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Hearst Is Launching a 10-Person Team Tasked With Building Voice-Activated Experiences

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:00:01 +0000

Good Housekeeping's December issue Hearst may be a 129-year-old media company,  but even it's planning for a Jetsons-like future when news will be consumed through voice-controlled technology. The New York-based company has quietly launched a 10-person group called the Native and Emerging Technologies (or NET group) that's responsible for keeping the mega-publisher up to speed with the newest technologies, starting with voice-activated devices including Amazon Echo, Google Home and voice-based smartphone experiences. For instance, this week, the team launched an Amazon Echo Skill for Good Housekeeping. The group was born out of Hearst's acquisition of startup BranchOut a couple of years ago. "We're looking at this new wave of natural language interfaces as being a great source of content discovery and content interaction," said Phil Wiser, Hearst's chief technology officer. "We find all of that to be increasingly important as a way to engage consumers." The Good Housekeeping Echo skill allows users to receive a step-by-step guide of instructions and recommended tools to remove stains by talking to the cylinder-shaped gadget. As consumers work through removing the stain, music plays in the background. "It's a really good branding opportunity—as we're providing that advice, we can also give the consumer guidance on which brands they should look for," Wiser said. "That's a theme that we're going to build on as we take our expert editorial content and weave it in with branded content." While NET doesn't have any advertisers on board yet, Wiser said he envisions selling brands on voice experiences in the near future. For instance, the Good Housekeeping Echo skill could recommend a stain-removal brand that's been vetted by the magazine. Or a food-themed skill could push a particular brand's ingredient when reading a recipe out loud. Hearst also has Amazon Echo skills for Elle, which answers horoscope questions, and for its newspaper brands—including the San Francisco Chronicle and Houston Chronicle—that reads daily news out loud through Echo's Flash Briefings feature. "We're going to pick up the pace on these voice-activated devices," Wiser explained. "The nice thing is that it extends directly to smartphones as well, so as more and more consumers use the voice interface to access their device or ask questions, we think we'll be well-positioned to be an answer and show up by giving out more content in this format." In addition to Internet of Things technology like Amazon Echo and Google Home, Wiser named bots, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and over-the-top apps for smart TV devices like Roku as other big priorities for the group. "The underlying theme in a lot of these areas links back to artificial intelligence, which from a corporate standpoint is an area that we're doing quite a bit of work right now on machine learning," the exec added. "We're bringing that to life through some of these applications on these new devices." With augmented reality, Hearst is particularly interested in how the technology works within Snapchat since a number of its publishers are Snapchat Discover partners and chief content officer Joanna Coles sits on the mobile app's board of directors. A few years ago, Hearst was also one of the first companies to build augmented reality apps for now-defunct Google Glass. To help gear up for its push into artificial intelligence, NET is leaning on Hearst's data-science team to analyze and format content for new devices. As Wiser explained it, the team first aggregates audience data that can then be picked apart to create bits of content as well as personalized ads for new devices. In a lot of cases, that means cutting down Hearst's trove of service-based content down to the bare minimum needed to answer a simple audio question. "[We] have an artificial intelligent agent lo[...]

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Bloomberg Media Taps a New Global CCO, Continuing Its Trend of Hiring From Agencies

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 14:33:10 +0000


Bloomberg Media is in a growth mode, expanding its creative, marketing and custom content offerings. And it's latest big move is the hire of Teddy Lynn, Ogilvy & Mather's North American CCO of content and social.

As global CCO, Lynn will lead a team of creatives, editors, copywriters, designers and producers who will make branded campaigns and experiences to fuel Bloomberg Media's projects, the company announced today.

"Teddy is unique in his ability to strategically connect with an audience through compelling content," said Jacki Kelley, Bloomberg Media's COO, in a statement. "His varied background, which includes producing award-winning films, television and advertising, as well as having worked at Morgan Stanley, illustrates his ability to use powerful storytelling to drive business results.

"This is a tremendous coup for our organization."

Lynn said he's excited about the broad opportunities of his new role, which will begin early next year. "I have been lucky to work with a great team and great clients at Ogilvy, but Bloomberg Media's platform and aspirations will allow me to connect so many of my passions and experiences in a way no other role could," he said.

Bloomberg Media's revenue was up 8 percent year-over-year through the end of September. With that growth, CEO Justin B. Smith said, it is "launching ambitious plans to expand our creative, marketing services and custom content capabilities." 

Bloomberg hired Steven Feuling from Dentsu Aegis and Michelle Lynn from Carat earlier this year in an effort to build a team with agency experience and reach a premium audience across all platforms.

