Archive for the ‘mag of the week’ Category

Admitting Time

April 4, 2008

It’s hard to run a media brand ( while building another one (The Post-Advertising Age).  Once a 5-times-a-day blog, a one-time-a-day blog, mag grab bag, I’m sad to say, will now be a less-than-that blog.

Don’t worry.  I’ll still write about the parties I go to, and I’ll finish my ad page analysis of Reed Business Information Numbers.  I will also continue to present other sets of ad page numbers.

For now, here’s your Mag of the Week: Sports Illustrated.

– Should have won the week of the SI Swimsuit Party.

– Partnered with Taco Bell on a very misguided but in some ways stimulating ad campaign (you know what I’m talking about guys….)

– The mag is being assailed by animal rights activists this week according to an article at  That scores points in my book.


Magazine of the Week

March 28, 2008

This was an exciting week in magazines with some major personnel moves at some high-profile brands that I also happen to really like.  Jay Lauf left his post as publisher of Wired under new GP David Carey to become publisher of The Atlantic under Justin Smith; his position was filled by Chris Mitchell, who moved from his position as VP/publisher of Details.  There was talk months back that when William Li moved over from publisher of Men’s Vogue to publisher of Conde Nast Portfolio that Details AP Marc Berger might fill the vacancy that Li left.  Will Berger now instead take over at Details?

Other stuff:

More points to Atlantic for a fun panel on gossip at the NYU School of Journalism.

Kudos to WWE for having the courage to launch a print pub into a recession and to a demo group that some think will abandon print entirely eventually.  WWE: In this bout, the body slams will be real.  On the other hand, the MPA has not yet issued a directive on performance-enhancing drugs….

Points to Reed’s TWICE and TWICE CES Daily for having impressive years in ad pages in a 2007 that was “challenging” to many publishers.

And congrats to Ideal Media’s Restaurant Business and Foodservice Director for continuing to show huge growth in ad pages in 2008 against some tough, bigger competitors.

But, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, the honor has to go to The Atlantic:

– Snagged a new, highly-successful publisher: Wired is a top circulation performer, a National Magazine Award Finalist, and was up over 4% in ad pages in 2007.

– They threw a cool tea party (see above)!

– I really liked the article on Britney Spears.  And I don’t love Britney.  I don’t hate her either.  I nothing her, really.  Still, a fun read.

See you next week, friendos.

Magazine of the Week

March 21, 2008

This week must have been “Launch” week at maggrabbag.  I don’t know how I know, but I know that Know, the new magazine for paralegals, is probably going down (downtown, to the courthouse — do not pass go…didn’t you know that I do this because I like to pretend that I’m a real writer?).

I also spoke with Kim Stempien, the crazy bubbly woman who is also crazy and bubbly and publisher of new mag Precognito.  She has some interesting thoughts on the industry as a whole, and some harsh words for mega media mogulettes Martha and Oprah.

And I joined the mile high club* with Eos Airlines (the unairline) new in-flight offering, Eos Magazine.

In other news, more about The Atlantic and its Britney Spears cover, which I will give them points for here.  The more I think about this, the more I’ve come to realize that this move is in perfect concert with the soul of the magazine.  Bear with me.  The Atlantic is a political magazine.  The election cycle is one of the most important and exciting times for the brand.  When you cover politics, how could some of the lessons not rub off on you?  What The Atlantic is doing is a classes general election move: You’ve galvanized your base in the primaries, now it’s time to move to the center to win the popular vote.  Politicos already have their Atlantic drips flowing freely and will be buying the book off the stands until November.  Now is the time to attract the middle.  Hence the Britney cover.  QED.

And, last, The New Yorker nabbed an impressive 12 nominations again to lead the pack at the National Magazine Awards.  The magazine of the same name minus the The and the -er took nine.  Last year, New York went five for seven, while TNY went zero for nine.  I predict a less-shocking outcome this year.

So, magazine of the week, why not: The New Yorker.  Better luck at this year’s Ellies.

*The mile high club has really relaxed its membership standards in recent years.  You can join merely by flying and thinking about sex.  Now, with the new security policy deadbolting the cockpit from the freight, getting your hair tousled and one of those captain’s pins from a real American hero has become a lot harder.  Mass media, soda with sugar, and New York City are dooming this country to damnation.

Magazine of the Week

March 14, 2008

Points off for Continental for making a bad day in the air a bit worse.

Big kudos to Doubldown Media and Jim Dunning for having the good fortune and brains to partner with publisher (and Mets/Phillies great) Lenny Dykstra on The Players Club magazine.

Good points to BusinessWeek for the Jon Fine-hosted session at the McGraw-Hill Media Summit, The Future of News.

Big ups to ESPN the Magazine for throwing the Party for the Mag‘s 10th anni. Great party. Great milestone. And, as Steven Binder, helmer of the whole shebang, told me after the fact: “It was a great night for the magazine.”

