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The Scoop

Employee Newsletter

Q3 2023

Message from President & CEO David Parry

New & Noteworthy

Walmart Innovation

We have some exciting news to share about our Walmart magazine business! We are adding more than 24,000 magazine pockets to Walmart’s frontend check lanes, with a360media having over 12,000 additional locations for our publications.

These pockets are scheduled to be installed between now (Phase 1) and the end of September (Phase 2).

Norm Bilek, accelerate360 VP of Sales, working with our Walmart D82 buying team and their internal fixture department, along with their fixture manufacturer put this major initiative in motion.

Marianne Szamraj, SVP of RS2 was instrumental in developing a strong selection of titles for the fixtures. Judy Curtis and JoAnn Knox were also critical to getting this one to the finish line.

Magazine sales will be the beneficiary. When installed, we’re estimating incremental revenue of several million dollars a year from these added pockets.

Great job Norm, Marianne, Judy, and JoAnn!

Lights, Camera, Action!

Us Weekly’s new state-of-the-art, on-site production studio and green room will supercharge our video capabilities in a number of ways. The studio will empower us to produce premium video content that resonates with our audience, offer advertisers unique ways to organically integrate their brands into our content, and will allow us to attract A-list celebrity talent to the studio, boosting our overall brand value.

Us Weekly Split Covers Test

“This week we opted for an in-market test, crafting split covers that feature a fresh face for the main image in Shakira opposite a standby sales-driver in the royal family. As we continue to expand and diversify the magazine’s entertainment coverage, we are curious to see the audience’s appetite for new cover subjects. The timing felt right for Shakira as she was coming off an attention-grabbing, universally praised performance at the MTV VMAs. We also had original reporting on her new relationship — and know that our online audience, and fans in general, have a great interest in her love life, following her split from a cheating ex. With Kate and William, meanwhile, we had access to new, quality images of them which made for a very visually appealing cover. These two concepts show the breadth of our coverage and our team’s ability to be nimble in delivering storylines our readers care about. As we continue to make great strides in our push for access and cooperative covers, this week’s offerings also demonstrate that we still have our feet firmly rooted in the old-fashioned celebrity reporting Us readers know and love.”
- Maria Fontoura, Editor in Chief, Us Weekly

Employee Spotlight

Ryan Bernal, Director of eCommerce

Comag Has a New Website!

Comag Marketing Group (CMG) provides publishers with comprehensive business services that drive efficiencies and deliver value. To raise awareness of these services, we rebuilt CMG’s website from the ground up! Also, this month, leaders from accelerate360 and a360media will partner with CMG on a series of events to educate publishers on advancements in Affiliate Content Syndicate and online marketplace opportunities with Magazine Shop.

25% increase in total audience across a360media titles

Growth & Innovation Strategies are Delivering Media Results

We’re experiencing encouraging results as continue to invest in growth and innovation across our portfolio of brands. This rings true with the latest MRI-Simmons study where we saw an increase of 25% in total gross audience YoY across a360media titles with the largest growth in key demos including women 18-44, Hispanic and AA readership. In fact, all our brands saw double-digit lifts compared to 2022 with Us Weekly seeing 24% growth and First For Women seeing an incredible 42% increase in audience.

DTC eCommerce

Another area of our business experiencing growth is our DTC eCommerce offering which is centered around simplicity, speed to market, and scalability.

Benefits of our product include:

  • Fully-integrated  Social Commerce
  • Seamless Order Fulfillment
  • Customer & Performance Data
One of our recent DTC microsite and social campaigns for a major CPG brand partner allowed them to capture 5,364 new customer profiles in the first month!

Us Weekly's Website
Has a Refreshing New Look

The enhanced website provides Us Weekly readers and fans with a more enjoyable experience as they interact with our addictive, obsessive and exclusive celebrity content. Upgraded features include:

  • A clean and fast mobile-first design
  • A richer experience for premium video content
  • Improved content recommendations

New Social Platform Driving Growth

We implemented a new social platform across most of our media brand sites in July which utilizes AI to optimize which content gets posted to social media and when.

The initial results have been fantastic: 40% growth in sessions to our sites driven from social media in the month of August!

More Digital Enhancements Coming Soon

"We continue to invest in our user experience and will be launching several new improvements to our sites over the coming months. Features include a more mobile-friendly video player and improved email newsletters with 1:1 content targeting. The team worked extremely hard over the summer and it is exciting to see these projects launch and begin to have an impact on our growth."
- Andy Wilson, Chief Digital Officer

Trending Special Interest Publications (Taylor’s Version)

Multiple hit albums and a massive national tour are driving sales of Taylor Swift a360media SIPs, which cover everything from her rise to stardom and music, to her most iconic fashion moments. 

Click below to read other trending issues from this season:

Growth on Magazine Shop

Magazine Shop, our eCommerce marketplace for magazines, continues to grow at a rapid pace. In fact, the site just recorded a 300% YOY sales increase! Highlights that make this shop #1 include:

  • Industry-leading conversion rates & repeat customers
  • Robust marketing across owned, digital & social channels
  • Dedicated eCommerce, fulfillment & customer service teams

Expanding Our Merchandising Workforce

Merchandisers and counting!
Employees companywide
Employee home-states, plus Canada!

Culture Corner

Fun at the Braves Game!

Earlier this month, Boyd and Kim Mulholland won tickets to the Braves game from a raffle held at our home office in Atlanta. While at the game, they were invited to help present the American flag with 200 additional patrons. 

Making Team Engagement Fun

"Energizing your team and colleagues with enjoyable activities is paramount to both productivity and job satisfaction. However, working these exercises into daily work life can sometimes feel daunting, especially if you're not the team leader. We recommend setting time aside before meetings or work huddles to engage your group with an icebreaker to lift spirits and get ideas flowing. Close the activity by asking someone to lead the next game. By encouraging this kind of engagement, you'll surely get to know one another better and perhaps even learn how to better work with each other."
- Michael Rogge, Executive Vice President of Human Resources

Invest In Your Future

It’s easy to start saving! Check out our 4-minute 401(k) enrollment webinar to learn more.

principal 401k

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