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Plus-Size Model Tess Holliday Covers People Magazine
Refinery29 writes: "Thanks to her voluptuous figure and body-love mindset, [Tess] Holliday has already gained a massive following, but with her latest achievement, she's about to see those numbers go stratospheric. That's right: Tess is gracing the cover of People magazine's Body Issue--a coveted modeling slot that's guaranteed to ruffle a few feathers. While much of Holliday's work has infiltrated the online plus-size community (from brands like Torrid and Domino Dollhouse to her #effyourbeautystandards movement), this cover announces her as a household name. In the accompanying article, Holliday discusses her struggle for acceptance as a model in a skinny-obsessed world. Between bullies when she was growing up and the trolls that still plague her social media channels, Holliday had to steel herself against a massive amount of negativity as she fought to achieve her dreams. While many decry her body-acceptance movement as encouraging obesity, Holliday ignores the haters who don't understand her message. In a blog for People, Holliday explained her mission: '[My supporters] know, like I do, that there is no one way to be a woman, or to be beautiful. We all deserve a place. I believe this with all my heart. While modeling is my career, and my family is vitally important to me, I have this passion inside of me to help other women feel confident and comfortable in their bodies, regardless of their size or what society tells them is beautiful.'"
Playboy Launching Mobile App--Sans the Models
Playboy is launching a mobile app Thursday and guess what? No centerfold. Playboy NOW--free on Google Play store and iTunes App store--takes the adult-entertainment icon into the safe-for-work content by only offering articles. This trend began with the relaunch of Playboy.com as a men’s general-interest site in August. And even though the site ditches the nudity for which Playboy magazine remains famous, it has flourished rather than suffered. Cory Jones, Playboy’s senior VP of digital content, said that Playboy.com’s global unique visitors have increased from 4M to 19M in the 10 months since the relaunch. Advertising-supported Playboy NOW represents the third platform for company content--after print and Web--and potentially the most mobile. According to Jones, though, 80% of Playboy.com traffic already is mobile, and 75% of its visitors don’t show up until 4 pm or later. Playboy NOW will be anchored by a daily briefing called “The Daily,” which presents users with the Top 5 things Playboy.com’s staff think they should know. “It’ll include our longer pieces and longer video,” Jones said, and it’ll be complemented by other content that renders Playboy NOW “a one-stop shop for the busy man who wants to be entertained, informed, amused and seduced.”
MPA Offers 22 Tweetable Truths About Magazines
Updated "tweetable" facts about magazines and the industry, excerpted from the just-released latest edition of MPA's Magazine Media Factbook, include GfK MRI Fall 2014 stats such as: 91% of adults read print magazines; 95% of U.S. adults under 25 read print magazines; and people under 35 read more print magazines than people over 35. Also, from other sources, points including: there are more than 7,000 print magazine titles in the U.S., holding steady for seven years; 231 print magazines launched in 2014 (up 25% vs. 2013); 180 print magazines have thrived for more than 50 years (only 13 TV programs can say the same); 61% of readers take action after seeing a print magazine ad; and consumers trus and are more inspired and influenced by magazine media than TV.
Time Channels Radio to Boost Mobile Time Spent
Digital media is going back to the future by channeling the early days of radio by giving digital visitors the option of having the news read to them. Case in point is Time magazine. It’s among a handful of publishers — including The Economist, Forbes and Quartz — that have been creating audio versions of their publications. Basically, a professional voice actor reads stories or, in the cast of The Economist, the entire edition, which is a seven-hour experience.) In October, Time took the idea a step further and created an audio version of its entire daily newsletter, The Brief. The Brief audio episodes last 20 to 25 minutes, and in April, people listened for an average of 16 minutes per session, with mobile listeners averaging 14 minutes — an eternity in mobile time. (Time didn’t say what percentage of newsletter recipients opted to listen to the newsletter.) “In an era of fly-by audiences and social media and people consuming much fewer articles per session, for people to be listening to five-plus articles and for 16 minutes, that’s tremendous,” said Callie Schweitzer, editorial director of audience strategy for Time and Time Inc. “This kind of engagement really dispels the myth of mobile.” SpokenLayer, which creates Time’s audio version, is working with other publishers, including E.W. Scripps TV stations and Ozy.com. Ozy created an audio version of its Presidential Daily Brief newsletter, so people can listen to it in the car and at the gym, said Aneesh Raman, Ozy’s vp of marketing and audience development. “It goes to the idea that all media companies have to be cognizant of, which is to give people all opportunities to consume your content in whatever way possible,” Raman said.
