Discount Extended for Boston Awards Banquet

If you're planning to attend the Regional Azbee Awards banquet in Boston, note that you have an extra week to get the Super Early Bird Discount. It's now available through Tuesday, June 12. You must register and pay by that date to get the discount.

RSVP info and details on the banquet are here.



Northeast Region Awards Banquets Set for July

Again this year, the Northeast Region of the American Society of Business Publication Editors is pleased to announce two awards ceremonies to honor regional winners of the 2007 Azbee awards.

Depending on your location and preference, this year you may attend a Boston-area event on the evening of July 18 or a midtown New York City event the following week.

In either case, you’ll be treated to a great guest speaker, a terrific awards program, and a chance to connect with your colleagues in the region.


GUEST SPEAKER: Award-winning journalist and public radio veteran John Carroll.

Through his newest venture, John Carroll’s Take, which airs Thursdays at 6:35 a.m. and 8:35 a.m. during WGBH 89.7 FM’s broadcast of Morning Edition and at 5:45 p.m. during WGBH 89.7’s broadcast of All Things Considered, Carroll gives his perspective on today’s hottest topics in news, media, technology, and more. <

Carroll currently serves as a professor of mass communications at Boston University and a panelist for "Beat the Press," a weekly discussion on media on WGBH's Greater Boston public affairs TV program.

DATE: Wednesday, July 18, 2007

6:00 p.m.: Social hour/cocktails
7:00 p.m. Dinner, followed by speaker and awards.

ASBPE members: $50 per person
Nonmembers: $55 per person
Tables of 8: $390
ASBPE members: $60 per person
Nonmembers: $65 per person
Tables of 8: $450
Banquet tickets may be paid for by check or by Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.

Papa Razzi
16 Washington St.
Wellesley, MA
Located just of I-95 (state Route 128) near Mass. Turnpike (I-90).
Also a 10-minute walk from public transit Green Line.
IMPORTANT: There is ample parking at Papa Razzi but it will not be obvious unless you review the detailed parking information (428K PDF).

Check out what’s happening this summer in Boston.(3.3M PDF)
And consider taking in a Red Sox game at Fenway Park -- they play at home all week.

PLEASE RSVP NO LATER THAN MONDAY, JULY 9 to Alan Earls at or (508) 528-6930, or to Martha Spizziri at or (617) 628-5466.


The New York event will be held July 26. Details are on the New York chapter page.

5/30/07 update: Note the change above: The Super Early Bird discount has been extended through Tuesday, June 12.

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Marblehead Healthcare Publisher Seeks Managing Editor

HCPro Inc. in Marblehead, Mass., is looking for a managing editor to do developmental editing on books, occasional ghost writing, and more. The company specializes in providing training and educational materials and consulting services in the areas of healthcare regulation and compliance.

Further details on the managing editor position.



IntelliTXT Ads Back at ZD

After removing paid links from within stories on some of its sites, Ziff Davis is again using the IntelliTXT service on at least one site. This time it's PC Magazine's site. (For me, at least, it took a few seconds after the page loaded for the links to show up. They're the green links within the story text.)

I'll let Paul Conley tell the story.

The backstory is here and here.

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Magazine of the Year Front Runners Announced

ASBPE has released the names of the Magazine of the Year Top 10. These are the top candidates shortlisted for the Magazine of the Year awards, which are given each year to two magazines -- one in each of the two circulation divisions, under 80,000 circulation and 80,000 and over.

The winners in each division will be anounced at the Azbee awards banquet on Aug. 2, during the National Editorial Conference. The top three in each circulation category will be announced there as well.

Although the Magazine of the Year award is given on a national level only, it's fun to see who the Top 10 finalists are from the Northeast region, which includes New England. They are:

Less than 80,000 circulation80,000 and over circulation
owned by IDG and based in Framingham, Mass.
headquartered in New York City and owned by The McGraw-Hill Companies
Meetings & Conventions
owned by Northstar Travel Media and based in Secaucus, N.J.
based in Boston and owned by The Economist Group
The Scientist
based in Philadelphia
owned by IDG and based in Framingham, Mass.
owned by TechTarget and based in Needham, Mass.
IEEE Spectrum
based in New York City and published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Network World
owned by IDG and based in Southborough, Mass.

See the complete list of Magazine of the Year finalists, nationwide.



ASBPE National Elections Open

The ASBPE national board has nominated a slate of officers to serve the next two-year term, which begins after the Aug. 2–3, 2007 National Editorial Conference.

