SAN JOSE — Logan Couture has been named the Sharks’ new captain by coach Pete DeBoer, the team announced Thursday morning.Couture, 30, a first round draft pick (ninth overall) by the Sharks in 2007, has spent all 10 years of his NHL career with San Jose and served as an alternate captain to Joe Pavelski from 2015-2019. Pavelski signed a three-year contract with the Dallas Stars on July 1 as a free agent.Along with Couture, Brent Burns, Tomas Hertl, Erik Karlsson, and Joe Thornton will each …
Human milk banking, like wet nursing, has been around for years. But in modern times with the rise of HIV, precautions are necessary. The South African Breastmilk Reserve allows babies to be fed with breast milk when their mothers are unable to do so. It helps to reduce the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission, and other infections in premature babies. Stasha Jordan started the South African Breastmilk Reserve to ensure infants born to HIV-positive mothers can be fed breast milk. The bank also helps other infants in need. (Image: Priya Pitamber)• Active citizenship in South Africa at a healthy level• Research backs up South Africa’s good story• Sandton goes car-free for a month• South Africa’s women in politics• Social enterprises set up to change lives Priya PitamberFollowing the birth of her first child, coupled with research for her Masters in public policy and policy guidelines on the feeding of babies born to HIV-positive mothers, Stasha Jordan was inspired to create the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR).“We saw that mixed feeding – formula and breast milk – could increase the escalation of infection,” she said. “A human milk bank works better. It prevents the mixed feeding of HIV-exposed infants.”She said she found the opportunity to make a difference for humanity.This is in line with South Africa’s health goals as set out in the National Development Plan of reducing maternal, infant and child mortality from 56 to below 30 per 1 000 live births, and reducing mother-to-child HIV transmission to zero by 2030.How human milk banking worksHealthy mothers are encouraged to voluntarily donate breast milk. The donated milk is then pasteurised. In Johannesburg, it is kept in nine deep freezer units at the SABR offices at Media Mills. So far, 44 human milk banks have been set up at hospitals across the country.“In South Africa, where so many women are HIV-positive, sourcing donor mothers has even more importance than in the western world,” states the SABR website.“Without breast milk during their first two weeks of life, premature infants (especially those with a low birth weight) are left wanting for antibodies and are vulnerable to infections and diseases that result in hundreds of deaths annually.”Ruzelle Enslin, a 28-year-old human resources and payroll administrator, started donating breast milk in March this year. She said her 15-month-old son no longer drank expressed milk, so she wanted to donate it. “Other babies can benefit,” she explained.She now donates two to three litres every second week. “I put a donor number on the bottle and the date. The courier picks it up,” Enslin said. “I’ll continue to do it for as long as possible.”Some breast milk is collected at the donors, says SABR, “other times we might need you to meet us half way or pop into a milk bank or collection corner”.There is no monetary gain for donors. “Two-thirds of the breast milk received by Netcare hospitals is donated to state facilities,” reads the website. “Public patients receive the milk free of charge while private patients pay R250 per week of feeding.”Benefits of breast milkHuman milk banking has other advantages for babies other than reducing the exposure to HIV. It helps premature babies get the nutrition they need to grow, and helps to reduce the risk of infections of the gut.An SABR breast milk bank was set up at Cecelia Makiwane Hospital in Mdantsane in Eastern Cape in November 2014 by nursing sister Nobathembu Mafanya and registered dietician Kim Venter. “Feeding artificial milk to premature and low birth weight infants increases their risk for developing life threatening intestinal diseases like necrotising enterocolitis (NEC),” said Venter. “It can be avoided if a baby receives breast milk.”Feeding artificial milk to premature infants is directly associated with NEC, an infection of the intestine, says the SABR. NEC results in infant mortality rates exceeding 80%. Breastfeeding has benefits for mothers and their babies. Click on the image for a larger view. (Image: SABR)Quasim Aham, 34, used the SABR service because his baby was born at 33 weeks and his wife had an infection in her blood. She was unable to breastfeed their newborn.The Ahams used breast milk donated by his niece. “It’s been very beneficial,” he said.Posted by South-African Breastmilk Reserve on Monday, October 12, 2015Challenges and rewardsSince the SABR was formally registered in 2005, Jordan said it had had its fair share of challenges and highlights. “It’s a non-profit organisation so a challenge is to find funding,” she explained. “We also had to establish a new industry – human milk banking – and find a market for it.”But she had noticed it had had a growing impact. “The SABR runs 44 milk banks across the country and is expanding fast: last year it fed 1 689 babies, while this year it got to more than 2 800,” noted British newspaper The Guardian. The SABR has expanded its footprint and has increased the numbers of hospitals it services. (Image: SABR)“We have touched the lives of infants,” concluded Jordan.If you are interested in becoming a donor, or are in need of its services, see the SABR website.