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Media Management – MCM 601 VU
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Lesson 10 PRINT MEDIA MANAGEMENT
As the nineteenth century drew to a close, the newspaper business was dominated by yellow journalism. However, many editors were becoming convinced that things did not have to be this way. Among them was Adolph S. Ochs. In 1896 Ochs bought The New York Times and inaugurated an objective-journalism tradition that continues to the present. When Ochs purchased the Times, daily circulation was down to 9000 copies less than it had been when the Times was originally started in 1851. But by the time Ochs died in 1935, daily circulation was 465,000. If you were to visit the limes Building in New York City today, you would see Ochs's credo on display: "To Give the News Impartially, Without Fear or Favor." It is this principle that still guides the paper. In his book The Kingdom and the Power, journalist Gay Talese describes the atmosphere that prevailed: "The New York Times was a timeless blend of past and present, a medieval kingdom within the nation with its own private laws and values and with leaders who felt responsibility for the nation's welfare but were less likely to lie than the nation's statesmen and generals. Ochs had purchased the Times with only $75,000. For that amount he received 1125 shares of stock. His arrangement with the stockholders specified that if he ran the paper for three years without going into debt, he would receive a total of 5001 shares or a majority. After three years, Ochs was the newspaper's major stockholder. In order to obtain his goal, Ochs created a newspaper of record. Eliminating romantic fiction and what he deemed to be examples of trivia, he demanded that financial news, real estate! court proceedings and governmental activities are given their due. In effect, he turned the Times into a bible of information for its readership. When news appeared in the Times, people assumed it to be true. For his part, Ochs demanded total accuracy and completeness. Many years ago, after a task force of Timesmen had acquitted themselves very well on a big story, the editors sat around at a conference the following day extending congratulations to one another; but Adolph Ochs, who had been silting silently among them, then said that he had read in another newspaper a fact that seemed to be missing from The Times' coverage. One editor answered that this fact was minor, and added that The Times had printed several important facts that had not appeared in the other newspaper. To which Ochs replied, glaring, "I want it all." It is this thinking, rigidly enforced, that has created an odd turn of mind and fear in some Timesmen, and has created odd tasks for others. For several years there were clerks in The Times' newsroom assigned each day to scan the paper and count each spoils score. each death notice, making sure that The Timeshad them all, or at least more than any other newspaper At night there were Times editors in the news- room pacing the door waiting for a copyboy to arrive with the latest editions of other newspapers, fearful that these papers might have a story or a few facts not printed in The Times Though the traditions adhered to by Ochs arc still in force today, sometimes even Times reporters make exceptions and sacrifice accuracy for timeliness. Newspapers Consolidate Although newspaper circulation increased! between 1910 and 1930, the number of newspapers declined. In response to the fact mining whether or not the paper will be an economic success. Today daily newspapers that have a combined circulation of approximately 62.5 million copies have been experiencing changes. Several metropolitan dailies, including the New York Herald Tribune, the Chicago Daily News, and the Washington Star, have folded. Major afternoon newspapers have recently found themselves in financial trouble, while morning dailies have been gaining in numbers. Some people sug- gest this is because today we have more time to read in the mornings but less time to read at night. Do you agree? Additionally, Americans have been spending more of their time with Sunday papers. Sunday editions rose from 586 in 1970 to 786 in 1982. William Marcil, the chairman and president of the American Newspaper Publishers Association, claims: "Our business is strong and competitive and thriving." One reason for this health has been the advent of national dailies. National Dailies: The year is 1975; satellites have entered the newspaper industry and by so doing have made the concept of a national newspaper a reality. In 1975 The Wall Street Journal opened a plant in Florida that was docsity.com
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equipped to publish the newspaper by printing full-page images that had been transmitted by satellite. By 1983 four regional (eastern, midwest, southwest, and western) editions of The Wall Street Journal were being printed at seventeen plants nationwide. Today, the daily circulation of The Wall Street Journal is 1,952,283. Though the news content of each edition is identical, the advertising varies from region to region. The Wall Street Journal was followed into space by other newspapers including the West Coast, Chicago, and Florida editions of The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and the international edition of the Herald Tribune. Then, on September 15, 1982, USA Today, the country's first general-interest national newspaper, was delivered via satellite. Unlike The Wall Street