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September 17, 2020

Publishing News

Pandemic Spurs Renewed Appreciation of Print, Newsstands
Financial Times: "Despite the obstacles currently facing the publishing industry... many readers have rediscovered the pleasure of paper. Print sales are growing and subscriptions have increased for some titles, including FT Weekend, Monocle and The Spectator. With renewed interest has followed an appreciation of the newsagent. From the traditional kiosk to the boutique ’zine store, the newsagent has been identified as an unofficial emergency service, with a unique power to charm... “People want more than their phones and cable news can provide – more investigation, more analysis, different visuals,” says Ayana Byrd, a Brooklyn-based freelance journalist for The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Elle"... Small, independent magazines are multiplying. Fans of Casa Magazines, in New York's West Village, recently helped it reopen through GoFundMe contributions after the pandemic forced it to close in May.
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Bloomberg Media Plans Streaming Relaunch
THR: "Bloomberg is hoping to get ahead of linear TV’s decline, relaunching its QuickTake video service Nov. 9 with 100 dedicated staffers as a global, 24-hour streaming service in an effort to reach the audience that, internally, the company refers to as “modern, rising leaders.” Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith says the pandemic only made the relaunch more urgent, calling the project “one of the most consequential, if not the most consequential, launch in the news industry this year... Great new media brands are often created in the wake of significant social or economic changes,” Smith says, noting the rise of new media brands on the internet. “For this target audience, the world in March of 2020 completely changed. “We are creating in some ways the first post-COVID business network, a brand that is designed to explain and chronicle this new business world that we are all living in,” he adds. QuickTake originally launched in 2017 as TicToc by Bloomberg, partnering with Twitter to produce breaking news and live event coverage on the tech giant’s platform. It has since expanded to other social platforms, and rebranded as QuickTake last year. It currently has about 50M unique monthly viewers and 120M monthly video views, according to the company.“It feels like there is such urgency to create a network of record for this era,” QuickTake general manager Jean Ellen Cowgill says. “There does not exist a video network that is really thinking about this audience in a way that is purposeful.”Adds Bloomberg chief growth officer Scott Havens of the new format, “While we launched QuickTake on social first, we always planned on expanding, and for us it is not so much reinventing, it is inventing something that hasn't really been done before in video.” Version 2 of QuickTake will launch with about 10.5 hours of original content per day, with the intention of getting to 24 hours of original content within a year or so of launch. It will be a true global streaming service, available in every country where Bloomberg’s apps are accessible, on mobile phones, social platforms and connected TV platforms like Roku"...

Architectural Digest Names New Digital Director
MediaPost: "David C. Kaufman is the new digital director at Architectural Digest. Kaufman was previously the founding editor-in-chief of the AI-powered news aggregator, launched in January by News Corp. He has also served as a senior staff editor at The New York Times, global lifestyle editor at Quartz and editor-in-chief of Alexa, the New York Post's luxury lifestyle magazine. Kaufman will report to AD editor-in-chief Amy Astley. He succeeds Keith Pollock, who left the brand last month after nearly four years at AD to join West Elm as the company’s SVP of creative. Kaufman noted that this is the time for AD to focus on next-gen technologies, as well as content curation, virtual reality and machine learning. Last week, AD announced that it would create its first fully immersive, shoppable virtual show house in partnership with the Black Interior Designers Network, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion within the interior design industry. “The Iconic Home,” which is set to debut in November, will exclusively feature Black designers."

Sally Holmes Promoted to Editor of Marie Claire
MediaPost: "Sally Holmes has been appointed editor-in-chief of the U.S. edition of Marie Claire. She succeeds Aya Kanai, who left the Marie Claire editorship after nine months to join Pinterest. Prior to Marie Claire, Kanai spent nearly 20 years as an editor at magazines including Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health and Teen Vogue. Holmes joined Hearst Magazines in 2014 at She has been with Marie Claire since 2018. She was the brand’s digital director until this January, when she was named executive editor, managing the print and digital teams. Under Holmes’ leadership, the site doubled its traffic and achieved record ecommerce growth, according to Hearst. She worked closely with Kanai to launch the brand’s first digital issue and cover. Marie Claire has 29 international editions and reaches 77M women worldwide each month."

Sweet July Mag's Curry Starts Production Company
Deadline: Ayesha Curry, best-selling cookbook author, host, lifestyle influencer and Meredith Corp's partner in the new Sweet July Magazine, has announced her new television and film production company, Sweet July Productions, which has entered a first-look deal for unscripted television with eOne. In addition, the newly formed company has hired Tiffany Nicholson-Horton to serve as the Executive Vice President and Head of Development for scripted and unscripted content. Sweet July aims is to empower a diverse array of storytellers to share positive, inspirational stories surrounding faith, family, and food. Sweet July Magazine will publish its second issue later this year. Curry is continuing to expand her entrepreneurial empire, which also includes a Food Network show ("Ayesha’s Homemade"); the ABC cooking reality competition show "Family Food Fight," which Curry hosts and executive produces; and the Ellentube digital series, "Fempire with Ayesha Curry."

Kanye West 'Doxxes' Forbes' Chief Editor
Business Insider: "On Wednesday, Kanye West tweeted out the phone number belonging to a top editor at Forbes — an action known as "doxxing" that violates Twitter policies. The tweet appears to show the phone number for Forbes' chief content officer. West encourages his fans to "call a white supremacist," and provides the iPhone contact information belonging to a "Randall Forbes." The tweet was up for 30 minutes and garnered more than 17,000 retweets before it was removed. West's long-shot presidential campaign means that he is now the second U.S. presidential candidate, after Donald Trump, to have a social media post taken down for violating policies"...