The nominees are:

President: Steve Roll, Washington, D.C., chapter presidentVice President: Amy Fischbach, previously Kansas City chapter presidentTreasurer: Jyme Mariani, immediate past president, Dallas/ Ft. Worth chapter

Voting members (those who are employed in an editorial capacity by a business publication or who are freelancers who edit or write regularly for business publications) must send their ballots in by Monday, July 2.

Learn more about the officers and their plans for ASBPE or get a ballot.



Was PC World Editor's Resignation Another Instance of Fuzzy Edit/Sales Standards On the Web?

According to this Folio: magazine article, Harry McCracken's temporary resignation as editor-in-chief of IDG's PC World is more evidence of the uncertainty in some quarters over who controls editorial.

According to the Folio: article, McCracken resigned after PC World CEO Colin Crawford pulled a column titled “Ten Things We Hate About Apple.” According to a report on Wired, Crawford also told editors PC World's product reviews were too critical of vendors, especially advertisers, although IDG disputes that claim; Wired later excerpted a forum post by a PC World staffer who said the issue was that Crawford killed the article without even consulting McCracken. The article has now been published, and McCracken is back in his old position. Crawford, who was just promoted to the CEO position in March, has now been moved to a position as executive vice president, online (before becoming CEO, Crawford was senior VP- online). IDG announced that it is searching for a new CEO for PC World and Macworld.

Folio: likens the episode to the controversies over IntelliTXT paid links appearing within editorial copy (see here and here). A quote from Matt Kinsman's article:
It’s a situation that is in danger of becoming common. Unlike print, where content is physically managed by the editorial team, online just about everyone has access to content and a perspective—inappropriate or not—of what to do with it.
Related articles:
(Note: McCracken was on the ASBPE Boston/New England chapter board before moving to California to work in PC World's offices there.)

Updated May 14, 9:21 p.m.

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Public Records Workshop This Weekend at Globe

The New England chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is holding a seminar on investigative reporting techniques. Sean Murphy of the Boston Globe will lead a two-hour workshop on Saturday, May 19, from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

The workshop takes place at The Boston Globe, 135 Morrissey Blvd. Admission is free, but RSVPs are required. To reserve your spot, email SPJ New England chapter president Emily Sweeney at emily dot sweeney at yahoo dot com.

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Update on IntelliTXT

Sorry to be slow getting to this, but anyone who hasn't been reading Paul Conley's blog might not have heard that Ziff pulled the IntelliTXT paid links that were appearing in some of its properties' online articles.

Meanwhile, CMP started using the links, but then stopped.

For more on what IntelliTXT links are, see previous post.

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Are Magazines, Web Sites Just "Ad Platforms"?

An update on this week's earlier post:
Here's a paragraph grabbed from Weaver's article:
Meredith's president of its publishing group, Jack Griffin, summed up the new direction of today's large magazine publishers when talking about his own company: "What we're doing is equipping Meredith to be a robust marketing-communications provider."

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Ziff Davis, eWeek, Again Subject of Ethics Controversy

The same day I posted about a recent Folio: profile of Ziff Davis Media, B2B publishing consultant Paul Conley published a blog post titled "Ziff Davis crosses the ethics line again."

Conley's post centers around Ziff Davis' decision to once again use Vibrant Media's IntelliTXT in-context ads on some of its sites, after pulling them from eWeek earlier this year. (See earlier post on this blog, "eWeek/IntelliTXT Flap," and two earlier posts on Paul Conley's blog, "eWeek crosses an ethical line" and " eWeek retreats in ads-within-edit scandal" for background.) The ads are back in eWeek and also appear on the company's CIO Insights web site.

Folio: published a story about the controversy on May 3. The article quotes Ziff Davis editorial director and senior VP Michael Vizard as saying "The IntelliTXT ads are clearly labeled as advertisements in compliance with existing ASME and ASBPE guidelines as we understand them. Should these officially recognized bodies adopt specific policies related to IntelliTXT ads, we would welcome that clarification and would also be inclined to comply with those guidelines."

ASBPE's ethics guidelines do, in fact, state that links within editorial content should be under editorial control. But in response to Vizard's statement, the ASBPE ethics committee has attempted to clarify the issue. The last sentence of the relevant portion of our Code of Preferred Editorial Practices, Section VII, Paragraph D, previously read:
Contextual links within editorial content should not be sold, and generally should not link to a vendor’s Web site, unless it is pertinent to the editorial content or helpful to the reader.
It now reads:
Contextual links within editorial content should not be sold. If an editor allows a link, it generally should not link to a vendor’s Web site, unless it is pertinent to the editorial content or helpful to the reader.
ASBPE national president Roy Harris relayed this change to Folio: and it was posted as an addendum to the May 3 article. As Roy says in an accompanying statement to Folio:, "We feel the code offers a clear guideline: Editors, not publishers or ad-sales folks, should make the final decisions on ALL uses of links within edit copy. Also, ad links within editorial text should NOT be sold under any condition."

