Newsweek to Revive Print Edition
IBT Media, which acquired Newsweek in August, will relaunch a weekly U.S. print edition in January or February. Editor-in-chief Jim Impoco said it will have a subscription- rather than advertising-driven model, describing it as a “premium, boutique” product. Hopes to build the circ to 100,000 in first year. The title dropped print and switched to an online-only magazine, Newsweek Global, in October 2012, while still owned by IAC, in order to save $40 million per year. UPI points out that Newsweek never ceased publishing European and Asian print editions in Spanish, Polish, Japanese and Korean, and its English-language international print edition.
Condé Nast Adds Digital Sales Exec
David DeRobbio has been named to newly created role of senior executive director of digital sales. He was previously VP digital sales at NBC News. He will report to CN Media Group VP of corporate partnerships Josh Stinchcomb. “Similarly to our print audience, our digital platforms attract a large and highly influential group of consumers,” said Lou Cona, CN Media Group president/chief revenue officer. “In this new position, David will work with our advertising partners to identify digital opportunities and build relationships between our audiences and their brands.”
Opinion: TNG Fees and the Changing Newsstand Model
In a Q&A, Luke Magerko, managing director at Market Analytics Project, expresses his opinions on the challenges that TNG’s new fees on copies distributed will pose for publishers, and his advice for adjusting their business models/practices to accommodate this change. Asserts publishers should directly acquire Magnet data, hire professional analysts to identify savings and sales-increasing opportunities, and six months from now, contract with wholesalers to ensure consistency of terms going forward and gain inventory management control over their businesses.
MIN Awards Magazine Media, Execs
Anne Fulenwider of Marie Claire and Laura Frerer-Schmidt of Women’s Health were respectively named editor and publisher of the year at MIN’s year-end awards. Allrecipes magazine won launch of the year, and Domino won relaunch of the year. 24 other notable launches were also recognized. In addition, MIN recognized 25 “intriguing” magazine and BtoB executives, and 11 up-and-coming executives.
MIN (editor, publisher of the year)
MIN (launch awards)
MIN (intriguing, up-and-coming)
Bonnier Corp. Buys Sport Diver U.K.
The acquisition, for undisclosed terms, expands Bonnier’s portfolio of dive market titles, which include Scuba Diving, The Undersea Journal (in partnership with The Professional Association of Diving Instructors/PADI), and digital-only Sport Diver Asia Pacific, launched in 2012. The plan is to expand Bonnier’s Sport Diver brand, which operates as PADI’s official publication in the Americas, in the U.K., followed by Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The U.K. title has print circ of 10,000 and 150,000 monthly unique site visitors; Bonnier hopes to grow it to about the size of its U.S. Sport Diver: 175,000 print circ and nearly 1M monthly uniques, said CEO Dave Freygang.
Publishers Gain Branded Content Spending Share
Custom Content Council survey of marketers finds spending on branded content is set to reach $1.8M this year, or 37% of marketers’ ad budgets, up from $1.7M in 2012. The lion’s share of that is going to print. Spending on publications rose the most of three measured categories in 2013, to just over $1M from $775,000 in 2012. Spending on electronic content was up 13.8% to $574,490 and spending on other content shrank to $264,423. But in a sign that Adweek reads as possibly negative for standard, non-native print ads, 73% of respondents said branded content is better than magazine ads, up from 66% in 2012. 40% of marketers are outsourcing some branded content creation, down from 56% last year. But those who are only outsourcing are doing bigger projects (spending an average of $1M+ this year, up 5.5%).
CCC (survey summary)
IAB Sorts Out Native Ahead of FTC Workshop
Timed for today’s FTC workshop on native advertising (intended to explore the issues, not put out guidance), the Interactive Advertising Bureau has released a prospectus meant to provide a framework for discussion. The report classifies native ads into six broad categories and general principles for setting guidelines for each format, with the overarching principle that a reasonable consumers should be able to distinguish native ads from editorial. IAB asserts some formats “can’t be contained.”
Opinion: What’s Next for Time Inc., and IPC Media?
