Mag Bag: Meredith Wants Rodale Titles


Meredith Wants Rodale Titles

Just a few weeks after Hearst expressed interest in buying big consumer titles from Hachette Filipacchi, including Elle and Premiere, Meredith Corp. is sniffing around Rodale titles, including Men's Health and Women's Health, according to Meredith CEO Steve Lacy, who revealed the potential poaching plans to CNBC.

Explaining the company's motivations, Lacy cited the need to build up scale as a way of minimizing costs and offering advertisers greater reach and efficiency. Like other publishers, Meredith is also hurrying to introduce digital versions of its magazines for Apple's iPad. Lacy noted that women's magazine publishers face some unique challenges here; the traditional two-page fashion ad does not lend itself to the iPad's constrained 8-inch screen.



In recent months, Meredith -- like its publishing rivals -- has seen digital ad revenues grow at a healthy pace, but print ad revenues aren't rebounding nearly as fast.

In the third quarter of 2010 -- Meredith's first fiscal quarter -- total revenues increased 4% to $344 million, thanks in part to a 7% increase in total ad revenues. This included a more than 20% increase in ad revenues across Meredith's national Web sites. However, total ad revenues at the national media group, which includes the company's consumer magazines, dipped 1.5% from $272 million to $268 million.

Happy Days Are Here Again for Time Inc.

Jack Griffin, who took over the CEO spot at Time Inc. a little over three months ago, announced in a company-wide memo that there will be no more layoffs anytime soon, meaning that Time Inc.'s roughly 8,000 employees can enjoy the holiday season with the knowledge they have a reasonable amount of job security.

Griffin also told the New York Post that there are no plans to sell or close any of Time Inc.'s titles, providing additional job security. Plus, Time Inc. will be having a corporate Christmas party, which should restore some cheer to a rather bleak magazine industry.

The news comes not long after Griffin announced that he created two new positions -- chief marketing officer and chief revenue officer, filled respectively by executive vice president Stephanie George and executive vice president Paul Caine. (Caine will continue in his position as president of the company's style and entertainment group.

Newspaper, Magazine Apps Are Equally Popular

Newspaper and magazine apps are equally popular with owners of mobile devices, including smartphones and iPads, according to a new study from GfK MRI. Overall, GfK MRI found that 4% of adults ages 18+ had read a newspaper using a mobile app in the last month, versus 3.7% for magazines.

That equates to about 9.2 million adult app users for newspapers and 8.4 million adult app users for magazines. People born between 1977 and 1994 are the strongest app users: They are twice as likely as the average adult to have read a magazine in the past 30 days, and 73% more likely to have read a newspaper. People in this age group made up 57.3% of all magazine app readers and 50.1% of all newspaper app readers.

Rodale Creates New Digital Team

Rodale unveiled a new digital team headed by Matt Bean, who is assuming the title of associate vice president of mobile, social and emerging media. In this role, he will also be responsible for new video and gaming initiatives. Previously, Bean served as brand editor at Men's Health and Women's Health, where he launched several dozen mobile apps, including the company's pioneering iPad apps.

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