Friday, September 05, 2008

There is a God, Subscribers Dumping "Us Weekly"

You’ve got to love Megan Kelly of FoxNews. Besides being smart and gorgeous, she interviewed an editor of "Us Weekly" yesterday, the magazine that printed the most vile and outrageous of the smears Obama’s people are spreading about Sahah Palin and her family. Megan went point-by-point over the article and made the editor look like a schoolboy caught torturing a kitten. Also, I never thought I’d ever use MSNBC as a source, but that’s where I first noticed this article, proving that sometimes there may be justice in this world:

Readers dump Us Magazine over Palin

By Courtney Hazlett
The Scoop, MSNBC Sept. 4, 2008
ST. PAUL, Minn. -

“Three celebrity weeklies — OK!, People and Us Weekly — featured Sarah Palin on their cover, but one of those magazines is reportedly losing subscribers because of it.

Us Weekly, which unlike People and OK!, chose a rather caustic cover line (“Babies, Lies and Scandal”) is said to have lost thousands of subscribers in just the first 24 hours following the printing of the issue.

“I’m hearing it’s 5,000, maybe more,” says one well-placed source in the industry. Another source claimed that as many as 10,000 readers have already cancelled their subscriptions. A spokesperson for Wenner Media, which publishes Us, says “it is completely false that we are losing 10,000 subscribers.” As for the 5,000 estimate, the spokesperson only said “that is false, too,” but wouldn’t comment further.

Five thousand might not seem like a large number at first glance, but it’s significant in the context of Us’ printing schedule. The magazine goes to press Monday night, which means subscribers don’t receive their issues until Friday or Saturday. In other words, the cancellations are coming from subscribers who, in many cases, haven’t even gotten their hands on the actual issue.

“When Us went to print Monday night, it looked like the ticket was falling apart," says one magazine editor. “They went to print thinking Palin was dead in the water, and their mistake was thinking everyone who reads Us is a Democrat, when they’re not. Readers are loyal, but the base of a political party is more loyal. They don’t need to read the magazine when there’s so much press around it to know to be upset.”

Upset might be an understatement: One Us advertiser has admitted that they’ve received calls from angry former subscribers threatening to boycott their products. “(Us publisher) Jann Wenner supports Obama, Wenner media decided to follow the buzz around Palin before her speech, and now subscribers feel like a vote has been cast on their behalf," says another magazine editor. “It’s going to be tough to bounce back from this one. Especially if the advertisers get involved. If they get nervous, that can hurt all of us.””

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At 7:06 AM, Blogger The Ripley Porch said...

Its $69 for a yearly subscription to the magazine (not that I do it). So you figure 5,000 times $70 a year, which equals $350,000 a year. If this is the middle point, and they do reach 10,000 cancelations...then we are talking $700,000 lost per year...which can't be regained.

A good magazine relies heavily on subscriptions and not the local store...because they can vow that they will collect "x" amount and be truthful.

The next problem is that this might be only half of the true problem because so many folks picked it up at the grocery each week. So you may see them with a $1.4 million loss, and maybe three or four significant advertisers who simply dropped out.

What happens in this case? By December...if they don't see a return to the magazine...they start looking at the top twenty wage earners and their impact on the magazine. The Xmas bonus? best...half of what they would have given. And the potential for growth? This bump just set them back by a year...minimum. The management has to worry how just how far they carry this political game. Its one thing to be the National Enquirer...but their fan base can survive one or two hits like this and keep marching on. This magazine isn't as robust.

At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

I say, "darn good enough for them, and I hope that they go down the drain."


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