BoSacks Readers Speak Out - On the New Normal, The week Junior, White Knights, and Conde Nast

By  on March 22, 2021
Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: Presumptions of the New Normal One Year later
GREAT share and dead on perspectives Bo! ... Man it's been a helluva 12 months but it's been amazing to see how folks have creatively adapted, and found ways to grow and thrive.
(Submitted by a VP, Media Sales)
RE: INTERVIEW with Andrea Barbalich, Editor In Chief, The Week Junior US
My kids were all readers. I took them to the library once a week, and we came home with stacks of books, which they read in bed, on the couch, in the back yard, in the attic, in the car ... everywhere. I loved it. If they had spent all that time with their faces in a screen, I would not have been happy. Almost anything that gets kids away from the screen is a good idea.
RE: "Magazines and the American Experience" exhibition
I realize that book reviews are a rare feature in your esteemed newsletter, but I'm driven to take pen in hand to say that the catalog of the "Magazines and the American Experience" exhibition, currently running at the Grolier Club, is a book that anyone with even a passing interest in publishing history should buy immediately, without hesitation.
The exhibition is drawn from the magazine collection of Steven Lomazow, and God bless him for gathering an extraordinary range of titles, from the earliest American magazines to today's, and for assembling an remarkably coherent historical narrative based on subject rather than just a timeline.
Since I live on the West Coast I ponied up $75 for the catalog (a coffee table-size hardbound) in lieu of going to New York to see the exhibition... the best $75 I ever spent. It's been a long time since anyone published anything about magazines this comprehensive or as beautifully packaged.
The illustrations are particularly rich, and they complement the text instead of simply illustrating it. You don't see printing of this quality very often these days.
I was especially gratified to see a large section dedicated to African-American magazines, which have gotten pretty short shrift in general histories up until now. The wealth of titles that Lomazow has collected in this area (and many others!) is staggering... and a tribute to his vision.
Required reading! Book at Exhibition at
Submitted by an official BoSacks Cub Reporter and a Publisher)
Re: “Housty, how can we boost the audience of our newsletter?”
Great share Bo ... MRI-Simmons' custom research work for publishers over the past few years has highlighted the benefits of well-done newsletters ... expanding the brand footprint, extending value to existing customers ... and overall generating better, deeper engagement for the media brand overall.
(Submitted by a VP, Media Sales)
Re: Unexpected white knight emerges for Tribune Publishing
Good morning, As always I enjoy and use you emails daily. Thank you.
One critique... “white Knight”. This is an unfortunate choice of words as it reinforces notions of the “white saviour” idea (fraught notion), patriarchy, tangentially white supremacy (and their history of using white Knight imagery.)
Perhaps the title of the piece could have been altered before appearing in your news letter.
(Submitted by a Managing Editor)
Re: What Conde Nast Doesn't Understand About Teen Vogue
Thanks, I hope that you're doing OK ... it's difficult to watch an industry eat itself alive from within.
While Sy Newhouse managed differently than most, high T&E for sales people and selling off rate card constantly to have packed issues with "thud" power for example, he built strong editorial teams and each magazine had a target audience and mission that bought the magazine on the newsstand and bought subscriptions. His magic did not always work on new titles and acquisitions, however he was smart enough to close doors and for the most part, let the title(s) disappear.
(Submitted by a Circulation Consultant)
Re: What Conde Nast Doesn't Understand About Teen Vogue
Bo, thanks. I just read the Media Post snippet about Conde Nast and Teen Vogue's editorial turmoil. I know that I'll sound like a broken record but each and every magazine sold via print or digital needs a clearly stated Editorial Mission. Historically we can see when editors of large or small magazines move away from the unique editorial mission that attracted advertisers and readers, failure quickly ensues. Examples include the mammoth Curtis Publishing in the 1960s to Practical Horseman magazine (an English riding style title) which failed when editorial was managed by Western style editors. As pointed out in the Media Post blurb in MBR Publishing News, this should have come as no surprise to Conde Nast. The media post article on Teen Vogue sounds like a train wreck, especially for a category that has a cyclical audience.
(Submitted by a Magazine Media Consultant)
Re: Google-backed journalism study points to a local news resurgence
Interesting. Calling it a "news resurgence" when half of them can't support 3 people at $34,000 a year without benefits before any other business expenses- like paying for website service providers. Want news in your town---you too can volunteer to pull it together... Is that what we call a success these days?
(Submitted by a Publisher)
RE: Hoffman - Creativity, Bananas, and Moldy Whoppers
I’d point out that B2B marketing is also about feelings. Buyers want to feel safe, boost profits, make the boss happy, look competent, and have everything hold together at least until they’re on to the next thing. There are whole layers of emotional structure that go into B2B, which is why speeds and feeds campaigns often don’t do that well. Unless you can tie them quickly and directly to feeling safe, boosting rofits, looking competent, and making the boss happy.
(Submitted by a Freelance Writer)
Re: What Happened to the Brand Magazines
I have to admit that I have only been paying modest attention to the industry since leaving Folio:, but this WWD story caught my eye because it was a trend we followed closely.
To be sure, it was a good roundup, and the author clearly did their research. But it didn’t quite drill down to the core question of why sustainability has been a problem.
Obviously there’s the pandemic. That’s a no-brainer. There’s a lot of disingenuous chest pounding happening and claims that things are fine because blah blah blah. But it’s mostly bullshit. The industry is hurting bad. And revenue is being prioritized over quality journalism and content. Buzzfeed gutting HuffPost’s staff is the most recent example that money is more important than mission.
But I digress. In regards to the the branded magazines, I think they are losing appeal because brands aren’t people. Our friend Steve Cohn always talked about how magazines are a people business, and he was right on a number of levels. But in this context that statement resonates because branded magazines lack an authentic voice and relatable persona.
In fairness, they do speak to their cohort’s interests, but the very essence of these books being produced by a brand has a disingenuous stink. That’s why I think celebrity/personality driven titles (O, Magnolia Journal, Sweet July, et. al) are a better branded play for the major houses like Hearst and Meredith to bet on.
Those magazines are a throw back to when magazines were almost as much about the editor-in-chief as they were the publication itself. And in an era where top editors are more or less disposable, celebrity titles could continue to be a good bet, especially with the stable popularity of SIPs/bookazines.
Anyway, I felt compelled to comment. I hope you and yours are well. And I hope we cross paths again soon.
(Submitted By Caysey Welton – Former Editor of Folio Magazine)
Re; Yes, we need to regulate Facebook. But how?
The article raises some good questions, but it seems to me we already have well-established principles of free speech, which we've painstakingly developed over hundreds of years. There's no need to re-invent the wheel. Once a platform gets to the level of a Facebook or a Twitter, it's basically a public utility, and standard free speech laws should apply.
(Submitted by a and fulfillment exec)

March 22, 2021
Categories:  Readers Speak Out

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