Journal and other national dailies, USA Today is designed to carry only national advertising. Thus its various plants are able to print identical newspapers. In spite of the technological prowess used to put it together, USA Today is not without its critics. Having been termed "junk-food journalism," it is seen by some .as the McDonald's of the dailies. Developed by the Gannett chairman Allen Neuharth, following a detailed market research effort to determine what people wanted in a daily newspaper, the paper is a splashy product which specializes in short articles. Most of the paper's stories do not jump from page to page as is common in most newspapers. Neuharth says: "We fi- nally had to make a rule that there would only be four stones a day that could jump. Those are the front page feature stories in each section. USA Today is envisioned as a "second buy" for the newspaper reader; thus, it is not expected to interfere with the sales of local newspapers, including those owned by the Gannett chain side Story," voiced the thoughts of many when speaking of USA Today. The new publication is a highly professional product which has already taught a lot of old dogs some new tricks in the newspaper world. But newspapers have responsibilities as well as rights, and particularly a responsibility to print hard news along with the black ink. Newspapers should give people what is important as well as what is interesting. They must be more than the mirror image of each shift in public taste and opinion. That's where USA Today in particular, and Gannett in general, go wrong. But it's also where much of the newspaper business seems to be heading. And that's bad news for all of us. And critic Ben Bagdikian, in a recent issue of the Columbia Journalism Review echoed Mr. Carter's lament: "Unfortunately, the country's first truly national daily newspaper of general circulation is a mediocre piece of journalism. To what extent doyou support the views expressed by Mr. Carter and Mr. Bagdikian? Why? Whatever you think of USA Today, currently it is a profit-making operation. Although critics refer to it as "McPaper," the journalistic equivalent of fast food, major newspapers across the United States havebegun imitating USA Today's artful use of color and snazzy graphics. USA Today's daily circulation is 1,179,052. Suburban Dailies: As people and merchants moved into the suburbs, so did newspapers. Although today many major paperssuch as The New York Times do include suburban sections, the suburban dailies have alsobeen quite successful in targeting their editorial content to their particular readers and in attracting advertisers in their own right. Circulation among suburban dailies in communities of 100,000 to 500,000 grew 20 per- cent during the 1970s and has continued its surge in the 1980s. National advertising is solicited for the sub urban press by two trade associations: the suburban news paper of Americaand US Urban Press. Among the suburban dailies, Long Island's Newsday is one of the best known. Newsdayutilizes a tabloid format and has grown with Long Island since the paper's inception in 1940, with present-day readership estimated at the half-million mark. Today many suburban newspapers are owned by chains; Gannett, which owns ninety papers, Hearst, Knight-Ridder, and W.O. Scripps dominate the suburban daily market. Weeklies: About 7600 weekly newspapers in this country serve small towns and suburbs. Designed to provide a sense of identity for local communities, these papers compete for advertising dollars with the dailies. Today weekly newspapers have a combined circulation of 47,593,000. The Throwaway Shopper: The throwaway shopper is one variety of weekly publication. Advertising occupies an average of 74 percent of the paper. Popular with advertisers because they enable them to reach 100 percent of the households in a specified area, they are delivered free of charge to consumers. docsity.com
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Both the shopper and the weekly local newspaper are usually nonunion opera-lions. These types of papers may constitute the last opportunity for people to start small in the newspaper business. The more than 1500 shopper papers yield combined revenue of $500 million. Supermarket Tabloids: Did you realize that aliens may be visiting Earth? That John Wayne may have returned from the dead? That you may diet while consuming pizza after pizza? If not, you probably have not been reading The Na- tional Enquirer or its clone, The Star. Many people have, however. In 1982 the Newspaper Readership Project reported that these two publications were reaching 20 million readers each week Generoso Pope purchased the Florida-based National Enquirer in 1952, establishing an "I Cut Out Her Heart and Stomped on It" cannibalism and gore approach to journalism. In 1968 the paper's format was altered in order to make it suitable for supermarket checkout rack distribution. It was followed to those racks in 1974 by Rupert Murdoch's Star, The National Tattler, and Midnight, among others. Media critic Hodding Carter has called the supermarket tabloid type of newspaper a "journalistic mutt. Although the reporters who write for these papers utilize techniques similar to those of recognized journalists and claim to publish the truth they do so in a rather sensational fashion. Special-Interest and Alternative Newspapers: Special-interest newspapers are newspapers directed at particular segments of the newspaper-reading audience. Primary target groups for special-interest papers include