In-depth piece by Colin Morrison details the financial challenges faced by the U.K.’s IPC Media, which was acquired by Time Warner in 2001 for £1.15B. Morrison asserts that issues surrounding what to do with IPC are adding pressure to the Time Inc. IPO, and that once Time Inc. is a separate, public company, those issues will need to be addressed quickly. Also asserts that if it were sold, IPC might not generate even a quarter of Time Warner’s original purchase price.
NY Post: Lang’s Payout Raises Ire at Time Inc.
“Rank and file [Time Inc. employees] are infuriated that the former CEO Laura Lang is walking away with more than $19 million spread over four years, even though she only served 15 months,” writes Keith Kelly. “‘People are furious,’” according to one insider, who said Lang’s haul comes after she chopped 500 jobs earlier this year and froze the salaries of those not laid off…In addition, managers saw their Time Warner stock-option grants evaporate with the proposed Time Inc. spin-off.”
Swinwood to Head Harlequin
Harlequin’s longtime chief, Donna Hayes, to retire at year end, to be succeeded by Craig Swinwood as publisher/CEO. Swinwood, currently COO for Harlequin N.A., has helped grow Harlequin’s single-title business, and develop its nonfiction and teen strategies and digital publishing expansion.
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:
Fresh & Greens to Close
Natural Markets Food Group, parent of the Mrs. Green’s chain of natural food stores, will close its last six locations of the Fresh & Green’s banner in Maryland and Washington, D.C. by the end of the month. The company, which is reportedly eyeing a rapid rollout of the Mrs. Green’s banner in several markets and a potential initial public stock offering, had acquired the Maryland and D.C. stores in 2011 from A&P, which had operated them under the Superfresh banner. The stores were remade as hybrid natural/conventional stores. Last year it closed two other stores it had acquired in the market and sold them to Giant Food, Landover, Md.
Ahold USA Names Sullivan CFO
Dan Sullivan named EVP and CFO as of Jan. 1, replacing Paula Price, who is leaving to pursue other career opportunities. Sullivan is currently SVP of business planning and performance; he will report to COO James McCann. McCann thanked Price for having “transformed Ahold USA’s financial organization and led programs that delivered hundreds of millions of cost savings and helped to build a strong foundation for our future.”
Wegmans, H-E-B in Holiday Promos
Wal-Mart’s Legal Costs in Bribery Probe
W-M is paying for lawyers to represent more than 30 of its executives involved in a foreign corruption investigation, according to people familiar with the matter, an unusually high number that shows the depth of the federal probe. Dept. of Justice is investigating whether W-M paid bribes in Mexico and whether executives covered up an internal inquiry; also probing possible misconduct in Brazil, India, China. In recent months, DoJ has brought in a number of senior W-M executives for questioning, including officials from corporate HQ. The move, along with widespread publicity about the probe, appears to have prompted executives to seek their own legal representation. W-M confirmed that it is footing the legal bills for executives touched by the corruption probe, but declined to give specifics.
Deloitte: CPGs Risk Missing E-Commerce Opportunities
New study finds that CPG executives are significantly underestimating consumers’ intentions to buy more food and other CPG products online, and should be pursuing opportunities to drive more such purchases. Just 43% of the execs said their companies have a clear digital ecommerce strategy.
Walgreen November Comp Sales +3.2%
Same-store sales rose 3.2% during November, led by growth in the pharmacy section (+4%), while additional promotions boosted performance in the front of the store (+1.9%). For fiscal Q1, total sales +6% to $18.35B; same-store sales +5.5%, including 2.2% front-end growth and 7.5% pharmacy growth.
Tesco Comp Sales Continue to Slide
Tesco’s global sales, excluding fuel but including new store space, +0.6% in Q3. But same-store sales (minus VAT and fuel) in U.K. fell 1.5%, after a flat Q2 performance. Still, Tesco said it is performing in line with market expectations for the full year.
Google Bets on Robotics
Google has quietly acquired seven technology companies in an effort to create a new generation of robots. The engineer heading the effort is Andy Rubin, who built Google’s Android software into the world’s dominant force in smartphones. At least for now, Google’s robotics effort is not something aimed at consumers. Instead, the company’s expected targets are in manufacturing (like electronics assembly) and competing with companies like Amazon in retailing, according to sources with knowledge of the project. A realistic case would be automating portions of an existing supply chain that stretches from a factory floor to the companies that ship and deliver goods to a consumer’s doorstep.
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE: