Meredith’s Plans for Shape, the Real Value of Paywalls, Snapchat’s Discover News Feature, a Leadership Change at Taunton Press, 2015: What’s On Your Publishing Agenda? New Thoughts for the New Year, TFP’s January Book Picks: Innovation, Infographic Pick of the Week, DPS Tip: App Builder Advanced Options as of v32.4

Welcome to TFP’s roundup of news and tips for media industry pros! This week, we’re sharing stories about Meredith’s acquisition of Shape and its plans to merge the magazine with Fitness, how the real value of paywalls may lie in the user data they collect, Snapchat’s new mobile-native news feature, a leadership change at special-interest publisher Taunton Press, and more.

Shape cover image

  • Capital New York reported on  Meredith’s announcement that it’s acquiring Shape and merging it with Fitness magazine, expanding its rate base from 1.6 million to 2.5 million. The article said the acquisition isn’t surprising given that the media company has “been on a roll” in terms of purchases and partnerships, but that the decision to combine the two was unexpected, noting that many publishers have multiple titles in the same category. Tom Witschi, president of Meredith’s Women’s Lifestyle Group, said the idea is to incorporate the best elements from each brand into one “category killer.”
  • While publishers look to produce revenue streams from their digital content with paywall and paid content models, the real value of these systems may lie in the audience demographic and usage data they collect, according to a two-part NetNewsCheck series. The report examined the huge potential of such information and how it can be used to more effectively create content, target advertising, and structure offerings and subscriptions, among other things.
  • These days it’s all about mobile and grabbing the attention of young audiences, trends that aren’t lost on big media companies like CNN, ESPN, National Geographic, and others working with Snapchat on a new feature that puts mobile-native news alongside messages in the popular chat application. Called Discover, the feature could signal “a significant moment in the evolution of mobile news,” according to an article from Nieman Lab.
  • In other news, Tim Rahr, president of Taunton Press, announced he is leaving the company and Dan McCarthy, a high-profile industry veteran, is stepping in as interim CEO, effective Feb. 1. Rahr, who has been with the publisher of special-interest titles for 16 years, said he is leaving the company in a strong position and will work with McCarthy and the board until a new CEO is chosen, Folio reported.
  • In with the new! In her latest blog, Technology for Publishing CEO Margot Knorr Mancini officially debuted our new look, new website, and new content, noting that, as with our publishing clients, we always need to be evaluating who we are as a company and where we need to go to reach our audience. For everyone in the publishing business, this is a year to risk, innovate, and invigorate, she said, and we hope our efforts to better serve you, our clients, reflect that spirit. Take a look around the site and let us know what you think!
  • One of the new resources we’ll be bringing you each month is a list of recommended reads to help you better plan and execute your content strategy. For January, our picks focus on innovation and how it can help you transform challenges into opportunities.
  • Our Infographic Pick of the Week highlights how to entertain and inform your audience using cartoons, along with what to consider when deciding whether this creative approach to storytelling is right for your content and strategies for measuring response to the format.
  • Finally, this week’s DPS Tip covers the advanced options currently available in the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite App Builder dialog. For a complete list, check out our blog.

Image: Capital New York

This Week in Publishing appears every Friday on the TFP blog. Every week we compile interesting and noteworthy stories from the publishing world and put together a wrap-up to help our readers stay up-to-date. Think we missed something great? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Posted by: Monica Sambataro

Monica Sambataro is a contributing editor and copyeditor for Technology for Publishing. Her publishing background includes work for leading technology- and business-related magazines and websites.