college students and minorities. College Papers: Many colleges support student-run daily, weekly, or monthly newspapers. Circulation of these papers ranges from a high of 40,000 for some down to a monthly readership of but a few hundred. Some colleges offer competing newspapers one a laboratory publication of a journalism or communications department, and the other a semiautonomous publication emanating from the student government. Because surveys have shown that 96 percent of a college's population read al least part of the campus paper, college papers attract advertisers. The Alternative Press: Alternative newspapers are said to have begun with the 1955 publication of The Village Voice. When firstpublished, the Voice offered its readership slanted political and cultural news. According to Robert Glessing, author of The Underground Press in America, the Voice was the first newspaper in the history of modern American journalism to consistently report news with no restriction on language, a policy widely adopted by underground editors to shock the authority structure." The Village Voice was followed by a number of other underground or alternative papers (each the product of Americans who felt alienated from the mainstream); prime among these was The Los Angeles Free Press. For example, during the Vietnamese war era, hordes of young Americans who felt cut off from the establishment also felt themselves alienated from establishment presses. The needs of these people were met by alternative newspapers. The underground press attacked society and the war, frequently advertised sex, and included pleas from parents seeking runaway children. In addition, the underground press also relished attacking the mainstream press. Today, most offerings of the underground press have vanished. The Village Voice does still exist, but under fee ownership of newspaper magnate Rupert Murdoch. The Minority Press: The first newspapers for Hispanics, blacks, Native Americans, and Asian Americans were all started in the nineteenth century. The first Hispanic newspaper, EL Misisipi, was founded in New Orleans in 1908; the first black newspaper. Freedoms Journal, was founded in New York City in 1827; the Cherokee Phoenix, the first Native American newspaper, was founded in Echota, Georgia, in 1828; and Kim-Shan Jit San-Luk (The Golden Hills news), the first Asian American newspaper, was founded in San Francisco in the early 1850s. Recently, Editor and Publisher Yearbook listed 215 foreign-language newspapers in this country. Most prominent among these were the offerings* of the Spanish-language press. The Organization of a Newspaper: Who Does What? docsity.com
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In order to operate effectively, a newspaper, like any media organization, must be organized in a systematic way. Although there is no one scheme used across the board and not all newspapers can afford to staff each department separately, all newspapers fulfill news and opinion and production and business functions. Heading the newspaper is the owner. He or she appoints a publisher, who oversees the news- paper's operation; in small operations, however, the owner may also function as the publisher. The Business Function: The newspaper's business department performs advertising, circulation, promotion, and personnel functions. As with any organization, this department is concerned withpayments that go out and revenues thatcome in. Much of the newspaper's incoming revenue is supplied by the advertising group. Since advertising is expected to bring inapproximately three-quarters of a newspaper's income, it is of major concern to thepaper. Because newspapers rely so heavily on advertising, more and more of the pa- per's space is devoted to it. The advertising in a typical newspaper consumes from 23 to70 percent of the paper's available column space. In most papers, the average space consumed by advertising is 60 percent- Newspapers print local (about 60 percent); national (about 10 percent), and classified (about 25 percent) advertising. National advertising usually comes to the paper from anadvertising agency in camera-ready form. Classified advertisements are used extensively by people looking for jobs, organizations looking for people, and real estatebuyers and sellers. Newspapers also distribute preprints—those fliers which areprinted elsewhere and inserted intothe paper prior to sale. After all the advertisements are set, the remaining space available in the paper is called the news hole. Thus, it is the news, and not the advertising, that is made to fit the available space. Seldom are pages added to a paper so that more news can be printed. Pages are added regularly, however, to accommodate additional advertising. On certain days of the week, newspapers increase in length. Since Wednesday and Sunday are heavy advertising days, the papers published on these days will be longer. Keep in mind that as the amount of advertising increases, the size of the news hole may increase as well. Approximately 25 percent of the income a newspaper receives is developed through circulation or sales. Newspapers are sold in a number of different ways. Newsstands or vendors, once popular in cities, have recently experienced a decline in use. Some newspapers, especially weeklies, are now sold entirely by subscription. Boxes or containers on street corners are another method of circulation. According to the Newspaper Advertising Bureau, 77 percent of all newspapers sold are home-delivered. This system depends for the most