In my 11 years of publishing, I find this to be the most exciting, vibrant and interesting time I’ve experienced and looking at this time period as an incredible breeding ground for experimentation and innovation. I only see good things ahead for magazines and, more importantly, publishing companies that are willing to face the fact that this ain’t your mother’s or father’s publishing industry. So either get on board, or walk that plank![PHOTO: Disney] What ever happened to the idea that a good captain always goes down with his ship? Or in this case, his magazine? The doom and gloom surrounding the magazine/print business is scaring very talented publishing professionals away from the industry altogether. They are, in droves, flocking to anything that has the word “digital” attached to it—it’s truly starting to feel like 1999’s dot-com migration, at least some level, all over again.What about standing and fighting? I wonder if that thought has occurred at all, or if these individuals have become so disenchanted with the print business that they have just thrown up their hands.I’ve personally had many conversations with other publishers about this subject and there is a very clear line of distinction between those who grew up in the traditional world of publishing who have not been able to embrace change, innovate or see their brands as more than a circulation driven ad-page model, and those who actually see this supposed “dark period” as pure opportunity for experimentation, building beyond ad pages and circulation and concentrating on all of the exciting opportunities and platforms for magazine brands in areas outside of the busted newsstand sales, subscriptions and ad page business models.
Thefirst quarter PIB ad page numbers painted a pretty bleak picture for theindustry. The revenue numbers told anequally sorry story for all but a few publications. Among the top revenue gainers were HallmarkMagazine (up 53.5 percent in revenue) and Disney’s Wondertime (8 percent).What’s that you say? Hallmarkand Wondertime have both been shutdown? How could that be? It’s because the PIB revenue numbers bearonly a fleeting resemblance to reality.More broadly, many magazine business metrics reported in thetrade press and analyzed by media planners provide misleading views of what’sreally going on in the industry. Here are three of the most prominent examples, and three modestproposals on how to fix them: The Problem: PIB PIB’s advertising revenue numbers are notoriously inflatedbecause they rely on rate cards. Formany publishers, the real revenue per ad page can be 50 percent of the ratecard after taking into account advertiser discounts, bonus pages, advertorialsand remnant rates. The advertising pagecounts are also subject to some distortions but to a far lesser degree.The Fix: Keep thead page counts. Kill the ad revenuereport.The Problem: ABCABC’s twice-yearly FAS-FAX circulation report also gets alot of media attention when it comes out. Trade stories usually center on two themes: which magazines grew theirtotal circulation and which magazines missed rate base. Media planners alsolook at these two metrics to determine a magazine’s “circulation vitality.”Unfortunately, total circulation and making rate base aretwo of the least informative pieces of information on a magazine’s pinksheet. In both cases, publishers candirectly control their numbers by paying for verified and/or public placesubscriptions. From a pure economic perspective, the excessive focus on ratebase can also lead to bad business decisions as publishers pay to acquire andprint subscription copies that have no advertising benefit.The Fix: Mediaplanners-along with ABC and the trade press-should be emphasizing the trends inpaid (instead of total) subscriptions and single copy sales, the two metricsthat relate directly to the economic health of a title.The Problem: Mr. MagazineI give a lot of credit to Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni. Anyone who bets their career so solidly onthe magazine industry is a comrade of mine and anyone who reads this site. That being said, his “magazines launched thismonth” numbers really tell us very little about the health of the industry. In February 2009 for example, Husni’s site claims that,incredibly, 80 new magazinetitles were launched, compared to approximately 50 in February 2008 and 35in February 2007. Husni himself promotesthe February numbers in his blog as proofthat “print is not dead”—and he is something of a fixture in the magazinetrade press (includingthis one).Who could these brave magazine-launching souls possiblybe? The Mr. Magazine site helpfully providesthe cover of each launched title so we can do some additional analysis. Roughly 90 percent of the titles presented as”new launches” are actually newsstand special issues from medium and largepublishers. Having worked at anenthusiast publisher, I can say that more newsstand one-shots are a signal thatpublishers are trying to stretch their investments in editorial (by repurposingold content) and newsstand distribution (by “stacking” another release onto anexisting bipad). The Fix: Mr. Magazine (or his students) should countnew bipads instead of titles. A newbipad shows that a publisher is investing in a new magazine with its owndistribution profile. A new magazine onan old bipad (e.g. “Taste of Home Presents: Casserole Slow Cooker & Soups”)is not a “new title.”Are there other metrics that you find irksome ormisleading? Comment below and I willincorporate them into a future blog post.
