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November 25, 2020

November 25, 2020

Publishing News

Note to Readers: MBR Daily is off from 11.26 through 11.30 for the holiday, returning Tuesday, 12.1. Happy Thanksgiving to all from the MBR team.

Conde Moves LOVE Magazine to U.S.
Release: Condé Nast has moved the editorial operations of LOVE, a biannual "aimed at ardent fans of style and popular culture" that's overseen by Whembley Sewell, editor-in-chief of Them, from the U.K. to the U.S. The magazine will "highlight and celebrate new themes and editorial opportunities that champion identity and inclusion," according to the company. "“Whembley has built a loyal and passionate audience at Them. by brilliantly telling stories that are inclusive and uplifting,” said Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue US, artistic director and global content advisor of Condé Nast. “LOVE is a title that gives us the opportunity to highlight expression and identity at a time when it’s most relevant to our audience, and I’m looking forward to what Whembley has planned.”In support of this next phase, the Them. editorial team will determine LOVE’s new creative direction and develop the brand’s new social media and video strategy. This effort builds upon the rapid growth and success of Them. through a similar social- and community-focused model where audiences have increased by more than 200% over the past year

Nat Geo Creates Interactive Instagram AR Dinosaur Experience
MediaPost: "National Geographic unveiled an augmented reality (AR) activation on Instagram last week: interactive filters featuring dinosaurs. The “Reimagining Dinosaurs” activation allows people to see what dinosaurs looked like based on recent discoveries. The filters are built off the latest findings from the Reimagining Dinosaurs cover story in Nat Geo magazine... For Nat Geo, "Instagram is a great way to get important storytelling in front of the masses. What better way to do that then through immersive experiences like AR?,” Nat Geo's director of Instagram, Josh Raab, told Publishers Daily. The brand's main Instagram account has over 146M followers. In May, the company announced it had hit more than 200M followers across all of its accounts on the platform. This is the first Nat Geo AR activation to take place underwater — recent archaeological discovery with the National Geographic Society revealed the Spinosaurus (one of the dinosaurs in the activation) was the first known swimming dinosaur. Users can see Spinosaurus, Deinonychus and the Yi Qi AR experiences when using a smartphone. The feature is available on Instagram as a filter"...

Vanity Fair Names Elder As Exec Editor for The Hive
TalkingBizNews: "Miriam Elder has been hired as executive editor of Vanity Fair's media, business and technology sub-section The Hive... Elder is world editor and politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and was previously foreign and national security editor. She was formerly The Guardian‘s Moscow-based correspondent. Her writings have been published by the Financial Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Atlantic, The International Herald Tribune and The Moscow Times.John Homans, the editor of The Hive, died in July at 62.

Bertelsmann to Buy Simon & Schuster for $2.2B
PW: "Bertelsmann has emerged as the winning bidder for Simon & Schuster. In an announcement this morning, the parent company of Penguin Random House said it had reached an agreement to buy S&S from ViacomCBS for $2.175B. Following regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to be completed sometime in 2021. Until the purchase is completed, S&S will continue to operate independently under the direction of Jonathan Karp, president & CEO of S&S, and Dennis Eulau, COO and CFO.. The purchase combines the country’s largest and third largest trade publishers, and it will have revenues of close to $3B. In bringing the two companies together, Dohle wrote, “we will apply the same thoughtfulness and respect to the process with Simon & Schuster that we did with the Penguin and Random House merger in 2013..." Bertelsmann beat out HarperCollins, the country’s second largest trade publisher (HC’s U.S. sales are estimated at about $1.1B, compared to PRH's sales of about $2.2B.)... The nearly $2.2B price tag for S&S is likely the reflection of the fact that a publisher of its size will not be on the market again in the foreseeable future"...



Retail News

Unemployment Claims Up 78K; Millions Going Hungry
NY Times: More than 827,000 Americans filed first-time applications for unemployment benefits in the past week. That’s up 78,000 from the previous week and more than 100,000 from the first week in November... Washington Post: "More Americans are going hungry now than at any point during the deadly coronavirus pandemic, according to a Post analysis of new federal data — a problem created by an economic downturn that has tightened its grip on millions of Americans and compounded by government relief programs that expired or will terminate at the end of the year. Experts say it is likely that there’s more hunger in the United States today than at any point since 1998, when the Census Bureau began collecting comparable data about households’ ability to get enough food"...
NY Times (paid sub req.)
Washington Post (paid sub req.)