part on youngsters aged 12 to 16 who deliver the product to homes and apartments. Proponents of this medium believe that since each carrier operates as an independent distributor, this system helps them acquire basic business practices. Lately, a number of newspapers have experimented with hiring delivery personnel as staff members. Other papers have assumed the carrier's billing responsibilities so that the carrier is not forced to make extra house calls in order "to collect." In some locations like apartment houses or colleges, newspapers are now placed in a locked container to which only the subscribers have a key. This enables such subscribers to receive the daily paper and deposit the subscription charge in the box at the same time. While electronic means of delivery may affect traditional circulation methods in the future, the hand- delivered system seems to be well-entrenched. Newspaper promotion people perform public relations functions for their organization. They aim to communicate a positive image of the newspaper organization to the general public so that circulation will be increased. To achieve this goal, the people in promotion sponsor athletic leagues, concerts, or other community-oriented events designed to encourage readers and potential readers to view the paper as a "human" enterprise. Of late, games have also been utilized as promotional devices. Wingo-Zingo-Zappo lottery-type games are used to entice people to purchase a particular newspaper. On a more academic note, "newspaper in education" programs are also used as a way to encourage and promote student read- ership. The Production Function:
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The job of a newspaper's production department is to transfer words and photographs to the printed page. This task is accomplished in three phases: the first phase occurs in the composing room, where the page is laid out; the second phase occurs in the plate making room, where the plates that produce the printed page are prepared; and the last phase occurs in the pressroom, where the paper is actually printed on high speed presses. Computers, offset printers, and lasers have all combined to increase the speed and efficiency of newspaper production. Recently, changes have occurred in large and small newspapers alike. In 1982, for example, The Record, a medium-sized suburban daily, invested $62 million in new production equipment Two high-speed offset presses have come all the way from Tokyo to take up residence in the plant's brand-new four-story pressroom. This awesome installation, designed by Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho (TKS), provides high-quality offset printing and more color printing capability than any other daily currently being published in this country. Completely computer-controlled, the 41-foot-high presses have little re- semblance to the Scott letterpresses already being dismantled in the original pressroom. The new presses account for $23 million of the total project cost—the largest item on the books, consistent with the role they play at the core of the operation. The pioneering TKS presses are linked to an equally unusual inserting and storage system, displaying its Swiss-made precision as it handles the flow of newspapers to The Record's enlarged and renovated mail room. Designed by Ferag, this system is also a pilot installation for the United States. Completely computerized, it not only hastens the collating of newspaper sections and advertising inserts, but also increases geographic and demographic zoning capabilities for The Record and its advertisers. The News/Opinion Function: The news and editorial departments provide the product of the newspaper. You will notice in the organizational chart that the news and editorial departments of the paper are distinct and separate, with both reporting to the publisher. In this way, the news department can remain "objective" while the editorial department presents opinions. The editorial function is designed to help readers make sense out of the news and draw conclusions about topics of importance to contemporary society. In addition to the printing of editorials, the editorial function includes the selection and printing of letters to the editor; and on the op-ed or page opposite the editorial page, regular and guest columnists are given the opportunity to voice their views on issues of controversy. The news division is headed by a managing editor or editor-in-chief. He or she is responsible for coordinating the operation of the newsroom. In addition, a number of editors work for this person and are charged with more specific responsibilities, some of which are as follows: The wire editor is responsible for regional, national, and international news from the wire services. The city editor is responsible for local events. The sports editor is responsible for sports news. The lifestyle editor is responsible for entertainment, society, food, and other features. Imagine that your local newsstand carried no magazines or worse, that there were no magazines to which you could subscribe. How might such a situation affect your lifestyle? From the 1950s to the early 1970s the possibility that magazines might vanish appeared to be a very real threat. A number of favorite weekly magazines ceased to exist Life, Look, Colliers, and The Saturday Evening Post all closed their doors. What medium filled the void left by these popular magazines? Network television. Advertisers and readers alike turned in droves to the newer medium. All the indications