Two years ago, Bloomberg Media aimed to become the leading media company for financial and business coverage. To get there, Kelley told Adweek, it transformed its products, defined its audience and refined its advertising sales operation.

Kelley added that the company is in a rare position to reach business decision makers, "so we have a unique opportunity to help brands program for this influential and elusive audience.

"Teddy is accomplished at telling stories for brands in all formats across a wide range of media," she added. "What we need him to do is draw upon his broad experiences to create, produce and grow our strategic content offering."

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The Atlantic Hires BuzzFeed Senior Political Writer McKay Coppins

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 16:00:01 +0000


McKay Coppins wrote the book on modern-day Republicans, literally.

After creating nearly 700 posts for BuzzFeed since joining the site in early 2012—where he focused on the conservative reaction to news and once spent 36 hours with Donald Trump on a "fake campaign trail"—Coppins will leave to write for The Atlantic starting in the new year.

Considered the "Mormon Wikipedia" by some, Coppins joined the BuzzFeed News political team during Mitt Romney's presidential campaign and is lauded for his unique perspective and approach to covering political news.

Before joining BuzzFeed, Coppins was a writer for Newsweek, where he reported on Jon Hunstman Jr.'s bid for the presidency.

This news comes a few weeks after CNN hired BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski and his political reporting team, more familiarly known as KFILE.

At the time, Shani O. Hilton, head of U.S. news for BuzzFeed, told Adweek: "If you're in the news business long enough, you see these ebbs and flows of talent all the time."

Some might include Coppins with the "haters and losers" that propelled Trump to run for president, including the reporter himself.

"I, of course, am part of the problem," humbly wrote Coppins.

Recently, Coppins was a part of BuzzFeed's groundbreaking dip into live news coverage as he reported from the Trump campaign's gathering on Election Day on Nov. 8.

And spending time with Trump so early in the campaign, though not well-received by Trump and his team, gave him a deeper understanding of how that particular machine worked.

The Atlantic's politics and policy reporting team has tripled in size over the last year and has increased traffic to that part of its website by 200 percent.

"I'm thrilled that McKay is joining our already stellar politics team," said Jeffery Goldberg, eic of The Atlantic. "He is one of the brightest and most talented young politics writers in America, and Atlantic readers will quickly come to rely on his reporting and analysis."

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Why The Washington Post's Jeff Bezos Is Adweek's Media Visionary of 2016

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 11:55:41 +0000

Few tech entrepreneurs have had the ability to imagine a future just beyond our reach, and to profoundly change how we live our lives. Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are two such stars, and Jeff Bezos, our Media Visionary for 2016, joins this constellation. From ecommerce and streaming video to artificial intelligence, drone deliveries and publishing, look to Bezos to enable the Jetsons age. Amazon's founder and CEO has spent the past two decades building a global shopping site with an active user base of 304 million. "This year, Amazon became the fastest company ever to reach $100 billion in annual sales," Bezos wrote shareholders in July. In the coming years, Bezos aims not only to expand the retail colossus but also his burgeoning Amazon Prime business. U.S. membership in Prime—which, for $99 per year, provides access to two-day shipping, streaming video and ad-free music, among other benefits—grew to 63 million in Q2 of this year, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal last week reported the possibility of a premium live sports package—negotiations over game rights with the NBA, NFL and MLB are said to be underway. Prime Video may soon rival Netflix on a global scale, with the streaming business set to launch in 200 countries and territories, including Canada and Australia. (It's currently available in the U.S., the U.K. and a handful of other countries.) As Bezos eyes expansion, he has made an equal commitment to producing the highest quality programming. Amazon Prime series reaped six Emmy Awards this fall, including two for comedy Transparent, also a Golden Globe winner. Many media watchers scratched their heads when, in 2013, Bezos paid $250 million for The Washington Post. But in that, too, Bezos casts his gaze toward the future. While he has stayed out of the newsroom, allowing editors and reporters to do their jobs, Bezos has invested heavily in the future of the 140-year-old Post, which is now billed as a "media and technology company." Bezos not only has spent money hiring journalists but also engineers. In mid-2015, the Post began using an enhanced content management system called Arc Publishing, which, among other things, flows seamlessly across platforms and optimizes headlines and articles, much in the way Amazon recommends the products consumers might want to buy. The move clearly paid off this fall. The Post's aggressive election coverage—which included breaking the story of the now-infamous Access Hollywood tape featuring Donald Trump making lewd comments about women—smashed traffic records, driving nearly 100 million visitors to the Post's site in October, per comScore. On the horizon, Bezos envisions a world driven by artificial intelligence. Already, he is doubling down with the release of Amazon Echo, a voice-activated speaker that connects to virtual assistant Alexa. The future is catching up, and it is Bezos who's poised to deliver it.  Check out the rest of this year's Hot List honorees: Digital Executive: Mark Zuckerberg Digital Creator: Casey Neistat Hottest Digital Brands and Products Hottest TV Shows and Networks TV Executive: FX's John Landgraf TV Creator: Full Frontal's Samantha Bee Hottest Magazines Magazine Executive Team: Hearst's David Carey and Michael Clinton Magazine Editor: New York's Adam Moss TV News Anchor: Fox News' Megyn Kelly This story first appeared in the November 28, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe. [...]

