Landmark Secures Lehman Bros for Sale

first_imgDominion, formerly Trader Publishing, was established in September 2006 following a division of assets between shared owners Landmark and Cox Communications. Lehman Bros., one of the financial institutions that helped Landmark Communications sell off the Weather Channel to NBC Universal and a pair of private equity groups for $3.5 billion, is now conducting a sales process for its publishing arm, Dominion Enterprises, FOLIO: has confirmed.Norfolk, Virginia-based Landmark reportedly has started distributing information to potential buyers interested in Dominion Enterprises. A Landmark spokesperson declined to comment when asked who the bidders are and how much Landmark is seeking for Dominion. Last year, Dominion’s revenues were nearly $1 billion.In January, Landmark retained investment banks J.P. Morgan and Lehman Brothers to assist in exploring strategic options for the entire company. Dominion Enterprises owns and operates more than 500 Web sites and magazines, including boating industry titles Soundings, Soundings Trade Only and PassageMaker.last_img read more

Optimizing Digital Editions

first_imgPublisher interest in digital editions continues to grow, even as the Web site becomes the primary digital product for many. However, many publishers are just scratching the surface of what’s available to them, from embedded search and rich media to back-end audience measurement, which can be used to help plan future issues as well as convert to lead generation.The following story offers four case studies of publishers that are trying to take full advantage of their digital edition. For many, this continues to be a learning experience.Publisher: Campbell-EwaldProduct: Custom editions for Chevrolet CobaltPlatform: Zmags Publisher: Popular ScienceProduct: The Pop Sci Genius GuidePlatform: ZinioEarlier this year Popular Science launched the Pop Sci Genius Guide, a new digital edition which the magazine intends to be at the forefront of consumer adoption of e-readers. The Pop Sci Genius Guide will be published quarterly in 2009, with the first issue dedicated to the home entertainment experience.“We recognize that this is an extremely important direction the magazine needs to go—we’re making our product optimized for digital platforms in anticipation of the launch of really good magazine-optimized e-readers,” says editor-in-chief Mark Jannot. “We’re figuring out how we can optimize the opportunities digital delivery gives us and how to overcome the challenges of pixels on screen as opposed to ink on paper. Our goal is to integrate features that can be done digitally while at the same time not undercutting what a magazine does.”Popular Science also aims to make the Genius Guide a paid product and tested several price points from 99 cents to $4.99 with the first issue. “One of the things we’re emphatic about is not conditioning the audience to expect this for free,” says Jannot.The Genius Guide uses videos to introduce new features and offers layered sidebars without clogging up the layout. “We’ve worked with Zinio’s Flash developers to bring the pages to life with Flash animation,” says Jannot. “In some cases, as you’ve seen with the first issue of the Genius Guide, as you turn pages, it comes together before your eyes. We’ve taken the static, standard magazine form and found a variety of ways to animate it without throwing away the conventional two-page spread.”Jannot stresses that each item has a purpose. “On a flat magazine page, you’re limited to photos, illustrations and text,” he says. “With animations in the Genius Guide, we can start at a high focal length for a more general look, then zero in on something and draw the reader’s eye to what they need to look at. In the first Genius Guide, one of our favorite things was the box/PC you got, which opened up to zero in on what you look at, or turned your TV around to show exactly where plugs are. That’s obviously not possible in a flat, static magazine.”Jannot says that while advertisers were interested in the first issue, the publisher ran out of time before it got a commitment. “Advertisers had to overcome some preconceptions of the phrase ‘digital edition,’” he adds. “Some advertisers still think of that as an inferior, static, flat version of the magazine. We’re selling this as very leading edge. We think a very large chunk of circulation will be delivered this way.” Digital magazines are increasingly being used as a custom publishing platform. Advertising agency Campbell-Ewald tapped Zmags as the platform for a series of regionally targeted digital magazines as part of a Chevrolet Cobalt campaign aimed toward a young, tech-savvy audience. Each issue was geared to moving prospects toward readiness to buy and enable them to link directly to the Chevrolet Cobalt Web site in order to price out a custom vehicle.“We focused on the users themselves and partnered with bloggers and Cobalt enthusiast clubs,” says Joe Ferraro, art production manager at Campbell-Ewald Publishing. “The idea was to get actual users to share stories, as well as feature local musicians driving the Cobalt to and from their performances.”Campbell-Ewald incorporated rich media including videos of the cars in action and interviews with the drivers into each edition. The agency created a homepage to house the digital editions and formed relationships with some of the leading blogs, which pointed readers to their digital editions. “We didn’t want to just spit out what we could do in print but do something that fit the medium,” says Ferraro. “That included a lot of Flash-integration through which we created sidebars, call-outs and pop-outs. The editorial was readable and we could expand upon that edit when needed by use of Flash components to build out sidebars—we didn’t have to clutter the online page with a lot of text.”Video was embedded in each digital edition much like using an image in magazine layout. “Placement of the video was integral to the magazine layout,” says Ferraro.Campbell-Ewald produced seven different digital issues for the campaign and the South Central (U.S.) component ran for more than a year. The agency partnered with several Cobalt enthusiast events and says that the digital editions helped drive a 4 percent increase in attendance and a 45 percent increase in the number of vehicles at the events.Each element of the digital edition had a specific purpose, says Ferraro: “Nothing was ever done just because we could—we always had a strict purpose in mind.” Publisher: Advanstar Communications EuropeDigital Product: Pharmaceutical Executive Digest EuropePlatform: Nxtbook MediaAdvanstar’s European division has designed the 18,000-circ digital edition of Pharmaceutical Executive Digest Europe strictly for the digital platform. By tweaking the layout in a cleaner, more accessible way and keeping functionality simpler, the magazine has dramatically increased all the usage metrics that matter most.The first breakthrough was ditching the single-page portrait framework in favor of a landscape layout. “In a single-page layout, you have to use the zoom function,” says editorial director Peter Houston. “If you landscape it and increase the type size, it makes it easier to read.”Houston also bumped up the frequency to weekly and mirrored a strategy more akin to e-mail newsletters. (Increasing the frequency meant they could get away with shorter-form content.) By dropping the page count from 40 to 15, there was a noticeable difference in response. The front cover was dropped, too, taking the reader straight to the content. The magazine achieved as many pageviews in a week as it had in a month. And the average time spent per visit increased 20 percent.The robust analytics that digital editions customarily provide come in handy not just for readership behavior, but for incorporating social media metrics as well. Pharm Exec has a Twitter account with more than 500 followers and, according to Houston, more than 5 percent of visitors to the digital edition are referred from Twitter. Houston points out that a digital magazine is one part of a larger digital package.  “If anyone says the future of magazines is in digital publishing, it’s really in integrated publishing,” he says. “And it’s using the digital channel for certain things. Twitter, LinkedIn and social media channels, e-mail newsletters and the Web site are all part of the answer to doing this properly. Just having the digital magazine would be a tough one.” Publisher: Premier Media HoldingsDigital Product: Premier GuitarPlatform: TexterityBy aggressively using the digital edition as a free version of the print magazine, Premier Guitar has leveraged its digital version to pull customers deeper into the brand experience. Web site visits are up significantly, and the magazine has almost doubled its print subscribers.While the digital edition has, in two years, passed the print version in readership with 32,000 opt-in readers (versus print’s 30,000), the benefits of having a platform trifecta—print, Web site and digital edition—far outweigh concerns of one medium cannibalizing the other. “We’ve seen a 70 percent increase in our paid print subscriptions and we’re now pushing an 80 percent sell-through on newsstands,” says managing director Peter Sprague.Readers tend to take smaller bites out of the digital edition but come back to it more often. “When you add up the frequent visits they start to look like the single longer visit with the print version,” says Sprague. But Sprague isn’t content to simply let the digital edition act as a gateway to the print magazine. A sweepstakes challenge asks readers to find three guitar picks planted throughout the digital edition for a chance to win a $100 gift card builds through-the-book readership. And videos—performance and instructional—have collected 2.5 million views among the 425 offered. Sprague is also creating custom, sponsored versions of the digital edition. A standard issue, for example, will alter its table of contents page to link to specific sponsor content in the magazine. The sponsor e-mails the magazine to its in-house list of artists, retailer customers and other manufacturers. “We charge them for this,” says Sprague, “but more importantly, we get to sample lists that may not be available to us.”last_img read more

Kamal declines to represent Khaleda in court

first_imgKhaleda Zia & Kamal HossainEminent lawyer, Gano Forum president Kamal Hossain on Tuesday turned down a request from the BNP to represent party chairperson Khaleda Zia during her appeal hearing in the High Court, a Gano Forum leader said.Kamal Hossain expressed his inability to move for Khaleda Zia in a graft case when a BNP delegation led by its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir met the lawyer, Gano Forum’s presidium member Subrata Chowdhury told Prothom Alo.However, UNB quoted BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir as saying that Kamal Hossain would provide legal advice to the lawyers of the BNP chairperson to ensure her bail in the Zia Orphanage Trust case.Fakhrul was talking to reporters after a BNP delegation, led by him, met Kamal at his Motijheel chamber.”We handed over a copy of the judgment to him and sought his legal opinion. He told us he’ll provide the legal advice after going through the verdict,” the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader said.On 8 February last, the Dhaka special court-5 convicted Khaleda, a former prime minister and BNP chairperson, and sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.She was then sent to the abandoned central jail at Nazimuddin Road in the capital.The BNP chief filed two petitions with the High Court – one challenging the sentence and the other seeking bail in the case.However, the HC on Sunday said it would pass an order on her bail petition upon receiving all the documents relating to the judgment from the lower court.The HC bench of justice M Enayetur Rahim and justice Shahidul Karim kept the order pending as the HC was yet to receive the verdict documents.On Thursday last, the HC asked the lower court to submit all the relevant documents within 15 days.last_img read more

