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December 12, 2019

Publishing News

Conde Nast Names New CFO And CMO To Oversee Global Operations
MediaPost: "Conde Nast has hired a new CFO and CMO to lead global operations.Mike Goss has been tapped as the company’s CFO and Deirdre Findlay will serve as Conde Nast’s chief marketing officer. Beginning in January 2020, Goss will lead the company’s global financial operations, global business development and partnerships, corporate strategy and legal and content rights management.Findlay, who also begins her role in January, will oversee a range of operations at the company, including all consumer-marketing efforts, data-driven digital strategy focused on driving direct-to-consumer revenue, drives to increase subscription and membership program revenue and the identification of new direct-to-consumer revenue opportunities.In addition, Findlay and her team will oversee brand development for global titles, consumer research and insights and audience development.Prior to his appointment at Conde Nast, Goss worked with Sotheby’s for nearly four years, serving as its EVP-CFO. He has also worked with Bain Capital, where he held a variety of positions, including COO and CFO during his 15 years there. Goss’s work with Bain Capital grew the company’s $10B in assets under management to $70B. Prior to that role, Goss held the positions of executive vice president-CFO at Digitas Inc. and executive vice president, CFO and a member of the board of directors of Playtex Products Inc. Most recently, Findlay served as CMO at Stitch Fix, where she worked for a year and a half. During her time at Stitch Fix, Findlay launched the brand in the U.K. and lead the launch of its first integrated brand campaign. Findley spent half a decade at Google in roles that include senior director of global hardware marketing for Google Home, Chromecast and Wifi, which found her launching Google home.Roger Lynch, CEO of Conde Nast, stated that Goss' experience "will help unify and modernize our global financial operations, and prioritize our investments for future growth." He added that Findlay will help "develop our relationships with our consumers to grow revenue, partnering across the company to strengthen our brand identities globally."The new appointments follow Conde Nast’s efforts to unify Conde Nast and Conde Nast International operations. A first round of consolidations were announced last summer following Lynch’s appointment to CEO."

Carey Returns to Hearst as SVP Public Affairs, Communications
WWD: "David Carey stepped down from his role as president of Hearst’s Magazines division last year after eight years at the helm to become a fellow at Harvard University, making way for Troy Young. At the time, the move was widely viewed as the beginning of his retirement from publishing after 40 years in the business.Now it doesn’t appear that he’s ready to be put out to pasture just yet.That’s because just weeks after Hearst Magazine staffers revealed their intentions to unionize and the company subsequently refused to recognize it, Carey is getting ready to come back full-time. In a surprise turn of events, Hearst just named him senior vice president of public affairs and communications, effective Jan. 2. He is still also chairman of Hearst Magazines, a role he retained throughout his studies at Harvard. “We are excited to have David back at Hearst full-time in this new role,” said Hearst chief executive officer Steven R. Swartz, to whom Carey will report. In a memo to staff last year, he wrote that he hoped he could keep Carey connected to Hearst after his studies. According to Swartz, Carey’s official role will be to “lead efforts to enhance our contribution to our communities through our core business mission, through philanthropy and through our participation in key civic groups.”But official lines aside, his return will no doubt lead to speculation within the media industry that he was brought back to help the media company’s union-fighting efforts.Ever since editorial, video, design, photo and social staff across 24 of New York-based Hearst’s digital and print brands revealed their intentions to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East last month, executives have been trying to dissuade them, including setting up an antiunion web site.This has resulted in the Hearst Magazine Media Union filing for a union election with the federal National Labor Relations Board. That request is pending.“We are disappointed with Hearst management’s refusal to recognize our union voluntarily, but we will go through this process to certify our union and proceed to the bargaining table,” said the union in a tweet at the time of the filing... “My time at ALI focusing on social impact has been truly transformational, and I’m looking forward to working closely with Steve and our division leaders to amplify Hearst’s existing programs and create new initiatives to further strengthen our corporation while making a positive difference in our broader society,” Carey said."

How OK Uses Print to Build Trust
The Drum: "Charlotte Seligman believes there is a sweet spot for trusted celebrity journalism somewhere at the intersection of three media formats: glossy print magazines, daytime television and digital. Seligman was recently recruited as the new editor of OK, having been lured by publisher Reach from ITV’s This Morning, where she worked for more than eight years and was head of news.Seligman acknowledges to The Drum that OK is a magazine that is prepared to contemplate product placement, the payment of money to interviewees and, in some cases, copy approval; things that would be anathema to some news organisations. Yet she takes the view that such arrangements are part of a process of building trust between the celebrities, their agents, the magazine and its readers.“Nearly all my negotiations are done verbally over the phone – I deal with people that I know, they know me and trust me, I have got a very good reputation. If I say something I don’t go back on it. We get to the point where we are mutually happy,” she says.Caroline Waterston, Reach’s group editor-in-chief for OK and New magazines, endorses the point. “Trust is huge,” she says. “We know we are trusted because not only are [celebrities] coming to us once but they are coming back time and again.”Hiring the new editor was a coup for Waterston. Seligman was instrumental in changing the reputation of This Morning to a show that broke news with its candid interviews on the sofa. Instead of turning up only for promotional opportunities, celebrity guests found themselves in confessional mood. “That was what I changed and that is what I want to aspire to in this magazine,” she says. “I have fantastic contacts across the board and even in the 11 weeks I have been here I have brought some really good exclusive content.”For the bumper Christmas edition, she has landed an ‘at home’ exclusive with her former This Morning colleagues Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, including an interview where Langsford talks for the first time about the recent death of her sister. “She broke down during the interview which we make quite a big point of when we come to write it,” says Seligman. “I can categorically say that had I not had the relationship with Eamonn and Ruth they would not be on the cover of this magazine for this Christmas issue.”It’s a symbiotic relationship. “I have contacts all across daytime TV,” says Seligman. When ITV’s Loose Women presenter Saira Khan gave OK a daring photo-spread and talked about her lack of body confidence, she went on the TV show to discuss the experience. Actress Beverley Callard revealed to Seligman that she was leaving ITV’s Coronation Street after 30 years. “When I knew that information she had not even told the executive producer on the (soap).” OK photographed Callard as “The Queen of the Street” and gave the follow-up story to Loose Women.Interviewing Seligman’s old colleagues and friends at ITV will only take OK so far, no matter how extensive her contacts book. She has plans to reshape the magazine, introducing new columnists ( “Somebody who has a bit of life experience, not a 21-year-old reality TV star.”) Having hired a videographer to record “behind-the-scenes” films of OK photoshoots, she hopes to create a new digital format where magazine interviewees do a filmed Q&A with an OK presenter. “We would take our own sofa and host and get a new interview out of it that we can sell on and brand, so it becomes very much like This Morning online if you like""...

Chief Editors, CEO Resign Amid Pride Media Troubles
NY Post: "The top editors of two separate gay magazines — Out and The Advocate — abruptly resigned Wednesday as new troubles convulsed parent company Pride Media.Pride Media CEO Orlando Reece also resigned, sources said.It’s the second media company controlled by Adam Levin’s Oreva Capital to be jolted by woes in recent weeks. Hightimes Holding, which runs marijuana-themed events and publishes High Times magazine, said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing in November that it may not have enough financial resources to survive. “I’m out at Out,” confirmed Phillip Picardi, the 28-year-old editor-in-chief who was recruited from Condé Nast a year ago, where he was seen as a rising superstar. So valuable was Picardi to Condé Nast, that his hiring by Out was announced in August despite Condé Nast refusing to release him from his contract running Teen Vogue and Them, the gay digital publication he started, until November, when he finally made the jump.“It’s been the most rewarding work I’ve ever done in my career,” Picardi said of his time overhauling the magazine and website at Out, one of the leading magazines aimed at the LGBTQ community. “I’m deeply sad to be leaving, but I’m really proud of the work my team and I did the past year.”Meanwhile, Zach Stafford, editor-in-chief of The Advocate, resigned. News of the departures was first reported by Women’s Wear Daily. Troubles at Pride are nothing new. Several months after Picardi joined, a major uproar ensued when freelancers at Out claimed they were owed tens of thousands of dollars. Oreva’s Levin insisted that many of the debts had been accumulated under past ownership and were not his responsibility. Picardi at one point threatened to resign if all freelancers weren’t paid. Eventually Levin worked out a settlement plan through the National Writers Union, where freelancers ended up getting paid while it pressed a lawsuit against the previous owner.But while freelancers got paid, other financial problems apparently persisted. Nathan Coyle resigned suddenly as CEO in April and was succeeded by Reece.Levin, who reportedly is in Puerto Rico, could not be reached for comment."

Condé Nast Italy Unveils First Retail Space
WWD: "Condé Nast Italy is entering the world of retail.The media company today opens Frame, a 2,691-square-foot space located on the first floor of its headquarters on Piazzale Cadorna here.Defined by Condé Nast as an “experience store,” Frame includes a cafeteria — managed by Milan’s storied San Carlo pastry shop and open from Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. — as well as a multifunctional event area and a shop, where visitors can buy limited edition pieces from both Condé Nast’s labels and other brands.Frame also gives access to the publishing company’s archives of glossy magazines. “Frame is a customer-centric space where contents become protagonists of authentic experiences to reach our audience,” said Condé Nast Italy chief marketing officer Francesca Airoldi. “These experiences will be often organized in collaboration with other companies and will be amplified by our platforms: magazines, social media and web sites""...

Hour Media Buys 6 More Florida-Based Lifestyle Magazines
Folio: "Palm Beach Media Group, a subsidiary of regional magazieAs a result of the acquisition, The Palm Beacher will be merged into Palm Beach Illustrated, and some positions will be eliminated, Balardo said.“We are retaining most of the employees, however, there was some duplication in a couple of sales and production positions,” Balardo told Folio:.Headquartered in Troy, Mich., where its cornerstone Hour Detroit has been publishing since 1996, Hour Media says it now publishes more than 150 magazines total, including custom publications, with over 350 staffers in 13 offices around the country.The company has expanded significantly since 2017, when it acquired not just Palm Beach Media Group but also Atlanta, Cincinnati, Orange Coast, and Los Angeles magazines from Emmis Communications for $6.5 million, and then Pasadena magazine in a separate transaction. Last year, it bought Gemini Publications, publisher of Grand Rapids magazine and Grand Rapids Business Journal.Balardo added that the company is currently evaluating “a half-dozen other acquisition opportunities at varying stages.” publisher Hour Media Group, has acquired Ft. Lauderdale-based Gulfstream Media group and its portfolio of local luxury lifestyle titles, the company announced.Included in the deal are Gold Coast, Boca Life, The Palm Beacher, Jupiter, Stuart and Florida Home & Garden magazines, as well as They’ll join a Palm Beach Media portfolio that includes Palm Beach Illustrated, Naples Illustrated and Florida Design, which the company acquired in July. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.In a statement, Hour Media CEO John Balardo called the magazines “an ideal complement to our current roster of lifestyle and custom publications for the Florida market and our broader national footprint.”“We see great synergies in this transaction,” he told Folio: in an email. “We already have a significant presence in the Florida market and in particular Southeast Florida. We publish more magazines in Florida than any other publisher.""

Vogue Business Launches in China... on WeChat
MediaPost: "Condé Nast has launched Vogue Business in China, but rather than produce a print product or website, content will be published daily on WeChat, a popular Chinese messaging and social media app developed by Tencent. Vogue Business was created in January, as Condé Nast’s first B2B brand. Headquartered at Condé Nast in London and edited by Lauren Indvik, the digital-only Vogue Business analyzes the fashion, beauty and luxury industries. The brand says it reaches 39 markets worldwide and is on track to gain 100,000 newsletter subscribers in less than a year.Vogue Business' channel on WeChat will have content published in English and simplified Chinese. It will cover daily fashion industry news and analysis. “Readers can expect coverage of how cultural shifts affect retail; how technological innovation is changing the way brands make and sell clothes; and how issues from climate change to geopolitics impact Chinese production and consumption,” states Vogue Business.Vogue Business in China is run by a team working out of Condé Nast Shanghai offices. They will work closely with the Vogue Business team in London. The Shanghai team will publish insights from China, as well as syndicate and translate a selection of Vogue Business articles into simplified Chinese, according to the company.China reportedly accounts for 33% of the global fashion and luxury market. Wolfgang Blau, COO-president, International, Condé Nast, called China "the world's most important fashion and luxury market."Vogue Business in China will also host workshops, produce an annual report and create content in collaboration with LinkedIn China, the Boston Consulting Group and IPSOS.Conde Nast already has a strong presence in China with eight media brands, including Vogue Me and Vogue Film.In July, WSJ Magazine announced it was expanding to China with a monthly standalone magazine targeting men. It partnered with Huasheng Media on a five-year licensing deal to produce a magazine featuring men’s fashion, lifestyle and business content.“Demand for globally focused luxury and lifestyle content is on the rise in China,” Kristina O’Neill, the editor-in-chief of WSJ Magazine, said at the time."

Cosmo Using Google Tool for Netflix 'You' Watch Parties
Digiday: "Cosmopolitan knows its readers are fans of Netflix’s “You,” and wants to see if it can be part of their watching experience during the show’s second season. And thanks to a tool the Google News Initiative built for Cosmo, the women’s publisher will be able to do exactly that.On Dec. 26, the premier of the second season of the Netflix series “You,” Cosmo will direct mobile readers to a new mobile web page called Cosmopolitan Watch Party, where visitors will get a stream of show facts, interactive quizzes and written interviews with the cast and crew at key points, delivered in time with the plot of the show. Viewers have to push play on Netflix and the Watch Party at the same time to get the two to sync up. The Watch Party pages are built using a separate CMS, which the Google News Lab built for Cosmo. But if the project yields something successful, said Simon Rogers, data editor for Google News Lab, Google will then take that technology and license it out to other publishers.“If it works, we’ll try to replicate it and make the tech as widespread as possible,” Rogers said. “And that’s profit for us""...

Barron's Expands Deal With Jiji to Reach Japanese Audience
MediaPost: "Barron’s has announced a deal with JiJi Press to increase the number of Barron’s articles distributed to its Japanese subscribers. It begins next week.Until now, 10 articles a week were taken from the Barron’s weekend magazine and packaged for Barron's Digest subscribers via the news agency Jiji. Barron’s Digest is a curated selection of Barron’s articles, reports and features, translated for Japanese investors. It has been available through JiJi Press since 2010.The new deal will now include an additional 15 articles per week, chosen daily from Barron’s U.S. website and translated for subscribers.A dedicated Barron’s Digest website will launch in January, behind a paywall"...

PRH Touts Worlwide Growth in Annual Message
PW: "Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle’s annual letter to company employees emphasized the acquisitions the publisher has made across the publishing globe in the past year.While Dohle said revenue growth will come “first and foremost, organically,” he added that it will be augmented by strategic acquisitions in various markets. Dohle noted that to achieve PRH's goal of increasing its market share in the children’s market, the company made a number of purchases this year, including the purchase of the global publisher Little Tiger Group, buying the book-publishing assets of India’s Duckbill Books, and acquiring the intellectual property world rights for Eric Carle. The acquisition of Spain’s Salamandra also boosted PRH's children’s publishing footprint in that country, Dohle wrote. The year also saw PRH take a 45% stake in Sourcebooks, one of America's largest independent publishers of adult and children’s books. Other international growth initiatives mentioned by Dohle included the purchase of Catalan-language publisher La Campana Llibres in July; the launch of its first South East Asia list through its new Penguin Random House in Singapore division; and an increase in its ownership stake in Brazil’s Companhia das Letras.Dohle wrote that one thing all those acquisitions have in common is that the “founders and leaders of these companies wanted to become part of Penguin Random House because of our performance and our culture.” Dohle noted that since the merger of Penguin and Random House, he has said that the sheer size of the company would not guarantee a competitive advantage in the marketplace. “Rather,” he wrote, “ what’s key to our success is leveraging our scale as a force for greater good and demonstrating to our authors that we can connect them to more readers than any other publisher.”Dohle closed the letter by thanking PRH employees for another successful year “globally” and suggesting that the company's acquisition spree is not done yet"...


Retail News

Dollar Tree Realigns Executive Team
SN: "Dollar Tree has promoted Michael Witynski to enterprise president, a newly created position, and named a chief operating officer and a chief merchant for the overall organization.Chesapeake, Va.-based Dollar Tree said Thursday that Thomas O’Boyle has been appointed COO of Dollar Tree, taking over that title from Witynski, who previously served as president and COO. Richard McNeely, meanwhile, has been promoted to chief merchandising officer of Dollar Tree, responsible for both the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar store banners. The moves, effective immediately provide further integration of executive oversight following Dollar Tree’s completion of the Family Dollar Stores acquisition in July 2015. Dollar Tree noted that the changes will improve strategic execution and operational performance for the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar businesses. The company recently consolidated its two store-support centers with corporate office in Chesapeake. “These and other actions we are taking are designed to increase enterprisewide focus and accountability,” Dollar Tree CEO Gary Philbin said in a statement. “With Mike, Rick and Tom, we will have our senior-most talent working together across the platform with more urgency to move the needle on metrics that will help us deliver greater value for our shareholders and customers.” Also on Wednesday, Dollar Tree said Family Dollar President Duncan Mac Naughton, was leaving the company. He had served in that post since 2017. “I want to thank Duncan for his efforts in leading the Family Dollar team,” Philbin commented. “We wish him the best in his future endeavors.” In his new role as enterprise president, Witynski will lead the merchandising, store operations and supply chain functions for both Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. His main focus will be on improving enterprisewide operational efficiency and reducing distribution costs across both store brands, according to the company"...

UNFI Posts Q1 Net Sales Increase, Promises Better Future Results
PG: "For its 13-week first quarter of fiscal 2020 ended Nov. 2, United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) has reported a net sales increase to $6B, including an incremental $3.1B from Supervalu, which it acquired in October 2018. During the quarter, however, the wholesaler’s operating and net losses grew, as did its total outstanding debt, net of cash, and its gross margin declined slightly, as it continued to work through the integration process... Net sales from continuing operations by customer channel for Q1 2020 compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2019 rose 305.3% for supermarkets, 8.2% for supernaturals, 13.6% for independents and 56.1% for other retailers, for total net sales growth of 109.9%"..

Home Depot Links Rise in Theft to Opiod Crisis
11Alive: "Home Depot says the opioid crisis may be partly to blame for massive thefts from its stores in 2019.As it is, The Home Depot and other retailers across the country continue to fight organized retail theft rings that are stealing tens of billions of dollars of merchandise a year, which means consumers often pay more at check-out to cover the losses. And on Wednesday, The Home Depot’s corporate executives told investors and analysts that thefts from Home Depot stores increased so much in 2019, those crimes will reduce next year’s corporate profits.“It is driven by, in large part, by organized retail crime that has expanded rapidly in this country,” Chairman and CEO Craig Menear said. “We have a hypothesis that this has ties to the opioid crisis.”People addicted to opioids, he believes, are targeting Home Depot and other retailers, and are so desperate for money they steal as much merchandise as they can hand-carry in bulk, and sell it immediately for cash to organized crime rings that then market the merchandise online.In a report released Wednesday by the National Retail Federation, more than two-thirds of U.S. retailers say they have seen an increase in organized retail crimes in their stores this year. Atlanta is, according to the report, one of the ten U.S. cities with the highest retail crime rates. Home Depot executives told Wall Street investors and analysts that the company is working on better security.For example, it’s possible to render electronic merchandise useless unless it goes through check-out scanners, according to Executive Vice President Ann-Marie Campbell.“You buy a power tool, and the only time that power tool can work is if it goes through a [point-of-sale].”So, Home Depot executives say they expect they will be able to reduce thefts next year -- fighting not just shoplifters, they say, but, more and more, organized crime and the opioid crisis."

