One of the nation's largest retailers is partnering with the Magazine Publishers of America to test an innovative newsstand promotion. Meijer will offer consumers $2 off their next purchase when they buy two magazines at any of its "super-center" retail operations in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio. All 1,800 magazine titles carried by Meijer are included in the special offer.
The test promotion is being funded by MPA and a consortium of its members, including Bonnier, Condé Nast, Hachette Filipacchi, Meredith, Reader's Digest and Rodale. The publishers are putting a positive gloss on the promotion, focusing on the benefits of reading magazines, with the tagline "Magazines Put the World in Your Hands." However, the experiment comes as many magazines are seeing their circulation suffer from big drops in newsstand sales, as well as subscriptions, including a high proportion in categories targeted by the publishers.
According to the most recent circulation report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, comparing the first six months of 2008 with the same period last year, beauty titles that took hits at the newsstand include Allure (down 9.6%), Glamour (9.2%), and Vogue (14.8%). Many women's lifestyle titles are down, including O, the Oprah Magazine (17.3%) and Redbook (17.3%). Shelter and domestic titles also took hits, including Architectural Digest (down 12.6%), Country Living (19.8%) and Good Housekeeping (13.9%).
BBC Spreads Knowledge
The British Broadcasting Corporation has launched a bimonthly magazine for the American market titled Knowledge, focusing on science, technology and their implications for humanity, with a newsstand price of $5.99 and an initial subscription base of 60,000. Launching the magazine in a slowing economy, the BBC is counting on the special cachet of British journalism among some educated Americans to connect with self-identifying "curious minds." This approach may not be far off: The Economist and The Week, two relatively new British imports, have trounced established American competitors in the newsweekly category in recent years.
Re-branding the Source
The Source Magazine, long called the "hip-hop Bible," is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a major push to re-brand the magazine--featuring a new look and editorial content, including health, technology, travel and leisure, politics and business. The cover of the anniversary edition will include photos of famous hip-hop figures taken by Spike Lee. The push comes at the behest of the mag's new owners, Black Enterprise/Greenwich Street, under the management of Jeffrey Scott, an investment banker, and the NorthStar Group, led by L. Londell McMillan, a well-known entertainment lawyer.
Points to Parents as EIC
Meredith Corporation has appointed Dana Points editor in chief of Parents, effective Sept. 3. She replaces Sally Lee, who has been promoted to senior vice president and editor in chief of Ladies' Home Journal.
Disney Names Pande General Manager
Disney Publishing Worldwide has appointed Aparna Pande vice president and general manager for its U.S. consumer magazines. She will oversee FamilyFun, Wondertime and Disney en Familia, including editorial, consumer marketing, production, advertising sales, and marketing efforts. Previously, she served as general manager of Meredith's Parenthood Group.
Arfin Joins Missbehave as EIC
Lesley Arfin is joining Missbehave, an urban style book for women, as editor in chief. Arfin was previously a staff writer and columnist for Vice magazine, bringing a suitably personal and naughty bent to her column "Dear Diary," as well as humor. Her column was published by MTV in book form, and is also in development as a TV pilot.