Media Satchel

Bits and bobs from the media beat...

- Is Gwyneth Paltrow planning to start her own food magazine? Keith J Kelly of the New York Post thinks so. Grub Street New York surmises that this would be a very good idea because: readers would buy it ("it's no big secret that two big things sell magazines – celebrities and recipes"); advertisers would buy it ("Are you a maker of an organic/natural/luxury/homeopathic/bio-dynamic lifestyle product?"); she's already got GOOP and has a cookbook coming out; the heartland is warming to her; she's a promoter's dream; single-celeb mags are definitely a "thing" (see Oprah, Jamie, Rachel Ray); Tina Fey would read it; "girl is pretty connected"; and Hearst is apparently intrigued by the idea. Gwyneth overkill? Why not. Bring. It. On.  

- Hearst has finalised the purchase of titles from French publisher Lagardère, including Elle Decor and the rights to Elle magazine outside of France. (Hearst is also Min Online's 2010 ad page champion.)

- 60 Minutes reporter Liz Hayes has been interviewed by Mediaweek after returning to Sydney from Tokyo. "We had about four hours' notice to get on the plane and try to get there," she says, adding that after turning around a story on the earthquake and tsunami for the Sunday evening show, the story quickly evolved from "Shock Wave" to "this huge nuclear story", which posed further professional problems: "You know what news outfits are like. They want you to get to the epicentre, then they're telling you to get out, and getting out was against every fibre in your body, and then you're asking, 'what are they basing this on?'. You have people saying, 'How come you haven't got this?', and you say, 'because I'm not sure if it's true'." Hayes has been in the job for 15 years, starting 1996, following stints presenting the news and Today on Nine.

- Hayes is in a minority. The Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media has found that of Australian journalists at the senior professional level (senior writers, editors, anchors), just 40.4% are women, while almost none (10%) exist at top-level management. Hence, women are not heavily involved in defining news and shaping company decisions in this country.

Women hold fewer than one third of top media jobs globally, according to the International Women’s Media Foundation, which surveyed 170,000 people within 522 newspaper, radio and television companies across 59 nations.

"Women in every region of the world still face many barriers - whether it is lower salaries than their male counterparts or lack of access to decision-making jobs in the newsroom," IWMF Executive Director Liza Gross said in a statement. 

Six Australian news companies – 2 newspapers, 2 television stations and 2 radio stations – participated in the study, together employing approximately 2,000, including 952 women and 1,019 men.

The report found that in UK news companies (16 surveyed, employing 11,8000 people) more women are in management (30.2%) and governance (36.5%) positions but represent just 29.5% of employees at senior management level: "women face a glass ceiling that seems fixed at the junior professional level, where journalists hold junior-level reporting, editing and producing jobs....[and] exhibit entrenched institutional practices of marginalizing women in their newsrooms and decision-making hierarchies"

The report notes that magazine and Internet-only companies were not included, as their structures and staffing are typically different from those of the more traditional companies. Still, noted one online journalist in response to The Digital Gloss Files, Don't you think it's interesting that women may be better users of social media and citizen journalism tools but it's the fellas heading up plans for our digital consumption in our top newsrooms? Also of note, Fairfax's head of digital is a woman (Pippa Leary) and so too is The Sydney Morning Herald's editor and Fairfax Magazines head. News Magazines has a female chief executive, but at ACP Magazines and Pacific Magazines, there are still fellas at the very top.

- Vogue editor Anna Wintour made her appearance in WSJ Magazine last weekend. Joshua Levin penned the profile, speaking to Australian director Baz Luhrmann, and other benefactors of her glossy benevolence, including Harvey Weinstein and other players in the fields of sport, fashion and entertainment, in the process.

Wintour says: "To be in Vogue means something...Not all of them become friends, but it's part of my job to get to know these people and try to understand who they are, what they are and what future they have. I won't pretend that I'm sitting here with a spreadsheet . . . 'Now it's time to reach out to LeBron James.' It's instinctive." [Levin notes the LeBron/Gisele cover bombed on the newsstand.]

She later adds: "I think we have a Vogue vocabulary, and there are certain people we like to have as the backbone of the magazine—Vogue's signposts. We try very hard to integrate the familiar signatures with people we feel are new and up-and-coming, but I would rather err on the side of being a little more familiar than being too . . . What's the right word? . . .Edgy?"

And: "With all the new media outlets out there, with all the noise, a voice of authority and calm like Vogue becomes more important than ever. The more eyes on fashion, the more opinions about fashion, the more exploration of fashion around the world, the better it is for Vogue. Vogue is like Nike or Coca-Cola—this huge global brand. I want to enhance it, I want to protect it, and I want it to be part of the conversation." 

- Speaking of global brands, Vogue cover girl Lady Gaga now has a regular column in avant garde fashion journal V Magazine, spreading her global domination to the print medium and, in turn, potentially bringing her millions of Little Monsters to the magazine itself (double yikes). "Starting with our next issue, V71, Gaga will be gracing us with the presence of her pen, as she weighs in on all things fashion throughout her multiverse!" exhorts a clearly enraptured V. Illustrators are being called on to submit their art to accompany Gaga's debut column via

- Vogue Australia's Damien Woolnough will be sitting on the judging panel for the 2011 iD International Emerging Designer Awards to take place during Dunedin Fashion Week (April 5-11). Woolnough, who presides over (reportedly attracting one million unique browses a month) and writes for Vogue Australia and The Australian, says, "I can't wait to come back to Dunedin [New Zealand]. It's incredibly impressive and inspiring the way this beautiful city embraces iD Dunedin Fashion Week and supports contemporary design and innovation."

- W magazine sales: not so crash hot?

