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Thread: Print publishing death watch

  1. #136
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    Continued


    Sources said People’s recent Lizzo cover was one of its worst-selling in its history.

    People is said to still be “profitable” by sources with knowledge, but IAC executives have nevertheless been making aggressive moves to slash costs. Insiders said they are now focused on a litany of problems that have nothing to do with People’s editor change-up. Those include cratering advertising revenue and lower circulation, rising postage rates and a paper shortage.

    “The IAC people are not nice. Barry Diller is not nice,” said a source, who noted that new ownership “doesn’t understand” print magazines, all they want to do is “make money.”

    The company also closed PeopleTV, the glossy’s struggling broadcast TV show, as exclusively reported by The Post.

    The source added that there has been a jarring clash between the corporate cultures of Des Moines, Iowa-based Meredith and Diller’s IAC, which is headquartered in New York’s trendy Meatpacking District.

    “The Meredith people show up to meetings in Crocs. Their offices have wicker furniture,” the source said. “You cannot turn up to Barry Diller’s Frank Gehry-designed spaceship in Crocs. IAC is like ‘The Matrix.’ There’s no furniture and you’re greeted by people wearing Prada.”


    People’s Prince Harry cover dipped below 200,000 sales at the newsstand, sources told The Post.

    During the pandemic, People’s advertising revenue halved, according to a source with knowledge. The source said advertising has slumped to about $125 million a year in print with digital advertising bringing in another $125 million.

    Nonetheless, according to People’s media kit, the brand has 118 million consumers across print, digital and social media.

    Employees began buzzing about the potential demise of People when a handful of publishing and marketing execs left the company after DotDash took the helm. They included People group publisher Carery Witmer and People magazine publisher Cece Ryan, both of whom focused on selling print and digital advertising.

    Their departures signaled to many that Dotdash may be following a similar playbook for People as it has with other Meredith publications. Earlier this year, the company killed the print editions of Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, EatingWell, Health, Parents and People en Español.


    DotDash Meredith shuttered six print magazines post merger with Meredith, including Eating Well.
    Getty Images for EatingWell & IF

    At the time, Dotdash Meredith CEO Neil Vogel told staff that the move would help turn the publications into digital-only brands. He also said the move would result in about 200 job cuts.

    “We have said from the beginning, buying Meredith was about buying brands, not magazines or websites,” Vogel said in his note. “It is not news to anyone that there has been a pronounced shift in readership and advertising from print to digital, and as a result, for a few important brands, print is no longer serving the brand’s core purpose.”

    During the pandemic, the pullback in print readership and advertising has been more pronounced than ever. Oprah’s O Magazine stopped printing in 2020 and women’s magazine Marie Claire ended its print run after 27 years in 2021.

    In the last three years, Hearst has reduced the frequencies of magazines like Elle and Cosmopolitan while Condé Nast has lowered the frequencies of glossies Vogue and Vanity Fair amid declines in readership and ad revenue.


    Diller with his wife, fashion designer, Diane Von Furstenberg at the Met Gala. Sources said Diller is a shrewd businessman, who is focused on turning Meredith’s brands profitable– even if that means closing print magazines.
    WireImage
    Vogel said in February that his company would invest in its 19 remaining print magazines — which include People, Better Homes & Gardens and Southern Living — by enhancing paper quality and trimming sizes.

    But strategies change quickly in media and critics have whispered that the acquisition of Meredith by IAC, a company known for its digital brands, likely spelled doom for its glossies down the line.

    “Barry Diller bought Meredith to sell it,” said one well-placed source. “He always makes them [the brands] more lean and profitable, then he resells it.”
    At least Kung Fu Tai Chi is in good company...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #137
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    Si


    Sports Illustrated staff could be laid off as the iconic magazine’s publisher faces money troubles



    FILE - A George Mason University fan holds up the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine at a send off for the team, Wednesday, March 29, 2006, in Fairfax, Va. The publisher of Sports Illustrated has notified employees it is planning to lay off a significant portion — possibly all — of the outlet’s staff after its license to use the iconic brand’s name in print and digital was revoked. In an email to employees Friday morning, Jan. 19, 2024, the Arena Group, which operates Sports Illustrated and related properties, said that Authentic Brands Group has revoked its marketing license. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson, File)

    BY JOE REEDY AND DAVID BAUDER
    Updated 2:21 PM PST, January 19, 2024

    The jobs of people who produce Sports Illustrated were in limbo Friday after the company that paid to maintain the iconic brand’s print and digital products told staff that its license was revoked.

