Friday, November 6, 2009

Media Roundup: Levi Johnston, redux; Creepy wait; Funding Bookstores; Oprah and Ellen

The latest from the worlds of media:
  •  Esquire's at it again: Supposedly, there will be 3-D something-or-other on the cover of the December issue of the magazine. I haven't received my subscription copy yet, but I hope it helps sales. That said, when was the last time you read about or heard someone talk about an article they read in Esquire? When was the last time you heard or read about some gimmick in Esquire? I suspect, for most of us, the latter is more recent (and frequent) than the former.
  • There's been lots of are-they-or-aren't-they and finger-pointing concerning the reported plans to cease publication of long-running gay news magazine The Advocate. Gay blog Towleroad recently reported about a blistering attack on the magazine written by a former Advocate editor, but today the blogger says that the editor didn't mean to be so, well, mean. What's up here? There have also been denials that the magazine's going to be canceled (and turned into a 32-page insert into sister mag Out). Is this just a case of people trying not to burn bridges they might need someday, or is the final decision (and the resulting fallout) not yet final after all?
  • The Daily Beast carries an article this morning by Jacob Bernstein on how Playgirl magazine is being reinvented and relaunched one year after it ceased print publication and went online-only. The high-profile figure involved in this is, of course, Levi Johnston, the father of right-wing Republican "author" Sarah Palin's grandchild. As has been reported everywhere, Johnston is going to pose nude for Playgirl. Originally, it was assumed this was going to be an online exercise, but the Beast's Bernstein profiles the man who's helping to bring the magazine back as a print product, though it's not yet decided if it'll be bimonthly or quarterly.
  • In one of my earlier roundups, I included a note about how much I liked the new comics-sized version of the (formerly magazine-sized) legendary horror comic Creepy. The first issue really was wonderful, capturing the spirit and the look of the iconic Warren magazine while still updating it and not be too imitative. The release of the second issue of this (sadly only quarterly) comic was announced for October. Now well into November, I checked publisher Dark Horse Comics' web site and see the release date has been set at November 25. Production delay? I don't know the reason. My desire is definitely to see this comic go monthly, but if they're having delays producing it on a quarterly schedule, monthly might not be in the offing.
  • United Business Media reported earnings in line with expectations, but it is expected to close more magazines, on top of the 15 it closed earlier this year, reports Folio:. I hope the UBM folks I know are doing okay.
  • No hard-hitting reporting here (okay, not that my Creepy item will win a Pulitzer), but I enjoyed this post by Starlog editor David McDonnell about feeling required to buy something when you enter a bookstore. As you can tell from my response on that page, I feel much the same, and I'm often pleased with what I end up buying. Other times, I head home and I'm already regretting what I paid for. Do I really need to own a copy of ESPN magazine? Why am I buying the newest issue of Der Spiegel when I haven't even started my previous issue? Alas. It keeps the economy moving! (A side note: Is anyone else bothered that the background of the Starlog web site features images from sister magazine Fangoria, but not Starlog? Mistake? Marketing decision for their recent Las Vegas convention? Who knows?)
  • And, finally, one of my favorite TV personalities/comedians, Ellen Degeneres, appears on the December cover of Oprah Winfrey's O magazine. When two TV talk giants combine, you can expect a media publicity overdose, and sure enough, you're getting it. There are video segments covering the photo shoot, reader polls (there are two versions of the cover), and much hooplah.

My previous media roundup.

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