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By David P. Anderson, Extension economist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension ServiceBrisket prices are heating up just like summer temperatures. One of the most interesting beef demand trends over the last few years has been the growth in demand for briskets. It’s not just new craft BBQ joints popping up everywhere in Texas, but even big chains like Arby’s jumping in and they all serve brisket.Briskets used to be an inexpensive beef cut that benefited from long, slow cooking at low temperatures. They are no longer inexpensive. What used to be a very inexpensive cut, the primal brisket is now only behind the primal rib and loin in value. In the last week of May, the comprehensive cutout brisket value was $213.47 per hundredweight (cwt), up 19.4% from the same week the year before. Just during May brisket prices jumped from $194.39 to $213.47 by the end of the month. The monthly average price was up 12% compared to last year. In comparison, only the primal short plate was up as much as 1% and the primal rib and loin were both down about 1% from a year ago.Many top-end BBQ joints working to produce a truly exceptional meal use and advertise USDA Prime or branded briskets. USDA Prime briskets hit $215.76 per cwt at the end of May and were outpaced by branded primal briskets that hit $220.82 per cwt. Prime, branded, and Choice primal briskets are up 21% compared to a year ago, while Select and Ungraded are “only” up 17% and 15%, respectively.This is a case where demand is outstripping supply, leading to quickly rising prices. Fed steer and heifer slaughter is up a little less than 2% through May compared to last year. Quality grade composition of beef supplies matter. About 8.1% of cattle graded, graded Prime in May, compared to 6.9% in May 2018. Slightly fewer cattle graded Choice 70.1% in May 2019 compared to 70.4% in May 2018. Select supplies were down just over a percentage point in May. Increasing steer slaughter and cattle on feed should increase available supplies in coming months.The future growth rate in the nation’s cattle herd will be critical for brisket prices. While we cut many products from other primal beef cuts, a brisket is a brisket (forgive my simple economist description). As herd growth slows and overall cattle prices decline, brisket supply growth won’t keep up with current demand growth. It’s likely that restaurant prices will rise in response to higher wholesale brisket costs to try to preserve a bit of margin.
The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts jolie odell Tags:#mobile#web After AT&T and Verizon announced new mobile rates this past weekend, many users were happy to hear that the cost of voice calls would be reduced for two major American carriers.Today, the restructured mobile plans and packages went into effect, but the costs, benefits and corporate revenues aren’t as simple as a few saved dollars for cell phone calls. In a word, what all gadget geeks, tech-heads and mobile users know is that data is one of the more costly – and ever more popular – aspects of any user’s mobile plan. As smartphone adoption increases, how do major carriers’ plans stack up to one another?Our good friend (and startup BillShrink rep) Tony Adam wrote today in a blog post, “The real truth behind the story is that the profits are in the data: Verizon’s revenue is now up 24% (they reported $15.8 billion in Q309), with 17% coming from data services.”To put it bluntly, we’re all texting, emailing, tweeting and updating constantly – who even has time for a phone call these days? The laws of supply and demand state that as demand for voice services wanes and the public consumption of mobile data services rises, corporations will realize that it’s worth their while to create a false economic incentive for voice packages while maintaining and increasing rates for data packages.The tricky part, then, becomes stripping away the marketing-ese, the convoluted packaging structures and the hard-pitch sales routines that go along with them to determine how users can get the best fitting data and voice plans.Thanks to BillShrink’s unwavering focus (and they said the process behind this achievement was “painful… the carriers didn’t make it easy”), we have a concise, clear infographic on how mobile plans and rates from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all measure up to one another. Or at least we have a start: Based on data they collected, the BillShrink folks estimate there are now 10 million ways to structure a cell phone plan.To see the full-size, fully detailed infographic, check out BillShrink’s large version.For example, Verizon and Sprint are currently asking $119 for unlimited voice, text and smartphone data plans, while T-Mobile and Sprint’s equivalents ring in at $20 less per month. In fact, just about all the plans from these four carriers are identical until you start to factor in text messaging and mobile Web browsing, at which point Verizon and AT&T start to charge more than their competitors.As smartphones and superphones take over the market, do you think we’ll see more network-agnostic devices? And with more network-agnostic smartphones sucking up more mobile 3G bandwidth, do you think all carriers will raise their pricing for data and text packages?Let us know what you think in the comments. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …
Millennials have the most trust in self-driving out of all the age demographics, according to a new AAA survey. Only 69 percent would be afraid of driving an autonomous vehicle, compared to 82 percent of Baby Boomers.The younger age group also show more acceptance of semi-autonomous technology, like adaptive cruise control (45 percent to 37 percent of Gen-X), automatic emergency braking, and self-parking (33 percent compared to 22 percent of Gen-X).See Also: Electric vehicle startup NIO unveils self-driving concept car at SXSWMillennials were the most likely not to purchase a self-driving vehicle if it cost extra. Baby Boomers were most likely not to purchase because of safety reasons.The AAA survey also found that women were more concerned with self-driving technology than men. 81 percent of women are afraid of being driven by an autonomous vehicle, compared to 67 percent of men.As other surveys have shown and the AAA backs up, the more a driver uses self-driving or semi-autonomous tech, the more comfortable they are with advancements. 84 percent of drivers that have used semi-autonomous tech are likely to trust adaptive cruise control, compared to 50 percent thatThe more you use it, the more you want toAs other surveys have shown and the AAA backs up, the more a driver uses self-driving or semi-autonomous tech, the more comfortable they are with advancements. 