Archive for the ‘Launches’ Category

WWE To Launch Magazine For Kids

March 26, 2008

WWE Raw Superstars Poster

Apparently WWE didn’t get the memo about kids not reading magazines any more and unto the ends of the earth.  WWE Kids will be a bi-monthly magazine geared toward 6-14 year olds (does this demo exist?) and will start with the May/June issue.  WWE will support the launch with a marketing push, including placement of the mag in Wal-Mart.  Reading the press release on ProWrestling.com, what they are trying to do kinda makes sense.  This analysis is, of course, based on my own predilections as a kid to lie down on the carpet while paging through the latest Zoobooks (I had like four copies of the “Snakes” issue) or Highlights at first and Rolling Stone, Spin, CMJ, The New Yorker, etc eventually.

One other note: The release claims that WWE Kids will teach kids about fitness and nutrition, among other things.  This is like Nascar teaching aspiring rednecks about fuel conservation: On the one hand, the lessons might be valuable; on the other hand, consider the source.  Look at these guys (and gals…see pic above) — they’re huge.  What they do isn’t “fitness and nutrition”; you can’t get a body like that by “staying active” and “eating right”.  At the very least, their bodies are their full-time jobs; and, at worst, they are artistic testimonials to the power of medical science (minus the haircuts, of course, which are more craft than art, let’s say).

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Elite Airline Eos Launches in-Flight Mag With Elite Traveler

March 21, 2008

Elite Traveler, the company that publishes Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine, has taken on a custom publishing project.  Eos, a high-end airline that only travels (for now) between JFK and London’s Stanstead, is, according to its motto(s), “uncrowded.  uncompromising.  unairline.”  It will be launching a quartlerly magazine for its fancy clientèle who pay $1,350 and up per leg to get to London without the inconvenience of rubbing elbows with the semi-wealthy people (and, ok, students — eww) who fly there on British Airways.  This magazine should have a good demo.

We’ve had some pleasant and unpleasant run-ins with in-flight media over the past few weeks.  Let’s hope Elite Traveler will help Eos Magazine stay true to its parent’s motto and be unlike some other in-flight magazines: unsucky.

One other note: I’m not surprised that the “unairline” didn’t go with a traditional custom publishing shop to do its magazine.  I’m a little surprised that Doubledown Media, publisher of both Private Air and custom publisher of The Players Club (see a bit about this here), didn’t get this business.  Seems like it would have been a perfect fit and another feather in Jim Dunning’s many-feathered cap.

Clairvoyant New Magazine — Precognito — Hopes to Make Splash

March 18, 2008

Precognito Cover

I was going to write about this new magazine I came across — Precognito, a quarterly one-off from Ozz Media — and how its 39%+ newsstand sell-through rate for its second issue (Spring 2008) is something worth taking note of*.  I was going to do that until I spent time talking with Precognito‘s publisher/editor/innovator/spiritual guide, Kim Stempien, who is a very interesting lady who has some strong opinions about the magazine industry.  Instead, I’d like to give you some insight into Stempien and into the project.

If you haven’t already guessed, Precognito is what you would call a New Age magazine.  Articles in the current ToC include “Dream Alchemy” and “Choosing the Right Pet for Your Sign”.  Accessing the spirit world for inspiration (and content) is not the only thing that makes Precognito different.

– “We’re not into shipping a big, advertising-laden monstrosity,” says Stempien.  “[Eventually,] we’re going to ship a print guide to the online version of the magazine to be in line with Gaia, mother earth.”  Stempien sees America’s Test Kitchen’s Cook’s Illustrated as a model.   “They have quality content, embedded product placement, and online streaming video for a nominal fee.  We’re toying with [copying] that.  It’s not a big magazine that’s an homage to advertisers.”

– Here’s a revolutionary idea for magazine publishers that Stempien embraces: Precognito doesn’t accept all print ads.  Why?  Ozz Media charges its clients based entirely on performance, which it tracks through surveys and informal measures of client satisfaction.  “You can’t just put any advertiser in the magazine because we’re performance-based.  We don’t want to run campaigns that won’t work.”

– Stempien has little love for some of the magazines she sees on the racks, especially the competition, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s Body+Soul magazine.  “They clearly are not experts on spirituality.  Don’t try to merge a recipe company into a spiritual magazine.  The advertising in that magazine has just dwindled.  We hear from their advertisers and they say that they don’t get any calls from those ads.”