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Why More Women's Magazines Are Taking a Political Stand This Election

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 23:53:40 +0000

The 2016 presidential election has ushered in many "firsts," from the nomination of the first female major party candidate to the first time (at least in memory) that a presidential nominee has been recorded saying that he likes to "grab women by the pussy." In light of these firsts—and many, many others—a host of women's magazines not exactly known for taking sides in the political arena are now making their opinions heard loud and clear. In mid-October, Vogue officially came out in support of Hillary Clinton—the first-ever endorsement of a presidential candidate in the magazine's history. "In the past, Vogue has made every effort to profile Republican and Democratic presidential candidates, but our editors recognized that this election required a different approach," a spokesperson for the magazine said, adding that "the response has been tremendous."   Vogue's endorsement may not come as a surprise, considering that Vogue has been actively covering Clinton for decades (she's been profiled in the magazine a total of six times) and its editor in chief Anna Wintour is a well-known Democratic fundraiser, but there's no question that its treatment of the current election cycle is more robust than ever before. Online, has dutifully followed the ups and downs of the political cycle with headlines like "Donald Trump Is Not an Aberration: Your Nightmare Election Recap" and "Hillary Clinton Awesomely Defended Abortion Rights at the Debate"—not what you might think of as standard Vogue fare—and teamed up with celebrities, models and designers on a series of videos encouraging readers to vote. Glamour editor in chief Cindi Leive made her own first endorsement, also of Clinton, in the November editor's letter. "It never seemed at all appropriate before, but in this election cycle, I felt that the interests of young women were really clear," she said. "This is an election where, politics completely aside, one candidate has displayed respect for women and their interests and concerns, and the other has displayed a decades-long lack of respect for women. It felt like a very clear distinction to me, and as the election grew closer, I could see that our audience, for the most part, were with us." The magazine isn't new to politics—it has featured interviews with candidates in every election cycle since 2004—but has ramped up its coverage this year, launching an initiative called the 51 Million (for the 51 million women under 45 who are eligible to vote in this year's election) and partnering with Facebook to host events at both the RNC and DNC. While Glamour as a brand has not made an official endorsement, its coverage, especially online, has been steadfastly pro-Clinton—or, in the case of its conservative columnist S.E. Cupp, at least anti-Trump. Leive, who has interviewed both Republican and Democratic candidates in the past, firmly stands by her publication's objectivity. "We've looked at these two candidates, and one of them seems to us to be objectively better for women, and that's what many of our editors concluded," said Leive. "It's our job to represent the real discussions that are happening among women in this country, and at this moment, women in this country—especially young women—are not split 50-50 for Trump versus Clinton." One of the more politically outspoken voices in the women's magazine world, Hearst chief content officer and former Cosmopolitan editor Joanna Coles, welcomes the industry's political activism. "I don't find it surprising that other women's magazines have endorsed Hillary, and it's not because she's a woman; it's because she's clearly the most suitable, experienced candidate for the job, and it's also clear that[...]

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Hearst Previews New Content and Sponsorship Opportunities at MagFront

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 22:07:45 +0000


When it comes time to woo potential advertisers, TV networks have their upfronts, digital publishers have their NewFronts and, for the past several years, Hearst Magazines has hosted an annual MagFront. On Tuesday, the company hosted its fourth MagFront presentation at Hearst Tower, previewing its upcoming slate of content—and sponsorship opportunities—for an audience of approximately 200 advertisers and marketing execs.

The editors of each of the publisher's 21 brands presented previews of their editorial franchises for 2017, all with an eye toward sponsor integration. For Hearst Magazines president of marketing and publishing director Michael Clinton, getting the editors involved in selling their own content has been integral the MagFront equation. "Whether you're an author or a playwright or an actor or an editor, it's been so interesting to see how the creative class has become very invested in the commercial success of their endeavors," he said. "I think our editors have really led that charge in [the magazine] world."

