Brand-New Local Mag CMO Takes Top ASBPE National Award

Photo: CMO Magazine cover
IDG publication CMO won the national ASBPE Magazine of the Year award in its division.
Anyone who hasn't looked at the ASBPE national web site lately may not have heard that CMO, a magazine only in its first year of publication, won the ASBPE 2005 Magazine of the Year award in the under-80,000 circulation division. Judges said that the magazine, whose audience is marketing executives, is “slick and smart,” with beautiful typography, plenty of entry points, and great cover design. CMO, based in Framingham, Mass., is an IDG publication.

Other Magazine of the Year finalists — those that finished in the top 10 in either the under-80,000 or 80,000-and-above circulation categories — from the Northeast region in ASBPE's competition included:
The Magazine of the Year award is only given at the national level.

Read about these and other ASBPE national winners.

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Winners of International English-Language B2B Awards Announced

The winners in the second annual Tabbie awards — given for excellence in editorial and design at worldwide English-language publications — have been announced.

ASBPE, this year as last, was a partner in the awards program.

Screenshot: CSO's Anatomy of a Fraud
Local magazine CSO won the Gold Feature Article award for “'Anatomy of a Fraud”
Some of the winners also won ASBPE awards in our region, including (in alphabetical order):


Tony Silber: In a Down Economy,
Markets Really Do Respond to Quality Product

In his keynote speech at the ASBPE National Editorial Conference, Tony Silber aimed to demonstrate with a real-life example that a magazine can not only launch and stay in business, but actually beat out the competition, even in the current lukewarm economy.

You probably know that Silber, a former editor and publisher at Folio: magazine, helped start the magazine-industry publication M10 under the company umbrella of Red 7 Media. The pub launched as a web site in March 2003. A print edition followed in June '03. M10 (the name signifies "Magazines to the 10th power") was a direct competitor to Folio:, which was then owned by Primedia Inc.

According to Silber, M10 was a very bare-bones proposition at the start. "I was employee Number Two," Silber says. "It was literally two guys in a basement. … The first media kit was a Staples folder with two PDFs on one side and three PDFs on the other side."

Yet within a year, M10 was the ad-page leader in the field (beating not only Folio: but another startup, Crain Communications' Media Business). Was M10's per-page rate lower vs. Folio:'s, and could that have been a factor? I'm guessing yes. Still, in August 2004, the team behind the year-old M10 acquired sole responsibility for the management of 32-year-old Folio:. (Primedia still retains a minority stake in the property.) Red 7 Media combined the two magazines, keeping the M10 look and content — M10 did not take on any of Folio:'s editorial staff — and renaming it Folio to take advantage of the familiarity of that brand.

The conclusion Silber drew from M10's success was this: Markets respond to quality, even in a down economy (a sentiment shared by David Silverberg, editor of year-old homeland security magazine HS Today.) Silber says M10's quality showed in both editorial content and marketing strategy. Under Primedia, he says, Folio:'s content was "Manhattan-centric. It was largely about who's eating lunch with Tina Brown." Silber aimed for more relevance with M10. On the ad side, the philosophy was to sell marketing services and help with business development, rather than focusing narrowly on selling ad pages. Another factor in M10's favor, he believes, is that from the start it was a multimedia resource, with a web site, a print issue, and an email newsletter.

Publishing Industry Outlook

It's nice to know that a new magazine can make it in a down economy. But Silber thinks an economic recovery is on tap for the magazine business in second half of the '00s. He's seeing renewed investment and activity — for instance, American Business Media memberships are up, and so is attendance at the Folio: show. Other predictions, at least for the B2B side of the industry, are a little less sanguine.

Silber also believes that entrepreneurship will be a strong trend in magazine publishing. As it happens, entrepreneurship is the planned topic of our first fall chapter event.

Coming up on the Blog

Over the next several days, I plan to post more about what went on at the ASBPE Conference. Travel and work temporarily put my ability to post on hold — hence the lengthy gap since the last post on this fledgling blog — but I don't intend that to be the norm.

Local Top Editor Will Present Exclusive ASBPE Conference Session

Boston-area editor Maryfran Johnson will be presenting an exclusive session at ASBPE's National Editorial Conference in Cleveland this week.

Johnson recently moved from the chief editor position at IDG's news weekly Computerworld (last year's ASBPE Magazine of the Year in the over-80,000 circulation category) to become editor of the new launch CIO Decisions. CIO Decisions is the first magazine targeted to midmarket CIO. It's published by Needham, Mass.-based TechTarget. Johnson will present an exclusive case study of the new magazine's launch preparations, including market and editorial research and content development.

I will be at the conference, and plan to blog about some of the highlights from Cleveland.

Comment Confusion

A few people who've tried to post comments on this blog have been confused by the fact that they are asked for a Blogger user name and password first.

Not to worry—you don't have to register with Blogger just to post a comment here. When commenting, where it says "Choose an identity," just pick "Other" or "Anonymous."

