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November 11, 2019

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Publishing News

Taste of Home Launches Digital 'Bakeable' Brand
MediaPost: "Taste of Home's new digital vertical, called Bakeable, offers recipes, tips and ideas for holiday and everyday baking, with guides, newsletters, contests and challenges. Taste of Home had an average 6.6 million monthly unique visitors to its baking content in the last year. It has tested and published more than 15,000 baking recipes.Bakeable is now the dedicated home for Taste of Home’s most popular baking recipes.Dole Packaged Foods is the sole launch sponsor for Bakeable. Dole’s canned pineapple will be integrated into a holiday content series with native articles and custom video... Bakeable will also live on, in a front-of-book section in the Taste of Home magazine and on Facebook.Bakeable will serve as a home for Taste of Home's baking enthusiasts. Readers can trade recipes and tips, share photos and pose questions to the magazine's editors and test kitchen team on the site"...

Hearst Magazines Staff Join Union
NY Post: "A “substantial majority” of editorial employees at Hearst Magazines, publisher of Cosmopolitan and Esquire, have signed union cards, according to an industry workers’ union. The 500 editorial employees at Hearst, also home to O the Oprah Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar and 20 other brands, represents the biggest single unit organizing effort in the history of the Writers Guild of America East, the union said. The previous record was hit last year, when 450 editorial workers at Vox Media unionized, according to Lowell Peterson, executive director of the union. He said the WGAE will seek voluntary recognition of the union as the editorial bargaining agent for editorial, video, design, photo and social media staff. Esquire was racked by internal dissent earlier this year when it emerged that a story on Hollywood director Bryan Singer’s alleged sexual predatory behavior on underage boys was spiked late last year by Hearst magazines president Troy Young and its chief content officer Kate Lewis, who said it did not measure up to legal standards needed for publication. The story by Maximillan Potter and Alex French subsequently was published in Atlantic online in late January and in the March print edition. Jay Fielden, the editor-in-chief of Esquire at the time who pushed to have the story published there, did not have his contract renewed and announced in June he was exiting. Several other top editors left in the wake of his departure, with at least one rejecting a Hearst offer to step up to editor. Brett Williams, an associate fitness editor at Men’s Health and one of the leaders of the organizing committee, said the union has four key areas that it is pushing, including assuring that “the highest editorial standards are maintained"... He also said the union intends to push for “diversity” in the workforce and “transparency” in how the company is run and to assure that “compensation is equal across all the brands” in the magazine division that is part of privately held media giant Hearst Corp.Peterson said recent unionizing efforts by the WGAE at other publishers resulted in voluntary recognition of the union as the official bargaining agent at the Huffington Post, Gizmodo Media Group (when it was still known as Gawker Media), Vox Media and Thrillist. Hearst had not responded to the news as of press time on Monday."

Conde Nast Entertainment Hires SVP Programming
RealScreen: "Condé Nast Entertainment (CNE) has named Reginald Williams SVP programming. Williams will be based in New York and report to CNE president Oren Katzeff. He will work closely with Katzeff to supervise global digital programming — including CNE’s podcast team — and will work on digital storytelling across Condé Nast’s portfolio of brands, which includes Allure, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, Epicurious, Glamour, GQ, Pitchfork, Vogue and Teen Vogue, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Wired. Williams most recently served as CEO of Ambrosia For Heads, the hip-hop lifestyle digital media company he founded which produces multi-platform content across its website, social media channels and OTT subscription video service.He previously served as VP of programming, music and specials at BET Networks and as SVP and head of music strategy at MTV"...

Barron's, Nasdaq Launching Weekly News Show
Digiday: "Dow Jones’ Barron’s Group is combining two of its brands — Barron’s and MarketWatch — to launch a new live, weekly 10-minute digital show covering all the financial news that investors need to know to get their week started.Debuting today at 9 a.m. Eastern, “MarketBrief” is billed as “taking stock of the news in 10 minutes or less” and will tape from the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York’s Times Square with host Caroline Woods. Guests on the show will include analysts, investors, CEOs, reporters and editors from Barron’s and MarketWatch. It’s aimed at audiences who might watch Squawk Box on broadcast or Yahoo Finance on digital"...