Ladies’ Home Journal strikes again with a perfectly positioned brand builder in its series of power lunches, this time with Valerie Bertinelli, newly-minted best-selling author as the main attraction.

IDG does it again at the Neals, this time with CSO.

And, last but not least, thanks, Sky, for giving me back the few hours that air travel might have stolen from my life if you didn’t exist (real kudos to Pace Communications for putting it all together).

In the end, which is the magazine of the week? Drum-roll, please….

It’s gotta be Doubledown’s The Players Club Magazine. What a cool idea. And this 20,000 controlled circ list is going to push Doubledown’s already gaudy demo numbers completely off the charts.

Until next week, buckos.

Magazine of the Week

March 7, 2008

Apologies for the lite posting schedule…it was worth it on this end, as my first week of work at Story Worldwide building The Post-Advertising Age was really fun.  Now, that doesn’t mean that I have the right to shirk my responsibility to choose a Magazine of the Week.  And so a-choosin’ we go.

We heard that all is good at Radar, a mag currently living out its third life.  (And I hear tell of more new clients and the possibility of expanding the sales team….)

The Atlantic Online launched The Current.  I’m not sure if this is points for or points off.  On the one hand, kudos for launching a great new site.  On the other hand, is this another nail on the coffin of the deep dive?  (Is there any more room for nails?)

IDG, CMP, ZDE all saw increasingly impotent competitor Ziff Davis file for bankruptcy.  This was inevitable for the publisher of PC Magazine; will a live & well tech media giant rise from the ashes? or will the company be forced to sell off too many assets to maintain is fledgling sense of relevancy?

Okay.  Slow week for big, good mag news.   Let’s go with IDG’s PC World for Mag of the Week.  PC World is the new reigning horizontal computer book king after PC Mag lost about a third of 2006 ad pages, while World only slid a modest 5%.  Congrats to Harry McCracken (VP/EIC) and the rest of the PC World team.

Magazine of the Week

February 29, 2008

Who should it be this week?

Lots of mags’ sites won awards this week at MPA’s 2nd annual digital awards show…including National Geographic, People, and Sports Illustrated (twice!).  It was a big day for names that are also things: People, Time, Style.  Click here to see who else won.

We found out that the morale at Interview is good during the first week of the Baron/O’Brien tenure.

We deduct points from the drug trades, general interest, etc, etc, at finding out that Pfizer pulled its Dr. Jarvik/Lipitor ad campaign.  Now that the consumer advocacy groups know they can take ’em down, they’re going to spread the word on how.

But, the magazine in the news the most this week was that big boy of concepts, Time.  First, we urged Time to take a stand.  Then we showed how it’s dominant on the digital newsstand.  Deduct points for its lack of engagement v. its peers.  But maybe that number will go up when readers find out that MPA deems the top news site on the Net.

Until next week, buckos.

Magazine of the Week

February 22, 2008

We have a lot of great contenders this week.

ESPN the Magazine closed its ad sales for its anniversary issue; should be fattest ever, according to ad sales helmer Steven Binder.

Variety launched The Biz social networking site, but I deduct points for Reed Elsevier announcing its upcoming divestment of Variety parent RBI.

The Week goes for two in a row, hiring a new AP, while N’Touch challenges In Touch….

But I think Magazine of the Week has to go to More this week.   The More/Wilhelmina 40+ Model Search is one of the great magazine events of the year.  Furthermore, Joan Allen’s Alfred Hitchcock-inspired photo shoot in this month’s issue is not to be missed.

Until next week, friends.

Economist/The Week/Atlantic Show Growth in Circ in December

February 12, 2008

Okay — so magazines aren’t flying off of the news racks these days. Yours truly is still on magazine rack cloud nine. Why? Two of my favorite mags dominated their category in December:

The Week was up 8.2% in circ in December

The Atlantic Monthly was up 6.7% in circ in December

The top performer in ABC’s news/opinion/business category was The Economist…which I also like. Boohoo, though, for one of my favorite mags, The New Yorker, which fell .5% in the month.

Why did this happen? The election. The Economist, The Week, and The Atlantic all provide different essential kinds of content regarding the upcoming slugfest:

The Week: A roundup of everything that happened, and what the pundits said about it

The Atlantic: Deep dives into domestic politics, politicos, and policy

The Economist: A focus on how it will affect the domestic and international economy, and those bits of brash unby-lined opinion that fans of the mag have come to expect

So why did US News (+.1%), Newsweek (-.3%), and Time (-17.6%) struggle? My theory is that Americans have come to learn that when they want to know which colleges are hot, or why their kids are fat, or why their kids are stupid, or why playing video games is good/bad for their kids, they turn to the big three newsweeklies. But when it comes to hardcore news and analysis that you can trust, these books are no longer the go-to buys.

So, I hereby dub The Week maggrabbag’s first ever magazine of the week. Congratulations, The Week.