Ramblings & ephemera

These are their brilliant plans to save magazines?

From Jeremy W. Peters’ “In Magazine World, a New Crop of Chiefs” (The New York Times: 28 November 2010):

“This is the changing of the guard from an older school to a newer school,” said Justin B. Smith, president of the Atlantic Media Company. The changes, he added, were part of an inevitable evolution in publishing that was perhaps long overdue. “It is quite remarkable that it took until 2010, 15 years after the arrival of the Internet, for a new generation of leaders to emerge.”

At Time, the world’s largest magazine publisher, Mr. Griffin said he wanted to reintroduce the concept of “charging a fair price, and charging consumers who are interested in the product.” In other words, consumers can expect to pay more. “We spent a tremendous amount of money creating original content, original journalism, fact-checking, sending reporters overseas to cover wars,” he said. “You name it. What we’ve got to do as a business is get fair value for that.” Supplementing that approach, Mr. Griffin said, will be new partnerships within Time Warner, Time Inc.’s parent company, that allow magazines to take advantage of the vast film and visual resources at their disposal. One such partnership in the planning stages, he said, is a deal between a major cosmetics company and InStyle to broadcast from the red carpets of big Hollywood events like the Academy Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

But one thing Mr. Harty said the company was examining: expanding its licensed products. The company already pulls in more than a billion dollars a year selling products with a Better Homes and Gardens license at Wal-Mart stores. It is now planning to sell plants and bulbs with the magazine’s imprimatur directly to consumers. “We have relationships with all these consumers,” Mr. Harty said. “How can we figure out how to sell them goods and services? We believe that’s a key.”

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