Highlights included flagship brand Cosmopolitan's cross-platform "year of beauty," which will offer plenty of native content integrations both in-book and on the magazine's digital and social channels, per new editor Michele Promaulayko. Meanwhile, O, The Oprah Magazine is planning its own "year of adventure"—and an Oprah-branded cruise. Elle will be launching a new personal style initiative and awards platform, and Marie Claire will focus on "The Next Big Thing" across multiple categories with special digital-only covers, an online video series, pop-up shops, events in multiple cities and more. Hearst's digital food brand, Delish, is hoping to expand its audience with the addition of a Delish Kids channel and the Delish Teen Experience food tour, and Food Network Magazine editor Maile Carpenter teased the possible launch of a new magazine built around one of the TV channel's stars.


Jenni Konner, Hearst Magazines chief content officer Joanna Coles, Lena Dunham and Broadway star Cynthia Erivo at Hearst's MagFront

As always, there were plenty of celebrities on hand to dazzle advertisers, among them recent Esquire cover star Liev Schreiber (who joined the magazine's editor Jay Fielden onstage for a short Q&A), up-and-coming actress Alexandra Daddario (one of the faces of Marie Claire's Next Big Thing initiative), model Hailey Baldwin (who introduced Bazaar editor Glenda Bailey) and Lena Dunham, who discussed her year-old lifestyle site Lenny Letter, in which Hearst is a partner. The grand finale was a surprise appearance by none other than Oprah Winfrey.

Partnerships will continue to be big for Hearst in the coming year, said Clinton. "The Lenny Letter has been a great success, we have Carine Roitfeld and Linda Wells, and now we're having a lot of different personalities and celebrities and brands come through our doors to ask if there's a way they can live on our platforms," he noted, adding that the company's newly crowned chief content officer, Joanna Coles, is overseeing that push to bring in more celebrity and influencer partners.

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Facetime: Magazine Parties, and Marketers Step Out

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 23:06:08 +0000


This week, the Association of National Advertisers held its Masters of Marketing conference in Orlando, Fla. In New York, Bloomberg Pursuits, Esquire and People en Español celebrated their October issues. Check out more below.

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3 Waves of Cyberattacks Brought Down Twitter, Spotify, Pinterest, NYT and Other Sites

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 18:50:17 +0000


UPDATE: There were three waves of cyberattacks today, but as of 7 p.m., they appear to have been resolved. 

It all started Friday morning, when a slew of digital publishers and other ecommerce players were hit by a cyberattack, causing their sites in some parts of the U.S. to go out in a problem that lingered into the early evening. According to DownDetector—check out its map above—the East Coast and Southern California were hit hardest while Western Europe also saw outages. 

Twitter was inaccessible to many users for hours, while Spotify, Pinterest, Shopify and SoundCloud also had major outages. Additionally, Etsy, Reddit, Airbnb, The New York Times and The Boston Globe were down due to the ongoing outages, per TechCrunch.

Hacker News is running an updated list of which sites are currently crashing. At different points throughout the day, such websites were fully live again, but then some of them—most notably, Twitter—went dark once more. 

The development seemed particularly bad for publishers that rely on ad impressions for revenue—Twitter, Pinterest, NYT—but the damage was even worse for internet retailers Shopify and Etsy, which likely lost sales. It will be interesting to see whether industry analysts weigh in on what financial damage was done to the affected players. 

The outages were apparently being caused by a distributed denial-of-service—or DDoS—attack on web-domain provider Dyn. Late Friday morning, the Ottawa-based company posted information related to the attacks, including this message: "Our engineers continue to investigate and mitigate several attacks aimed against the Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure."

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Instagram's New Tools Allow Users to Report Others Considering Self-Harm

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 16:13:49 +0000


Instagram has developed tools to help people considering self-harm, and as part of the new initiative, Seventeen magazine and Instagram are welcoming everyone with open arms with a new hashtag.

"We listen to mental health experts when they tell us that outreach from a loved one can make a real difference for those who may be in distress," Instagram said in a release. "At the same time, we understand friends and family often want to offer support but don't know how best to reach out."

These tools, which can be used for a variety of mental health-related issues, such as eating disorders, suicidal thoughts and countless others, are available around the world. 

