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Latino-Themed Magazines Gain as Others Struggle

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Recently Troubled Ebony Increases Ad Dollars, Revenue

Ron Paul Thankful He Didn't Get Union Leader Endorsement

Buchanan Blames Gays, Van Jones for MSNBC Absence

Michelle Obama Tired of Portrayal as "Angry Black Woman"

Two Years After Haitian Quake, Anger Toward Aid Groups

Lisa Fung Joins as Executive Editor

Blacks Most Likely to See Rich-Poor Conflict

Is the "Echo Chamber" Killing Sports Columns?

Short Takes

Recently Troubled Ebony Increases Ad Dollars, Revenue

With the magazine industry still struggling, Siempre Mujer and People en Español — Spanish-language magazines produced by mainstream publishers — scored big increases in advertising dollars and advertising pages during 2011, according to figures released Tuesday by the Publishers Information Bureau.

Also registering double-digit gains in advertising dollars were Latina, Ser Padres and Ebony magazines.

The success of Siempre Mujer, People en Español, Ser Padres and Latina can more easily be explained because they target the fast-growing Hispanic population. Ebony's numbers assume significance because they amount to a continuing resurgence for a monthly whose demise was only recently the subject of speculation.

  • Siempre Mujer, published by the Meredith Corp., which produces Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle and other mainstream magazines, saw an increase of 50.9 percent in advertising revenue and 31.5 percent in ad pages over 2010.

  • People en Español, owned by Time Inc., rose 36.9 percent in advertising dollars and 31.5 percent in ad pages.

  • Ser Padres, a parenting magazine for families with children up to 12 that is also owned by Meredith, saw a 17.2 percent increase in advertising dollars and a 12.9 percent increase in ad pages.

  • Latina, an English-language monthly published by Latina Media Ventures, saw an increase of 14.7 percent in ad dollars and 13.2 percent in ad pages.

  • Ebony, at 66 years old the patriarch among the group, grew by 13.8 percent in ad dollars and 8.6 percent in ad pages.

Enedina Vega, vice president and publisher of Meredith Hispanic Ventures, told Journal-isms by email:

"Our growth in ad pages and revenue is attributed to the growing awareness among advertisers about the importance of the Hispanic market. Advertisers in the beauty and food category in particular are at the forefront when it comes to advertising to the Hispanic market.

"Census data now reports the U.S. Hispanic market comprises 16% of the US and is projected to continue to grow, both in numbers and affluence, with the Hispanic female segment playing a key role in the markets development. Both of Meredith's Hispanic Ventures brands, SIEMPRE MUJER and Ser Padres, address the needs of the US Hispanic female and mom in a unique voice. Our titles continue to grow in circulation with SIEMPRE MUJER now at a rate base of 550,000 and Ser Padres at 800,000."

At People en Español, publisher Monique Manso said through a spokeswoman:

“There is incredible momentum here at People en Español. We have enjoyed growth stemming from our 15th anniversary in 2011 where we brought in dozens of new advertisers including Chanel and Nissan."

Stephen BarrAt Johnson Publishing Co., Stephen Barr, senior vice president and group publisher, hired in February, explained Ebony's growth this way in an email:

"We re-organized the integrated sales and marketing departments, hiring seasoned professionals; and establishing rep firms in key markets: Detroit, Atlanta/Southeast and Los Angeles/West Coast;

"The revamped editorial product has begun to resonate amongst advertisers, clients and C-level decision makers in the marketplace;

"We are working with former Time Inc circulation experts who worked with JPC to deliver a sustainable performance circulation module.

"We implemented focused and strategic 'client-centric' selling [that] has helped garner over $4 Million of new business; developing new categories of business: Liquor, Beauty, Entertainment and Automotive, in addition to maintaining/growing our existing client base;

"We stabilized circulation in 1st half of 2011 beating industry newsstand which was down 10.6%, with EBONY only down 1.1%.

"February 2012 is a 46% increase over February 2011 with new advertisers: Smirnoff Flavored Vodkas, Smart Water, United States Virgin Islands (USVI), OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network, VLISCO (Netherlands based fashion house); Verizon, EOS lip balm, STARZ Network."

Among other magazines targeting people of color, Black Enterprise was down 5.4 percent in advertising dollars; Essence was up 3.5 percent and Jet was down 3.9 percent.

Overall, "the magazine industry got off to a good start in 2011, but in the end eked out a tiny gain in advertising revenue of just $8 million over the prior year, for a total of $20.1 billion," Matthew Flamm wrote Tuesday for Crain's New York Business. ". . . Ad pages fell 3% to 164,225.

"According to rankings compiled by Kantar Media from [Publishers] Information Bureau figures, People magazine was once again the No. 1 title, though ad revenue fell 2% to $997 million, and pages dropped 6%, compared to a year ago.

"New York magazine moved into second place — up from fifth in 2010 — in ad pages, with an increase of 6%. It ranked just 26th, however, in ad revenue, at $206 million, up 8%.

