OK Publisher Reports of Our Losses Completely Exaggerated

first_imgPeople1768.681527.5715.8 CELEBRITYH1 2010H1 2009%CHNG Star698.8558.8325 Entertainment Weekly502.53412.0122 In Touch456.68393.4216.1 Life & Style242.51172.6940.4center_img OK!560.06429.4330.4 According to Barr, the magazine’s revenues are consistent with its ad page growth. “And our expenditures are those you’d see regularly associated with publishing a weekly magazine,” he says. “Our profits are in line with growth expectations and the normal economic fluctuations. Again, we’re happy to be seeing profitability, but we’ve had out weeks with losses just like others inside and outside of our competitive set.”Circulation DeclinesMeanwhile, the magazine recorded an overall circulation of 695,197 through the first half and missed its 800,000 rate base, according to ABC numbers. OK! saw a 9.6 percent decline in newsstand sales (which made up about half of the magazine’s overall circ) and 35.3 percent decline in verified circ. While Barr says he isn’t overly worried about the declines, he does want to “take the appropriate steps” to address the issue, including coming up with a new subscription model and delivering on rate base.“We take into account that newsstand sales are a reflection of the economy and consumer purchasing habits and also take note that more of our competition has moved away from a heavily-weighted newsstand model,” he says. “Our editors are mindful of consumer wants and each week deliver an editorial product that will generate interest.  We’ve introduced more beauty and fashion service, and continue to evolve our take on entertainment to further differentiate from the competition, but with the celebrity category, weekly relevance is key. So, our editors strive to produce the right formula –that delicate balance that services the news interest and the lifestyle interest—that will deliver us positive newsstand results.”The Magazine is Not ClosingBarr admits that OK! is still a work in progress, and takes exception to reports that the magazine is losing millions and is on the verge of shutting down.“The negativity, which will tell you otherwise and speculate about the magazine’s closing, seems to come from a mixture of sources competing for business and overzealous reporters,” Barr says.  “We don’t dwell on it, but on more than one occasion, and even very recently, we’ve seen a reporter use and twist legitimately old numbers to substantiate a story. Luckily, we know better.”Celebrity Ad Pages Through the First Half (PIB): Celebrity glossy OK!, which was launched into the U.S. market in 2005 by U.K.-based owner Northern & Shell, has since enjoyed steady ad page growth and has been the subject of much criticism—especially on the financial end of the business. According to several reports, Northern & Shell pumped more than $100 million into the launch. And, more recently, reports have indicated that the magazine is losing more than $700,000 per issue.“Financially, the reports of our ‘losses’ are completely exaggerated,” says recently-installed OK! publisher Stephen Gregory Barr. “We’ve said this many times on-the-record: In just five years—during which many magazines have closed their doors—we’ve launched, made ourselves a recognizable name in a crowded category and have indeed achieved run-rate profitability in the past year. Based on this, OK!’s parent company, Northern & Shell has made a fully committed monetary, product extension investment in the U.S.”Barr, who joined the magazine at the end of June, previously served as associate publisher of sales and marketing at Zinio/VIV Magazine and as advertising director at Time Inc.’s InStyle. Through the first half of the year, OK!’s ad pages have increased more than 30 percent, according to PIB figures. Pages grew more than 20 percent through all of 2009. Us Weekly824.85827.33-0.3last_img read more

Momo is dead says artist who created creepy bigeyed sculpture

first_imgThe supposed “Momo Challenge” made headlines recently, with representatives of YouTube saying the company has seen no recent evidence of videos promoting harmful and dangerous challenges on its site.But when stories about the alleged challenge made headlines, they were almost always accompanied by an unnerving image of a dark-haired creature with enormous eyes and a huge mouth. Now the artist who created that sculpture says he’s destroyed the creation. The Sun gives the artist’s name as Keisuke Aiso, but the original gallery link lists it as Keisuke Aisawa.The artist confirmed to The Sun that he was inspired by the Japanese legend of Ubume, a woman who dies in childbirth and returns in changed form to haunt the living.Only one eye remains of the rubber model, and he plans to recycle that eye in another work.”(The sculpture) doesn’t exist anymore, it was never meant to last,” he told The Sun. “It was rotten and I threw it away.”The supposed Momo Challenge reportedly originated on the WhatsApp messaging platform in 2018, and recently there were reports it had resurfaced on YouTube in the UK, allegedly hidden inside videos that appeal to kids. Aiso’s creature is supposedly shown as the face of a character named Momo who issues a series of challenges, including harming themselves and others. Although UK police and schools issued warnings about the challenge, YouTube said it has no evidence the challenge has been hidden in videos.Aiso said he intended the character to be scary but never intended it should be used to hurt anyone.”It is a ghoul, about the death of a woman in childbirth, in a way its reason for being is to scare children, but it wasn’t supposed to be used in the way it has,” he said. “It was never meant to be used to make children harm themselves or cause any physical harm.”He also said the creation was rotting and “looked even more terrifying” when he threw it out, and that he’s received threatening messages from those who think he was somehow involved in the challenge.”I have no regrets that it is gone,” he said. Japanese sculptor Keisuke Aiso didn’t respond to CNET’s request for comment, but the artist told British tabloid newspaper The Sun he’s thrown out the artwork.”The children can be reassured Momo is dead,” he told The Sun. “She doesn’t exist and the curse is gone.”The original sculpture, called Mother Bird, shows a human-style head with long dark hair spread sparsely over the creature’s forehead, enormous round eyes, an oversized mouth and a flattened nose. The naked creature has the feet of a bird and not much of a torso. It was built in 2016 and displayed at Vanilla Gallery in Tokyo. Comments 4 Tagscenter_img ‘Shark stepping on a Lego’ photo goes viral; here’s the real story National Weather Service issues ‘small dog warning’ due to wind Bruno Ganz, whose Hitler scene from Downfall took over YouTube, dies at 77 More viral news Share your voice Online Digital Medialast_img read more

Trump promises historic increase in US military budget

first_imgDonald TrumpUS president Donald Trump on Monday promised a “historic” increase in the US defense budget as he met with state governors at the White House.“This budget follows through on my promise on keeping Americans safe,” he said.“It will include a historic increase in defense spending.”His comments come a day before he addresses a joint session of Congress, an important agenda setting event for new presidents.The New York Times reported that Trump will instruct the government agencies Monday to put together the outlines of a budget that will include deep cuts in domestic spending.Trump will need to make those cuts to pay for a military buildup and to preserve pensions and health insurance for the elderly as he promised during the campaign.last_img read more