    In an email to employees Friday morning, the Arena Group, which operates Sports Illustrated and related properties, said that because of the revocation, “we will be laying off staff that work on the SI brand.”

    Authentic Brands Group owns the Sports Illustrated brand and had been licensing it to Arena. Authentic later said in a statement it intends to keep Sports Illustrated going. The company is negotiating with Arena and other publishing entities to determine who will do that, according to a person with knowledge of the talks who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly about them.

    Until those negotiations are resolved, it’s unclear which journalists would actually do the work of making Sports Illustrated. It was not clear how many jobs were affected.

    Sports Illustrated’s employee union said in a statement that the layoffs initially announced by Arena would be a significant number and possibly all, of the NewsGuild workers represented.

    “We have fought together as a union to maintain the standard of this storied publication that we love, and to make sure our workers are treated fairly for the value they bring to this company. It is a fight we will continue,” Mitch Goldich, NFL editor and unit chair, said in a statement.

    The guild’s statement also called for Authentic to “ensure the continued publication of SI and allow it to serve our audience in the way it has for nearly 70 years.”

    Authentic said it would do so, and that “we are confident that going forward the brand will continue to evolve and grow in a way that serves sports news readers, sports fans and consumers. We are committed to ensuring that the traditional ad-supported Sports Illustrated media pillar has best in class stewardship to preserve the complete integrity of the brand’s legacy.”

    In a statement on Friday, the Arena Group said it was negotiating with Authentic about the license, “with plans to sustain our commitment to delivering quality content throughout the ongoing discussions.”

    Arena admitted that it had failed to make a quarterly payment of $3.75 million and Authentic had put it on notice that it intended to end the licensing agreement. As a result, Arena announced Thursday it would make a “significant reduction” in its workforce of more than 100 people.

    The Arena Group acquired publishing rights from Authentic in 2019 for at least 10 years. The group’s stewardship of Sports Illustrated has had many hurdles since then. In December, it fired chief executive officer Ross Levinsohn when the magazine’s alleged use of AI-generated stories drew public backlash.

    Sports Illustrated has had a rough six years. It was acquired by Meredith Publishing in 2018 as part of the purchase of Time Inc., which started the magazine in 1954.

    Less than a year later, Meredith sold the magazine’s intellectual property to Authentic for $110 million. Authentic owns the intellectual property of many brands and stars, including Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali and Reebok.

    Once a weekly publication, Sports Illustrated was reduced to biweekly publishing in 2018 and became a monthly in 2020.

    ___
    Reedy reported from Los Angeles and Bauder, an Associated Press Media Writer, reported from New York.

    ___
    AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports

    JOE REEDY
    Sports writer based in Los Angeles.

    DAVID BAUDER
    National media and entertainment writer
    I used to gripe about how hard it was to go up against the SI swimsuit issue every year.

    I wonder who will be the last print mag standing...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #138

    Missed Black Belt going out

    Looks like Black Belt has also ceased printing. They still seem to have a solid online presence.

    https://www.blackbeltmag.com/a-new-e...ent-and-future

    "The Future of Black Belt
    As in battle, every martial artist must adapt to changing environments. Black Belt embraces this challenge as we move to deliver our community the best content across the digital platforms.

    With the new team in place, we are taking the time to listen to you, our community, about your hopes for Black Belt. One constant theme was the desire for Black Belt to return to innovating and prioritizing excellence and mastery. In order to do this, we will be adding offerings and trimming services that no longer serve that goal."

  4. #139
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    Thanks for this, MightyB

    I was tracking the ownership change because some of our old KFTC freelance contributors were caught in that wake (let go from their regular submission roster). I didn't realize that they went out of print too. Strange as it may sound, I mourn this too. We weren't truly competitors because their coverage was more expansive and they were older, but the loss of any martial print mag is sad.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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