More after the jump.

(more…)

Know is a New Magazine for Paralegals

March 17, 2008

Though very critical, I’m not much of a critic: I generally leave that for Media Post’s Magazine Rack (which was good before Larry Dobrow left…that was a criticism, wasn’t it…). In this case, I have to say that I feel that this isn’t a very good idea for a magazine. Yes, there are many paralegals in the US. Yes, they do make good wages. But what connects them to each other? Not very much: They all work very hard, very long hours, but not much aside from that. This launch is akin to launching a magazine for maitre d’s.

That being said, there already is a magazine for paralegals: National Paralegal Reporter, published by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations. Here’s something Know’s publishers might want to note: out of the 240,000+ paralegals there are working in the US, 11,000+ subscribe to NPR.

At their very best, magazines coalesce around communities and help them improve the quality of their existence. I wish Know the best of luck doing so.

Click here to see launch editor Chere Estrin’s words on the matter. The bi-monthly magazine will debut with the June/July issue.

Another note: Peter Piper Publishing (say that 10 times fast) might have something to say about Know. PPP publishes a magazine in Canada of the same name: It’s a learning magazine for kids. Check it out here.

Doubledown’s Custom Division to Launch The Players Club Magazine

March 11, 2008

Doubledown Media is poised to hit another home run with The Players Club, a magazine brought to Doubledown by 1986 World Series champ Lenny Dykstra.  Hitting lead-off in 1986 for the Amazin’s, Dykstra hit a walk-off home run in the NLCS against the Astros en route to a World Series victory against the Red Sox in seven games.  One of my favorite baseball players growing up has now entered the media fray as prez/CEO of The Players Club (publisher, effectively) in partnership with Doubledown Media, publisher of Trader Monthly, The Cigar Report, and Dealmaker Magazine, among others.

This is a great fit for both Dykstra’s project and the B2B publisher.  The Players Club will have a controlled circ of about 20,000.  These 20,000 are the players, front office, and agents from the major professional sports leagues: NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, FIFA, Nascar, et al.  I can’t wait to see the demo stats on this mag.  Add these high income numbers to the already high income stats at Trader Monthly and Dealmaker and you’ve got a company with some pretty pricey lists.  And let’s not forget the star power the magazine’s committee  brings to the company, (advisory board?), NFL HoFer QB Jim Kelly, The Great One, Wayne Gretzty, NFL HoFer Jim Brown, among others.

Doubledown’s advertisers must be thrilled.  When Bentley advertises in Trader Monthly, it knows that many of the readers can’t afford its products, but that in the future they will be able to; decent branding.  When Bentley’s advertising package expands to include The Players Club, the number of Doubledown readers that can afford Bentleys now goes way up.

The irony is that one of the editorial focuses of the magazine is to help athletes keep their hard-earned money.  As Dykstra says (secondhand…and I have to double-check this), they should only have to “get rich once.”

Maybe more on this later.  Click here for the official Doubledown about page on the book.  Click here for more official details, like the launch date, etc.

Amex Publishing and Time Inc Team Up with CNN for Integrated Print/Online/TV Launch

March 5, 2008

Interesting article in Mediapost this morning about Amex Publishing and Time Inc teaming up with CNN to produce major US city travel guides to be distributed in Amex/Time Inc. titles, on the Web, and promoted on CNN’s Airport  Network.  You know the drill: analysis then details.

Analysis

Take a done concept, chop, saute in butter for 5 minutes.  Then add a healthy handful of innovative integrated distribution; stir vigorously over high flame.  Serve hot.

Amex Publishing (Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine) doing a travel guide isn’t exactly groundbreaking.  Distributing it with non-travel-focused Time Inc titles and promoting it on airport TV is; and it should work.  Let’s engage in a very brief but very difficult thought experiment.  Let’s pretend that you are in St. Louis, and you aren’t you; you’re a Flyover American ready to have information produced on the coasts slammed into your head.  You are in the travel frame of mind when all of a sudden, a travel piece comes on the one of the many tubes affixed to the ceiling: manna from heaven.  It tells you all about New Yawk City, but just a tidbit; if you want to know more, you’ll have to buy the magazine.  Turn to your right.  There’s a magazine stand about 30 paces away.  You’re a bit logy from a Dunkin’ Donut meal you’ve just had, complete with coffee flavored hot milkshake, but you, after all, do need exercise, so why not hazard the trip.  Ok, so it isn’t exactly true what they say: you won’t be “running” on Dunkin’; maybe they should make the hook “America walks on Dunkin'” you muse as you waddle over to buy the magazine.  End scene.