News Corp To Shutter Printing Plant
WSJ: News Corp is shifting the New York-area printing of Barron's, The Wall St Journal and the New York Post from a plant in the Bronx to The New York Times'  plant in the College Point area of Queens, citing its efforts to "simplify" its structure. "News Corp didn’t release financial details of the move but said there would be job reductions. The Bronx plant employs more than 500 staffers, including truck drivers, pressmen and electricians, as well as management." It said it will keep the Bronx plant going while it negotiates with its employees' unions.


Retail News

U.S. Sees 26th Week of Record Unemployment Claims
Washington Post: "Another 860,000 people applied for unemployment insurance claims last week — the 26th-straight week that unemployment claims remained above a pre-pandemic record dating to the 1960s. And 659,000 people had claims processed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the program for self-employed and gig workers, a drop of about 200,000 after those numbers had risen for weeks.The total number of people claiming unemployment insurance went up by about 100,000, to 29.7M, as of Aug. 29, the most recent week available for this statistic. The number of new unemployment claims has come down gradually over the last few months, but claims remain above the historical levels from before the pandemic, a sign of the continued economic head winds the country is facing"...

Ecommerce to Account for 21.5% of Total Grocery by 2025
PG: "Online grocery sales will reach an estimated $250 billion by 2025, which is more than a 60% increase over pre-pandemic projections, and more than a fifth (21.5%) of all grocery sales. These numbers are according to a June survey from Mercatus of 60,000 American shoppers across approximately 20 states.During the pandemic, 43% of shoppers said they have shopped online in the last six months compared to just 24% two years ago. The top three reasons shoppers have shifted to online shopping are COVID concerns (62%), convenience (62%) and time savings (42%). Additionally, 66% of all respondents who shop online rate real-time inventory visibility as very important. Compared to brick and mortar, there is far less loyalty for pure-play online retailers, with only 8% of shoppers switching to an online-only operator such as Amazon.While the research found that after the pandemic 40% of online shoppers are likely or very likely to continue to purchase via online channels, 78% of all shoppers still prefer to visit a brick-and-mortar grocery store either to shop in store or for curbside pickup. Despite the high growth in online adoption, most grocery shoppers still profess loyalty to retailers and online brands that have a physical store presence"...

First Amazon Fresh Opens to the Public
SN: "Amazon is spotlighting everyday-low-price items and weekly deals at its first Amazon Fresh supermarket, which opened to the general public today.The 35,000-square-foot store, located in Woodland Hills, Calif., made its debut in late August to a select group of local customers who received email invitations from Amazon. Though on-site e-commerce services, the Amazon Dash Cart smart shopping cart and Alexa shopping tools garnered much of the attention in Amazon Fresh’s premiere, good value for food shoppers is central to concept’s appeal, according to Jeff Helbling, VP of Amazon Fresh stores... Customers also can earn 5% back at Amazon Fresh, which is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, by using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card or Amazon Prime Store Card at checkout"...

U.S. CEO on Walmart's Innovation Strategy
Grocery Dive: "Walmart's decision to merge grocery pickup into its main shopping app earlier this year is allowing the company to use data and customer insights collected by its in-store and e-commerce supply chains to benefit both grocery and general merchandise operations in ways it hadn't been able to before making the change, John Furner, president/CEO of Walmart's U.S. operations, said Tuesday during KeyBanc Capital Markets' Future of Technology Series.Walmart is using artificial intelligence (AI) to predict when people are likely to buy certain products, what they will purchase and even if they will opt to pick up merchandise or have it delivered, Furner said, adding the collected data has helped the company adjust, as customers have quickly embraced e-commerce this year. The company's decision initially posed a challenge for Walmart. Managers had been concerned that combining two operations with separate supply chains could cause disruptions. "The upside is the customer's experience gets easier and supply chains work more fluidly ... but there's always risk that you could lose a customer," said Furner"...

Cleaning Supplies, Indulgent Foods, Test Kits Still Big Sellers at Grocery
Grocery Dive: Six months into the pandemic, "Catalina says the home testing kit category, which includes face masks, was the fastest-growing sales category year-over-year in August. Cleaning products comprised three of the top six categories, while bacon and yeast rounded out the list. Frozen food has been a hot seller throughout the pandemic. According to an analysis by 210 Analytics using IRI data, frozen food sales increased 17.4% YoY during the last week of August — marking the 25th consecutive week of double-digit gains in dollar sales for the category. Frozen meals had the highest sales share, followed by frozen meat, poultry and seafood"...

Maskless Trump Supporters Harass Target Shoppers
The Hill: Despite extensive scientific proof that masks help reduce the spread of coronavirus, Trump and his political aides have encouraged his supporters not to wear masks, telling them that being asked to wear masks is somehow curtailing their freedom, and denying masks' effectiveness. One result: A viral video of an “anti-mask flash mob” shows maskless demonstrators in a Target in Florida--some donning red MAGA shirts or hats--yelling at other customers to take off their masks.

Circular-Shopping Platform Goes National
PG: "Loop, the worldwide circular-shopping platform rolled out last year by Trenton, New Jersey-based TerraCycle, is now available in every ZIP code in the 48 contiguous states. Since its launch in the northeastern U.S. and Paris, with subsequent expansion to the United Kingdom this past July, Loop has experienced considerable growth of its brand partners and product assortment: It now offers more than 80 brands and 400 products globally, and more than 100,000 people enrolled to receive the service. Loop allows consumers to shop for brands in sturdy packaging that’s reused until the end of its life, resulting in a circular system that aims to supplant disposable single-use packaging. The service features international companies such as Unilever and Nature’s Path and small independently owned businesses alike"...


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