Instagram users can report posts they consider to exhibit dangerous behavior. The next time the user uses the app, resources will appear within Instagram, which the social platform designed with the help of over 40 organizations around the world.

In addition to the new tools, Seventeen, Instagram and Hearst Magazine Digital Media teamed up to create the #PerfectlyMe campaign. It encourages Instagram users to celebrate their bodies and continue to redefine body standards in our culture.


"The most amazing thing about social media," said Seventeen's editorial director, Michele Promaulayko, "is that it has the power to spread a message exponentially. And surprisingly, positive messages go farther, faster than negative ones."

"One of Seventeen's ongoing missions is to encourage girls to feel confident in the skin they're in," she said. "That's why we were so excited to team up with Instagram on #PerfectlyMe, an initiative that encourages girls to broadcast body love."


Influencers including Ashley Graham and Lauren Giraldo and current Seventeen cover girl, Ariel Winter, have joined in the hashtag. Non-celebrities (y'know, like, real people!) have contributed as well. The #PerfectlyMe initiative wants to collect these like-minded folks under one happy roof.

"Seventeen has an audience of young girls who are vulnerable to these negative messages, but who are banding together to support each other and shift the conversation," said Promaulayko. "These are girls who are starting body-positivity clubs at their schools and who follow celebs, such as Ashley Graham, who display body confidence."

"Body-bullying is not just a teen issue—it impacts everyone, guys included," she said. And even though Seventeen declared Oct. 17 to be Body Confidence Day, "It isn't just a one-day thing, it's a movement."

To join in the body confidence movement, use #PerfectlyMe and post yourself just as you are.

"Seventeen regularly features body-image role models, as we are passionate about empowering our readers and promoting self-acceptance," said Promaulayko.

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Jeff Bezos Isn't Convinced That the Washington Post Can Survive on Payment Services

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:58:27 +0000

Jeff Bezos, Amazon chief and owner of the Washington Post, isn't sure that services like paywalls and tiered subscriptions can work for publishers. During a wide-ranging panel at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit, Bezos talked about how he works with the Washington Post staff, as well as the tech giant's recent move into artificial intelligence and his thoughts on the presidential election. One of the most interesting nuggets in the conversation came out when Bezos talked about how the Washington Post plans to make money in the future. Despite running arguably the world's biggest ecommerce company, asking consumers to pay for content isn't a model that he's totally sold on. "These things can change, but I don't see evidence yet that consumers are amenable to those kinds of micro-payments," Bezos told a packed room. "In the early days of music subscription services, consumers were not amenable to music subscriptions—they didn't want that, they wanted to buy it a la carte. Habits and behaviors and patterns of consumers do change slowly over time—maybe one day they will pay." Bezos also said that he wants to move the Post from "making a relatively large amount of money per reader, having a relatively small number of readers—that was the traditional Post model for decades, [a] very successful model by the way," to, "a model where we make a very small amount of money per reader on a much, much larger number of readers." Whether Bezos' vision means reducing the paper's ad load or changing new ad formats isn't clear, but he said that he thinks it will include a mixture of both ads and subscriptions. Over the past year, the Washington Post has experimented with a number of new ad products that seemingly fit the bill for Bezos' mandate. In May, the paper rolled out ads that have faster load times, for example. And last month, it started rolling out a mobile website that promises to load pages in less than a second. In terms of his surprising move to get into the media business three years ago when he acquired the Washington Post, "I did zero due diligence," Bezos said. "I did not negotiate, I accepted the asking price. It couldn't have happened that way except for the person that I was dealing with was Don Graham, who I've known for 15 years and was the most honorable person." According to Bezos, Graham—the then-owner of the paper—laid out every single problem as well as every great quality when making the deal. "I've owned the paper for a couple of years now and if anything, the warts are not as bad as he made them out to be and the things that are great about the Post are stronger than he made them out to be," he said. He also compared the culture of the Post as, "swashbuckling, but they're like professional swashbucklers." That said, Bezos is purposely hands-off with the paper's team. "This is a highly professionalized activity [and] we have people who have decades of experience doing it. I try to help at a much higher level than, 'should we cover this story or that story.'" Artificial learning Bezos talked a bit about Echo's artificial intelligence technology that uses deep learning to learn more about users' speech patterns, music preferences and more. "The fact that it's always on, the fact that you can talk to it in an actual way removes a lot of barriers, a lot of friction—it's easier than taking your phone out of your pocket," Bezos said. In one example of how AI is affecting bigger industries—like the food and grocery space—Bezos said that Amazon is using technology to grade the quality of strawberries for consum[...]

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