Conde Nast Replacing Internships with Paid Fellowship Program
le sources within the industry have confirmed that Condé Nast is in the process of forming a fellowship program similar to what media companies like BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, and Wired, a Condé Nast-owned magazine, already offer. It'll be a six-month, paid program that hires participants on a full-time basis, which means the fellowships probably won't be open to college students in the same way that the internships were. until last year, Condé Nast ran one of the most sought-after internship programs in the industry. It fell apart when the publishing giant was slapped with a lawsuitfrom former New Yorker and W interns which claimed that they weren't fairly compensated for their work at the magazines. Three months later, Condé Nast announced that it was shutting down its entire internship program at the end of 2013. (Rival publishing company Hearst was also hit with a similar intern lawsuit, but ended up winning the case. Its unpaid internship program is still alive and well.) Almost a year after the internship program closed down, Condé Nast disclosed that the lawsuit with the former W and New Yorker interns had finally been settled for $5.8 million and the news spawned another round of thinkpieces over whether or not the internship kerfuffle was all worth the trouble. WWD's executive editor Bridget Foley labeled the lawsuits as "ridiculous" and "disingenuous," writing them off as "episodes in Millennial self-absorption and entitlement." Even when the forms to cash in on the class-action settlement finally arrived in former interns's inboxes, many were racked with doubt over whether or not they should take the money given that it might harm their chances at getting into Condé Nast in the future. In the midst of all the angst, there were whispers that Condé Nast was working on another program, one less susceptible to multi-million-dollar lawsuits. At the same time that the company announced that it was settling the lawsuit, Condé Nast CEO Charles Townsend promised in a memo to employees that all was not lost. "The settlement will allow us to devote our time and resources towards developing meaningful, new opportunities to support up-and-coming talent," wrote Townsend. Those new opportunities, in the form of editorial fellowships, follow a format that many new media companies have turned to in recent years. BuzzFeed's emerging writers fellowship is a full-time position that lasts for four months and comes with a $12,000 stipend. Google's 10-week-long summer journalism fellowship is open to undergraduate and graduate students and pays $8,500 plus a $1,000 travel budget. The Huffington Post, Gawker Media, and Mother Jones have all employed editorial fellows as well. Wired, which is owned by Condé Nast, has been running its own editorial fellowship program for the past few years. In a current job posting, the magazine states that fellows can expect to be paid $12.25 per hour and will work 35 hours per week for the duration of the program, from July to December 2015. The fellows are treated as full-time staff members and, because of that, the posting discourages any college students from applying since the fellowships "are not appropriate for matriculated students." According to an anonymous source at Condé Nast, the company's editorial fellowships will be similar to what Wired already has in place, although they will vary depending on the magazine. "It doesn't seem like all brands are treating this the same way or getting the same resources to put behind it," the source told Racked. "I know people at other titles who hadn't even heard about the program until a few weeks ago. But all in all it's going to be a positive thing, especially for the smaller books." Condé Nast did not respond to repeated requests for comment. The quality of the experience should also improve with the new program. Pranav Dixit, a Wired editorial fellow in 2014, said that he was able to sit in on edit meetings and work closely with the magazine's editors, as well as get his name on the magazine's masthead for the duration of the fellowship. Another former Wired editorial fellow who requested to remain anonymous weighed out the pros and cons. "I'd say the big differences were the prestige and you do get the chance—pretty much guaranteed—to write for the front section of the magazine," the source told Racked. But the job included plenty of stereotypical intern tasks as well. "Because they pay you, there's not that requirement that everything you do be educational, so I washed dishes, I mailed a ton of things, I really did a ton of the grunt work that the office needed done because we basically were office managers along with being editorial assistants." The source also noted that Wired had a strict policy regarding the number of hours fellows were allowed to work within the six-month period. If fellows worked over a certain number of hours, they were entitled to benefits, soWired would let them go early if need be to circumvent the benefits requirement. Even with the drawbacks, Condé Nast's prestige guarantees that competition will be stiff for the fellowships. There will probably be fewer positions available, since each fellow will presumably cost the company more than interns once did. And because there's no college credit requirement any more, the pool of applicants will likely be enormous. Aileen Gallagher, a journalism professor in the magazine department at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, pointed out that many of her students continue to intern after graduation anyway, so the fellowships will at least give them the chance to be paid for their work. They'll also be able to build a career network, given that the fellowships will last much longer than a typical semester-long internship.