84 percent of drivers that have used semi-autonomous tech are likely to trust adaptive cruise control, compared to 50 percent that haven’t tried the technology.Self-driving cars are still a very new technology, one that a lot of people still don’t know exists. Many more have not had a chance of testing a driverless vehicle or even seeing one on the roads, so it limits their understanding of the capabilities.As more test cars start to roll-out onto public roads and manufacturers call on the public to try them, we are bound to see some increase in the trust and excitement surrounding the new tech. The AAA has already come out in support of self-driving vehicles, but only if fully tested. For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… David Curry Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… Tags:#AAA#automotive#autonomous cars#baby boomers#driverless#futurology#generation x#Millennials#Self-Driving Related Posts IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle…
Ace shooter Gagan Narang wins his third gold in men’s pair 50m rifle 3 position, partnering Imran Hasan. This win has taken India’s gold haul to a remarkable 16 in the Commonwealth Games.Narang wins his third gold in men’s pair 50m rifle 3 position, partnering Imran Hasan.He and Imran Hassan Khan score Games record 23-25 points in men’s 50 metre rifle three positions.
An amalgamation of some of the well-known singers from Asia and outside, along with depiction of the rich and varied culture of co-hosts India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be the highlights of the grand opening World Cup ceremony here on Thursday.Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, who have composed the official song for the World Cup, and Sonu Nigam will represent India while Runa Laila of the Dama dam mast kalandar fame and Mila, a local pop icon, will be the prominent Bangladeshis on display. Legendary Canadian singer Bryan Adams will add variety to what promises to be a spectacular show.The fireworks and laser show will be yet another attraction, but the competing teams will be conspicuous by their absence at the 10th edition of the tournament and the third in south Asia.Also, the culture of Pakistan, which was scratched as a co-host by the International Cricket Council (ICC) due to security reasons following the attack on the Sri Lanka team in Lahore in March 2008, will not be seen at the over two-hour ceremony at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.Bangladesh Cricket Board CEO Manzur Ahmed also said that Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina will declare open the 45-day, 14-nation tournament, though the presence of Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman is doubtful.”The full teams will not be there at the opening. Only the captains and the managers will be present. That is how (Indian company) Wizcraft has designed the ceremony,” Ahmed told MAIL TODAY.One major reason for the teams’ absence could have been a big logistical problem in transporting teams from various parts of the three south Asian countries. But when India and Pakistan cohosted the World Cup in 1987, all competing teams lined up at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.In fact, at almost all World Cups, the teams have got together before the first match. Wizcraft, in association with Bangladesh’s Asiatic Events, an advertisement firm, has designed the ceremony, but they are keeping the contents close to their chests. But sources said that Nigam, Laila and Mila will sing along with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.Ahmed gave a peep into what would be an evening of razzmatazz. “In the three segments, we will highlight the cultural heritage of the three cohosts.And apart from that, there will be the other formalities associated with this kind of event, like speeches, some songs, fireworks, and a lot of digital display – it’s a kind of laser show. It will all be high-tech. Bryan Adams is also going to sing,” Ahmed said.”There are special preparations they (Wizcraft) have been doing for one month and they have been rehearsing it here for the last one week. In the Bangabandhu Stadium, they have been doing the infrastructure and other preparations at another venue. Some of the rehearsals are being done at the army stadiums for the last one month,” said the former wicketkeeper- batsman who represented Bangladesh in the 1980s.”We will have a little more time for Bangladesh segment – 20 minutes, plus or minus – but the others segments will get about 15 minutes, plus or minus,” he said.advertisement
Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has hinted at returning to football after taking a break for his “mental health state”.Griffiths has taken a break from football for close to a month to seek professional help for personal issues and has dropped a major hint that he’ll soon return to play for Celtic.According to Sky Sports, the 28-year-old posted a message on social media announcing his imminent comeback.“Not long before I’m back doing all this!” he wrote on Twitter while retweeting a message from a Celtic fan with clips of him lifting trophies and scoring goals for both Celtic and Scotland.Last Sunday, he corrected the record by stating the reason for his break, saying: “Despite what has been written about me, rumored or said to you from afar, I just want to settle one thing and to make it clear once and for all,”Johnston is disappointed after being injured Manuel R. Medina – September 11, 2019 Celtic winger Mikey Johnston was disappointed to miss Scotland Under 21 national team’s victories over San Marino and Croatia, and he hopes he can return to play soon.“I am off work due to my mental health state. Not gambling, drugs, or any other issue that has been written about me since December.”“I’m putting this out there now because family and friends are being asked questions and they’ve been told to say nothing,” he explained.“But I’ll not be silenced, especially by newspapers and idiots who can write tweets and make up stories and it grows arms and legs due to people’s sad and pathetic lives.”
