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Independent monthly to cover SA media sector

Wag The Dog Pty (Ltd.), new publishing company of industry doyen Sandra Gordon, is to launch a monthly magazine targeted at owners, executives and professionals within the South African media sector.
Under the title of The Media, the magazine will provide strong and engaging content written and prepared by best-of-breed journalists, media academics and industry authorities. The high profile readership can expect editorial relevant to their business interests. Enduring emphasis will be placed on analysis of shifting market conditions, with qualitative research filling the information gaps left by AMPS, ABC, AC Nielsen, Telmar, and other statistical bodies.

"There is a significant opportunity in this market for a reader forum," says publisher Sandra Gordon. Formerly MD of Primedia Publishing and CEO of film production company Sasani, Gordon is confident that the opening up of the media sector implies the level of maturity required to sustain such a publication. "Since being launched as a separate sector on the JSE in 1995, we have seen, and continue to see, shifts in the media's commercial and operational landscape. The industry needs an independent voice to track these changes."

Editor of the title, Kevin Bloom, has assembled a list of contributors well qualified to interpret the forces driving change in the sector. Monthly columnists will include Anton Harber and Tawana Kupe of the University of Witwatersrand, as well as Guy Berger of Rhodes. Leading financial analysts will provide insight on share movements and attorneys from top media law firm RWR will comment on legal and regulatory issues. Rina Broomberg (former MD of Primedia Broadcasting Talk Radio) and Rudy Nadler-Nir (founding member of iafrica.com) will be giving their preferred mediums sustained attention. Supplementing the list on the advertising side will be respected experts from the media strategy departments of the agencies, with Harry Herber giving voice to the media specialist houses. Finally, Dave Bullard will be contributing the 'occasional' back-page satirical piece.

Having assembled such a diverse mix, the challenge will be maintaining a tight editorial line. Bloom is specific about the direction he intends to follow and stresses the financial imperatives: "We have a clearly defined audience, so a major part of the battle is won. To be successful we will need to consistently bring this audience the credible, insightful and commercially relevant information it demands."

The first issue of The Media is due in early October.

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