The rexblog is away, here’s what to do

The rexblog is away, here’s what to do: I hate giving away rexblog-trade secrets, but as I’m going to be experiencing a totally unwired ten days (several bets have been placed) until Monday, Aug. 23, I’ve decided to reveal where I crib most of the magazine industry-related stuff I link to so you can create your own do-it-yourself rexblog. Here’s the list, in no particular order:

1. Romenesko: Always good for a magazine news item or two but as there is no RSS feed, I keep forgetting to go there. Also, lots of really interesting items about ethical dilemmas torturing some assistant copy editor at a weekly newspaper outside Topeka.

2. I Want Media: As “go-to” as Romenesko, but what’s with no RSS. However, I do receive the daily e-mail, so I can see what I’ve missed at least once every 24 hours. Sort of like a weblog but without the lame attempts at humor some bloggers constantly try.

3. Mediabistro.com’s News Feed: Again, the daily e-mail is great, but where’s the RSS? Especially great if you’re wanting to know how to pitch a story to, say, Heavy Duty Trucking.

4. PaidContent.org: Finally, a site that is avaiable via RSS. Rafat Ali never sleeps and gets stuff before anyone.

5. MediaPost’s Media Daily News: Comes via e-mail. Great stuff, but the whole math thing challenges them at times.

(Note: If the sites I said don’t have RSS feeds actually do have RSS feeds, well, sorry, my fact-checking staff all called in sick today. Add a comment to this post to enlighten us.)

Those should keep you occupied, but I must admit the real link-gathering secret sauce of the rexblog are some field-tested Google hacks, a managable list of RSS feeds from other media-geek bloggers (see list at left) and regular e-mail tips from the seven people who read this blog.

Also, here’s a reminder of places I’ll be heading later this month:

August 26: Speaking at the Magazine Association of the Southeast breakfast.

August 29-September 2: Blogging from the Republican National Convention.

M10 parent, Primedia form “new company” and combine Folio:, M10, other properties

M10 parent, Primedia form “new company” and combine Folio:, M10, other properties Flash: The rexblog has learned that later today, Red 7 Media, the company that publishes M10, and Primedia, which publishes Folio Magazine, Circulation Management and produces the Folio and Circ. Management shows, have formed a new company that will house these and other magazine and conference properties. Current management of M10 will manage and operate Folio and these other properties effective today.
 
Primedia has taken a minority equity position in this new company.

Developing.

Update: Official announcement made:

Quote from press release:

Primedia Inc. today announced the divestiture of two of its high-profile media magazines, Folio: and Circulation Management, as part of a newly formed partnership with Red 7 Media, the owner of Folio: competitor M10.

The transaction closed today. Terms were not disclosed.

The partnership agreement comes just days after Primedia set off a news-media flurry with an announcement in its second-quarter earnings statement that it was evaluating strategic partnerships for three magazines, Folio:, CM and American Demographics.

Under the partnership venture with Red 7 Media, a new company will combine Folio:, Circulation Management and their related properties, including the Folio: and CM shows, as well as existing Red 7 Media businesses, including M10, Event Marketer magazine and its related shows. American Demographics is not included in the deal. The new company will be managed solely by Red 7 Media’s current leadership. Primedia will own a minority equity stake. The divested titles will be relocated to Red 7 Media headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Red 7 will publish the September-October issue of M10, and then combine that magazine with Folio: under the leadership of Tony Silber, who currently manages M10, and was a former editor of Folio: and publisher of Folio: and Circulation Management. Essentially, Folio: will assume the M10 editorial platform. The M10 brand will continue to be used in a variety of media. Circulation Management will continue to be published.

Both sides hailed the agreement. “We see great potential in integrating these properties and creating a platform for continued growth and expansion,” said Kerry Smith, CEO of Red 7 Media. “We’re also honored that a company of Primedia’s stature believes in our business vision and has taken a stake in our future.”

Kelly Conlin, CEO of Primedia, said, “A single organization for these properties will create the most comprehensive portfolio for both readers and advertisers in the publishing and media industry. This should help accelerate the growth of these properties and increase their value to the markets they serve.” 