Mexico extradites drug lord El Chapo to US

first_imgMexico on Thursday extradited drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the United States — handing over one of the world’s most notorious criminals on the eve of US President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.Guzman is the head of the Sinaloa cartel, which is accused of generating much of the deadly violence in Mexico’s decades-long drug war and providing tons of narcotics to the United States.He had twice escaped from prison, and had been fighting his extradition ever since his recapture almost exactly a year ago in his home state of Sinaloa following his second daring jailbreak.Guzman, 59, had been in prison in Ciudad Juarez, which borders Texas, since he was abruptly transferred there from another penitentiary near Mexico City in May.A US government official told AFP on condition of anonymity that Guzman would land later in the evening in New York, one of several US jurisdictions where he is facing charges.President Enrique Pena Nieto had previously refused to extradite Guzman, but he changed tack after the slippery drug lord’s latest escape in July 2015.The Mexican government “delivered Mr. Guzman Loera to the authorities of the United States” after the Supreme Court and a court of appeals rejected his latest bids to avoid extradition, the foreign ministry said in a statement.The appeals court ruled that the extradition conformed with a bilateral treaty and that Guzman’s rights had not been violated, the statement said.One of Guzman’s lawyers, Silvia Delgado, told Milenio television that she was surprised by the extradition, calling it “illegal” because another legal petition was pending.- Timing: Dig at Trump? -The US Department of Justice said in a brief statement that his initial court appearance would be “forthcoming,” without saying where he would be held.”The Justice Department extends its gratitude to the government of Mexico for their extensive cooperation and assistance in securing the extradition of Guzman,” it said, adding that he had been charged in six separate indictments.A spokeswoman for federal prosecutors in New York declined to comment.In May, the Mexican foreign ministry approved extradition bids from California, where he is wanted for drug distribution, and Texas, where he faces a slew of charges including murder and money laundering.Trump, who takes office on Friday, has publicly clashed with Mexico over trade and immigration issues. The Republican president-in-waiting has pledged to build a wall on the US-Mexican border.Alejandro Hope, a prominent Mexican security expert, said the decision to extradite Guzman in the last hours of Barack Obama’s presidency and before Trump takes office was “not a coincidence.””It looks like they didn’t want to give Trump an early victory,” Hope told AFP.”They didn’t want Trump to be able to brag about it, so they managed to hand him over in the final minutes” of the Obama administration, he said.But Alejandro Almazan, author of the Guzman biography “The Most Wanted,” saw the opposite, saying “Chapo is a gift to Trump” because Pena Nieto wants good relations with the new US leader.- Daring escapes -Guzman’s extradition caps a Hollywood-worthy cat-and-mouse game between Mexican authorities and the slippery drug lord, who escaped twice from prison.His feats turned him into a legend of Mexico’s underworld, with musicians singing his praises in folk ballads known as “narcocorridos” — tributes to drug capos.He was first captured in Guatemala in 1993, only to escape from a maximum-security prison in western Mexico in 2001 by hiding in a laundry cart.Marines backed by the US Drug Enforcement Administration arrested him in February 2014 in the Sinaloa resort of Mazatlan, where he was staying with his wife and twin daughters.Pena Nieto insisted at the time that Guzman would face justice at home.But Guzman escaped from prison again in spectacular fashion just 17 months later.His henchmen had dug a 1.5-kilometer (one-mile) tunnel that opened into his cell’s shower at the Altiplano prison near Mexico City, allowing him to slip out and flee on a remodeled motorbike that was fitted on tracks.Guzman was recaptured in the Sinaloa town of Los Mochis in January 2016.Authorities said they tracked him down after Guzman held a clandestine meeting with US actor Sean Penn and Mexican-American actress Kate del Castillo a few months earlier.Officials were able to intercept flirtatious text messages that Guzman sent to the actress.After he was arrested again, Pena Nieto ordered officials to speed up the process.Guzman’s arrest likely leaves his long-time associate, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, at the helm of the Sinaloa cartel, giving continuity to the powerful gang.But Raul Benitez Manaut, a security expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said the extradition “definitely weakens the Sinaloa cartel.”Guzman’s sons, Archivaldo Ivan and Jesus Alfredo Guzman, may harbor their own ambitions.”There will be an internal fight between his sons and the sons of other of the founders,” Benitez Manaut said. “It could be violent — or maybe it could be peaceful.”last_img read more