Mag Bag: Publishers Clearing House Winner Doesn't Like Magazines

Publishers Clearing House Winner Doesn't Like Magazines

The conventional wisdom is wrong: You don’t actually have to buy any magazine subscriptions to win the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. Just ask Connie Kiesser of Mountain Home, Idaho, who finally won $1 million this week after entering every PCH sweepstakes since the late 1970s -- but never bought a single subscription during that time.

Kiesser, a former long-haul trucker who was forced to retire last year after she suffered a heart attack, told the Idaho Statesman: “I don’t do magazines. I told them that every time they would call.” Although she has no magazine subscriptions, Kiesser said she did listen to audio books while working as a truck driver.  



The sweepstakes prize is going where it’s needed: Kiesser, whose husband quit his job as a trucker to help take care of her, and whose son is unemployed, said she plans to use the windfall to pay her home mortgage and medical bills, help out some friends in a tight spot, and travel to Tennessee to visit her granddaughter. Obviously delighted, Kiesser told a reporter from local TV station KTVB: “Oh, it’s the best thing that ever happened to us.”

Anyway, it’s not like Kiesser never bought anything from PCH. She did order some bird poop cleaner once. As a direct marketer, PCH sells a variety of merchandise in addition to magazines, and also operates prize-based game, search and lotto sites.

Economist Bows inRead Online Video Ads

The Economist is adopting new online video advertising technology for its U.S. Web site, with the introduction of inRead online video ad units from, a French technology company. The inRead format places video ad units between paragraphs as the reader scrolls down the text of an article, stopping when the ad unit isn’t visible and resuming when the reader can see it again.

When the ad is finished the unit disappears and the column closes up again. Nick Blunden, senior vice president and global head of digital and content strategy for The Economist, touted the advantages of the ad unit: “Advertisers receive incremental video exposure with transparent, guaranteed viewability all placed right in the heart of The Economist's strength -- our editorial content. Readers experience noninterruptive video advertising and benefit by allowing The Economist to continue to invest in delivering the highest quality editorial product.”

Uptown Ventures Acquires Hype Hair Magazine

Uptown Ventures Group, the parent company of Uptown Magazine, has announced the acquisition of Hype Hair Magazine, a consumer magazine and brand devoted to African-American women’s hair care. The acquisition is the first deal for U Brands, a new unit of Uptown Ventures Group that will focus on acquiring and licensing underdeveloped niche brands targeting underserved audiences. All of Hype Hair’s staff will remain in place, including longtime publisher Steve Gross and Editor in Chief Adrienne Moore.

Gorrell To EIC, Yoga Journal

Carin Gorell has been named editor in chief of Yoga Journal, according to Active Interest Media. She previously served as features director for Condé Nast’s Self, where she was responsible for content in the health, food, nutrition, and lifestyle categories, and also helped develop the magazine’s iPad app. Before that, Gorrell served as health editor at Redbook.

Mental Floss Names Collins EIC

Dennis Publishing’s Mental Floss magazine has named Jessanne Collins editor in chief, the quirky. fun  knowledge-and-trivia brand announced this week. She previously served as executive editor at the magazine. As noted in The New York Times article about her appointment, Collins has some “spicy” credentials, having served as an associate editor at Playgirl, which folded in 2008. Collins recounted many amusing details of her tenure at the now-defunct women’s porn title during its final years in an e-book, “How to Be a Playgirl,” published this year and available on Barnes & Noble’s Nook.

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