- Kate Moss appears on the May cover of Harper's Bazaar UK. Twice.
- Are fashion stores and shopping centres eating into traditional glossy revenue streams with their own launches? AMP Capital Shopping Centres has launched its own quarterly fashion magazine, with a national circulation of 400,000 copies, reports B&T.

- The Australian advertising industry is dishing out The Glossy Awards, with a bloke as its mascot. The Yaffa Publishing initiative is designed to celebrate "outstanding creativity in magazine advertising" while aiding agencies in their AdNews Annual Ranking and dangling a $5000 cash prize incentive for the winner of the Grand Prix Award. "The Glossy Awards will not only recognise and applaud stand-out advertising creativity in magazines, it will reflect the reality of digital and integrated campaigns as part of the new landscape. Long gone are print campaigns in isolation; creatives are now building integrated creative campaigns across all platforms – magazine, web, mobile and e-reader applications." I wonder how much of the material entered will be sexist and/or sexualised? It would be great to see the panel taking a stance on representations of women.

- Aziz Ansari fronts Paper magazine's 14th Most Beautiful People issue. The 28-year-old comedian/actor, who stars in Parks and Recreation (think The Office but in a park setting), is described by Paper as "accessible and cool" with a life that sort of "resembles the New York magazine Approval Matrix". He hangs out with Kanye West and appeared in I Love You Man with Paul Rudd and Jason Segel and Funny People with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen. He has two new films in the pipeline: the upcoming robber comedy 30 Minutes or Less and the road-trip movie Let's Do This, as well as the astronaut movie he's co-written. Ansari attended the Paper mag launch party at Hudson Hotel on Wednesday night.

- Meet US ELLE magazine editor Robbie Myers' assistant, Seth Plattner (via The Fix).

- Min Online gives us the Top 5 Magazine Video Shows You Haven't Seen But Should, including Mad shorts, which takes aim at contemporary popular culture and sometimes piles on more cultural references than five minutes of Family Guy.

- Time Out Sydney magazine has a new look owing to a smart digital/print strategy. "The new look monthly magazine offers a refreshed aesthetic treatment, along with a new approach to the presentation of its conventional listings," says art director Phil Bunting. "Taking a bold step away from pages of directory-style listings content, the new look magazine leans towards a visually-led showcase of what's happening around Sydney, offering the reader a broader visual selection of critically selected events. The magazine keeps its archetypal, sectionalised sequencing – retaining stronghold editorial sections such as Restaurants, Performing Arts, Comedy and Film, while introducing a few new editorial concepts along the way. Time Out's production values are also on the up, with the April 2011 edition being the franchise's first perfect bound magazine (previously saddle stitched)."

- Time Out's redesign comes as publishers confront digital's inevitable infringement on print advertising. Pricewaterhouse Coopers executive director Megan Brownlow told a Publishers Australia AGM that the magazine industry's share of total advertising revenue will drop from 5% to 4% by 2014 marking a 20% drop in the industry's share, reports AdNews.

- The Australian's monthly glossy supplement, Wish, on sale today, seems to be faring well in the advertising department. The April design issue is the biggest yet for the magazine. "Part of our success with attracting advertisers has been from a willingness to create innovative and original solutions for clients," says editor David Meagher. "The April edition of Wish carries an eight page execution for Audi for the launch of its A7 Sportback. What’s particularly unique about this execution is that it includes a two page ‘in partnership’ spread on the new car as well as a centre spread brand ad and a unique four-page translucent overlay of the centre spread. This particular Audi execution is exclusive to Wish." (Mediaweek)

- Stylist Rachel Zoe has tweeted her baby.

- Actress Kim Cattrall says being a gossip reporter isn't a respectable job.

- The Guardian reports that "a total of 79,000 people pay to subscribe to the Times and Sunday Times online, on an iPad or via a Kindle, a gain of 29,000 over the past five months", according to figures for the end of February released by News Corporation on Tuesday. 

- According to a new study from the Harvard University Institute of Politics, 49 percent of Millenials said that national newspapers were their preferred source of political news, reports Flavorwire, adding, "While researchers failed to differentiate between the print and online versions of said papers, it’s certainly a vote of confidence in these long-established brands."

- The Guardian is expanding its masthead into the U.S. market.

- Popular Science magazine has sold 10,000 iPad subscriptions.

- News Magazines' Super Food Ideas, Australia's number-one selling food magazine, is taking to the iPad in a first for the company to launch on April 13. "Super Food Ideas has been Australia’s top-selling food publication for almost 13 years. I am so excited to now be able to launch a truly interactive digital version of this much-loved magazine," said the magazine's editor Rebecca Cox. "We know our readers love step-by-step cooking guides, hints and tips, and we’ve brought those elements to life for the app. We’re excited to introduce the ‘Cook Mode’ button, which makes using the iPad in the kitchen super-easy. Readers can also bookmark their favourite recipes and search the recipe index to quickly find what they need, making cooking for the family a breeze."

- James Murdoch has been made deputy chief operating officer, chairman and CEO of News Corporation International, reporting to president and chief operating officer Chase Carey and his father, chairman and CEO of News Corp, Rupert Murdoch.  

"James has demonstrated in an array of roles that he is a shrewd and decisive operator who can deftly navigate complex issues to transform businesses. He has equally shown a unique understanding of the emerging technologies and the digital forces that are reshaping our industry," said Carey. "As we become increasingly global and consumer focused, we believe there are real opportunities to add new dimensions to our core businesses. We are confident that James’ deep knowledge of international markets, his proven leadership, and his passionate focus on building consumer relationships make him the ideal person to help us realize these opportunities across all our companies."

- Andrew Bolt is not having a good time in court (does anyone?). The senior Australian journalist is being sued by a collective of nine prominent members of the Aboriginal community for racial discrimination. Updates via Crikey, The Australian; The Age.

Girl With a Satchel