A Look at Smithsonian Journeys’ First Edition
In a Q&A, editor-in-chief Victoria Pope explains how the new Smithsonian Journeys magazine is different from other travel magazines: "When we started to talk about what we were going to do, it made sense to have a periodical that appeared four times a year to be a good starting place because on the newsstand, these special issues do particularly well. We started with Paris, and we’re going to have other issues that are regional. All of those things are already distinguishing it from other travel publications, but we can also define ourselves by what we’re not. We’re not giving the full menu of resources and help to travelers. We’re not writing about hotels. We’re specifically for people who are excited to learn about places." On future issue themes: "We’re going to do the Inca road [in South America]. Then we’re doing Venice, and the Silk Road after that." On what she hopes people take away from reading the magazine: "What I think people are telling me about this issue is that they want to go to Paris. That may be a simple result in some ways, but when you’re talking about people who are intelligent, have a lot of interests and can be pulled in a lot of different ways, it’s a very important achievement. Each reader is going to have a different approach to what they like most about the publication. There are some people who are going to appreciate that we have some long-form pieces that are writerly in it. For other people, some of the other standing features that we do, like the “Atlas of Eating,” which is about food history, and “Live Like a Local,” which gets visitors to do things that will bring you in direct contact with the local people, will be the most attractive parts of the publication."
Hearst Digital Promotes Three
Hearst Magazines Digital Media has made three promotions. Michael Mraz, currently the site director for CarandDriver.com and RoadandTrack.com, has been promoted to director of content operations, men’s group. Mraz will now oversee all digital content for Car and Driver, Road&Track, Esquire, and Popular Mechanics. Elisa Benson has been promoted from senior community manager at Cosmopolitan.com to social director, young women’s network. In this role, Benson will oversee all social media initiatives for Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, and Redbook. Ben Ryder Howe, currently a senior editor at Town & Country, has been named site director for TownandCountryMag.com.
Rolling Stone Names Film, Video Exec
Rolling Stone has named Josh Swade executive producer, film and video. Swade was most recently senior producer at MaggieVision Productions, a role he had held since 2008. At MaggieVisions, Swade served as a producer for ESPN’s The ESPYs and its documentary series 30 for 30.
Supermarket Owner Bids for NY Daily News
Supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis submitted a bid on Wednesday to buy the money-losing Daily News — nearly three months after owner Mort Zuckerman put it on the block. “It’s in,” the businessman told The Post. He refused to disclose the size of the bid but said it is “not all cash but enough to make it interesting.” A sale, however, is far from a done deal. “There are still a lot of things we don’t know about [the News’ finances],” Catsimatidis admitted. “We’re asking for an [exclusive negotiating period].”
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:
Weis Sets Boost in Hourly Minimum Wage
Weis Markets said Wednesday it will increase its starting hourly rate for new hires and boost the rate for current hourly associates to $9 an hour, effective Aug. 2. Jonathan Weis, chairman and CEO, said the Sunbury, Pa.-based company was raising the rate as part of its focus on associate development and satisfaction. “This new wage benchmark will not only benefit a significant number of current associates, but it will also help us attract and retain talented associates to deliver best-in-class customer service every day,” he noted. Both Walmart and Target Corp. raised their minimum hourly wage rates to $9 in April and Ahold’s Giant Foods-Carlisle did the same in June.
D'Agostino Offers Delivery Service Via Amazon's Prime Now
Amazon.com said Thursday it has added D’Agostino to its Prime Now service, with Westside Market set to offer the delivery service soon. The Seattle-based company said it is launching local store delivery through Prime Now in select neighborhoods in Manhattan and will expand across the borough in coming weeks. Prime Now is also available in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Dallas and Miami. To purchase products from local stores, consumers who use the Prime Now app can get two-hour deliveries for free and one-hour deliveries for $7.99.
Meijer Agrees to Acquire Specialty Pharmacy
Meijer Inc. said Wednesday it has signed an agreement to acquire Aureus Health Services, a Pittsburgh-based specialty pharmacy and health services company, as part of an effort to enhance its customer offerings. “Between Aureus’ national strength and the strong Midwest footprint of Meijer, this purchase creates an opportunity for national growth by providing better service to customers," said J.K. Symancyk, president of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer. Observers said specialty pharmacies help patients manage complex, chronic conditions by assigning a healthcare team--an enrollment specialist, pharmacist, patient care coordinator and billing coordinator--to develop an individualized plan for a patient’s clinical care, insurance and financial administrative assistance. Other chains have acquired specialty pharmacies in the past, including Hy-Vee, which acquired Amber Pharmacy early in 2014, and Kroger Co., which acquired Axium Pharmacy Holdings in late 2012. Earlier this year Price Chopper Supermarkets, Schenectady, N.Y., formed a partnership with Aureus to provide specialty health services to its customers.