Inc. Mag's Chief Editor Leaves for Sequoia Capital
TalkingBizNews: "James Ledbetter, the editor in chief of Inc. magazine for nearly six years, has left the publication.Ledbetter is now head of content at Sequoia Capital... He joined Inc. in February 2014. Before that, he was with Reuters as opinions editor.Ledbetter has previously been deputy managing editor of and He was the founding editor of Slate’s financial site The Big Money and has published six books, most recently 'One Nation Under Gold'"...

Amazon Reducing Orders to Book Publishers
PW: "To deal with congestion issues at its warehouses,Amazon has been cutting book orders to publishers over the last several weeks. It isn't clear how widespread the reduction in orders is, but several independent publishers contacted by PW reported cuts in their weekly orders since late October. One publisher reported that an order placed last week was about 75% lower than an order placed last year at this time. "It's a nightmare," the head of one independent publisher said. Problems with controlling inventory heading to its warehouses is not a new issue for the giant e-tailer. In the summer of 2018, ahead of Amazon's annual Prime Day promotion, several publishers and distributors reported long delays in picking up orders because of capacity issues at Amazon's distribution centers. It appears that rather than ordering titles it won't be able to get into its warehouses, Amazon has chosen to cut orders, several companies told PW... The head of [one bookselling company] said if Amazon orders don't rise to what has been typical ordering patterns in past years within two weeks, "we [could] lose the entire holiday season." He added that if problems with Amazon persist and orders continue to be low, it is possible that some online book sales could move to and other retailers such as Walmart, which has invested heavily in its online operations. If Amazon starts running out of stock, he added, "maybe they'll lose some market share to their competitors."

G/O Media Faces 2 Discrimination Suits
CNN: "Two former executives are suing G/O Media, the parent company of sites including Gizmodo, Deadspin and The Onion, alleging discrimination and negligence. Both lawsuits detail discrimination personally faced or witnessed by the plaintiffs from Jim Spanfeller, who became CEO of G/O Media in April after private equity firm Great Hill acquired Gizmodo Media Group. Michael McAvoy, who was fired as president and CEO of The Onion in July, is suing G/O Media and Spanfeller for breach of employment agreement and violation of the Wage Act. He filed the lawsuit on Nov. 1 in Chicago... McAvoy alleges he was wrongfully terminated, in part as retaliation for him "raising legitimate concerns about Spanfeller's treatment of female executives and Spanfeller's hiring of his friends and former colleagues." The lawsuit alleges G/O Media did not cite "any specific facts" for just cause for McAvoy's termination... Nadine Jarrard, former VP of West Coast sales at G/O Media, sued G/O Media and Great Hill. Jarrard alleges violation of the Equal Pay Act, gender discrimination, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, wrongful termination, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. She also alleges negligent hiring against Great Hill. Her lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Los Angeles... A G/O Media spokesperson said the lawsuits are "baseless.""We look forward to responding to the claims in court where the facts will show that the company's actions were entirely appropriate," the G/O Media spokesperson told CNN Business. "The company has and continues to support women at all levels of seniority. Of G/O Media's new hires since July, 60% have been women, many in senior roles."Regarding McAvoy's lawsuit, the G/O spokesperson said the company plans to file a "counterclaim and affirmative defenses that will illuminate the very substantial reasons justifying his termination for cause."McAvoy declined to comment. Great Hill and Jarrard did not immediately respond to requests for comment"...

Retired Allentown News Exec Richard Lentz Dies at 70
Richard F. Lentz, who served as president of the former Allentown News Agency from 1990 until his retirement in 2005, died on Nov. 6 at Moravian Village Health Care Center in Bethlehem, Pa. Lentz, who was 70, who was born in Allentown, Pa. Prior to becoming president, he served as VP at Allentown News starting in 1972. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

Oprah Reveals Her Holiday Wish List in O Magazine
USA Today: Oprah Winfrey "is back with her annual list of gifts and gadgets, and there are 79 items (down from last year's mammoth list of 107 items) for fans to choose for their loved ones (or themselves). The list, returning for its 23rd year, will be featured in the December issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, on newsstands Nov. 19 and on items ranging from $12 (for an Ecoffee Cup reusable coffee cup) to almost $2,000 (for the Flywheel home bike), Winfrey features a comprehensive list with a few big ticket items and some budget gifts"...