Management MakeoverMany independent niche publishers are startups that are still struggling for a toehold. All About Beer is more than 30 years old, founded in the late 1970 (it’s headquartered in an office that overlooks the ballpark where the movie “Bull Durham” was filmed). Bradford started writing for the magazine in 1983, when he was the marketing director for the Association of Brewers. When he left the AOB, All About Beer asked if Bradford would run the title. When he eventually bought it in 1992, the magazine was far below its potential, he says.Today, All About Beer is 26,000 paid circ. with total distribution of 37,000 copies per issue. It’s published six times annually with two annual issues and four festivals. Annual revenues are in the “$2 million to $3 million range” and split one-third circ, one-third advertising, and one-third events.Critical to the success of a niche publication is the incredible value and impact of each staff position. Running companies this small means every individual player has a significant role to play in the overall success of the corporation. At All About Beer, each team member has P/L responsibility necessitating extensive management processes. “We simply can’t afford a B player in such a lean organization,” says Bradford. “In addition, every team member has quite a broad reach of responsibilities. Again, the value of the horizontal organizational system over the vertical, or silo, approach can be seen in the validation individuals get for their overall performance and the challenges faced in managing.”Bradford follows a strict management structure in which employees must pay for themselves within 18 months. “Virtually everyone has a budget, usually created by themselves and approved by me and the vice president, which covers their areas of expertise,” says Bradford. “They are also given goals based on the previous year’s performance with the next year’s expectations.” The events department has its own budget and the team shares a bonus pool if they exceed revenue and margin expectations. The marketing team has numerical goals and qualitative goals, with bonuses split between both of them. Sales and production share numerical and qualitative goals, vesting each other in the successful execution of the two core information packaging channels.The horizontal approach, while sounding very elegant, does pose some management issues when working across areas, according to Bradford. For example; the “beer wrangler”—who is in charge of discovering trends and new brands—shares in the success of various areas, requiring more management attention to goal setting and evaluation. “Again, the really tricky bit for a niche publication of relatively small size is keeping the support process to a minimum, but making sure it is effective in guiding people toward their goals,” says Bradford. “It’s not an easy balancing act.”Building Business SavvyMany would-be magazine entrepreneurs look at their venture the same way some people look at running a restaurant—as a lifestyle, not a business. But developing business savvy around publishing economics, not to mention advertising and newsstand distribution, is essential for any magazine to survive beyond its first few issues. Crawl, a magazine dedicated to off-road enthusiasts, launched in 2005 by three guys with a passion for the sport but not much magazine business sense. They quickly ran into financial troubles and in April 2008 hired John Herrick, a financial services veteran, to turn the operation around. “I came out of 25 years of financial services and I didn’t know diddly about the magazine business,” Herrick says. “But I loved the sport, took a 65 percent pay cut and thought I’d get a piece of the action.”The problems were readily apparent: Crawl was billed as a bi-monthly but didn’t put its first issue of 2008 out until March 31. Many vendor relationships had been severed due to lack of payment. “We reworked the banking relationships and renewed our relationship with the printer, who hadn’t been paid,” says Herrick. “We started answering the phone and talking to customers. We reworked advertising deals—one-third of our ads had been trade or barter.”Then in December 2008, the CEO changed the locks and ceased operations. “After all that work, it just stopped,” Herrick says. “They owed me for wages, I sued and ended up settling with the publishing company for the title, distribution agreements and subscription list. I was already in deep to begin with, I might as well see what would happen if it was mine.”Herrick reached an agreement with his former partners in June 2009 and put an issue out by the end of August. Subscribers didn’t know it was coming. “From a viral standpoint, a lot of people started talking,” says Herrick. Getting costs under control was key. The budget for the January 2010 issue was about $26,000. To manage production costs, Herrick cut the average folio from 180 pages to 148 pages. All newsstand distribution was relegated to 50 percent sell-through based on historical patterns. “We had driven the newsstand cost to the point that if we were at 48 percent sell-through, we were just breaking even,” says Herrick, who claims sell-through today is in the 60 percent range. “We had to overcome that frustration of, ‘Should I send these guys $24 and just hope? Or do I spend $6 at Barnes & Noble and know I have at least that one?’”In the last 90 days, Crawl’s circulation has grown 6.5 percent, with 16,500 copies on the newsstand and 8,200 going out in subscriptions. The fastest growing area is in the southeast and Herrick is looking at distribution on military bases.Crawl also had to woo back advertisers. “Trying to launch at the end of the year, we knew it would be January before we got companies to commit to coming back,” he says. Herrick implemented an across-the-board 35 percent rate cut but is still getting about a $90 CPM. Ad revenue increased 50 percent from issue 18 to issue 20. “Our overhead is close to nothing,” says Herrick. “We’re not paying rent for an office, we’re not supporting three full-time staff people, we’re not paying for warehouse space. I work out of my home and a contractor does layout and design.While Herrick projected Crawl wouldn’t make any money until 2010, the magazine turned a profit with its second issue back. “I don’t believe that Crawl will ever sell more than 30,000 to 35,000 copies per issue,” he adds. “For 2.5 employees, this a $300,000 year net profit operation. This magazine seems to have weathered the biggest storm you could imagine—self-implosion. If I don’t screw it up, it should be fine. There is every indication that people want it in print and are willing to pay for it.” Learning from Past Mistakes Justin Heister and Mike Mazur, founders of Focus Skateboarding Magazine, also learned the hard way from an owner without much savvy. The two had met at another publication, where Heister was in charge of art design and Mazur headed up editorial. “The most valuable lessons learned, for better or worse, were how NOT to run a magazine,” says Heister.Lesson One: Don’t give away advertising. “That’s something the founder was all about—getting big name advertisers in hopes of bringing in other advertisers,” says Heister. “Ultimately, that really cheapened the product. When it came time for people to honor that year of free ads, they never signed up. With Focus, we stayed true to not giving handouts. We’re not going to trade you for product, we need money to publish the magazine.”Lesson Two: Figure out your distribution. “The magazine we worked for was freely distributed,” says Heister. “Everything went out through the Post Office as bound printed matter—and it never went where it needed to go. It would have been cost effective if it actually made it to its destination but it was such a lousy way to mail, half the magazines that went out wouldn’t make it to their destination. The owner wouldn’t use Fedex, which you could actually track, because of the expense.” For Focus, FedEx became the cheapest method after getting multiple line discounts. “We found a printer who would supply the boxes for free and FedEx supplied the labels and we saved thousands of dollars on shipping in the end by switching to FedEx,” says Heister.After that experience, Heister and Mazur launched Focus in 2005. “When we started Focus, we were basically homeless, living rent-free in an apartment with no windows and no heat in the frigid Philadelphia winter,” says Heister. “Between the two of us, we had a single computer, some camera gear, and the ambition to make something happen.”They had no real funding and focused on getting attention with a profile on MySpace and leveraging their reputations in the skateboarding community. Heister says carving out market share wasn’t too difficult because most of the larger skateboarding publications are focused on the West Coast and distribution of those magazines in East Coast shops is typically limited to two or three copies. Focus opted for free distribution, placing 30 or more copies—the magazine prints 16,500 copies per issue—in those shops. “We filled a niche that has been completely overlooked by the skateboard industry,” says Heister. Focus has tried to phase out subscriptions, without luck. “Fulfilling subscriptions is so time consuming,” says Heister. “We raised the subscription price to $25 for six issues per year, but more people started subscribing. We’re up to 400 subscribers right now. Our efforts to steer people away from subscriptions didn’t work at all.”At the beginning of 2009, ad sales took a dive but otherwise stayed steady for the remainder of the year. Focus did around $140,000 in ad sales in 2008 and about $110,000 in 2009. In January, Focus will host its first trade show, The Focus Show, in Philadelphia. According to Heister, it’s the first show of its kind on the East Coast. “Most of industry is in California and they have road reps for the East Coast,” he adds. “We’re offering those reps a chance to meet the East Coast vendors in one place, rather than take a few weeks to visit them one at a time.”Heister says Focus will offer some incentives reps haven’t seen at other shows. “For exhibitors, we’re raffling a free booth—if you bought a booth, you get a refund,” he adds. “There are only 40 booths at the show, so the odds are pretty good.” The Focus Show will also feature a ramp contest that requires shop buyers to attend with their sponsored rider. Prize money goes to the winning riders but the sponsoring shops will also get money to spend at the show courtesy of Focus.The magazine is selling booths for $500 and expects about $20,000 in revenue. “This is our first show and we’re trying to make