were that magazines were on the way out. William G. Dunn, publisher of U.S. News World Report, comments that even today, most media directors at advertising agencies will spend money in broadcasting. After all, it is difficult to fill a blank page. It is more fun to go on location and create a TV commercial. What he does not mention, however, is that it is also more expensive. Of course, the magazine industry has not died. Instead it seems to have heeded the Queen's advice to Alice in Through the Looking Glass: "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!" Magazines have run hard, indeed. In August of 1980, the Magazine Publishers Association (MPA) reported that magazine circulation had grown twice as fast as the nation's population. Later the MPA was able to state: "Magazines have become such an integral part of our lives that, today, nine out of ten adults read at least docsity.com
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one of the measured consumer magazines during the - average month. The average reader examines eight magazines per month on 3.2 different days. The average page is viewed 1.7 times. According to current estimates there are approximately 13,000 magazines published in the United States. Thus, magazines still play a formidable role in the lives of Arnericans. While a number of factors, including better demographics, may account for the resurgence of advertiser interest in the magazine business, one key factor was reported in a study done for the National Association of Broadcasters: 49 percent of the respondents reported that they were now watching less television than they had in previous years. The implication is that they have more time to spend consuming other media, including magazines. What is a magazine? How does it differ from a newspaper? Usually, magazines are published periodically (traditionally, less frequently than newspapers) in a bound format, have a durable paper cover, and contain better-quality paper. Of course, while a trip to your local newsstand may produce exceptions, for the most part these guidelines can be relied upon to help you to distinguish magazines from other media. Why do people read magazines? We will attempt to answer this question by examining the roots of magazines, the fragmenting of the audience for magazines, current industry patterns, as well as the editorial process. The Way Things Were: Although similarities in printing made early magazines in England difficult to distinguish from newspapers, the first magazine was probably The Review, published in 1704 and written for nine years by Daniel Defoe of Robinson Crusoe fame. Consisting of four pages, the magazine appeared three times each week at first and as a biweekly in later years. Included in it was a column entitled "Advice from the Scandalous Club/' in which Defoe discussed literature, etiquette, and other topics of interest. Then in 1709, Richard Steele created the fictitious Isaac Bickerstaff and made him the publisher of The 'Taller. By relying on humor. The Taller was able to handle serious topics and attack human foibles. A few years later, in 1711, Joseph Addison, who had been working with Steele, joined forces with him and the two began to publish The Spectator, an offering which contained humor, essays, and even short stories. Magazine Books: Numerous imitations of these publications sprang up in England, but in this country it was not until January 1741 that the first magazines were available. In that month and year The American Magazine or a Monthly View of the Political State of the British Colonies appeared and was followed in short order by Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine and Historical Chronicle for the British Plantations in America. The American Magazine ran but three issues and Franklin's folded after six. A great deal of the materials contained in these magazines and the ones that came after them had been reprinted from other sources- In addition, magazines of the times also had to contend with high postal rates and slow-, primitive printing methods. So although a number of magazines started during the 1700s, most failed: historian John Tebbel reports that by the year 1800 only twelve magazines were being published in the United States. While there were still fewer than 100 magazines in 1825, 600 were in publication by 1850, and Tebbel estimates that 5000 to 6000 others had started and ceased publication.5 Thus, the early to mid nineteenth century saw the magazine industry in America really begin to come alive. One editor who embodied the style and tone of this particular period was Joseph Dennie. Beginning his career with the New Hampshire weekly The Farmers Museum in 1793, Dennie went on to publish The Port Folio, a high-quality magazine that feat tired articles and "lay sermons" by such figures as John Quincy Adams and Gouverneur Morris. General-Interest Magazines: One important development during this period was growth of monthly general-interest magazines. In 1821, Samuel Atkinson and Charles Alexander began publishing Saturday Evening Post; by 1826, they also publishing a second popular gene interest magazine, The Casket: Flowers of Literature, Wit and Sentiment. In 1839, Atkinso sold The Casket to George Graham, whoa purchased another magazine from ad William Burton and in 1840 combined two into Graham's Magazine. Graham was one of the first magazine publishers to pay reasonable fees to his contributors, thereby attracting the likes of such writers as Poe, Bryant. Longfellow and Holmes to his fold.
