The Association of Magazine Media

MPA-IMAG Independent Magazine Media 2012 Conference Highlights

Home | Speakers | Agenda | Sponsors



The panel "Growing Ad Revenue Across Platforms." From left to right: Brad Fayfield, Storm Mountain Publishing; David Kaye, The Economist; and Peter Badeau, Taunton Press. Kaye on discussing advertiser-friendly concepts with his editors: "There is no editorial sit-down. My editors don’t talk to me."
Download the presentation materials: Powerpoint

Henry Holtzman, Chief Knowledge Officer, MIT Media Lab, discussed the changing shape of mobile. He spoke extensively about the incredibly fast pace of device diversity and its impact on magazine media. "You’re not quite sure how your customers are experiencing your products," Holtzman said. "In that sense, you’re like Microsoft."

The panel "Big Impact Email Marketing Ideas You Can Implement Immediately." From left to right: Bob Cucciniello, Ogden Publications; Rob Oberheide, Kalmbach Publishing; Nina LaFrance, Forbes Media; and Don Peschke, August Home Publishing. "If you’re doing sweepstakes, the best thing you can do is make it valuable to your readers," Cucciniello advised. Download the Powerpoint

Recruitment and organization town hall was led by Frank Costello, Executive Vice President and General Manager, MPA.


A standing-room-only crowd filled the second floor auditorium of Cambridge's Hotel Marlowe to hear keynote speakers and panels discuss the state of independent magazine media publishing today and the current digital landscape. On the first full day of the IMAG conference, attendees heard conversations and speeches about the emerging tablet landscape, e-commerce opportunities, circulation and social media strategies, the climate for private equity investment for magazine publishers and the shift in media buying.


MPA President and CEO Nina Link welcomed attendees to the 9th annual IMAG conference. She told the audience that she loved the spirit of innovation and collaboration that defined the event. "The magazine media brands you oversee represent the long, colorful tail of our industry," Link said.


Sarah Rotman Epps, Senior Analyst at Forrester, and one of the world's foremost tablet experts, provided a 50,000-foot view of the tablet landscape and what it meant for magazines. She said that by 2016, 760 million people will own a tablet. In that year alone, 375 million tablets will be sold. Rotman Epps expressed little enthusiasm for Windows 8. "It's really complicated," she observed. "There's a risk for consumers to get confused and overwhelmed." 
Download the Powerpoint


Magzter's Michael Triunfo closed the morning sessions with an overview of his company's digital magazine store efforts. Download the Powerpoint


The panel "Everything Digital." From left to right: Jim Sexton, B.A.S.S.; Kim Downing, August Home Publishing; Anthony Cerretani, Active Interest Media; Don Peschke, August Home Publishing; and Robert Cohn, Bonnier. "We don't believe in giving away our digital editions," said Cohn. No kidding. He disclosed that Bonnier has sold nearly 60,000 iPad subscriptions to Popular Science.
Download the Presentations: Cohn/Sexton | Downing


The panel "Ka-Ching! Creating E-Commerce Platforms That Ring the Cash Register." From left to right: Eric Hoffman, Hoffman Media; Jon Rosswurm, DRG; and Sara Tresslar, Yoga Journal. Tresslar revealed that email newsletters drive the majority of the site's traffice and that an email promotion can generate as much as $8,000 in sales in a day.
Download the Powerpoint


The panel "Developing the Perfect Social Media Strategy for Your Brand." From left to right: Amanda Dameron, Dwell; Edward Grinnan, Guideposts; and Ellen O'Neill, Harvard Business Review. O'Neill said that HBR has a 15-person social media team spanning many departments. "We are profoundly grateful for anyone who decides to follow us on any social media platform," she noted.


The panel "Evolving Circulation Strategies." From left to right: Chris Dorbant, Scientific American; Scott Moss, DRG; Marcia Orovitz, Active Interest Media; and Silvia Rider, Hoffman Media. Rider said that 46% of her company's revenues came from subscriptions and another 39% resulted from single copy sales. Dorbant pointed out that subscriptions drove 42% of his magazine's revenues.
Download the Powerpoint


The panel "Where's the Money?" From left to right: Barbara Israel, Weiser Mazars; Hugh Kinsman, First New England Capital; Andre Paquette, Webster Bank; and Jim Dunleavy, VSS.


