Tag Archives: magazine

The death of Southern Progress?

Birmingham publisher drops company Web site

Once among Birmingham’s largest publishing companies, Southern Progress Corporation has shrunk in population by more than half in less than 2 years. Its personnel have consolidated in two of three buildings on its Lakeshore Drive campus. It has closed down two magazines and sold off one operation. Many functions — human resources, marketing, accounting, building operations — have been consolidated or moved to Time Inc.’s New York headquarters.

And now, it has shuttered its online presence, southernprogress.com. The site now redirects to the Time Inc. corporate site. [view of site cached in Google]

southernprogress.com site1

Southernprogress.com: 2008 version (from archive.org)

southernprogress.com site2

Southernprogress.com: 2010 incomplete version
(from Google cache)

For some time, Southern Progress has been fading into oblivion, as sweeping changes throughout the publisher have roiled the Birmingham-based operation. In essence, the corporation that was formed 30 years ago and sold to Time Inc. 25 years ago barely exists, even as its employees still work under the existing titles Southern Living, Cooking Light, Health, Coastal Living, Oxmoor House, MyRecipes.com, MyHomeIdeas.com and Sunset.

Is the city losing one of its publishing companies to consolidation, economics and neglect?

Update March 24: This very report has spawned this odd headline … “Southern Progress not dead, Time Inc. says.”

Photo: Nelson Glass

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Intern – Birmingham Magazine (2010)

Our pal Carla Jean sent us this posting for Birmingham Magazine:

Birmingham Magazine tells the stories of the people, places and events that make Birmingham unique.

The magazine offers an unpaid, part-time editorial internship each semester, offering college students the opportunity to build resumes and portfolios as they write front-of-book pieces and monthly departments, assist in developing online content and fact-check listings.

Hard work and talent are rewarded with great clips; the fall 2009 intern wrote a six-page feature story for the December 2009 issue.

Applicants must be available a minimum of 15 hours per week. Prior journalism experience is expected, whether with college publications or elsewhere. Applicants should also be comfortable with AP Style.

Application deadlines:

  • Summer (May-August): April 1
  • Fall (September-December): July 1
  • Spring (January-April): Dec. 1

Send a cover letter, resume and three to five clips to cwhitley[at]bhammag.com.

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EXCLUSIVE: Coastal Living swaps editors

Also, ex-Southern Accents editor departs Southern Progress

Lindsay BiermanSara PetersonLess than 2 years after becoming editor of Coastal Living magazine, Lindsay Bierman is swapping his magazine title and job title. Media of Birmingham has learned that Bierman, shown at left, will become deputy editor of Southern Living on Monday. The move was announced in a company e-mail sent Wednesday (included below).

He had previously been editor of Cottage Living for just a few months before Time Inc. closed the publication.

Coastal Living’s executive editor Sara Peterson, shown at right, will succeed him as editor. The magazine debuted a redesign in 2009.

It’s the second editor change in less than 6 months at Birmingham-based Southern Progress Corporation, after Cooking Light’s swap in September.

All four titles are part of Southern Progress.

Also mentioned in the memo is the departure of Entrée’s editor Karen Carroll, who had also served as editor of Southern Accents before it folded in August. She leaves the company March 31 after 22 years at Southern Progress. Succeeding her is senior editor Alice Doyle.

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The e-mail announcement from Time Inc. Executive Vice President Sylvia Auton …

Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2010 09:17:57 -0500

To: Lifestyle Group Colleagues

From: Sylvia Auton

Re: New Lifestyle Editorial Appointments

I am pleased to announce that Lindsay Bierman has been appointed Deputy Editor of Southern Living, effective March 1st. Sara Peterson will succeed Lindsay as Editor of Coastal Living.

Lindsay is a multi-talented editor who over the last year has developed Coastal Living with great creativity, intelligence and vision. All who work with him admire and respect his tremendous zeal and innovative thinking. Lindsay, who has spent more than half his adult life in the South, joined the company 14 years ago as the first Homes Editor at Coastal Living and served as Executive Editor at Southern Accents before moving to Cottage Living and then back to Coastal Living.

Last fall Eleanor Griffin and her staff restaged Southern Living, which is the country’s 5th largest monthly consumer magazine, to great reader and advertiser acclaim. In his new role, Lindsay will team up with Eleanor to build on this strong momentum.

On Lindsay’s recommendation, Sara, who has served with distinction as his Executive Editor, will also assume her new role on March 1st. A superb talent, Sara was instrumental in honing and executing last year’s redesign and re-launch of Coastal Living. Prior to being named Executive Editor in 2008, Sara had been the Homes Editor of Southern Living. Before moving to Birmingham, she spent six years in New York, where she was the Lifestyle Editor at Redbook and a Senior Editor at Family Life.

Separately, Karen Carroll, Editor of Entrée, a magazine created exclusively for Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, has decided to leave the company at the end of March. Karen’s keen, sophisticated eye was evident throughout the pages of both Entrée and Southern Accents. Karen began her career at Southern Accents as an intern in 1987 and rose to Editor in Chief by 2001, a position she held until that magazine’s closure last year; she added responsibility for Entrée in 1998. Highly respected and admired by the industry and her peers, we thank her for her commitment and contribution over the past two decades and wish her well in the future.

Alice Doyle will succeed Karen as Editor. Prior to joining the company in 2001 as Homes Editor of Southern Living, Alice had previously worked in New York at Saks Fifth Avenue, Women’s Wear Daily, and Elle. As Karen’s right hand at Entrée and Southern Accents, her fashion insights, expertise, creative talent and extensive industry contacts have been invaluable in raising the profile of Entrée.

Please join me in congratulating Lindsay, Sara and Alice on their new positions and wishing Karen the very best.