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Another important general-interest magazine of the times was Knickerbocker, started in 1833 and edited after 1834 by Lewis Gaylord Clark. Clark, like Graham, was will-to pay well to use the original works of major writers of the day. (Mark's major innovation was to include an "Editor's Table" in each issue; in it he discussed fashion and New York City—related topics, much as the "Notes and Comments" section of The New Yorker does today. As the century progressed, other general-interest magazines, including McClure's Magazine (1893) and Munsey's Magazine (1897), established large circulations by selling their issues at 10 to 15 cents each. Women's Magazines: The first successful women's magazine was started in 1828 by Sara Josepha Hale. Titled Ladies' Magazine, Hale's publication campaigned for both women's rights and the need for women to become schoolteachers. After nine years Hale and her chief competitor merged their magazines, creating Godey’s Lady’s Book. Louis Godey's periodical as edited by Hale attained an impressive circulation of 40,000 monthly copies in 1850. Graham and other publishers also experimented with their formats in an effort to appeal to the growing women's audience. Today, among the magazines we see serving this market are the Ladies' Home Journal, Family Circle, Woman's Day, and Wen-king Woman. Special-Interest Magazines: During the first half of the nineteenth century, publications which were directed at special-interest audiences also became available. For example, magazines for children were a popular offering. Nathaniel Willis started Youth's Companion in 1827, and Parley's Magazine was begun by Samuel Goodrich in 1833. Goodrich wrote under the name of Pet Parley and delighted children for man years. Youth's Companion continued publication until the stock market crash in 1929. Other special-interest magazines were targeted to appeal to groups of readers oft day. For example The National Police Gautti which you can still find on your newsstand offered its readers a storehouse of violence filled criminal acts. And Turf Register, begun in Baltimore in 1829, foreshadowed sports magazines of today. In 1838, Nathan Allen, a medical student, began the Phrenology Review. The Professional Magazinist Emerges: Nathaniel Willis, a prolific writer of the day, is recognized as America's first professional magazine writer, or magazinist, Willis wrote for many publications, including his own children's magazine, Graham's Magazine, and Godey's Lady's Book. Willis, a writer of both fiction and nonfiction. Magazines Targeted the General Audience: Once the Civil War was over, general-interest magazines were on the rise, increasing their numbers from 260 in the year 1860 to 1800 in the year 1900. A number of events contributed to the dramatic growth of these large-circulation magazines. First, improvements in printing technology and production techniques made it possible to reduce the cost of magazines, thereby placing them well within the buying range of most people. Second, the Postal Act of 1879 gave special mailing rates to magazines and enabled editors and publishers to aim for national that busy people will pay for condensed versions of articles from other sources; Reader's Digest has survived to this day. Currently, however, it does include some original mate- rial in addition to its staple of reprints. Newsmagazines: The year 1923 witnessed the birth of another magazine for the busy reader. By compartmentalizing information in various departments for example, national affairs, foreign news, books Time turned itself into the first successful newsmagazine. Created by Henry Luce, Time set out to keep people well- informed by providing them with a perspective on and understanding of the world's events. By 1930 the magazine was showing a profit, and in 1933 two competitors, Newsweek and U.S. News cif World Report, were also on the newsstands. Time has been quite successful with the reading public.
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The newsmagazines provide other media with leads; stories covered in them are often picked up for coverage by radio and television news teams and other magazines. The situation newsmagazines like Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News World Report are facing today is a tough one. Each one has suffered through the tightening economic conditions of the mid-eighties and finds itself now facing renewed competition for readers' loyalty and advertising revenues. Currently Time is first in total revenues and circulation (4.7 million). Picture Magazines: By 1936, Henry Luce had begun yet another type of magazine the photo magazine. Life and its competitor Look (which appeared two months later) gave Americans pictures of major events. Functioning as a window on the world for millions of Americans in the days before television, the magazines gained in popularity. This new development in photojournalism was successful in attracting millions of readers each week what ensued when Life hit newsstands andmailboxes that first week was near-riot. Newsdealers across the nation telephoned and telegraphed for more copies. Presses creaked, groaned and broke down trying to keep upwith the demand. Reserve paper stocksdwindled and ran out, occasioning frantic telephone calls for "more paper, find more paper. As a double check, the machinery measures the thickness of each magazine in an effort to ensure that the correct issue has been produced. The subscriber's name and address are placed on a card and inserted inside the magazine in addition to being printed directly on the front cover for mailing. All of this for a subscription price of $8 per year. Although some of the more than 1 million subscribers who fill out subscription questionnaires may check many more items than they are really interested in, Dale Smith, president of Farm Journal, notes: "A farmer doesn't pick up a farm magazine to be entertained." Although not as specialized as Farm Journal, other large-circulation magazines, especially newsmagazines like Time and Newsweek, also publish regional and demographic editions in an effort to speak to the interests of particular readers and attract advertisers Types of Magazines Today: J. W. Click and Russell Baird provide somewhat more useful classification consisting of six categories. • Consumer magazines, which are sold at newsstands and are available to everyone. Included
among these are such publications as Reader's Digest, Time, Newsweek, MS Magazine, Working Woman, and Science Digest.
• Business magazines or trade journals, which service particular industries. McGraw-Hill, for example, publishes Architectural Record, Aviation Week, Graduating Engineer, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Construction and Maintenance, Power, Coal Age, Modern Plastics, Fleet Owner, to name a few.