Meanwhile, an Adweek article speculating on future editors of "the creme de la creme" of Conde Nast magazines — Vogue, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair — listed no people of color among the "top-tier talent" who could fill the shoes of Anna Wintour (Vogue), David Remnick (The New Yorker) and Graydon Carter (Vanity Fair), who are expected to step down soon.

New Hampshire's largest newspaper, the Union Leader, backed Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House. It was considered a prized endorsement.

Ron Paul Thankful He Didn't Get Union Leader Endorsement

"Ron Paul won the race for second in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night," New England Cable News reported on Wednesday.

" 'Thank you to the Union Leader for not endorsing me,' said Paul."

Much was made of the Union Leader's front-page endorsement of former House speaker Newt Gingrich in November, with its publisher and editor making the rounds of the national talk shows.

"The Union Leader, the Granite State's largest newspaper, has been credited as a major source of influence in past elections," Mollie Reilly wrote for the Huffington Post on Tuesday, just before voters went to the polls.

"In 2008, the paper endorsed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for the GOP presidential nomination, a move that some say helped propel him to victory in the state's primary."

The Union Leader continued its support until Tuesday's Republican primary, in which voters gave a clear win to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who garnered 39.3 percent of the vote among seven major candidates. Gingrich placed fourth, with 9.4 percent.

"In a front page editorial in Tuesday's New Hampshire Union Leader, publisher Joe McQuaid slams GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and criticizes the notion that only the former Massachusetts governor stands a chance of defeating President Barack Obama in November," Reilly said.

"McQuaid begins by outlining the popular narrative surrounding Romney's campaign. 'The pollsters and pundits have told us what is going to happen today. Mitt Romney is going to swamp all comers ... because someone has decided he is the only Republican who can beat Barack Obama,' McQuaid writes.

" 'But now it's New Hampshire's turn, and New Hampshire has this funny little habit of turning conventional wisdom on its head and deciding things for itself,' McQuaid continues. 'Voters here may decide that Newt Gingrich was right on Sunday to call Romney's claims of being a non-politician 'pious baloney.' "

In the other big endorsement from a regional newspaper, the Boston Globe endorsed former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who came in a distant third, with 16.9 percent of the vote.

Buchanan Blames Gays, Van Jones for MSNBC Absence

"Embattled pundit Pat Buchanan lobbed another grenade at MSNBC on Tuesday, saying that a smear campaign by 'militant gay rights groups' and Van Jones was contributing to his months-long absence from the network," the Huffington Post reported.

"Buchanan has not been seen on MSNBC since late October, and network president Phil Griffin told reporters on Saturday that the views his employee laid out in a recent book are to blame. The book, 'Suicide of a Superpower,' contains a chapter entitled 'The Death of White America' and posits that the 'European core' of the country is being throttled by immigrants. Griffin said that Buchanan might not be allowed back on MSNBC at all.

"However, Buchanan has recently been pushing back against his bosses. On Monday, he spoke to radio host Hugh Hewitt, saying that medical problems had sidelined him and that he has not been formally suspended from MSNBC. On Tuesday, he spoke to Sean Hannity on his radio show and repeated that claim. But he took things one step further. He said that the issues in his book were the 'great issues facing the country for the next 25 years' and should be discussed."

" 'Look, for a long period of time the hard left, militant gay rights groups, militant — they call themselves civil rights groups, but I'm not sure they're concerned about civil rights — people of color, Van Jones, these folks and others have been out to get Pat Buchanan off TV," Buchanan continued. 'This has been done for years and years and years and it's the usual suspects doing the same thing again.' "

In 2005, Jones co-founded Color of Change, a Bay Area-based civil rights group styled after in its heavy use of the Internet. Named in March 2009 as the White House adviser for green jobs, Jones became a target of conservatives who portrayed him as unacceptably left wing after Color of Change launched a boycott of Fox News Channel's "The Glenn Beck Program." That November, Jones resigned.

The Huffington Post posted audio of Buchanan's remarks.

Gayle King, co-host of "CBS This Morning," interviews Michelle Obama in

Michelle Obama Tired of Portrayal as "Angry Black Woman"

"With a new book portraying Michelle Obama as an assertive force within the White House, the first lady has challenged the notion that she's 'some kind of angry black woman ,' " Katherine Skiba reported Wednesday for the Chicago Tribune.

"Obama, entering the fourth year of a mostly gaffe-free White House run, made the remark in an interview aired Wednesday with CBS' Gayle King, a friend."

While news accounts of the interview highlighted the "angry black woman" remark, most did not note that Obama was reacting to King's description of the book, "The Obamas" by New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor.

The first lady said several times that she doesn't read "those books." And so King characterized it for her. From reading it, "You would think Michelle Obama is angry, she's unhappy, she feels burdened, she feels frustrated" , King said. Not all who have read the book, released on Tuesday, agree with that characterization.

Kantor said Wednesday, "There's no suggestion of her as an angry black woman in the book," Krissah Thompson reported Thursday in the Washington Post.