Sylvia

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Birmingham Works magazine celebrates 1-year anniversary

birmingham works fall 2009 coverBirmingham Works magazine reached its 1-year anniversary with the publication of its fall issue.

The business publication by Vertical Solutions Media will move from a quarterly to a bimonthly schedule in 2010, and the January/February issue will be available at Books-A-Million/Joe Muggs stores.

The current issue, available online, features an interview with Michael Newsome of Hibbett Sports, making your business greener and a look at volunteer organization Hands on Birmingham.

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EXCLUSIVE: 4Love Magazine to launch in September

Birmingham photographer (and former Post-Herald shooter) Karim Shamsi-Basha has launched a Christian publication, 4Love Magazine.

4love magazine preview coverThe print and online publication features three former Coastal Living editors on the masthead.

A preview issue is available on the magazine’s Web site, 4lovemag.com.

The launch party takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Folk Art Gallery, located in the Young and Vann Building, 1731 First Ave. N. [map].

Scheduled to attend is magazine advisory board member Samir Husni, a magazine consultant known as Mr. Magazine. Husni will talk about “why Birmingham continues to lead in an industry rocked by the economic meltdown.”

Update: The actual bimonthly magazine launches in September 2010. (Note: We’ve changed the post title to reflect this update.)

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Intern – Birmingham Magazine

Our pal Carla Jean sent us this posting for Birmingham Magazine:

Birmingham Magazine tells the stories of the people, places and events that make Birmingham unique.

The magazine offers an unpaid, part-time editorial internship each semester, offering college students the opportunity to build resumes and portfolios as they write front-of-book pieces and monthly departments, assist in developing online content and fact-check listings.

Hard work and talent are rewarded with great clips; the fall 2009 intern wrote a six-page feature story for the December 2009 issue.

Applicants must be available a minimum of 15 hours per week. Prior journalism experience is expected, whether with college publications or elsewhere. Applicants should also be comfortable with AP Style.

Send a cover letter, resume and three to five clips to cwhitley[at]bhammag.com.

• • •

Need a job? Check our job board.
Have a job to fill? Contact The MOB for your free listing.

My Scoop expands into Mississippi

Elizabeth Sparkman Fowler - My ScoopMy Scoop, a Birmingham-based online lifestyle magazine, has launched a Mississippi portal to add to its Birmingham and Nashville ones.

Mississippi native Elizabeth Sparkman Fowler will serve as editor and publisher of the new edition. She previously served on the advisory board for the company.

The site offers features on style, shopping, travel, food and entertaining.

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EXCLUSIVE: Hoffman’s Cooking with Paula Deen drops 14.1 percent in 3rd quarter

3Q-birmingham-magazine-ad-sales

Birmingham-based magazines continued their ad sales slump when comparing their third quarters of 2008 and 2009. The most surprising drop came from Hoffman Media’s Cooking With Paula Deen, which fell 14.1 percent according to figures from the Magazine Publishers of America. The magazine had increased 3.2 percent between the first half of 2008 and 2009.

Meanwhile, with layoffs imminent at Southern Progress, the decline in ad sales continued among the five remaining titles. Coastal Living saw the biggest slump, dropping 13.6 percent, while Health Sunset remained nearly steady with a 0.3 percent drop. Southern Progress magazines saw a 6.9 percent drop overall.

U.S. magazines lost 18.6 percent average in ad sales from 2008 to 2009 during the third quarter.

Also:

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‘Biggest mass firing’ in 2009 coming to Southern Progress, Time Inc.

Next week likely to determine who goes at Birmingham operation

southern-progress-corp-logoTime Inc. plans to cut 6 percent of its 9,000-member workforce before Thanksgiving, according to a report today in the New York Post. Its Birmingham-based Southern Progress is expected to dole out pink slips as soon as Thursday, say company insiders. Time Inc. will release third quarter earnings on Wednesday.

The scale of the layoffs means Time Inc. holds the distinction of the biggest mass firing in publishing this year, outpacing the 460-plus involuntary terminations at rival Condé Nast.

As previously reported, Southern Progress has cut 41.4 percent of its Birmingham staff in the past 12 months, eliminating 290 positions. However, this quarter’s cuts are expected to go deeper …

The Birmingham, Ala.-based Southern Progress, whose flagship title is Southern Living, escaped major hits in the round of layoffs unveiled in the fourth quarter of last year. The division … will not be so lucky this time around, sources predicted.

Southern Progress also oversees Cooking Light, Health, Coastal Living and Sunset magazines and Myhomeideas.com and Myrecipes.com. It closed Cottage Living and Southern Accents magazines and sold Southern Living at Home.

Time Inc. cut 6 percent of its 10,000-member workforce in 2008. All Southern Progress titles lost ad revenue between the third quarter of 2008 and 2009.

Read more stories on Southern Progress.

Update Nov. 3: The New York Times reports Time Inc. has begun layoffs at Sports Illustrated, and that layoff meetings begin Wednesday morning at other titles.

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Southern Living travel bloggers win bronze award

Taylor Bruce, Southern LivingTanner Latham, Southern LivingTaylor Bruce (at left) and Tanner Latham, travel editors for Birmingham-based Southern Living magazine, won the bronze award in the 2009 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition. The two won in the Travel Blog category for the magazine’s Tales from the Road.

The judges said, “What voice! With these two writers, their photos and comments from loyal readers, it’s fun to travel the South. As idiosyncratic as the region they cover.”

The gold winner was Amy Ziff’s The Window Seat (Travelocity). The silver winner was Kitty Bean Yancey’s Hotel Hotsheet (USAToday.com), which ended in March.

The Society of American Travel Writers Foundation sponsors the annual awards.

Also: Taylor wrote about the win in “Top 10 Southern Ways to Celebrate Our Blog Award!