The panel "Rise of the Machine: The Shift of Media Buying." From left to right: Walter Knapp, Federated Media; Adrian Tompsett, DataXu; and Jenna Umbrianna, Hill Holiday. "More than 75,000 websites are created every day and most suck," said Knapp.


Stormy weather buffeted the Boston area during the 9th annual IMAG conference but it didn't stop nearly 100 conference attendees from participating in the May 22 one-hour Charles Riverboat Cruise. (Above photo on right) MPA's Caitlin Cheney leads a group in the rain to the boat which was docked at Lechmere Canal Park.


Pamela Dunaway, Weider History Group, makes a grand entrance coming aboard despite the rain.


Jaci Hoffman (left), MagazineRadar, and Nicole Costa, Harvard Business School Publishing


Michael Romaner, Morris Communications, enjoys a quiet moment in the Charles River mist on the bow.


Steffanie Ness, Atex, braves the elements with her trusty umbrella on the slippery deck of the Charles Riverboat.


Brad Fayfield, Storm Mountain Publishing (left); Pamela Dunaway, Weider History Group; and Bryan Welch, Ogden Publications


Steve Gray (left), Morris Communications; Warren Young, BOY'S LIFE (center); and Michael Romaner, Morris Communications


Better red than wet: Marcia Orovitz, Active Interest Media


Nancy White, Strategic Fullfillment Group, boards the Charles Riverboat.


Warren Young, BOY'S LIFE


Jessica Aslanian, BlueToad


Peter Badeau (left), The Taunton Press; Dennis Giza, Columbia Journalism Review (center); and Richard Stephenson, Yudu Media


Brian Hoffman (left) and Greg Baugh of Hoffman Media


Steve Gray (left), Morris Communications; Warren Young, BOY'S LIFE (center); and Michael Romaner, Morris Communications


More than 125 independent magazine professionals attended the 9th annual MPA-IMPA Independent Magazine Media conference at the Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, MA. Attendees come to the event each spring, drawn by the spirit of innovation and collaboration that defines this annual gathering. Here, conference participants join together for the opening night cocktail party on May 21. Bryan Bullock (above left), Publishers Press; Silvio Rider, Hoffman Media; and Brian Hoffman, Hoffman Media; share a moment at the reception before sitting down for dinner and the What Worked Well series.


Marcia Orovitz, Active Interest Media, and Bob Cohn, Bonnier


Christopher Wiss and Amy Molinero of Guideposts


Neha Rameja, Girish Ramdas and Mike Triunfo of Magzter

Opening Night Welcome Dinner and WWW Presentations (What Worked Well)

The opening night welcome dinner featured eight short presentations from publishers who shared one specific initiative that worked well for the magazine brand.


Conference chair Don Peschke spotlighted Woodsmith's successful use of video. "Video is extremely powerful," he noted. "Our open rates are 60-70%."


Bryan Welch, Publisher and Editorial Director, Odgen Publications, emphasized the power of branded content on different platforms. He pointed to a television show being developed by GRIT—"Tough GRIT: America's Rural Challenge," which features real folks competing with one another on various challenges like limbing a tree or installing a two-post horizontal fence brace.


Anthony Cerretani, Editor,, discussed the Backpacker Map Maker iPad app, which plans hikes and backpacking trips and features interactive maps and aerial photos.


Tom Winsor, Vice President of Equine Network, Active Interest Media, stressed the importance of looking for business opportunities beyond a magazine brand's core expertise. He mentioned his company's purchase of a tow truck company that now serves 20,000 members.


Mike Florek, Executive Vice President, Scientific American, spotlighted his company's custom publishing efforts with Nord Stream (the natural gas pipeline that threads through the Baltic Seas), which resulted in a 64-page inserts that ran in several international editions. "The nice thing about science is that it travels well," he said.


Christopher Wiss, Director, Advertising & Marketing, Guideposts, outlined his brand's success covering inspirational stories about dogs and the special section that was created on the company's website.


Dan Gabel, Group Publisher and Editorial Director, String Letter Publishing, hit the right notes with the audience with his presentation about the success of the brand's Acoustic Guitar U. It enables his audience to learn guitar following video instructions on the magazine's website. Gabel said they offer 57 courses with more than 450 lessons. The program has 2,000 paying subscribers who look at 5.5 pages of content a week.


David McKee, CEO, DRG, emphasized his company's overwhelming success selling subscriptions directly to consumers.