Sunday, May 01, 2005

May 1, 2005
Okay, it's hot. We got a couple reprieves from our patented Master-Blaster-Roaster-o-Sphere, with a little extra rain and cool nights, but today, on the first of May, it plopped on us. "The eagle has landed—on our head."

Back feels a tad better. Kathy was going to force me to go to yoga (or as my mom calls it "Yogi"), but she worked in the yard and I worked on a Blaze Away scratchboard and hid in the back yard (where Peaches ducks the truck rides) and the appointed hour has passed, and maybe, just maybe I have put off getting healthy for another day.


Painted on the Doc Holliday-soiled dove painting. She's sexy and pushed back in a Toulouse-Lautrec kind of way. It felt good to finally finish the Pa pago Station scene. Here's a peek at all the studies. The finished version is at bottom left.

Watched two Daily Shows last night. Jon Stewart makes me laugh. Then Kath and I watched the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Jim Carey and Kate Winslet (I think she got an Academy Award nomination for her role) I should have known it was going to be a convoluted and tricky story because I saw Charlie Kaufman's name in the opening credits. He wrote Adaptation, one of the most painfully contrived movies I've ever encountered, but this one was very good and once again, like Sideways, it's got the honest ending, rather than the movie, fantasy ending we all expect. I'd classify it as Total Recall meets W hen Harry Met Sally.

I've been studying the pile of magazines we bought on Friday and there are some interesting trends. More successful magazines are moving towards what Bob Brink calls the "service area," with the fashion mags like InStyle and Real Simple running individual products like dresses, shoes, even tooth brushes, with the price and where you can get it (usually an Email address). I think this is something we can easily do and should. Featuring boots, hats, gunbelts, saddles, ropes and general True West gear is a great service to our readers.

One of the other things I have gleaned is that the new editorial-ad balance is tighter than the old days. Out of 96 pages, Workbench committed 64 pages to editorial. This is a slightly higher editorial ratio than we have been using, but I think we need to lean towards adding more editorial, especially if we are going to add new departments, which we intend to do.

Other magazines were even more skewed towards edit orial. In a 360 page book, InStyle has 214 pages of editorial! How they can even produce this on a regular bases is beyond me. They must have a staff of hundreds.

Here's the ratio of the other mags we bought:

Smithsonian: 124 pages, 79 editorial

History Today: 64 pag es, 61 editorial

Hot Rod: 170 pages, 89 editorial

Southern Living, 236 pages, 112 editorial

Popular Mechanics, 160 pages, 80 editorial

Outside, 140 pages, 74 editorial

Men’s Journal, 256 pages, 127 editorial (very difficult to discern some editorial as being editorial and not ads).

We have some big plans for 2006 which will mandate us getting up into the 160 pages zone, and I have a very good idea on how to fill those pages. Very exciting.

Our man at the Westerns channel, Jeff Hildebrandt wonders if we merged with National Geographic, would our website then be:

"Don't ask the barber whether you need a haircut."
—Daniel Greenberg,


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