"In fact, the portrayals of the first lady as angry, which were dominant early in the 2008 campaign — culminating in a satirical New Yoker cartoon depicting her as a militant black radical — have mostly subsided in the years since," Thompson wrote.

Skiba continued, "In the CBS interview, Obama denied friction with White House aides such as former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, now Chicago mayor. 'Rahm is — and Amy (Rule), his wife, are some of our dearest friends,' Obama said. 'Rahm and I have never had a cross word. He's a funny guy.' "

Keith J. Kelly of the New York Post quoted a spokeswoman for the publisher, Little Brown, on the Kantor book. “We have two printings and 100,000 copies in print on the publication date. The coverage has been wide thus far and there is much more to come. We never give out sales numbers, but it is No. 18 on Amazon as I type and we are, of course, very optimistic about this book.“

On Saturday, South Florida Haitian community leaders plan a symbolic reading of 112 names of victims of the Haitian earthquake. The names are from, a digital memorial wall created after the earthquake to honor the dead.

Two Years After Haitian Quake, Anger Toward Aid Groups

"No one doubted that the violent earthquake that laid waste to Haiti's weary capital city in January 2010 would drastically change the country," Marjorie Valbrun, the Haitian-born American journalist, wrote Tuesday for the Center for Public Integrity. Valbrun's was one of several news-media commemorations of the Jan. 12 earthquake's second anniversary.

". . . About $3 billion in private donations went to charitable organizations responding to the earthquake. Some $1.4 billion of the total was raised just by U.S. based organizations. Another $4.6 billion in international aid was pledged by 58 countries and lenders forgave $1 billion in Haitian debt," Valbrun wrote.

" 'There was so much goodwill from around the world for Haiti,' recalled Marilyn Allien, who runs the anti-corruption La Fondation Heritage Pour Haiti, the country’s chapter of Transparency International. 'It was very moving.'

"Non-government organizations (NGOs) descended on the island, offering medical aid, shelter, food, and clean water.

"The humanitarian response was so appreciated that few could have predicted two years later the long and deep thread of anger toward NGOs that now runs through Haitian society. '

"Many Haitians refer to their country as 'La république des ONG,' a reference to the presence of so many NGOs that are sometimes working at cross purposes with Haitian officials, and sometimes in competition with each other.

"Antagonism is evident in graffiti painted on walls around Port-au-Prince; in commentary on Haitian talk radio and televised public affairs shows; and in conversations on neighborhood porches and college campuses. NGOs are variously described in Haitian Creole as 'vòlè' (thieves or crooks), 'malonèt' (liars) and 'kowonpi' (corrupt)."

Lisa Fung Joins as Executive Editor

Lisa Fung"The Wrap News Inc., the leading news organization covering the business of entertainment and media, is pleased to announce the appointment of veteran journalist Lisa Fung to the newly created position of Executive Editor," Sharon Waxman, the website's founder and editor in chief, announced on Tuesday.

"Fung joins TheWrap from The Los Angeles Times, where she has spent 24 years in a series of senior editorial roles, most recently as the Online Editor for Arts and Entertainment where she oversaw Calendar, Company Town and the Envelope on the web.

". . . In addition to her 11 years in the Arts and Culture department, Fung spent five years in the paper's Business section overseeing Personal Finance and four years overseeing Technology coverage."


Blacks Most Likely to See Rich-Poor Conflict

"The Occupy Wall Street movement no longer occupies Wall Street, but the issue of class conflict has captured a growing share of the national consciousness," the Pew Research Center said Wednesday.

"A new Pew Research Center survey of 2,048 adults finds that about two-thirds of the public (66%) believes there are 'very strong' or 'strong' conflicts between the rich and the poor — an increase of 19 percentage points since 2009."

Blacks were more likely to say there are "strong" or "very strong" conflicts between the rich and the poor, the center said. Seventy-four percent of blacks said so in the 2011 survey, up from 66 percent in 2009. Sixty-five percent of whites agreed, up from 43 percent in 2009. Sixty-one percent of Hispanics agreed, up from 55 percent in 2009.

Is the "Echo Chamber" Killing Sports Columns?

Has the general-interest sports column become obsolete?

With the retirement of veteran George Vecsey at the New York Times last month — and no heir apparent for the "Sports of the Times" column — sports columnist Dave Kindred fears that some wrongly think it has.

"So I asked the Times’ sports editor, Joe Sexton, if the day of the brand-name general columnist is over," Kindred wrote Friday for the National Sports Journalism Center. "By email, his answer:

" 'I’ve come to no conclusion about the future of the general sports column — in our pages, or in the wider world. But I think reckoning with that question — that future — is one of my great obligations. I’ve invited a discussion about it among my staff, and there are already a variety of viewpoints.

"Some passionately believe a column, as traditionally understood and experienced, is more vital now than ever. Some think, in the vast and often inane and obnoxious echo chamber of ‘opinion’ we inhabit these days, the column is done, or has been at least badly drowned out. Once a week? Online only? Longer? Shorter? Interesting stuff, and important choices to be made going forward."

Short Takes

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Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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