Personnel at Naval Weapons Station Charleston, S.C., starting this week will be able to use a bookmobile operated by the Berkeley County Library System, under a partnership agreement officials from the library system and Joint Base Charleston signed last week.The collaboration provides a tremendous benefit to the weapons station as the joint base, made up of the weapons station and Charleston Air Force Base, only has enough staff to keep either the weapons station’s library or the Air Force base’s open at any given time. The bookmobile — which offers print and digital books, audio books and DVDs — will be available to weapons station residents when their library is closed. The bookmobile also offers computer stations with access to the library’s databases and Wi-Fi, reported Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs.Col. Robert Lyman, Joint Base Charleston commander, and Donna Worden, director of the library system, signed the agreement at the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.“We have a great relationship with the Lowcountry and all the surrounding Charleston communities,” said Lt. Col. Ralph Taylor, 628th Mission Support Group deputy commander and the base’s P4 (public-public and public-private) partnership director. “Having these P4 initiatives even makes it stronger because we’re meeting with them on a quarterly basis … and discussing new initiatives,” he said.Both parties said they would explore developing further initiatives in the future. “The agreement is the first step to a long-lasting relationship with Joint Base Charleston WS [Weapons Station],” said Barbara Ash, the library system’s children’s librarian. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
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Natore police superintendent Biplob Bijoy Talukder speaking with reporters after conducting a drive where four suspected activists of JMB surrendered to the law enforcers in Natore. Photo: Muktar HossainPolice in a drive arrested four suspected activists of banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from Dighapatia, on the outskirts of Natore town, early Tuesday, reports news agency UNB.The arrestees are—Anisur Rahman Anis, a resident of Arkandi village in Singra upazila, Shafikul Islam and Fazlur Rahman, residents of Chapapukur village in Bagatipara upazila and Jakir Hossian, a resident of Kholabaria village in Naldanga upazila.Acting on a tip-off, a police team cordoned off a house adjacent to the Uttara Gonobhaban around 3:00am and started operation at the house from 5:30am and asked the insiders to surrender to the law enforcers after nine rounds of firing, claimed police.After one hour, the four suspected activists of JMB surrendered to the law enforcers.Police, later, recovered five hand bombs, petrol, a laptop, one motorcycle and books searching the house.Details will be come to light after interrogation of the arrestees and investigation, said Natore police superintendent Biplob Bijoy Talukder.
Farroque Alam Sarker, central vice president of Krishak League joined BNP on Wednesday. Photo: CollectedKrishak League central committee vice president Farroque Alam Sarker on Wednesday joined BNP ahead of the 11th Parliamentary elections, reports UNB.Hailing from Gaibandha-5 constituency, Farroque formally joined BNP by presenting a bouquet to party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir around 7:00pm at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, said a press release.Farroque also bought party’s nomination paper from Gaibandha-5 constituency.More than one hundred leaders-activists of ruling party student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League and Juba League also joined BNP with Farroque, said Gaibandha district unit BNP president Syed Moinul Hasan Sadik.BNP’s Rangpur divisional organising secretary Asadu Habib Dulu, and general secretary Mahmud Nabi Tutul were, among others, present on the occasion.