Retail News

Amazon Confirms New Grocery Store Concept
PG: "Amazon has confirmed plans to open a new grocery store banner next year in California, following the posting of four job openings in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, according to a published report.While Amazon has said that the store concept will differ from that of Whole Foods Market, which it acquired in August 2017, the company hasn’t yet provided any details on the banner’s name and future locations beyond Woodland Hills, or what its selection or pricing model would be, CNet reported.One clue, however, appeared in the job postings, which referred to the future Woodland Hills location, a onetime Toys “R” Us measuring around 35,000 square feet, as “Amazon’s first grocery store,” indicating that it could feature the Amazon brand name and expand to various sites.According to CNet, the store won't use the company's Amazon Go technology, which enables shoppers to check out without waiting in line. Amazon told the publication that checkout would be conventional, as at other grocery stores. As well as Whole Foods, which has more than 500 stores, Amazon provides grocery delivery via Amazon Fresh, the main Amazon website and Prime Now, in addition to the offerings at Amazon Go.Amazon also told CNet that the new grocery concept wouldn’t compete against Whole Foods and didn’t mean that it was done growing that business.“When it comes to grocery shopping, we know customers love choice, and this new store offers another grocery option that’s distinct from Whole Foods Market, which continues to grow and remain the leader in quality natural and organic food,” a company representative said, adding that Whole Foods had opened 17 locations this year, with more to come, and that Amazon would continue to invest in grocery delivery with Whole Foods"...

H-E-B Debuts Beauty Store-Within-A-Store
KSAT: "San Antonio grocery giant H-E-B has launched its first-ever Beauty by H-E-B concept. The department, which includes a larger variety of makeup brands, opened at the Evans Road and Highway 281 location in Stone Oak Friday.Beauty advisors, like those seen at makeup chains Ulta and Sephora, will also be available in the department daily.“Beauty by H-E-B provides that oasis within the store where the customer can pamper themselves,” H-E-B beauty director Tracy Bliss said in a news release... the department stretches 4,000 square feet and includes four areas: color cosmetics, hair care, skin care and naturals"...

KKR Makes Formal Approach to Walgreens to Go Private
Bloomberg: "KKR & Co. has formally approached drugstore giant Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. about a deal to take the company private, in what could be the biggest-ever leveraged buyout, people familiar with the matter said. The New York-based private equity firm has been preparing a proposal to potentially buy out shareholders of Walgreens Boots, said the people, who asked not to be identified because discussions are private. It’s unclear how feasible the transaction would be, given the need for large amounts of financing, and Walgreens Boots and KKR could decide against pursuing a deal, the people said"...

NGA, ROFDA to Merge
SN: "The National Grocers Association (NGA) and Retailer Owned Food Distributors & Associates (ROFDA) announced Friday that ROFDA will merge under NGA.The merger, approved by both NGA and ROFDA’s Board of Directors, will bring together two organizations with a shared mission to ensure a robust independent supermarket industry while continuing to provide a forum and platform for cooperative wholesalers... ROFDA’s current share groups and buying programs will continue to operate under this new alignment. The merger is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2020. ROFDA currently represents eight cooperative wholesaler members, as well as a supplier associate member category. Its origins date back to 1962, when a group of retailer owned distributors founded what was then called the Southeastern Food Cooperative Association (SFCA).NGA was incorporated in October 1982, when the Association of Cooperative Food Distributors of American and the National Association of Retail Grocers of the United States were consolidated into one trade association. Today, NGA represents over 1,500 independent supermarket companies and remains the only trade association exclusively focused on representing the independent sector of the food industry"...

GMA Augments Public Affairs, Regulatory Leadership Teams
PG: "The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has tapped two executives, Roberta Wagner and Spencer Pederson, to bolster its leadership team as the trade group gears up to rebrand as the Consumer Brands Association in January 2020. Wagner will become GMA’s VP of regulatory and technical affairs effective Dec. 2. Wagner has spent 33 years in public service, most recently as the assistant administrator of the Office of Policy and Program Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)… Pederson is now VP of federal affairs at GMA, having come to the association from the American Chemistry Council (ACC). While at ACC, Pederson was the director of federal affairs, in which role he managed a broad portfolio of issues"...


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