this a great experience,” says Heister. “We’re not looking to make a profit with this one and we’re putting the majority of the money back into the show.” The Focus Show has received notice from some of the bigger media players in skateboarding, including a write-up in Transworld Business and live, on-site coverage from Fuel TV, which is coming out from California to be at the show. Start ConservativelyInPark, a magazine dedicated to the theme park business, started publishing four issues a year in 2005. In 2008 they published five print and one digital-only issue and in 2009 published five print issues and eliminated the digital issue since it was not a big moneymaker and didn’t fit in with the schedule. The magazine has gone from 2,000 to about 4,500 subscribers, and now is split 50/50 between digital subscriptions and print. Each issue brings in around $7,000-$10,000 in ad revenue, with a “very seasonal market,” says publisher Martin J. Palicki. “Our tradeshows almost all take place in the fall, so advertisers focus on that period.” Each issue costs around $6,000 to produce and mail.Palicki advises publishers to estimate quantities conservatively. “I printed about 10,000 more copies of my first issue than I actually needed. Now my basement is filled with back issues. I now only print about 200 copies more than my distribution list, and 1,000-1,500 for any tradeshow distribution.” From a $25 Classified Ad to a $5 Million BusinessCountryside Publications is a niche publisher of four country-living and livestock-related titles located in Medford Wisconsin. Its flagship title, Countryside & Small Stock Journal (commonly referred to as Countryside) was launched in 1969 by Jerry Belanger with a $25 classified ad in Rodale’s Organic Gardening. The cost of a subscription then was $1 plus a letter with either a question, or an answer to a previous question, about self-sufficient living. The result became a magazine that was, and largely still is, written by its readers. Over the next 30 years Countryside grew and evolved but never strayed from the core premise; in 2000 Belanger retired and son Dave Belanger and daughter Anne-Marie bought the business in 2001.Today, Countryside is a lean operation approaching $5 million dollars in revenues with 13 full time employees plus two off-site editors, publishing four magazines in Countryside, Dairy Goat Journal, Backyard Poultry and sheep! (While Countryside and Reiman Publications were started about the same time with similar business models in towns just 70 miles away, the two companies have always been separate (although as Belanger says, “If they want to make an offer…”)Countryside Publications has always grown organically and has never used outside investors, a bank loan, or any other source of external funding. Revenue growth has averaged more than 20 percent annually for the past eight or nine years. “We’ll grow less in 2009 due mainly to a slight reduction in direct mail, but our margins will improve,” says Belanger.When Belanger took over the business in 2001, very little focus was placed on subscriber acquisition. In spite of this, renewal rates at the time were at 90 percent-plus, Belanger says. “But what we really had was a platform,” he adds. “In short order, we acquired Dairy Goat Journal and then sheep!” Both were being published in a tabloid newspaper format for fewer than 5,000 subscribers. Belanger converted the magazines to saddle-stitched 8 ½ x 11 and dropped the frequency to six issues a year. The subscription price is $21 per year.“Meanwhile, we embarked on an aggressive direct mail subscription acquisition campaign for Countryside,” he says. “We doubled circulation, and then doubled it again.” Today there are roughly 100,000 Countryside subscribers paying $18 per year with another 40,000 copies on newsstands. Because 85 percent of the people reading Countryside also had chickens, the publisher launched Backyard Poultry in 2006 “not having any idea if it would meet our projections,” Belanger says. “We enlisted my wife to the role of editor, announced the debut in the pages of our other titles, and spent $50,000 to get 150,000 double postcards in the mail. We sent that first issue to the printer with a 150,000 press run and held our breath.”It took only a few days for the initial 15,000 copies to sell out, so they printed 15,000 more and shipped them out in a matter of weeks. “We ended up printing another 15,000 copies before it was time for the second issue to appear,” says Belanger.Because the initial mailing was a relatively small 150,000 pieces, Belanger was able to cherry-pick the lists to mail, mostly from their growing in-house database. One outside list they used pulled a whopping 42 percent response rate and over 80 percent paid the invoice. Overall the response came in at 17 percent with a 45 percent pay-up.