Time Warner’s talks to merge its magazines with those of Meredith have broken down. Intsead, the Time Inc and IPC magazines are to be spun off as a new public company by the end of 2013.
Archive for the ‘strategy’ Category
Reports in the US early today suggested Time Warner was in talks to sell some of its magazines to Meredith Corp. The sale would probably include IPC Media, the UK’s second-largest magazine publisher, with titles such as Marie Claire and NME. IPC has sold about 20 titles over the past few years and announced job cuts of 150 staff last month.
Meredith publishes 14 magazines, including Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and Better Homes & Gardens, as well running TV stations.
Time, the largest magazine publisher in the US, with titles such as Time, Sports Illustrated and People, could fetch $2bn-$3.5bn.
Every one of the 1,000 back issues of Gramophone will be available to all digital and App subscribers on PC, Apple and Android devices for £3.99 a month or £39.99 a year. The archive is based on the North American edition of Gramophone, which includes all the UK pages plus a 16-page supplement in each issue, “Sounds of America”. This details musical developments in the US and Canada and reviews specialist American releases.
Came across this post from Neelay Patel about the Economist’s iPad strategy. It reminds me of the advice from typographers when DTP came in (John Miles made a similar plea at the time):
We also agonized over what not to include. We didn’t want any bells or whistles, or anything that would distract our readers from doing what they wanted, to finish reading their Economist each week.
With 600,000 unique devices accessing the apps each week and over 125,000 digital-only subscribers (and that was back in May), who could argue?
Magazines and newspapers in the west are debating when they are likely to drop the print product and switch to digital-only.
Auto-Trader – once the milk cow that kept the Guardian afloat – has put a figure on it in the Telegraph:
John King, Trader Media Group’s chief executive, said it is likely to stop producing a print magazine next year. “We won’t make the decision until later this year, but we’re looking at around 12 to 18 months from now,”
US magazine group Condé Nast, publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and Wired is to step up in to Hollywood, says the New York Times, with a division set up to make TV programmes and films.
BBC Worldwide has reached agreements to sell or licence its magazines to Exponent, a private equity firm that own Magicalia, for £121m and offload its joint venture in India.
Essentials of the deals include:
- Exponent buys all non-BBC-branded magazines – including Radio Times;
- Exponent to publish BBC titles under licence or as contract magazines;
- Exponent to take subscriptions and distribution businesses, Dovetail and Frontline;
- BBC stake in Bath-based Origin also to go to Exponent;
- Bennett, Coleman & Co, owner of Times of India, buys BBC’s half stake in Worldwide Media, a joint venture in India.
What will be Rupert Murdoch’s legacy in terms of newspapers in Britain? With the Sun, Times, Sunday Times and News of the World he had the most powerful newspaper group in Britain. He’s a throwback to the great twentieth century Fleet St barons – I’ve read of Northcliffe describing the young Murdoch as his favourite newspaperman.
He fought off Robert Maxwell to win control of News of the World and use it as the international stepping stone to form the world’s first global media group. His reputation for media innovation is unrivalled. However, today’s Machiavellian decision to close the News of the World throws a 168-year history, 200 journalists – and some legendary campaigning journalism – on the scrapheap.
Yet, even though Murdoch has acted with unprecedented speed to try to halt the damage, more is undoubtedly still to come. The fallout – a Rupertgate or Jamesgate – could leave the Murdoch name lying alongside those of Maxwell and a corrupt media mogul of the early 1900s, Horatio Bottomley.
But Rupert brought us the topless redtop style of the Sun with its Page 3, along with Kelvin MacKenzie, and headlines such as ‘Gotcha’ and ‘Freddie Starr: I ate my hamster’ – as well as the later ‘Freddie Starr: I ‘ate my wife’ . And England team manager Graham Taylor as a turnip. How many other front or back pages are as well known? But that paper also plumbed the depths with its Hillsborough coverage – an example of falling in with the police – and is still paying the price in terms of its sales on Merseyside.
Murdoch took over the Times (on a Friday, the 13th), and took it downmarket, shafting Harry Evans in the process, though he has bankrolled it to the tune of tens of millions a year for a while now.
His papers helped to turn round the fortunes of Margaret Thatcher when she was unpopular in her first years in power. The Sunday Times was hagiographic here, portraying her on the front of its magazine as Joan of Arc. Murdoch’s HarperCollins book arm later published Thatcher’s memoirs. And the Sun is seen as having saved John Major from electoral defeat in 1992 with its vitriolic campaign against Neil Kinnock – ‘If Kinnock wins today, will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights’ ran the front page on polling day.
Andrew Neil, looking on BBC TV these days as if his whole body is on botox, was working for Murdoch when he bought us never-mind-the-quality-feel-the-width journalism at the Sunday Times and adverts to recruit reporters who could write at length on any topic. That has certainly done journalism no good. As Matthew Engel writes in the British Journalism Review, ‘Over the past ten years the quantity has remained relatively stable,’ but ‘what worries me now is the quality.’ He was writing about newspaper sports pages in general, but it’s an argument that can be made for the rest of the Sunday Times.
Murdoch failed to make much headway in magazines (remember the embarrassing Mirabelle?), but brought us Sky TV and the Simpsons – though ruined the game of football in the process.
He is also one of the world’s most successful tax avoiders, managing to make billions in profits but using complex offshore company structures to avoid paying tax.
But the activities at the News of the World take us back to Hillsborough in terms of awfulness. For the editor and executives to say they did not know what was going on is no defence. They should have known. The paper was, as Rosie Boycott said on Newsnight, ‘200 miles into illegality’. To be paying £100K to private eye Glen Mulcaire and not know what he was doing just beggars belief. Phone-hacking comes under the RIPA Act – Regulation of Investigatory Powers 2000. It’s what was used to jail News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman and Mulcaire.
Boards of directors are paid to be responsible and ignorance is no defence under the law. It’s difficult to see Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson going quietly. Bigger fish than Mulcaire and Goodman are going to come into the frame.
The sale of BBC Worldwide’s magazine business has moved a step closer, says the Financial Times, after Exponent, the private equity firm, was confirmed as the preferred bidder – with analysts saying a half share of the business – including Top Gear, Radio Times and Gardeners’ World – is worth £80m-£90m.
T3 and Total Film publisher Future is jumping into the iPad in a big way with 14 paid apps for Christmas – aimed at fans of film, biking, cameras and Doctor Who – based on magazine content from its subscription website My Favourite Magazines:
• The 50 Best Guitars To Play Before You Die (Guitarist)
• Best Landscape Photos (Digital Camera World)
• 101 Best Movies Of All Time (Total Film)
• 200 Best Rock Albums of the 70s (Classic Rock)
• Sportsbike Legends (Fast Bikes)
• Photographer of the Year (Digital Camera)
• 25 Guitarist Wallpapers (Guitarist)
• Make The Most of Your Mac (MacFormat)
• The Essential iPhone 4 Handbook (MacFormat)
• iPad: The Essential Handbook (MacFormat)
• Doctor Who – A Celebration (SFX)
• Digital Camera World/Zinio
In the US, Future says its Guitar World ‘Lick of the Day’ was downloaded 330,000 times in its first week, and the Mac Life tablet edition for iPad was number one on the App Store with 450,000 downloads.