UFCW Hazard Pay Demands Result in ShopRite Deal
Grocery Dive: "As infections surge across the U.S., the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is calling on retailers to reintroduce hazard pay and paid sick leave for grocery workers, offer them free COVID-19 tests and personal protective equipment, and require all shoppers to wear masks. The organization said at least 350 of its members, including 109 grocery workers, have died due to the coronavirus and that over 17,400 grocery workers have been infected or exposed to the virus. Although workers and companies have been living with the virus for nearly nine months, it is now spreading more rapidly than ever, raising fears among consumers and frontline workers. “Right now America’s essential workers are facing a holiday season of an unparalleled level of risk and threat from this growing pandemic," Marc Perrone, UFCW International president, said during a press call this week... PG: The UFCW announced a deal with ShopRite on hazard pay for nearly 50,000 union workers in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. The deal with ShopRite, the largest employer in New Jersey, recognizes the ongoing risks ShopRite workers have faced as the pandemic continues, and provides retroactive hazard pay ahead of the holiday season that covers all hours worked between July 26 and August 22, the union said... In the case of future COVID-19 outbreaks resulting in government orders closing all businesses, except essential businesses, ShopRite has agreed to meet UFCW and RWDSU local unions to discuss additional hazard pay"...

Publix Sued Over Employee’s COVID Death
PG: "In a move that could have consequences for grocers across the U.S., a Florida family has filed suit against Publix Super Markets Inc., contending that the grocer caused the death of their father from COVID-19, according to a published report. A deli associate at a Miami Beach Publix store, 70-year-old Gerardo Gutierrez died on April 28. A month earlier, 70-year-old Gutierrez allegedly worked alongside a colleague exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported... According to the lawsuit, filed Nov. 23 in Miami-Dade County circuit court, Gutierrez was instructed to remain at home after the colleague tested positive for the virus. A few days after that, Gutierrez became symptomatic and tested positive as well... Gutierrez’s four children are seeking damages of more than $30,000...

Meatpacking Plants Tied to Early COVID Cases
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "A new study ties 6% to 8% of U.S. COVID-19 cases through late July to outbreaks at meatpacking plants and subsequent spread in surrounding communities. The findings show “a strong positive relationship” between meatpacking plants and “local community transmission,” suggesting the plants act as “transmission vectors” and “accelerate the spread of the virus,” according to a peer-reviewed study published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S... Trump issued an executive order on April 28 directing meatpackers to reopen closed facilities. Researchers at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business found the risk of excess death primarily came from large meatpacking plants operated by industry giants. Communities that acted to shut down slaughterhouses reduced spread... Overall, the researchers found 236,000 to 310,000 COVID cases through July 21 associated with “proximity to livestock plants,” comprising 6% to 8% of virus cases at the time"....

Category Management Faces Omnichannel Transformation
RetailWire summarizes a CPGMatters piece: "The Category Management Association recently announced “a new strategic direction” called Cat Man 2.0, which is focused on “the evolution of category management in an omnichannel world.” “It took the pandemic to really shake the behavior of the CPG industry,” Mike Gervasio, VP category leadership for PepsiCo and chairman of the association, told CPGmatters... The pandemic was especially disruptive to major players such as PepsiCo that are “category captains” in bricks-and-mortar chains. These leading suppliers are essentially put in charge by the retailers of managing the vast array of offerings that can fit into specific aisles and help optimize sales of an entire category, not just their own brands. “We have lots of capabilities and tools and inherent knowledge for category management in a bricks-and-mortar environment,” Gervasio said. “But now consumers can buy their products anytime, anywhere and in any way, a reality that’s been accelerated by five years over the last five months.” Gervasio said companies have to “acquire whole new sets of data and tools, hire data scientists and get new skill sets. Then, members need to make sure data is consistent and accessible across all retailing channels.” They need to solve challenges such as “figuring out how digitally curated search engines can create the category management equivalent of the front page of a newspaper ad or a lobby display or a [selected] assortment of products in a store...'"


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