic
promotion rule 1-0-1:
Know Thy Prospect!

I AM NOT A
MEDICARE RECIPIENT!


To view larger size, click on the above image.

A recent offer from People magazine. It looks simple but a great deal of thought has gone into this offer, not least the cover featured on the tablets.


To view larger size, click on the above image.
Let's state it up front - we know the email at the end of the link is spam. Even so, it is a great example of why some design is a good thing in email promotions - even text only promotions. We cannot believe anyone who got this email would even have got so far a clicking a link! Click here to see the email, which is a screen shot taken from our computer.

Rebecca Sterner wrote on CircSpot on how to set up an autorenewal. It just so happens that today we received our auto renewal for Time. In all honesty we had not planned to renew it, but it is done, and although we could cancel it, $81.00 for 56 issues is not worth the hassle of canceling, so we guess the auto renewal worked... at least in our case.


To view larger size, click on the above image.
A CircSpot.com reader looked for something on the Times of London web site, and this popped up while the page they wanted to view was loading. He liked it, took a picture, and sent it to us - thanks Glyn C-R of Buckinghamshire.

To view larger size, click on the above image.

A CircSpot.com reader subscribed to Fast Company and paid $10.00 for a subscription. After placing the order, they received an email offering a $5.00 credit if she can get another person to subscribe in the next 6 hours. This seemed like a very clever idea to the the person who sent us the information - and we agree.

To view larger size, click on the above image.

Here's a nice promotion from The Nation.  It's quick to read, offers an invitation to receive exclusive free offers - it's a flattering offer and comes from a credible publication.

It ultimately leads you to a subscription landing page offering 4 free issues (very strong offer) plus attractive subscription prices and a choice of format - print or online access.
The promotion is clean and uncluttered with enough enticing benefits to attract readership.



Click on the image above for a larger version.