Facts

Lodging, recreation, and nightlife in 15 large American cities will be the focus of branded content created by all three companies for print, Web, and TV.   Three 12-page booklets covering nine of the cities will be distributed in Amex and Time Inc books: T+L, F&W, T+L Golf, InStyle, Real Simple, Money, Fortune, Time Style + Design, and Coastal Living.  The six cities left out of print will be covered online at T+L.com.  On February 19, CNN Airport Network started running segments with T+L editors giving travel tips.  A 60-second segment called “T+L Travel Tips” will air on CNN Headline News on the weekends.

Click here for the full story from Mediapost, including a list of the program’s sponsors.

The Atlantic Online Stabs The Atlantic Monthly in the Back, Following in The New Yorker’s Footsteps

March 4, 2008

There are certain things in nature that clue you into abnormality in the world: When it smells a certain way, you know it’s going to rain; a broken twig or trampled grass on the trail means you’re not alone; and sometimes you know you’re not supposed to turn around (read: Lot’s wife).  Maybe we humans have a sixth sense; maybe it’s Spidey sense.  Either way, mine is tingling from the debut of The Atlantic Monthly‘s new daily Web presence, The Current.

Having heard the news of the launch yesterday, I went back to an old issue of The Atlantic that I hadn’t finished and was enthralled by the persuasive rhetorical arguments made for nationalized schools and the acceptability of a long, slow national economic decline due to the aging of the baby boomers.  I would also point out that these arguments were made as succinctly as possible — over the course of several thousand words.  This is what I go to The Atlantic for.

But Justin Smith, Atlantic Media prez, is a smart guy.  He knows that I’m a dieing breed.  As a magazine man, I applaud the brand’s move into more current news; and I’m sure the editors at the magazine will do it well.  After all, for my money, The New Yorker has already successfully made the transition (editorially) to a daily-updated Web presence, and one that uses the unique tools of new media well — blogs by your favorite contributors, audio interviews, and abundant photography.

But something about it doesn’t smell right.  There is a value in things that can’t be explained in a short paragraph before the jump.  A persuasive rhetorical argument on a complex issue can only really be made effectively in thousands of words and not hundreds.  I wish The Atlantic luck on this venture, but I wonder if it’s a case of giving the public what it wants, or feeding the public candy when it needs veggies.  Either way, I grieve for the public.

In Touch, I’d Like to Introduce you to N’Touch

February 20, 2008

In Touch Weekly was launched in 2002 by Bauer Publishing with EIC Richard Spencer manning the controls.  In February 2008, N’Touch New England launched as the “newest and freshest source for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender news and entertainment” (about page here) under the helm of publisher Bill Berggren.

In Touch got the scoop on Mary Louise-Parker’s “ring trouble” today, while N’Touch got the exclusive on the David Cicilline (mayor of Providence, RI) profile.

While In Touch‘s nascent — let’s say — Web site has such sidebar content areas as “top story” and “TV scoops,” N’Touch features “arts & culture,” “gossip,” and regional club listings and photos.

N’Touch‘s most popular stories?  Boston Clubs, About Us, Mayor of Providence, Central Mass Clubs.  In Touch‘s?  Impossible to know; In Touch doesn’t offer a “most popular” section on its site.

Just thought you guys should know each other.

Reed’s Variety Launches ‘The Biz’ While Reed-Elsevier Launches Layoffs

February 19, 2008

Today saw the launch of Variety.com’s social networking site, The Biz. As a Facebook/LinkedIn refusenik, I frequently wonder when the first epidemic of sudden head explosion disease is going to hit the Crackberry set. I am already overwhelmed enough as it is with Life 1.0. But, I digress.

It’s my understanding that in showbiz, everyone is looking for work — that is, if the right offer comes along. The Biz, it seems, would be a perfect fit. With the power and reach of the Variety brand behind it, I see at least a profitable and lively job board (the application is being co-launched by Jobster), and, at best, the next Xanga!

Probably a coincidence that it was launched the same day as RBI’s parent company announced 1,000 worldwide layoffs. Though most of those layoffs are back office, maybe some of them are good looking and have talent. It would behoove Reed-Elsevier HR to include in each “happy trails” pack a link to The Biz. This could really fuel some early days spikes in traffic.