Correction: People magazine’s new cover price is $4.99–not $5.99, as we accidentally wrote in yesterday’s edition.
More Honchos Said to Be Joining Time Inc. Board
According to the Post, Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp will serve as chairman of the soon-to-be-separate publishing company. Ripp and Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes are trying to put together a board composed of media executives with experience beyond the traditional magazine world. So far, the biggest name is former Sony Corp. chief Howard Stringer, who was also a president of CBS. A handful of executives with deep TV experience are set to join him. USA Networks founder Kay Koplovitz; former Tribune Co. CEO Dennis Fitzsimons; and John Fahey, former head of National Geographic Society’s media operations, will have board seats once the company is split from Time Warner, said a source. The full board is expected to be revealed this week in advance of Time Warner’s quarterly earnings release.
Nat Geo Kids, Denny’s Team on Kids’ Adventure Menu
Denny’s is launching an Adventure Menu featuring customizable dishes and National Geographic Kids’ content. Featuring a variety of quirky animal facts, quizzes and fun fill-in stories, the interactive menu offers ways to keep families entertained at mealtime.
Taunton Press Inks Deal with Stanley
The Taunton Press has reached a five-year custom publishing agreement with Stanley Black & Decker Inc. to develop a Stanley-branded publishing program. Under the deal, Taunton will publish how-to print and e-books, bookazines, and spiral flip books/pocket guides aimed at the new homeowner/DIY audience. First products under the partnership will be released this November. Taunton expects to do about 10 titles annually.
Hip Mama Magazine planned to run a self-portrait photo by Barcelona-based artist Ana Alvarez-Errecalde on the cover of its May issue. In the photo, Alvarez-Errecalde is seen with a Spider-Man mask on her face, breastfeeding her 4-year-old, who is also clad in Spider-Man garb. Editor Ariel Gore posted the cover to Facebook to let readers know the issue would hit newsstands next month. That’s when the trouble started. Vendors told Gore not to send the magazine; they wouldn’t put it on newsstands. Then Facebook banned the image. Rather than risk little or no retail distribution, the artist suggested using a dot to cover the breasts, and moving the cover line (“No Supermoms Here”) onto the dot to draw attention to the message. (Revised version shown above.) “We’ve all seen extremely young celebrities naked and sexualized,” says Gore. “So why are the breasts suddenly an issue in a self-directed self-portrait of a mother lovingly feeding her child?” She also points out that Facebook chose not to pull a 1976 Cosmo cover that showed nipple, “so I am left to understand that it is the open breastfeeding, not the nudity, that Facebook is taking issue with.”
Over the past six months, Vogue.com, redesigned in 2010, has been building a bigger staff comprised of new hires and existing employees moving over to the dot-com. Vogue plans to unveil a new version of the site in September, during New York Fashion Week. The rumor is that editor-in-chief Anna Wintour is looking for a total site staff of about 20.
Lohan Claims Kode Magazine ‘Fabricated’ Interview
A rep for Lindsay Lohan asserts that the celeb never did a live interview for a cover story in Kode magazine’s spring issue, and that the content (such as Lohan having said that she’s dating a married man, and that she took a sip of vodka during the interview) is “fabricated.” The rep insisted that Lohan submitted a filled-out Q&A via email and never spoke to anyone for the article. Kode’s editor-in-chief, Allan Troy Watson, says he stands by the article and that there were witnesses.
Called Slate Plus, the new sub model keeps most content available for free, but offers subscribers bonuses such as online chats with reporters. The subscribers will pay $5 a month or $50 a year. The bonuses also include discounts or special seats at Slate events and early access to some articles. Editor David Plotz stressed that it’s not a paywall. “Our model is Amazon Prime, which just keeps on adding benefits,” he wrote.
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:
Aldi’s Houston Expansion
Discounter Aldi will break ground on a 650K-sq.-ft. distribution center and division headquarters in Rosenberg, Texas, as well as open a new store there, on May 1. The DC/HQ will open in early 2016 and is expected to bring more than 150 jobs and more than $60M to the Rosenberg economy. The Rosenberg store will be Illinois-based Aldi’s 17th in the Houston area. All of Aldi’s 30 Houston-area locations are expected to open over the course of two years, creating 400 jobs and representing more than $125M in capital investment.
Online Sales Tax Affects Amazon Sales
In one of the first efforts to quantify the impact of states accruing more tax revenue from Web purchases, researchers at Ohio State University published a paper this month that found sales dropped for Amazon when the online charge was introduced. In states that have the tax, households reduced their spending on Amazon by about 10 percent compared to those in states that don’t have the levy. For online purchases of more than $300, sales fell by 24%, according to the report, titled “The Amazon Tax.”
President: Jewel-Osco Has ‘Long Way to Go’ to Stand Out
Shane Sampson, who became president of Itasca-based Jewel-Osco in early March, says he wants to make improvements in areas as fresh food, while also emphasizing customer service and value. “It’s getting better but we’ve got a long way to go,” he said. “We’re on a journey to be the finest supermarket in the United States. That’s our goal.” Jewel lost one of its longstanding competitors last year when Safeway Inc. shut dozens of Dominick’s stores. Jewel has already opened four stores in former Dominick’s locations and another five should open by the middle of the summer. But it faces tough competition as rivals such as Mariano’s and Whole Foods open several more stores while new competitors in the area including Heinen’s Fine Foods and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market are encroaching on what has been Jewel’s turf for decades. This week, Mariano’s newest store is set to open in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, while Fresh Thyme is opening its first store in Mount Prospect. Jewel, part of New Albertson’s Inc., has an outside firm track customer service scores and does its own surveys. Sampson has already visited more than 100 stores–both Jewel stores and the competition–and is “constructively dissatisfied” with what he’s seen so far. He wants the company to become more relevant to customers in terms of the products it carries and with its ties to the community.
In-Depth Report on Millennials
Adroit Digital study finds 64% of Millennials are more brand-loyal or as brand-loyal as their parents. 24% consider themselves to be more brand-loyal than their parents. 60% said that social advertising has the most influence in how they perceive a brand and its value. Traditional media, outside of TV, fell flat. In the realm of influence, radio, billboards (OOH)and magazines finished last, with mobile and online, both display and video, comfortably in the center. 39% think that brands that don’t advertise through mobile channels, smartphones, and tablets are outdated and undesirable. Piece provides more findings.
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE: