This is sure to chill all of the newspaper and magazine companies that thought subscribers would return to the fold once the content became available on the sexy mobile devices. The finding comes from the most detailed study yet of the 11% of the country that owns a tablet, conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism in collaboration with The Economist Group. They found that 53% use their tablets every day to catch up on the news — making that the second most popular activity after Web surfing (67%). Tablet news fans like to check out different sources, including many they never look at on TV or their PCs. And it isn’t just for headlines; 42% say that they read long news articles or analyses. But only 21% say they’d be willing to pay as much as $5 a month for news on their tablets. That jibes with other data showing that 14% say that they’ve paid directly for news on their tablets, although 23% have subscriptions to newspapers or magazines that include digital access. For the most part, owners use the portable screens as a substitute for the news that they used to track on their PCs or laptops — but nearly six in 10 also use their tablets as a substitute for newspapers, magazines, and TV newscasts.
Magazines pretty much held on to customers in the first half of 2011 according to a report today from the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Subscriptions and single-copy sales at 418 of the most popular titles only fell 1.4% vs the same period last year. The tally was down 2.3% this time last year vs 2009. People continues to lead the pack among entertainment and celebrity-driven magazines: Its average circulation of 3.56M was flat with last year. TV Guide comes in second at 2.02M — its 3.3% decline is a vast improvement from last year when it dropped 28.7%. It was followed by US Weekly (1.98M, +1.4%), Entertainment Weekly (1.80M, -0.1%), Star (880,256, -7%), OK! Weekly (747,040, +7.5%), and National Enquirer (659,562, -9.2%). Money still leads the business and finance magazines with 1.92M, -0.05%. Trailing are Forbes (928,900, +0.7%), Bloomberg BusinessWeek (921,839, +0.1%), Fortune (845,043, -1.4%), and The Economist (844,387, +2.6%).
Disney Publishing Worldwide announced today it is adding four titles based on its properties to join a U.S. roster that included the moms-skewing monthly Disney FamilyFun. The first, Phineas and Ferb, based on the hit Disney XD TV series, will be bi-monthly and cost $4.99 on newsstands and $23.95 for an annual subscription. Three more based on upcoming films — Thor in April, followed by Cars 2 and Captain America — will be stand-alone issues that will sell for $9.99. Another title, Cars, will be a monthly beginning in the fall.
DPW is attempting to grow a model that already is a success overseas, where the company publishes kid-targeted books and magazines that reach 75 countries in 85 languages.
Let’s face it, all that free Internet porn has made the beleaguered Playboy empire into as old a fogie as its founder Hugh Hefner what with revenue plummetting and the media company running huge losses. Nevertheless the octogenarian and the limited partnership he controls, Icon Acquisition Holdings, today succeeded in taking Playboy Enterprises Inc for $6.15 a share. “With the completion of this transaction, Playboy will come full circle, returning to its roots as a private company,” Hefner said in a statement. “I believe this agreement will give us the resources and flexibility to return Playboy to its unique position and to further expand our business around the world.” The share price represents a 18.3% premium over Playboy’s closing price Friday. Playboy CEO Scott Flanders, who will remain with the company and maintain a significant equity investment in Playboy, says the strategy is to transform Playboy into “a brand management company”. Hefner is Playboy’s largest shareholder with about 70% of the company’s voting shares and 28% of the nonvoting stock. Hefner had to fend off a bid from the company owning rival Penthouse magazine.
Ryan Reynolds Is People’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ As Warner Bros Releases New Trailer For ‘Green Lantern’
People magazine will bestow just bestowed the coveted title of ”Sexiest Man Alive” on Ryan Reynolds for this year marking its 25th anniversary. Which is a marketing wet dream not just for Reynolds’ talent agency CAA and PR firm 42West but also for Warner Bros. The studio has just released this new trailer (below) for Green Lantern, the Martin Campbell-directed film that introduces Ryan Reynolds as the DC Comics superhero. Talk about synergy: to date every new promo for the movie has been the exclusive domain of a magazine (People, Entertainment Weekly) owned by Time Warner which also owns the movie studio Warner Bros. But only moviegoers will decide whether Reynolds’ obvious physique and charisma will be enough to measure up in the DC pantheon to Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight or the Nolan-produced Superman film that’ll be directed by Zack Snyder. The 3D Green Lantern will be released on June 17, 2011:
This, after talks were abandoned just recently. The new venture will be called the Newsweek Daily Beast. Tonight, Tina Brown, Daily Beast’s co-founder, announced the merger — “some weddings take longer to plan than others” — and will top edit. The Daily Beast is underwritten by Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp (who’s been looking to get out from under) while Newsweek was recently purchased by Sidney Harman for $1 (because no one else wanted to keep the print edition going). Both media outlets are money-losing ventures, with Newsweek losing about $20M a year, and the Daily Beast about $10M this year. So now the combined company is a $30M a year loser?
These are nowhere near as disturbing as the True Blood stars’ recent bloody nude Rolling Stone cover that still haunts me, but TV watchdog group the Parents Television Council is stirring things up this morning with its outrage over the racy photo shoot of the stars from Fox’s Glee in the upcoming issue of GQ, which it called a “near-pornographic display.” “It is disturbing that GQ, which is explicitly written for adult men, is sexualizing the actresses who play high school-aged characters on Glee in this way. It borders on pedophilia,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
(New York, October 20, 2010) Jon Meacham, the former editor of Newsweek magazine and the Pulitzer Prize–winning and bestselling author of AMERICAN LION, is joining the staff of the Random House Publishing Group as Executive Vice President and Executive Editor. His appointment, effective January 3, 2011, was announced today by Gina Centrello, President and Publisher, Random House Publishing Group, to whom he will report.Mr. Meacham will acquire and edit a select number of nonfiction titles each year by seasoned and emerging talent for the Random House list, working with Susan Kamil, the Publisher of the Random House imprint. “Jon will help us carry forward the Random House nonfiction publishing tradition, with a particular emphasis on works of history, biography, and religion,” said Ms. Kamil. “I look forward to working closely with Jon.”
In his newly created capacity, Mr. Meacham will work with Ms. Kamil and Kate Medina, Associate Publisher, advising Ms. Centrello on a broad scope of publishing opportunities. He will also explore potential digital-publishing initiatives, drawing on his journalistic perspective and experience and his wide-ranging international contacts.
A Random House author since 2003 with the publication of FRANKLIN AND WINSTON, Mr. Meacham won the Pulitzer Prize in Biography for AMERICAN LION: ANDREW JACKSON IN THE WHITE HOUSE, which Random House published in November 2008. AMERICAN LION and FRANKLIN AND WINSTON were New York Times bestsellers in their hardcover and trade paperback editions. Mr. Meacham is under contract to Random House to write biographies of Thomas Jefferson and George H. W.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that talks between The Daily Beast and Newsweek have cratered. The two companies had been discussing a deal to make Tina Brown editor of Newsweek. But details couldn’t be worked out surrounding the division of power between Brown, new Newsweek owner Sidney Harman, and Barry Diller, who’s chairman of Daily Beast owner IAC. Harman recently purchased Newsweek from the Washington Post Co. for the sum of $1.
Jeez, what is Hollywood thinking when it comes to its past and present terrible treatment of women? Turns out even Gwyneth Paltrow, who’s always been well known in showbiz circles as the daughter of the late (and great) TV producer and director Bruce Paltrow (St Elsewhere, The White Shadow), answers in the affirmative when asked if she’s ever had a casting couch experience. ”Yup,” she tells Elle magazine in its new ”Women In Hollywood” issue. “When I was just starting out, someone suggested that we finish a meeting in the bedroom. I left. I was pretty shocked. I could see how someone who didn’t know better might worry, ‘My career will be ruined if I don’t give this guy a blow job!’”
Remember the good old media days when a Newsweek magazine cover could make or break a movie? Now its 51-year parent company, the Washington Post Co, has hired Allen & Co to find a buyer for the money-losing mag. Newsweek has been unprofitable since 2007. “Despite heroic efforts on the part of Newsweek’s management and staff, we expect it to still lose money in 2010,” Washington Post Chairman Donald Graham said in the statement. “In the current climate, it might be a better fit elsewhere.” As a one-time Newsweek correspondent myself (based in Washington DC and then Los Angeles), this is a sad day indeed. On the other hand, the mag isn’t even hiring journalists anymore: shameful that its website has sunk so low as to recently bring aboard that asshole Gabriel Snyder who couldn’t even keep his job chasing vagina shots at the despicable Gawker gossip site.
It’s former OK! Magazine publisher Lori Burgess. Richard Beckman, CEO of e5 Global Media, made the announcement this morning. Burgess was previously publisher of OK! Magazine since October 2008. Prior to joining OK!, Burgess was SVP Publishing Director at Niche Media (Gotham, Hamptons, and Los Angeles Confidential), VP Publisher House & Garden, and VP Publisher Elle. “Lori has an exceptional track record growing business and delivering results,” the statement quoted Beckman as saying. “This ability combined with her entertainment and luxury marketing experience make her the perfect person to helm The Hollywood Reporter.” It sounds like Burgess is the right choice to head up THR‘s planned monthly glossy magazine. And she fits into the new owners’ plans to abandon the traditional trade format and formula.
It’s TV writer Joe Adalian adding to NYmag.com’s expanding celeb coverage. He’s the latest to leave that sinking ship TheWrap (aka TheCrap) which is having terrible money problems, and wholesale staff turnovers, and persistent inaccuracy woes, not to mention only miniscule web traffic. And I almost forgot to mention its hypocritical content thievery.
People Magazine has hired a new film critic to replace Leah Rozen, the mag’s critic since 1997 who took a buyout late last year. The gig went to Alynda Wheat, who spent the last six years at Entertainment Weekly. Rosen’s exit came at a time when media was lamenting the death of film criticism. While things haven’t improved that much — the big shocker for me was the exit of my former Daily Variety colleague Todd McCarthy — any fear that People would phase out reviews is dispelled by this hire. I must confess she was not on my reviewer radar (frankly, I never heard of her), but it’s not surprising that People would hire from within the Time Inc magazine family.
Atlantic Magazine has published its first annual “Brave Thinkers” issue naming 27 “most provocative thinkers” who “had the courage to step outside the consoling persuading flow of tradition and ask fundamental questions about why things are the way they are, and how they might be instead”. There’s Steve Jobs and John Lasseter, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios, as well as Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of South Park. But also Jeff Zucker. That’s right — Jeff Zucker. As the magazine says, “Some of them may prove to be wrong, and others wrong-headed. But all of them embody the kind of courage that stirs the spirit and inspires us to think for ourselves.” Here’s why the magazine says the NBC Universal topper was chosen:
“Dear Nikki Finke,
Just a little thank-you for the recognition of the Sex And The City work and the unexpected honor of being made an honorary woman on your Power Women in Hollywood List. The only downside — my salary was just cut in half.
All my best, Michael Patrick King.”
Every few hours, I receive updates on “Where Is Ben Silverman?” Lunching with John Feltheimer at Katsuya in Brentwood. Sitting with Harry Sloan and Ernie Dell at the Dodgers ballgame. And always smiling, smiling, smiling. But Silverman was snarling when Elle magazine phoned him to talk about Katherine Pope whom Ben threw under the bus during their NBC/Universal TV days. Silverman at work functions used to refer to Pope and another female executive as “my fembots,” meaning, “hot women who would go out and kill for him” — a Neanderthal compliment. When asked about this by the mag, Silverman sent back various vituperative e-mails saying, among other things not appropriate for that genteel publication, “Do u work for some executive online lie factory or elle?” He denied having made the “fembot” remark, and told Elle he and Pope were on great terms. Sure, that’s why back in the day he was suspected of leaking to the New York Post what a “black widow” Katherine allegedly was –claiming all the NBC shows she touched died, while offering only praise for himself.
UPDATE: It’s online now.
So I put 63 women on the roster. But for the “why?” behind the names, you’re going to have to buy the issue. Elle magazine will hold its 16th annual dinner and awards celebration of “Women In Hollywood” on Monday, October 19th, at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills. I might show up.
Movie Executives (in no particular order): Elizabeth Gabler, president, Fox 2000 Pictures; Donna Langley, co-chairman Universal Pictures; Amy Pascal, co-chairman, Sony Pictures; Mary Parent, MGM CEO; Keri Putnam, president of production, Miramax Films (exited after I wrote this); Stacey Snider, CEO DreamWorks Studios; Nancy Utley, co-president, Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Lawyers: Melanie Cook, Ziffren Brittenham; Patty Glaser, Glaser Weil; Deborah Klein, Jackoway Tyerman; Jeanne Newman, Hansen Jacobson.
TV Executives: Angela Bromstad, president, primetime entertainment, NBC Universal; Michele Ganeless, president, Comedy Central; Bonnie Hammer, president, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment; Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO Production, FreMantleMedia, North America; Judy McGrath, chairman and CEO, MTV Networks; Dawn Ostroff, President, The CW; Abbe Raven, president and CEO, A&E Television Networks; Anne Sweeney, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, president, Disney ABC Television Group; Nancy Tellem, (outgoing, after I wrote this) president, CBS Television Studios Entertainment Group; Nina Tassler, president, CBS Entertainment; Dana Walden, co-chairman, 20th Century Fox Television, Andrea Wong, CEO, Lifetime Entertainment Services; Lauren Zalaznick, president of women and lifestyle entertainment networks, NBC Universal.
Agents: Toni Howard, ICM; Tracey Jacobs, UTA; Hylda Queally, CAA; Beth Swofford, CAA; Jennifer …
I’m too superficial to read The New Yorker because it’s so unrelentingly boring. Even the cartoons suck these days. So back in 2008, soon after the writers strike ended, I said no when The New Yorker first approached me to cooperate for a profile. Fast forward to this summer, when the mag was desperate to liven up this week’s dullsville “Money Issue” with some Tinseltown mockery. The writer said the last time he profiled somebody without their cooperation was a serial killer. I would be joining Murderers Row. When I did start talking (but only with a lot of pre-conditions), months and weeks and hours of my time were wasted because little of what I said was used. (Not even when I responded to Peter Bart’s statement “I don’t think she has an impact among the real decision-makers” with this good quote, “Finally, Peter and I agree on something. He’s absolutely right: I’m not powerful, and I’m not influential. Which is why I don’t understand why The New Yorker is now crawling up my ass claiming I am.”) Instead, the article is a superficial clip job, no better than David Carr’s rushed Page One profile on me in The New York Times recently. As I expected, it’s an amusing caricature, only occasionally true but hardly insightful. Still, I’m relieved that The New Yorker didn’t lay a glove on me. I found Tad Friend, who covers Hollywood from Brooklyn, easy to manipulate, as was David Remnick, whom I enjoyed bitchslapping throughout but especially during the very slipshod factchecking …