ConAgra Hit with Biggest-Ever Criminal Fine for Salmonella Outbreak
A unit of ConAgra Foods will pay out the largest-ever criminal fine in a food safety case. It's a resolution to the salmonella outbreak in peanut butter that sickened hundreds of people. The company has also agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge. Under the misdemeanor plea deal, ConAgra has to pay $8M in fines and forfeit $3M more. Authorities say ConAgra has fixed problems in the Georgia plant that led to the contamination. And the company says its Peter Pan brand is safe, with no incidents for more than seven years.
Hiller's Phases Out Some Items Amid Kroger Transition
As Hiller's Market finalizes a deal that will result in all seven stores being purchased by Kroger, the company is slowly phasing out some items on the shelves. However, Hiller's CEO Jim Hiller said the grocer will continue to receive fresh perishable products until Kroger takes over the Hiller's locations that will eventually become Kroger. Hiller said the stores are still buying fresh produce, meats, dairy and other perishable products. The stores will also continue ordering products that Kroger has said will be sold in their stores once the transitions are complete. Brand name and everyday items like ketchup, mustard, cereal and more will not be phased out at Hiller's. But that's not the case for all the items currently on the shelves. "The products that Kroger will not carry, we are selling off at a reduced rate," Hiller said, adding that he does not know everything that Kroger will be carrying on its shelves. Items that are being discontinued will be tagged and sold as last-chance items. Some of the items being reduced include craft beers and international products. Once those items are gone, they will not be restocked. Kroger representatives have said they will retain some of the products that Hiller's is known for carrying, but which products will be kept have not been released. Earlier this month, Hiller's announced it was selling the company to Kroger and that all seven locations would be included in the sale. Kroger will be converting six of the stores but will close the Union Lake location. Kroger hopes the transition of the stores won't take long and wants the moves to be completed this summer. The sale of Hiller's is expected to be finalized in July.
Raley's Hiring Foster-Care Youths
Raley’s Supermarkets said Wednesday it has partnered with iFoster to develop a new hiring program for foster youth. The partnership has already resulted in placing seven young people at Raley’s stores in the Sacramento, Calif., area, with a goal of expanding the program to other areas, the chain said in a press release.
Mars, Hershey Look for Growth Beyond Candy, Launch Snack Bars
The nation's two largest candy companies are taking a detour into the snack-bar aisle with aggressive new product launches aimed at boosting their health image. Mars Chocolate North America is taking its Goodnessknows snack-bar line national after years of testing it in a handful of markets. Hershey Co., meanwhile, has begun selling a snack bar under its premium Brookside brand. The new products from the two fierce candy competitors combine fruit, nuts and chocolate into a bar form and appear squarely aimed at successful bar start-up brand Kind. The Hershey and Mars snack bars appear to more closely resemble Kind bars than older competitors such as General Mills' Nature Valley brand, which created the granola-bar category in 1975.
Mondelez Bets on Buy Buttons in Digital Ads
lez International—the makers of Oreo cookies, Cadbury chocolate and Trident gum, among other treats—quietly started becoming an e-commerce brand with a a small test in Europe earlier this year. Now, Mondelez plans to convert all its digital media in 25 countries into shoppable ads with "buy now" buttons to drive sales through retailers like Walmart and Amazon. The goal is to double Mondelez's online revenue over the next couple of years, particularly on social media where millennials are spending a substantial amount of time. Despite the hefty, multiyear investment, consumer-packaged-goods brands like Mondelez have long struggled with e-commerce—90 percent of grocery sales are still made in stores, and some experts question how big a dent the Deerfield, Ill.-based company can make. "I doubt that anyone at Mondelez or anywhere else thinks it will be groundbreaking or an enormous new revenue strategy, but it shows they're willing to test and learn," said Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. "It doesn't cost much to experiment in this way, and at least they capture some data and insights that could help personalization and marketing efforts later." Calls to action on Mondelez's video, social and display media prompt people to buy the products being advertised. The ads are geo-targeted to retailers' websites. For example, an ad served in New York might link to online grocery-shopping site Peapod, while a promo viewed in Chicago could direct potential customers to Walmart.com. In both examples, users can buy a snack and have it shipped from a nearby store.
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE: