Mag Bag: ASME Announces Digital Ellies Finalists


ASME Announces Digital Ellies Finalists

The American Society of Magazine Editors has announced the digital media finalists for the 2011 National Magazine Awards (known as the "Ellies" for the elephant-shaped award), scheduled for March 16 at the Hilton New York. This will be the second annual awards presentation for the Digital Ellies.

The Digital Ellies are comprised of 12 categories, including overall design, mobile editions, multimedia and podcasts. Finalists are chosen by a panel of judges drawn from the magazine industry, who whittled down entries from 100 publications to 39 finalists (with a number of publications appearing in more than one finalist category).

Among the publications receiving nominations in multiple categories were The New York Times Magazine and Sports Illustrated, which both received three finalist nominations, and The New Yorker and Epicurious, with two nominations each.



As one might expect, this year's finalists also included a large number of online-only publications, including The Daily Beast, Slate and Salon. The full list of Digital Ellies finalists is available here.

The Daily Will Extend Free Trial

The Daily, News Corp.'s new digital-only publication for the iPad, originally launched earlier this month with the promise of a two-week free trial period to woo potential subscribers. However, the company has decided to extend the free trial period for several more weeks following some technical glitches, according to paidContent, citing an interview with The Daily publisher Greg Clayman.

Once everything is ironed out, the publication will revert to the planned model in which new downloads are available for free for two weeks, after which readers must buy a subscription (priced at $0.99 per week or $39.99 per year).

Boys' Life Is 100 Years Old

The official publication of the Boy Scouts of America, Boys' Life is older than your grandparents, with its 100th birthday approaching on March 1. The magazine -- which first went on sale for a nickel on March 1, 1911 -- has held up surprisingly well over a century, which brought major changes in American family structures and availability of youth media.

Like other print media, it has seen circulation decline somewhat in recent years, given competition from digital media. It also had to deal with declining membership in the Boy Scouts of America (where total membership, including Cub Scouts, adult members and other auxiliaries, fell from about 6.3 million in 1970 to about 4 million today).

From 514,000 in 1950, circulation jumped to 2.4 million in the late 1960s, reflecting the rise of the baby boomers -- before slipping to about 1.5 million in the early 1980s, 1.4 million in the early 1990s, and roughly 1 million today. However, like other consumer mags, the publication has also branched out into digital channels with multimedia content.

USPS Posts $8.5 Billion Loss in 2010

The United States Postal Service is sinking further into the financial quagmire, according to results for the fiscal year 2010, which ended September 30, showing that the national postal system incurred a net loss of $8.5 billion. The USPS noted that these losses were incurred despite reductions that eliminated 75 million work hours and increased productivity, for a total savings of $9 billion over the last two years.

The worsening financial situation may lead to renewed demands from USPS administrators for increased rates on certain kinds of mail, including the periodical rate for magazines. Last year, a similar demand was rebuffed by the Postal Regulatory Commission, to the approbation of the magazine industry.

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