News & Views

Four Media Transitions Travel PR Pros Need to Know About

Keeping up with a constantly changing media landscape can be challenging for public relations professionals, especially in the travel space. Here are four recent media transitions travel PR pros and destination marketing organizations need to know about in order to ensure your earned media campaigns are hitting their mark.

Canadian Newspapers Upset the Apple Cart

travel media, media transitions

La Presse, print edition

In Canada, as in the U.S., print journalism continues to struggle. At the end of last year LaPresse stopped its print publication, electing to go all digital. This summer the French-language newspaper adopted a not-for-profit structure, which will allow it to accept private donations and government support. In April LaPresse launched DADA, a new monthly magazine focused on lifestyle and trends.

The Canadian media company Postmedia closed six more newspapers in Ontario and Alberta, including Camrose Canadian, Strathmore Standard, Kapuskasing Northern Times, Ingersoll Times, Norwich Gazette and The Petrolia Topic, and ended print production of the Portage Daily Graphic, Northern News and the Pembroke Daily Observer.

Toronto Star Travel Editor Jennifer Bain is taking a year off to write a book, do freelance work and chair the Canadian chapter of SATW. The Star will not be replacing her and will be taking stories from AP, CP and Reuters. Carley Fortune is the new editor-in-chief of Chatelaine magazine, replacing Lianne George, who resigned from Rogers Media following a restructure of the company.


New Titles, Transitions at America’s Travel Pubs

travel magazine

Conde Nast Traveller

After serving 15 years as AP travel editor and over 30 years combined at AP, Beth Harpaz left her position to take on a new role as editor for research content at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Nekesa Moody (Global Entertainment & Lifestyles Editor) is handling travel inquiries until a new travel editor is hired.

Condé Nast will combine the editorial teams of Condé Nast Traveler and Condé Nast Traveller in New York City and London under the leadership of Condé Nast Traveller Editor-in-Chief Melinda Stevens. The new transatlantic team will begin publishing jointly beginning with the January 2019 issue.

The Chinese-American daily newspaper Epoch Times has launched a new weekly travel section, with short columns highlighting trends, new attractions, hotel openings and upcoming events. The editorial staff is open to press trips for firsthand, first-person narratives. Channaly Philipp is the food, travel and home editor at Epoch Times, overseeing all travel content.

National Geographic and The Wall Street Journal have launched Far & Away, a print publication for business travelers. George W. Stone, the editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler, has also taken on the role of editor-in-chief for Far & Away. Departures has been redesigned under new Editor-in-Chief Jeffries Blackerby, formerly with Travel + Leisure.

Ben Abramson is the new travel editor at USA Today, replacing Ashley Day.


Digital Media Marches On

Conde Nast Traveler’s new website focuses on three verticals: Intel (points programs, news), The Best (gallery roundups) and The Places (each city has 10 photo galleries). Each editor of “The Places” is assigned two or three destinations and is responsible for refreshing each destination biannually. A “what to do every month” in each destination will be featured and updated on the first of each month.

Zagat, Photo from Bloomberg

Google has sold Zagat to The Infatuation, an upstart restaurant review company that commands strong digital audiences around the hashtag #EEEEEATS. The Infatuation is also known for Text Rex, a curated, texting-based restaurant recommendation service. The company will maintain Zagat as a separate brand and is expected to continue advancing its digital transition.

The New York Times’ international report feature “Journal” has a new name: “Dispatches.” While a Dispatch story can still be traditionally written, the Times will also begin to publish video-only pieces, photo-driven narratives and “tap-through” stories that incorporate moving images and embedded videos.

Rachael Ray Every Day magazine is off the newsstands and has moved to a subscriber model. Content will be available online, and the magazine will be in Barnes & Noble.


In the Know… Here’s What Downsized or Folded

Following the Dallas Morning News, both the Chicago Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle will no longer publish international travel stories and instead will focus on regional and local stories only. Midwest Living magazine will also shift its travel section to focus solely on local and regional destinations.


The New York Post travel section is no longer running weekly. The newspaper plans to publish one or two travel stories during the summer and may run travel stories more frequently in the fall.


In late July, the New York Daily News laid off half of its staff, including Editor-in-Chief Jim Rich and Managing Editor Kristen Lee. Tronc, the Chicago-based media company that acquired the paper last September, will restructure the Daily News to focus on breaking news – limiting travel and lifestyle editorial opportunities.

In June FamilyFun ceased publication and disbanded its staff.

United Airlines’ first- and business-class magazine has shuttered, but the airline’s Hemispheres will be about 20-30 pages longer each month.

Bonnier Corp laid off at least seven staffers of Saveur, the 24-year-old food and wine publication, including Editor-in-Chief Adam Sachs and Deputy Digital Editor Dan Dao. The publication is also reducing from six to four issues per year, released quarterly.


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