- Daniel in the lions’ den? Author-columnist-provocateur-professional atheist Christopher Hitchens is coming to Dallas this weekend. He’ll speak during the first-ever Christian Book Expo, the Morning News reports in a front-page story.
- Sick of SXSW coverage? Of course not. Never can have too much SXSW coverage. Having read our multiple daily reports from the hard-working April and Stephen, you can always check out the New York Times’ typical report from Austin. It reads as if sent back while on a safari to Mars: “The looks have changed in geekland: instead of backpacks and duct-taped glasses, it was tattoos and bikinis.”
- The magazine isn’t dying? Nope, only certain magazines are. Despite all the ‘internet is the future’ talk, the magazine biz is really losing only those publications that were created solely for advertising or market-share purposes.
According to a list compiled by Advertising Age, titles that have shut down in the past year come from the shelter, technology, travel, luxury, and teen categories. . . New magazine titles often fail from a combination of bad timing, bad thinking, and a bad choice of brands to extend. Put simply, there are too many mediocre magazines (as anyone who gazes at the newsstand at Barnes and Nobles would conclude).
In one way, publishers are suffering from the same tendencies as traders binging on mortgage-backed securities: When the advertising market in a particular genre begins to rain really hard, publishers respond by trying to create more buckets, instead of working to find the next bucket where passion resides. The reality is that once a market is mature enough to support a national magazine, chances are it has already peaked.