Thursday, June 21, 2007

BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Magazines now and Later

"A likely impossibility is always preferable to an unconvincing possibility."
Aristotle (Ancient Greek Philosopher, Scientist and Physician, 384 BC-322 BC)

BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Magazines now and Later

RE: BoSacks Speaks Out - Printed Magazines as Plastic Records

Although you might be right in your conclusions, I am somewhat skeptical of your reasons. Being pretty much a curmudgeonly traditionalist, I ditched my crystal ball many years ago. Being a card carrying futurist, you keep yours strapped to your wrist. Heck, you probably picked mine up in a garage sale. But I see what I see when I look around.

What I see is that, if magazines die, it will more likely be the result of the actions of government sponsored monopoly. The impact of their ill conceived tariffs on paper prices is one example but is another subject. At the moment, I speak of the USPS. Their latest innovation to their already Byzantine rate structure adds interesting limits to co-mailing. And anyone who knows me will tell you that I hate "interesting."

For Periodicals to co-mail, they must now adhere to a maximum weight of 20 ounces. Above that you lose the co-mail savings. This is one more step that pushes their customers to electronic delivery instead of physical delivery. Good plan.

Essentially, fat magazines are now illegal or at least unprofitable. You know about fat magazines. Those high page count issues are the ones where publishers and printers make their highest margins. They are to us what Christmas shopping season is to retailers. Imagine what would happen to retailers if the government made Christmas illegal? Oh wait, that effort is already underway too. Never mind. I am glad I am old.
(Submitted by a Printer)

RE: BoSacks Speaks Out - Printed Magazines as Plastic Records

Publishing from its earliest time was about ideas and getting them from one place to another, from one generation to another. Paper was what was available at the time, from the times of the scribes to the times of the presses. Why is it that there is such trauma over the movement from one capture method to myriad methods? It's the revenue and cost streams that have been associated with that transportation of ideas, and the potential disruption of them. But in the end, publishing is still that transmission of ideas, and that's what should still be exciting everyone.
(Submitted by an Industry Analyst)

Re: Data Reveals Mags Are Fastest Growing 'Non-Digital' Ad Medium

ugh! this is not exactly right in the mpa study. where do i begin? a bigger slice of a smaller pie? the fact that this is measured media alone? that non-traditional media are still growing? that the size of change is well within any statistical error of measurement or misreporting? that the study period is just a blink in a longer well-entrenched trend?

the fact that the report was paired with the abm story was quite appropriate, as it showed that the media mix / communications mix is broader and more volatile than ever.

the key to misunderstanding what is happening in communications is studying only "measured media." the old saying is "if it doesn't get measured, it doesn't get done" is an old saying most people are familiar with. in media, if it doesn't get measured, you can act with impunity and undermine the old guard because you'll never be on their radar screen until it is too late for them to act.
(Submitted by an Industry Analyst)

Re: Taking to Strangers

Bo. Do any of these jerks go down on the pavement and talk to their lost customers. They have numerous data of lost customers and yet I have never read one thing about what the lost customers have said about why they walked away?

Procter and Gamble talk to their customers, one way or another, on a daily basis. What is wrong with the newspaper guys doing the same thing and getting back to us with some objective stuff, instead of all the poor mouth "layoff stuff"?
(Submitted by a Paper Person)

FW: ABC NewsBulletin - June 2007 Issue

I'm glad to see that our ABC publisher membership fees are going to good use. ABC's cutting edge R&D department has created a rebate calculation tool to assist advertisers with those tedious rebate calculations. Yippee!
(Submitted by a Publisher)

RE: A Publishing Quandary: Do Excerpts Help Sales?

Some of this book-excerpts-vs-book-sales discussion seems over analyzed. The reason Paula Deen sold more books than Jessica Lynch might be as simple as the fact that people like ladies who make good fried chicken better than they like girls who degrade prisoners of war, even though each did it with a smile on her face.
(Submitted by a Printer)

Re: 10 Obvious Things about the Future of Publishing you Need to get Through your Head

Well done! If truck-loads of pontificating doesn't work, let's try a list and make it all perfectly clear. I'm still amazed that my own local paper doesn't "get it"- they don't even have a website! I'm really curious about the J-school angle to this . . . what are their curriculums like today, and how's the hiring going?
(Submitted by a Circulator)

RE: Hail to the power of print
Except for the fact that he can't spell color ("colour"? What, no spell check in the UK?), Mr. O'Reilly got it right. It's nice to see that someone is able to see the forest without feeling the need to write an obituary for dead trees.
(Submitted by a Printer)

RE: Tab Wars: Breaking News or Faking News?

There's a big difference between pleasing your customers and pandering to them. If you don't have enough self respect to do your work correctly, you customers will start to lose respect, and the next step is that they'll find something else to do. Perhaps I'm misremembering, but aren't some of the biggest gossip rags having large financial troubles? If it's insulting to a reader to assume he or she can't figure out when titles are full of crap, isn't it doubly insulting to peddle that crap?
(Submitted by a Writer)

Re: Growth Demands From Publishers, Rise of Online Rivals May Cause Shakeout

Bo: All these idiots talk about are ad pages, loss of subscribers, etc. Does anybody talk about the out-of-date, timely content, lack of imagination stuff that might stem the downward slide?
(Submitted by a Paper Person)

RE: The Biggest Niche

With an entire XM station devoted to advertising the government, wouldn't the Fairness Doctrine require a SIRIUS Common Sense channel as a counterbalance?
(Submitted by a Paper Person)

RE: Carbon Neutral Paper

Bob, Did you see the piece about Rolling Stone and Catalyst's carbon neutral paper? So much environmentalism is pure posturing, appearing to help the environment rather than actually helping it. First it was PCW in magazine paper. What a crock! Now it's carbon neutral paper. Please! In the meantime, there are actually sensible and effective initiatives that make sense for the earth and from the perspective of our business. The Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification are the two best and most prominent examples.

Anyway, my favorite part of the Catalyst story was where they said they had reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 70%. We'll ignore the fact that we both remember when emission of "greenhouse gases" was called photosynthesis and was a good thing. But if you know anything about the history of Canadian environmental regulations, you know that reducing a Canadian mill's emissions by 70% is like saying, "Use new lower fat Crisco - 70% less fat than a big old tub of fat." It's marketing, not substance.
(Submitted by a Printer)

Re: What Difference Does a Cover Make?

After Readers Digest purchased Reiman Publishing, they started massaging the covers on the various publications, using head liners in reverse, like you would see on any newsstand issues. The one that broke the back of Bird and Booms was when they pictured a couple in a garden, instead of either flowers or birds only. I was told that the folks in Pleasantville, New York at Readers Gigest thought Reiman's covers were too out of date. It is the old adage, anyone West of the Hudson River is in the "Outback"

The rest is history.
(Submitted by a Paper Person)

Re: A magazine in every niche
Wow, this article actually describes what I do for a living. Of course, my niches-within-a-niche only total 1/10th of Garden and Gun's circ, but hey, it's enough to keep bread on my table. Thanks for bringing the good news not just the doom and gloom that characterizes more reportage on our industry these days.

(Submitted by a Publisher)

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