The Other option allows you the option of adding your name and/or web site URL to your post you don't have to include either). The Anonymous option just assumes you don't want to include any personal information at all. In any case, you get a chance to preview your comment before posting.

Upcoming ASBPE Events; Meet Iraq's Director General of Trade

We've scheduled some fall and winter chapter events. Topics include:
  • running your own magazine, in September;
  • in October, launching an international edition;
  • and in December, a holiday social and State of the Industry address.
If you don't want to wait until October to learn about international B2B publishing, you might want to come to ASBPE's National Editorial Conference, June 21-22 in Cleveland. The editor of Iraq's first trade magazine will be there. His name is Abdul Hadi Abid, and he's also director general at Iraq's Ministry of Trade—so those of you from military publications may especially want to attend. Abid will be delivering a keynote address at the conference, telling us what it's like trying to launch a magazine in a war-torn country. To our knowledge, this will be the first presentation by an Iraqi government official to a private group in the U.S.

Abid will also be attending the conference and talking one-on-one with editors to learn our best practices for B2B publishing. That's a typical networking opportunity only if you're a foreign service officer. If you can come, we hope you'll share your expertise with him.

Correction: My post originally had the wrong dates for the ASBPE national conference (in the second paragraph). The dates are Tuesday and Wednesday, June 21-22. That's now been corrected above as well. My apologies!

Food for Thought from the Regional Awards Banquet

Last night the ASBPE Awards of Excellence Northeast Region awards banquet, was held in Newton, Mass.

David Barach, publisher of PennWell Corp.'s Solid State Technology, was the dinner speaker, and his topic was PennWell's internal Eddy Awards program. He had some interesting things to say — and not necessarily all about awards per se.

One thing that caught my attention was the fact that PennWell uses its awards program as an opportunity not just to celebrate editorial quality, but improve it, by combining the ceremony with a day of editorial training. This seems like a good approach to me, because it guarantees some regular training for all magazine staffers.

Yes, it's only once a year. But from what I've experienced, and heard from others, that would be an improvement for most B2B publishing companies. So many in-house training programs seem to fall by the wayside for whatever reason: No one to take ownership; lack of time among the person or people who do take ownership; difficulty in developing programs that meet all staffers' needs; or just apathy among the intended recipients, who may be way beyond the need for a "how to write a compelling story" seminar (or at least think they are).

On this last topic, PennWell has what seems to me like a good solution: It brings in outside trainers for junior editors on topics like headline writing and reporting, and in other sessions has in-house editors share lessons learned through the reporting process.

What do you think is the best approach to editorial training? In-house? Out-of-house? Do people at your company only get training if they ask to take a class? And what, if anything, can ASBPE do to better help you with your training needs? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

For more of Dave's comments from the banquet, see our chapter web page on the national ASBPE web site.

Read summaries of previous ASBPE-Boston events

B2B Panelists on the Economy: “Cautiously –Very Cautiously – Optimistic”
March 2009 State of the Industry banquet

State of the Industry Banquet a Success
Highlights from our panel on web publishing.
December 2006

TechTarget's Mark Schlack: Web Nearing End of Awkward Adolescence
At the chapter's Northeastern Region Azbee awards banquet, TechTarget's Mark Schlack shared some thoughts on the current state of web publishing.
June 2006

State of the Industry Panel and Holiday Social
At our Dec. 14 celebration, editors learned what the future holds for B2B media.
December 2005

Promote thyself!
At this event, editors learned how to get published and get noticed by the media.
May 2005

Advertorials: Boon or bane?
That was the question at chapter panel discussion.
April 2002

Dealing with problem sources
Is it ever okay to let a source review a story?
September 2000

How you can create a "franchise" survey
Advice from Folio magazine editor Tony Silber on conducting a high-quality reader survey. (Joint meeting with New York chapter.)

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Post the First: In which we humbly submit our entry into the B2Blogosphere

The Boston/New England chapter board has been thinking about it for quite a while, and now we've done it: Launched a weblog. After all, if the 82-year-old former king of Cambodia can have a blog, why not us?

We'll use it as you'd expect: to keep you updated on chapter activities, national ASBPE events, and other news of interest to business-to-business editors. And we'll share some thoughts from time to time about our association, our industry, and the media in general.

Surprisingly, given the myriad niche topics people have started blogs about, there are relatively few we know of that are devoted to business-to-business publishing:

To keep up with our blog, those listed above, and other favorite sites, we recommend you use an RSS reader. If a site you read offers an RSS feed (and most sites that are blogs do), you can use the reader to track when the site has added new content and get a summary of the new material. The best part of using RSS is that you get updates on the sites you read regularly all in one place, so you don't have to surf around to each site, wait for each to load, and look for the new content.

Many RSS readers are available for free. The readers can be web-based or stand-alone applications, or plug-ins that are integrated into of your browser. Web-based readers are probably the easiest to get started with. Some resources to do just that:If you want to get started quickly with RSS, we recommend the free Bloglines site.