• Association-related offerings. Among the more than 600 association magazines published are The American Legion, The Rotation, National Geographic, Journalism Quarterly, and the Journal of the American Medical Association.
• Farm publications. In addition to Farm Journal (mentioned earlier), other farm-oriented publications are California Farmer, Rice Farming, and American Fruit Grower.
• Public relations magazines, which provide a means for business and not-for-profit organizations to relate to one or more of their publics for example, their employees, customers, stockholders, or dealers. Among the more than 10,000 such magazines are Exxon's The Lamp and Friends published by General Motors.
• One-shot magazines, which capitalize on a hot topic or idea. Rock-group magazines, Star Trek, and volumes on Elvis Presley fit into this category.
Magazine Ownership: The magazine industry today is dominated by giants like Reader's Digest and TV Guide. Who actually owns the magazines you read? To what extent are you surprised by the fact that United, Pan Am Clipper, Continental, Eastern Review, Western's World, as well as other in-flight magazines are all published by the East/West Network? According to East/West Network, they are "publishers of magazines that dominate the sky." Over 1,700,000 copies are run each month for American air carriers, with an additional 1,486,000 copies run for eleven major international carriers. East/West prides itself on being docsity.com
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able to tell advertisers that "each East/ West magazine has its own editorial format directed to a specific audience. Each focuses on a basic theme of executive service and is edited to provide features that our readers can use and take action upon in their business and personal lives. Our editors in New York and Los Angeles create over 500 unduplicated pages each month. The easy chair environment of a jet-liner is naturally most conducive to reading." This network of giveaway magazines is marketed to advertisers as a means of reaching top-level decision makers well-paid corporate executives. Advertisers are free to sell their products or services in one or all in-flight magazines; either way East/West wins, since it owns them all. Most of our consumer magazines are owned by eleven leading publishers. For example, Time Inc. owns seven magazines, including Time, Life, Sports Illustrated, Money, People, and Discover. CBS owns Field & Stream, Woman's Day, Cycle World, and Road &f Track, among others. Ziff-Davis owns Backpacker, Yachting, and Stereo Review; Vogue House & Garden, Glamour, and Mademoiselle. While Triangle Publications, publisher of TV Guide, is not identified as a group owner because Seventeen magazines technically has a separate corporate publisher, for all practical purposes these two magazines are of the same ownership. Even with these multiple listings, the magazine industry as a whole is characterized by a less concentrated ownership pattern than the broadcasting, newspaper, and film industries. In part, this may be due to the fact that the magazine industry is considered to be an easy-access industry. Because a small-circulation magazine can be operated out of a home by a very small staff, a wide variety of people are encouraged to publish magazines; unfortunately, however, hundreds fail every year. Magazine Organizations: Who Does What? Magazines, like other industries, have developed corporate structures to facilitate theiroperation. Though magazine publishers have formal responsibility for the editorial aspects of themagazine, most publishers are business people and tend to leave editorial decisions tothe editor-in-chief. They do, however, oversee the budgeting and advertising functions of the magazine.The editor-in-chief is the individual responsible for the non advertising content of the magazine. The managing editor is usually in charge of the day-to-day business of getting a magazine completed and to the printer. Assisting the managing editor are other editors whose task is to oversee particular departments within the magazine. All editors work jointly with art directors to design not only the articles appearing in the magazine but the magazine's cover and logo as well. The advertising department is responsible for selling space in the magazine. Research staffs facilitate this effort by compiling information about the magazine's audience, which is then shared with advertisers and editors alike. In 1980, Folio magazine reported that approximately 54 percent of the average consumer magazine's revenues are derived from advertising. Today magazines are less advertisement-dependent than they were in earlier days, when the reader who purchased a copy paid for only a small fraction of the magazine's production costs. Subscriber and newsstand sales are the responsibilities of the circulation director. If leadership is down, the circulation director is theperson who must take steps to discover why.The circulation department is divided into three sections: (1) subscription sales, containing the people charged with the job of obtaining and renewing subscribers; (2) single-copy sales, containing the people whose task is to deal with retailers; and (3) fulfillment, containing the people who are responsible for ensuring that subscribers do indeed receive their copies. Fulfillment personnel update subscriber changes of address, renewals, etc. Owing to the complexity of the task, the fulfillment function is sometimes handled by an external service agency. Since seeking new subscribers is a prime function of the circulation department, let us briefly explore a number of the techniques circulation people use to encourage people to subscribe to a magazine. One common technique is to employ 3x5 blow-in cards, which are traditionally found in all magazines. A second strategy is to use sweepstakes sponsored by such organizations as Publisher's Clearing House and Reader's Digest. Heavy television promotion and recognized stars like Ed McMahon help promote the success of these endeavors. Jim Phelps, circulation director of Reader's Digest, when discussing his responsibility to "get the subs," noted that the Reader's Digest Sweepstakes gives readers a reduced rate on subscriptions, and then four to six months before the expiration of that subscription the magazine sends out renewal cards. It is interesting to note that it usually takes four to five years of renewals before docsity.com