By ALAN FRAM and ANDREW TAYLOR , Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats have ignored a veto threat and passed legislation that would stymie President Donald Trump’s bid for billions of extra dollars for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. The move has escalated a clash over whether he has abused his powers to advance the signature pledge of his 2016 campaign.The House’s 245-182 vote Tuesday to block Trump’s national emergency declaration fell well below the two-thirds majority that would be needed to override what would be the first veto of Trump’s presidency. Thirteen Republican backed the Democrats’ measure as top Republicans worked to keep defections as low as possible, wanting to avoid a tally suggesting that Trump’s hold on lawmakers was weakening.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., accompanied by Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, left, and others, speaks about a resolution to block President Donald Trump’s emergency border security declaration on Capitol Hill, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 in Washington. House Democrats have introduced a resolution to block the national emergency declaration that President Donald Trump issued last week to fund his long-sought wall along the U.S-Mexico border, setting up a fight that could result in Trump’s first-ever veto. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)The issue is now before the Republican-run Senate, where there already were enough GOP defections to edge the resolution to the brink of passage. Vice President Mike Pence used a lunch with Republican senators at the Capitol to try keeping them aboard, citing a crisis at the border, but there were no signs he had succeeded.“I personally couldn’t handicap the outcome at this point,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who plans a vote within the next three weeks. He even said Republicans remained uncertain about the legality of Trump’s move.The showdown was forcing Republicans to cast uncomfortable votes pitting their support for a president popular with GOP voters against fears that his use of emergency powers would invite future Democratic presidents to do likewise.House Republicans who joined all voting Democrats to support the resolution included moderates from competitive districts such as Fred Upton of Michigan and libertarian-leaning conservatives like Thomas Massie from Kentucky.The White House, in a letter to lawmakers threatening a veto, said blocking the declaration would “undermine the administration’s ability to respond effectively to the ongoing crisis” at the border.Republicans said Democrats were driven by politics and a desire to oppose Trump at every turn. They said Trump had authority to declare an emergency to protect the country and they defended his claims of a crisis.“We are at war on the southern border with the drug cartels,” said Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas.Trump has asserted that barriers would stop drugs from Mexico from entering the U.S. In fact, government figures show that 90 percent of drugs intercepted from Mexico are caught at ports of entry, not remote areas where barriers would be constructed.Democrats said Republicans repeatedly accused former President Barack Obama of flouting the Constitution, which gives Congress control over spending, but are ignoring Trump’s effort to do the same.“Is your oath of office to Donald Trump, or is your oath of office to the Constitution?” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., asked Republicans.Trump’s push for the wall reflected a continuation of the anti-immigrant views that helped fuel his election, some Democrats said.“Since when do we call human beings in need a national emergency?” said Mexican-born Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, D-Ill. “Is he running out of insults for people like me?”Democrats said the crisis is a fiction manufactured by Trump to evade Congress’ vote this month to provide less than $1.4 billion for barrier construction. That was well below the $5.7 billion Trump demanded as he forced a record-setting 35-day federal shutdown.“The president does not get to override Congress in a raucous temper tantrum over his inability to broker a deal” with lawmakers for more money, said Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, sponsor of the one-sentence measure blocking the declaration, called Trump’s move “constitutional vandalism.”Trump used a 1976 law to declare a national emergency and ordered the shift of $3.6 billion from military construction projects to wall building. Citing other powers, he intends to shift an additional $3.1 billion from Defense Department anti-drug efforts and a fund that collects seized assets.The money would be used to build steel barriers up to 30 feet tall and other barriers and for “law enforcement efforts,” said a White House statement.In the Senate, three Republicans have said they will back Democrats’ drive to block the emergency declaration: Maine’s Susan Collins, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and North Carolina’s Thom Tillis. One more GOP defection would provide enough votes to approve the Democratic measure, assuming all Democrats and their independent allies back it.Republicans said senators asked Pence numerous questions about which projects Trump would divert to pay for the wall, with Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., saying the discussion was “hearty.” Shelby, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which controls spending. said the committee would quickly “backfill” money for military construction with other funds he did not identify.“That issue won’t stay alive long,” Shelby told reporters.Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the chief GOP vote counter, said there may be GOP attempts to amend the House measure, saying Republicans “think they have amendments that would improve it.”That suggests that McConnell may try finding a way to add language that could sink the Democratic resolution or, perhaps, make it more palatable for Republicans. The law requires the Senate to vote on a measure within 18 days of receiving it from the House.Though presidents have declared 58 emergencies under the law, this is the first aimed at acquiring money for an item Congress has explicitly refused to finance, according to Elizabeth Goitein, co-director for national security at New York University Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice. This is also the first time Congress has cast votes on whether to annul an emergency declaration, she said.Several lawsuits have been filed aimed at blocking the money, including by Democratic state attorneys general, and progressive and environmental groups. Those suits at the very least are likely to delay access to those funds for months or years.___AP Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro and Associated Press writer Colleen Long contributed.