“We leveraged the revenue into more mailings including the use of card decks, which had never been a great source for us but worked well for Backyard Poultry, and tested different formats and offers.” says Belanger. Their current control is a self-mailer folded to 5 ½ x 8 ½ offering a free issue and an invoice. Today, Backyard Poultry has 60,000 subscribers paying $21 per year, with 35,000 copies on newsstands across the country which “sell well despite our wholesalers’ initial reservations on the subject matter,” says Belanger.Countryside’s main subscription source is DTP direct mail, and their control piece is the free issue offer (return the card and they will send readers a magazine and an invoice). Overall payup runs around 40-50 percent, but they have an upfront response of 5 percent-plus. This, combined with their low production costs, makes them happy.Another important source of revenue for the publisher is derived from book sales. While Countryside publishes a few anthologies of previous issues, most are titles from other publishers that they resell to subscribers using ad space in the magazines and an annual catalog. “Assuming the cost of advertising space is zero (which we do) net margins run north of 50 percent,” says Belanger, with total contribution to the top line around 7 percent.All back office operations are handled in Medford, Wisconsin. Fulfillment is done in-house including generating, inserting and mailing invoices, renewals, and supplemental issues. While they have used outside fulfillment vendors in the past, Belanger says they have found that they have more control over the process in house, and do it spending a lot less money.“My personal pet peeve is magazines that tell customers to wait 6-10 weeks for their first issue,” he adds. “At Countryside Publications we do weekly supplemental mailings. A new sub comes on board on Monday and their first issue is at our local post office on Thursday. If it’s a free issue, their invoice isn’t far behind.”Countryside outsources printing, larger direct mail campaigns and the creation and maintenance of their four Web sites. While Belanger says Web subscriptions are an efficient source of revenue, they make up only 5 percent of total revenues to date.“We’re consumer circulation driven. From our point of view, giving away magazines for less than the cost of production with the hope of attracting a large audience we can sell to advertisers has never been a viable business model, as a number of advertising-driven publishers have begun to discover in recent years,” says Belanger. “We love our advertisers, but we don’t want to pin our future on the vagaries of advertising economics. Advertising receipts represent only about 15 percent of our total revenue, and while some titles are down a bit, overall ad sales were up roughly 7 percent in 2009.”Niche and Online: Opportunity or Too Late To Catch Up?Many niche publishers remain primarily print publishers. They typically have Web sites dedicated to customer service and magazine content, with more sophisticated publishers offering a Facebook page or Twitter feed. Larger publishers have always contended that online is a mass market game and some smaller publishers don’t think a dedicated Web approach is worth it. “We’re focused on print for now,” says Crawl’s Herrick. “The Web site is just a portal to answer questions. I don’t know if I could go into that area and compete or if I could monetize it enough to make it worthwhile.”However, the low barrier to entry with starting an online business is spawning a stream of new online-only publishers. FordMuscle.com caters to Ford performance enthusiasts (and competes for the same automotive aftermarket performance advertising dollars as Source Interlink’s Hot Rod and Car Craft). The site generates about 160,000 unique visitors per month and broke $500,000 in revenue in 2009.While many publishers struggle with implementing a paid content model, FordMuscle.com is succeeding with one. The site introduced a forum category called “Tech Exchange” in which members can submit graphic how-tos. FordMuscle.com staff edits outside content before it’s made available to readers and contributors are rewarded for their submissions. The site receives between three to five submissions (which can range from five pages to 50 photos) per week. If a member submits one tutorial, FordMuscle.com sends a t-shirt. If they do two, they get a hat. If a member does six, they receive $100. “If someone is especially enthusiastic we may bring them on as a freelancer,” says co-founder Jon Mikelonis.Parts manufacturers can also be highlighted throughout, although ads are not sold directly against it. Mikelonis says advertisers haven’t tried to influence the tutorials. FordMuscle sells an annual online subscription for $19.95 per year and is considering a pay-per-article model for the future (subscriptions account for about 40 percent of revenue, while advertising accounts for 60 percent).Wend, a Portland, Oregon-based outdoor adventure magazine, is building a digital subscription base for online content, getting 50 to 70 new sign-ups per day. “We went with free subscriptions online—the platform doesn’t cost anything,” says editor Stiv Wilson. “We had a model for $5 online subscriptions but that will never be real revenue for us.” While Wend’s initial online content was just PDFs of the print magazine, it adds 10 to 15 pieces of new online content per day. In 2010, the site will undergo a redesign, adding a green gear store as well as a new business model in which eco-adventurers can find funding for projects.Offering digital subscriptions has actually helped the print product as well. “We’ve doubled the amount of print subscriptions because people who haven’t found it on their newsstand can now see the digital version,” says Wilson. “We make a decent margin on subscriptions. It’s not a big one but we’re not underwater with it like some other publishers are today.” Wilson says Wend is having a lot of success getting registrations and driving participation with online and newsletter-driven contests.