Grocers Amp Up Customer Health, Wellness Programs
PG: "The Food Marketing Institute's (FMI) "2019 Retailer Contributions to Health and Wellness" report shows that food retailers are continuing to expand the health-and-wellness programs they offer customers. The survey represented 39 food retail companies and more than 20,000 stores ranging in size, with 90% having established health-and-wellness programs, and 49% having them for both employees and customers. This is an 86% increase since 2017.Health-and-wellness programs covered in the report included both in-store services and omnichannel options. Of the respondents, 85% reported employing registered dietitians, with 70% of those at the corporate level and 27% of those at the regional level. One in three grocery stores reported having an in-store clinic for shoppers.Online still offers untapped potential, with 94% of respondents providing online shopping, yet only 70% extend their health-and-wellness initiatives to those online shoppers. Shoppable health-and-wellness content and better program integration can give retailers the chance to enhance their health-and-wellness programming, according to FMI.“Overwhelmingly, food retailers see health-and-wellness programs not only as a business growth opportunity (71%), but also as a way to meet consumer expectations (63%),” said Hilary Thesmar, PhD, RD, CFS, chief food and product safety officer and SVP food safety at Arlington, Va.-based FMI. “Grocers understand their value as both a destination and partner in a shopper’s health-and-wellness journey. The report finds retailers offer an enormous spectrum of health-and-wellness programming, especially around activities that provide more shopper experiences and product assortment.”FMI's complete "2019 Retailer Contributions to Health and Wellness" report can be downloaded at the trade association's website."

Wegmans to Build New Regional DC in Virginia
SN: "Wegmans Food Markets plans to construct a new full-service, regional distribution center (DC) in Ashland, Va.The $175M project will expand the company’s East Coast distribution network to help fuel its growing retail base, which this fall passed the 100-store mark, Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans said yesterday. In Virginia’s Hanover County, the site for the new DC is located along Sliding Hill and Ashcake Roads, off Interstate 95, in Ashland. The 1.1M-sq.-ft. facility is slated to begin operations in 2022 and become fully operational by the end of the year. The Ashland DC will be Wegmans’ third regional facility, joining its Rochester and Pottsville, Pa., DCs. The company said the new site will support growth for the next decade and beyond, as it aims to open three or four new stores annually"...

Albertsons, Takeoff Technologies Expand Automation Partnership
SN: "To accelerate the creation of an e-commerce infrastructure, Albertsons Cos. has formed a strategic partnership with automation specialist Takeoff Technologies to open micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs) for online grocery orders. Albertsons said Thursday that the move expands its relationship with Waltham, Mass.-based Takeoff. Last year, the companies unveiled plans to pilot Albertsons’ first MFC at a Safeway supermarket in South San Francisco. The facility began operating on Oct. 23. Under the wider partnership, Albertsons has agreed to buy more MFCs from Takeoff as it sizes up market expansion opportunities. Another MFC pilot, part of the collaboration that Albertsons and Takeoff announced last fall, is scheduled to kick off before the year’s end at a Safeway store in San Jose, Calif.Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons, the nation’s second-largest supermarket retailer, has stores in eight of the 10 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs)"...


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