Smith said that the creation of both M10 in 2003 and Event Marketer in 2002 and their subsequent success demonstrate a new kind of publishing model that will be applied to Folio: and Circulation Management. “The lesson of both these launches is that if you create a great product, the market will coalesce around it,” he said. “That said, we have a somewhat unique approach to business development in that we don’t rely on traditional advertising as our primary revenue channel. Our model integrates advertising with business-development services and other fully integrated programs to deliver a more cohesive package to the customer and garner a larger share of their budgets. Plus, we feel that in a smaller, focused entrepreneurial environment, these products can thrive and generate profits.”

Still developing.

Don’t get mad, get inspired

Flash: I was wrong (again): A long time ago, when I was just a grasshopper of a blogger, back when I was still developing that whole vaporzine schtick, I made the mistake of being overtly (and overly) judgmental about the prospects of some new magazines’ chances for survival. (I’m still judgmental, but more nuanced, I hope. And for the most part, I was correct in my predictions.) However, one of the early magazines I attempted to review with a little bit more bite than I blog with now was Arthur magazine. Its publisher, who was quick to let me know his opinion of my punditry, has been kind enough to let me know of the progress of his magazine. For instance, when the magazine was a finalist for Utne Reader’s best new independent magazine of 2003. At that point, I admitted I was an asshole when I earlier observed:

“Watching the launch of Arthur Magazine is not like watching a high-speed car racing hopelessly toward a brickwall. It’s like watching a high-speed car glide beautifully through the guard rails of a mountain highway, sailing majestically in super slow-motion through the clear-blue sky and perhaps (it could happen) making it to a landing ramp that by coincidence is set-up on the other side of the canyon. “

Today, Arthur’s publisher Jay Babcock again let me know personally some great news about his magazine: Rolling Stone (Aug 19, 2004, the “Hot” issue, Lindsay Lohancover), on page 76, named Arthur a “Hot Magazine”

Quote from Rolling Stone (not online):

Maybe the best things in life really are free. Take ARTHUR, a new magazine printed on high-quality color newsprint, chock-full of interviews with the likes of Iggy Pop and folk phenom Devendra Banhart, features on “When Good Pranksters Go Christian” and “Young Would-Be Terrorirsts in Love,” and inspired cartooning by America’s best young artists. Forty thousand copies of Arthur are distributed in coffeeshops and record stores by a nationwide guerilla network. “Arthur breeds intellectual positivity,” says Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, Arthur’s reviews columnist. “Plus, it’s an affront to Bush’s dumbed-down myopia because it’s free and because it rocks without catering to any corporate payoff.”

Again, the taste of crow has never been more enjoyable. Congratulations and keep me posted.

One giant leap for mankind

One giant leap for mankind: First, let me say it’s nice to see a Larry Dobrow by-line on a MediaPost story. That said, today he covers a development in the march toward the future of “digital versions” of magazines. I don’t have time today to link back to my earlier posts (or, better-yet, to Rafat Ali‘s, who actually “reports” on these things rather than merely rambles like me). However, I am stunned with marvel by today’s news, described as “another step toward mainstreaming the delivery of the digital versions” (which, for the uneducated, means sending out via e-mail a digitized replica of the print-version of a publication in a PDF-like document — or, rather a customized PDF, or, better yet, a “pimp my PDF,” with features that make it “more than” a mere PDF.) Anyway, the new feature announced today is, get this: The reader can now click on a word in the text of a story and it will take him or her to a URL. Wow! Can they patent this? This is a revolutionary concept that ranks way above the CueCat. Actually having words that you can click on and it takes you to another place on the Internet. What will they think of next?!

Quote (from someone I won’t embarass by naming):

“What publishers want are features that enhance the Internet-ness–to coin a phrase–of digital editions. This is one of the biggest ones.”

Here: I’ll help them by coining another phrase: “clueless-ness.” Note to the magazine world software product developers: Don’t waste your time developing features that publishers want. Develop for readers, users.

You go, girl

You go, girl: Making an exception to my “no transactions news” rule (I don’t blog buying, selling, hiring firing), I must point to the news that Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has purchased Body & Soul Magazine and Dr. Andrew Weil’s Self Healing newsletter. Expect a weeks-worth of reporters and pundits describing how this means “they’re moving away from the Martha Stewart brand” and other drivel.