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Publishing is a weird business.
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Posted by Noel [Email] (#876) [Profile/Gallery] (more from Noel) on Sun, 19 Mar 2017 07:34:23 Share Post by Email
In Reply to: OT: Hemmings (spit!)...Cry?...Curse?...Both?, MI-Roger [Profile/Gallery] , Sat, 18 Mar 2017 16:40:12
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Publishing (I've been there a long time--edited 6 magazines) is all about ad revenues and "making the numbers work". Some mags fold even though they are profitable simply because they don't make the numbers set up by some bean counters. Some of those numbers can be really arbitrary.

Then there's brand identity. In the case of Hemmings their main publication is really the "brand" and it seems like they are going to focus their resources there, so the dollars are probably getting tight. They likely want to stay in their comfort zone. That's happened with other magazines, and it's not always a good strategy.

At the end of the day, dollars drive everything. The rule of thumb is that 40 to 50 percent of a mag's pages should be advertising. Preferably more. This lets a company cover the big costs of printing and distribution, followed by editorial costs (editors, writers, photography, etc). I have no idea of what these costs were for Hemmings, but given the audience out there for sports and classic cars, I would assume there is a market for the magazine that could cover the costs and make it profitable. Meanwhile, there might be equally good (or better) info provided by other publications. Or by the internet.

The internet is trimming the sizes of many, many magazines and has driven some out of business. I don't know if this is part of the story at Hemmings, but it could be. Websites are usually free to readers, with assorted ways for advertisers to measure response to ads and related promotions, few of which work with magazine print advertising. This makes life very tough for magazines. Factor the ability to have magazine content available on tablets and smartphones and a print magazine seems a bit like a 1952 Ford four door sedan. It's been a scary time in publishing for the past decade.

I have had some very loose plans and ideas for a sports & exotic cars website but don't have time or cash to pursue it (I have to make a living!). The loss of Hemmings gives me something to think about. There are a bunch of things that can work but it's a matter of time and resources.

_______________________________________ Noel 1999 9-3 SE auto (daily driver) 1996 9000 CSE 5 speed (soon to leave) 2003 9-5 Linear SportWagon (wife's) 1984 C900 4 door Base model (RIP) 1995 9000 CS (sold) 1996 9000 CS (RIP) 2000 9-3 SE (RIP)

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