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the sweepstakes-solicited customers are paying full subscription price for the magazine. Phelps employs a third technique, the newsstand, as a means of attracting subscribers to Reader's Digest. One lucrative location for newsstands is the checkout counter. In fact, Phelps reports that in 1983, 85 percent of Reader's Digest newsstand sales were made at checkout counters. Examine the checkout counter display in a store that you frequent. How many different publications are available there? Circulation is also solicited through direct-mail lists, franchising programs of nonprofit organizations, and catalog agents. Magazines also attempt to market themselves as Christmas gifts. It should be noted that prevailing postal rates do affect magazine circulation. In 1974 postal rates were amended in order to make them more favorable to magazines. Of late, however, magazine postal rates have skyrocketed. Reader's Digest nowadvertises a basic subscription price notingthat postage is additional. To be sure,postage increases will continue to pose problems for the industry in the years to come. Finally, the production department is responsible for facilitating the printing andbinding of the magazine. Since the quality ofthe printing, paper, and binding can influence a magazine's success in the mar- ketplace, the decisions made by the production staff are critical.
Contemporary Magazine Editing: In his book Magazine Editing in the ‘80s. William Rivers tells the following story."Pasted on the wall at eye level above a typewriter in the office of a movie-fan magazine editor is a picture of a young girl, a sales-clerk in a Woolworth’s store. The editor has never met her; he keeps the picture in view to remind him of his primary readership. When he is choosing and editing articles and photographs, he thinks of this young girl's tastes.The editor described in the preceding passage, like most editors today, is responsible for ensuring that his or her magazine is addressed to a particular audience. Tom Lashnits, associate editor for Reader's Digest, speaking before a Center for Communication Seminar held in New York City, reflected this practice when he noted, "The key is to keep people buying the magazine. The Editorial Concept: Creating the Formula
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A magazine must have a concept or formula that guides it through the editorial process. In effect, the guiding concept or formula represents the magazine's personality, its unique mixture of editorial material and content. Do you think Time has such a personality? Can you compare Time's personality with that of Newsweek? To be sure, each of these magazines has a distinct editorial focus, one that differentiates it from other magazines on the market. J. W. Click and Russel N. Baird in Magazine Editing and Production note that magazine formulas can be divided into three key categories: (1) departments (containing sections like "Food," "Traveling," "Manag- ing Your Money"); (2) articles within departments (containing articles like "Home Decorating," "This Month," "Win Money for Your Recipes"); and (3) general types of contents (for example, Fiction, Editorials, Cartoons). Magazine formulas or publication policies are summarized in the Consumer Magazine Farm Publication Rates & Data. The Redbook entry goes on to discuss topics such as politics, medicine, and education, as well as the fact that one-third of the magazine's space is devoted to services like food, nutrition, fashion, needlecrafts, and the like. In addition, it is noted that a complete novel and short stories are projected for each issue. A magazine formula statement should identify the purpose of the magazine, its market, the standard of living and education of its readership, and the publication's competition. Covers also sell. According to Fred Bernstein, a free-lance writer for People magazine, a picture of a movie star on the cover sells the most magazines; next in spurring sales are pictures of TV stars, followed by pictures of sports figures and politicians. Editors Work with Design and Production An editor's job entails much more than selecting and copyediting stories. To be sure, editors make many decisions which affect the nature of the completed product. For example, it is up to editors to determine which articles warrant several pages, which are worthy of only a single page, and what the cover story or cover article will be. In addition, editors need to work cooperatively with the magazine's art department to set the layout and design of an issue. They must also be knowledgeable about typography because it is the editor's job to provide the printer with marginal notes which describe the various size types to be used for body text, headlines, and titles. Examine recent or current issues of several magazines. Note five covers which seem particularly effective or provocative to you. Explain why you like them parcel of the editorial process; these tasks may be assigned to one or two people if a publication is small or to hundreds of people if we are dealing with a major news weekly.