A short news item about the whole matter will soon be issued by ASBPE national and posted on the ASBPE web site. I'll post an update when it appears. In the meantime, here are other posts on the topic:

From ASBPE ethics committee member Jeff Seglin:
From Paul Conley's blog:
From custom publisher Rex Hammock's blog:
For a contrarian view, see this post on Eric Shanfelt's personal blog:
(Shanfelt is a former senior VP of emedia at Penton Media Inc.)

Update, 5/16/07: Also see "ASBPE Speaks Out on Hypertext Link Issue," on the news section of ASBPE's web site.

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Recent Folio: Articles Focus on Online Success for B2B Media

Good stuff in Folio: this month, mostly centering on strategies for the web, and much of it with a B2B focus.

Tony Silber's lead article, "Ziff's Last Stand," starts off with a tale that's any magazine editor's nightmare. PR executive Steve Rubell posted a comment on Twitter, a networking web site, saying that he threw his free copy of Ziff Davis Media's PC Magazine in the trash whenever it arrived in the mail.

PC Magazine
editor Jim Louderback's initial reaction was anger, of course
, and he posted a response on the online PR journal Strumpette. But then he began to think about what it meant that one of the company’s top executives "had stated, in a public forum, that my magazine … was useless to him. He wasn’t even interested in seeing whether we’d covered one of his clients. Did the rest of Edelman think like Steve? Were we no better than fishwrap to the entire company?"

Rubell issued an apology on his blog, in which he clarified by saying that he does read PC Magazine online.

As the article points out,
Two things about this episode are remarkable: A senior executive of a giant PR firm says he doesn’t even read what is arguably the largest and best-known tech-oriented print magazine in the country. And second, the whole thing—from initial insult to response to apology—occurred on a Web site and two blogs—entirely online, even though it was about a big, well-established print magazine. Combined, these elements say an awful lot about the current condition of Ziff Davis Media, and indeed, all of the three major tech-publishing companies — if not the magazine-industry overall.
The story takes off from there with an in-depth look at the current and future state of Ziff. A sidebar gives a glimpse of Ziff Davis' editorial strategy for succeeding online. An example, from senior vice president Mike Vizard: "We need stories that are original. We get 90 percent of our traffic on stories that can't be replicated."

The article "Creating an Internet Hub for Successful Multiplatform Publishing" includes Computerworld as one of its three case studies. It elaborates on some of the topics -- like lead generation -- mentioned in the Media Business article I wrote about in an earlier post. It also outlines Computerworld's game plan for succeeding online:
… the general rule is to frequently provide specific information in as many formats as possible, including articles, blogs, columns, newsletters, reports, white papers, RSS feeds, video and audio. The amount of information is staggering and most of it is free, sponsored by advertisers.
In what seems like a contrast to PC Magazine's experience, Computerworld is finding that its web site is a major generator of print subscriptions (and, therefore of data about potential print subscribers). Other products that have been successful for Computerworld include white papers; online buyers guides; e-mail newsletter (the web site offers more than 50, "some on relatively arcane topics," the article notes -- a lesson in the potential of narrowcasting?); job ads; and of course, mailing lists. "All Computerworld sites are in the business of collecting data," the articles says, and consequently "Their database of e-mail names is huge and relatively well qualified."

"Digital Magazines Take the Next Step" takes a look at how digital versions are evolving from static facsimiles of the print magazine to interactive products that can help drive print subscriptions and increase a publication's visibility on search engines. There's also mention of how digital magazine ads are changing and may even become desirable to advertisers on their own rather than just a value-add.

Other recent B2B stories in Folio:

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Compliance Week Seeks Assistant Editor

Compliance Week, a Boston-based electronic newsletter and print magazine on corporate governance, risk, and compliance, is looking for an assistant editor. They're looking for someone with five years' editorial experience, a strong knowledge of business reporting and business issues, and the ability to develop a beat. The candidate also must know HTML.

Among the duties required:
  • tracking a governance developments such as SEC investigations and public companies' financial restatements on a daily basis and updating the Compliance Week Web site accordingly;

  • participating in regular editorial meetings, updating the Compliance Week editorial staff on governance, risk, and compliance developments as tracked above;

  • writing a weekly column of industry personnel announcements.
For full details, see the ASBPE web site.