Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A new way to develop magazines

Former IPC dynamo Mike Soutar has resurfaced with a new venture all of his own - helping other people to develop their magazine launches. This is not in itself news but Press Gazette has run an interesting interview with Soutar, in which the idea of publishing-by-proxy is given another airing. This idea has been discussed a few times here, following David Hepworth's suggestions that magazine publishers might be looking for different ways to do things - ways which would reduce risk and cut costs (for them).

To quote from the Press Gazette piece:
'In the broadcast industry, for example, there's a long tradition of programme making being outsourced to independent production companies — not so in publishing.

'"Hopefully we'll be seeing the advent of outsourced development in the magazine industry and people will start to change attitudes."'

It might be nothing or it might be another straw in the wind; however, given enough straw publishers might well be tempted to make some bricks.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

We wuz robbed but they're in The Pen

To the Magazine Academy awards. Most important news, one of Cardiff's three entries got a Highly Commended certificate, so congratulations to the ClubHouse team. (And commiserations to Ladder and Modified, all fine ideas.)
Winner was a very original concept from Goldsmiths, called The Pen. (Ha,ha - this was the url published in the printed version of the magazine – TH .) Quick glance, you think it's about writing, no? Well, it's for guys in prison, a captive audience. Great idea, very well done Goldsmiths.
But (do these grapes taste sour to you?) it was not as well executed as any of Cardiff's magazines, in either content or production. And not so long ago, one of Cardiff's mags missed out on the top spot because the judges, all industry high fliers, could not see themselves taking the idea (a fairly gross mag for teenage boys, since you ask, take a look here) to their boards of directors. They'd take this one? Oh to be a fly on that wall!
The event was, it must be said, very well supported. Had a dreadful mishap occurred, several major publishing houses and a good few of their top titles would be rudderless today. Not to mention the cream of the journalism training courses ...

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