Regional construction magazine California Builder & Engineer comes to the Apple Newsstand
B2B magazine is part of Associated Construction Publications, a small group of regional magazines that attracts both regional and national advertising from construction equipment dealers and manufacturers
Many moons ago I was recruited out of the newspaper industry by a newspaper headhunter who was looking for a publisher for McGraw-Hill in San Francisco. I didn’t know I was leaving the newspaper industry at the time as the job was publisher of a daily construction newspaper – but it was, in fact, the last newspaper job I ever held.
McGraw-Hill was building up its publishing team in the division I joined, having just recruited someone from the ACP – the Associated Construction Publications. Our division was made up of F.W. Dodge and its data services, and the weekly magazine Engineering News-Record, as well as a group of regional construction publications – some magazines. or others newspapers. The recruits job was to convince national advertisers to spend their money with the McGraw-Hill titles and not ACP. The effort didn’t take, and we lost the guy back to ACP after a couple years.
I got into the magazine business when I realized that it would be hard to attract regional advertisers into my newspaper when they preferred the local ACP magazine, California Builder & Engineer. So I started a magazine myself and for years after that only published magazines. Our magazine was drop dead gorgeous, but our McGraw-Hill division started to fall apart when they brought in a new division president in NYC. The final nail in the coffin came just last year when McGraw-Hill Financial, as it is known today, sold off the construction division to a private equity company (see TNM story here).
The magazine I launched is long gone, but amazingly California Builder & Engineer is still around, still part of ACP. On Friday a replica edition app was launched for the regional magazine through Audience Media, simply called California Builder & Engineer.
The app is a bit buggy, actually crashing my iPad when I attempted to buy an issue. I had to force quit my iPad and reboot it to escape the app. Eventually I was able to buy the latest issue – $0.99 – as I just couldn’t help myself, I had to see how my old competition is doing. Not so well, as it turns out, as the February issue is 36 pages in size and only has a few pages of advertising inside.
The Newsstand app delivers a replica edition, but one that also will reformat the stories into a more readable form if you tap a button at the bottom of the screen. Many readers using an iPad may not figure this out and just think the app is delivering a replica only.
Audience Media, which has headquarters in Vietnam and outside Barcelona, has over 100 titles in the Newsstand – all appear to be similar in design. For whatever reason, ESPN the Magazine produces its app through the company, and although the app gets overwhelmingly negative reviews from users inside the Apple App Store, the magazine still has managed to record 5.8 percent of its paid circulation as digital in its latest publisher’s statement. High Times Magazine is also using the company to produce its Newsstand app. All the apps appear in the Newsstand under the name of the vendor rather than the publisher (which everyone knows drives me crazy).