“Nobody has figured out how to monetize the Web to the degree that you’re getting for a print page,” says Wilson. “To me, that’s because of brands not understanding the landscape media is performing in. A lot of ad agencies are way behind the times. You do a contest on Twitter to give away one clean canteen bottle and you get a thousand entries in a day. That kind of branding is worth its weight in gold.” Wilson says Wend has doubled revenue every year and expects $600,000 for 2009 and just under $1 million in 2010. “It’s not a giant leap, it’s a steady-as-you-go increase,” he adds. “Anything that quadruples overnight is bad—it’s hard on your staff and it’s hard on your business model if it stops performing.”In 2009, 80 percent of Wend’s revenue came from print. In 2010, Wilson thinks print will drop to 60 percent, with the remaining 40 percent coming from a mix of online contests, social media and brand consulting. “We’re seeing the media company become the partner rather than the ad agency be the go-between,” says Wilson. “I would expect by 2011, that revenue model will be 50/50. As the subscription portal goes up, print will go down. We’re not going to sell our magazines on newsstands unless its exceptionally high sell-through. It’s not worth it to us.”The magazine landscape is changing, according to Wilson, who cites 625,000-circ. National Geographic Adventure folding (that magazine will continue to live on in a multi-platform approach). “We’re friends with the folks over there and I don’t want to saying anything bad but when you look at the big overhead model and then look to us, we only need to make enough money for six or seven people,” he says. “That shows us our gamble has paid off.” The Hearst’s and Time Inc.’s may get the headlines but the majority of companies in the $40 billion magazine industry are small, independent publishers targeting a specific niche. Most of these magazines go unheralded beyond their target audience but have some of the best content, most loyal readers, and most enduring business models.“It’s hard to relate to larger publishers,” says Daniel Bradford, publisher of All About Beer, a Durham, North Carolina-based magazine dedicated to America’s favorite beverage. “So much of our life is personal and relationship-driven. The woes of the major publishers aren’t exactly relevant to us, especially since we broke down the silos of what we actually do. We are no longer in the magazine publishing business, but the information packaging business.”Being a small publisher carries a unique set of challenges, and even opportunities. In this article we take a look at how small, independent publishers are breaking into the industry, building their business, and navigating the precarious proposition of publishing a magazine in 2010.Some larger publishers like Active Interest Media, Aspire and F+W are filled with small titles dedicated to a specific topic, and almost by definition, b-to-b publishers are niche. But for this article, we’ve tried to limit the focus to consumer enthusiast publishers of $5 million or less (in some cases, much less) in annual revenue.
Kelly GaleKelly Gale Official Instagram (kellybellyboom)Victoria’s Secret Angel Keely Gale set temperatures soaring with her recent social media posts. Reportedly to her Instagram and flaunted her pert derriere in a white G-string bikini before going for a dip.The supermodel is known to regularly storm the runway in skimpy outfits for the Victoria’s Secret lingerie brand. But Kelly proved that she doesn’t need a fashion show to make people notice her. The model could be seen flaunting her lithe frame as she turned to face the camera in the skimpy swimwear.’Water is so cold I’m freezing my little [peach emoji] off,’ Kelly captioned the racy snap. Her brunette locks could be seen falling around her face and shoulders. The Victoria’s Secret model paired her swimwear with simple small gold hoop earrings. Kelly GaleKelly Gale Official Instagram (kellybellyboom)Last year, she told Vogue Australia that she works out ‘six days per week, all year round’ and consumes a diet of fish, vegetables, fruit, oatmeal and yogurt.” Kelly Gakle is known to take her health and fitness seriously. Her profession demands it. ‘That’s how I was brought up,’ Kelly said of her healthy diet. ‘I was never introduced to bad, unhealthy foods, so for me it’s just natural to eat healthy.’Hwer healthy living seems to have paid off as the model looked gorgeous in the snaps. Kelly added that she snacks on ‘nuts and raw vegan chocolate sweetened with coconut sugar’. Kelly Gale is one of the most successful models in the world. And it sure looks like she is just getting started. The stunner added that said she swears by infrared saunas to make her ‘skin glow’ and ‘help get rid of any puffiness or water retention.’ Well, whatever she swears by, it seems to be working, because Kelly Gale looks beautiful. You can check out the pics here: Kelly GaleKelly Gale Official Instagram (kellybellyboom) Kelly GaleKelly Gale Official Instagram (kellybellyboom) Kelly GaleKelly Gale Official Instagram (kellybellyboom)