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From the Editor

Beating the Odds.

If you want a warm bath in fluffy features, BayBuzz isn’t the magazine for you.

I hope you are reading this edition of BayBuzz with grand ambitions for the year ahead – for yourselves, your families, businesses, and the community organisations so many of you support.

To help ‘inspire you to greatness’, our lead feature profiles 25 people to watch in 2013 – individuals, most of them not typically in the headlines, who will be taking on new, important or uniquely interesting challenges over the year. Stretching themselves and those around them. Making a difference.

Tom Belford

BayBuzz faces a big challenge in 2013 too … one that requires beating the odds.

This year we must prove that there is indeed an appetite for thoughtful, probing journalism focused on Hawke’s Bay issues and lifestyle, and an economic model to support it over the long haul.

In short, BayBuzz is going pay-only.

Starting with our next edition in March, to receive BayBuzz you will need to either be a subscriber (and get copies delivered to your door!) or buy your copy at a variety of stores around the Bay.

In our recent Reader Survey, fully 86% agreed strongly that BayBuzz “meets a need other publications do not.” And 75% believe “BayBuzz provides an important community service.” We appreciate that endorsement of what we are trying to accomplish and deliver for Hawke’s Bay.

At the same time, 73% say they might subscribe “at a reasonable price” or purchase individual copies. Again, we appreciate the sentiment … but will our ‘consumers’ come through?

To make subscribing to BayBuzz as easy as possible, we’re making an unprecedented offer – we’re letting you, our reader, set your own subscription price. You decide how valuable BayBuzz is to you, and that’s what you pay as an annual subscription.

Can you ask for a more “reasonable” price than that?! Our subscription offer is explained on the inside back cover.
Even with this ‘name your own price’ subscription offer, BayBuzz is bucking the odds – for two reasons.

First of all, we’re swimming against the tide of the entire publishing industry, where newspapers and magazines have been losing torrential amounts of revenue. “Are you nuts, Tom, it’s an online world now!”

Last month, APN, owner of Hawke’s Bay Today, among other New Zealand publications, indicated it would suffer a 30% profit slump. Their chief executive said, “Our publishing businesses have felt the full force of the market downturn in both Australia and New Zealand.” APN expects advertising revenues in NZ will be 9% lower for the year, mostly due to a drop in display and job ads.

BayBuzz has been reasonably successful in winning advertisers in a tough, recession-stung marketplace. We are ever so grateful for those who have stepped up and judged our magazine to be a compelling platform for their messages. Readers, please pay attention to them.

But advertising won’t cover the costs. Even for a magazine that runs on an oily rag, with considerable volunteer support.

And the second reason BayBuzz is bucking the odds?

We don’t aim to make our readers comfortable, bathing you in fluffy features and unadulterated boosterism. Instead, we challenge and provoke, even with our humour. I guarantee you’ll find something to disagree with in this issue!
Making you uncomfortable (sometimes even unhappy), asking you to question the status quo and ‘powers that be’, talking about real problems, taking a stand – is this the path to winning you as a BayBuzz subscriber?!

For many, the answer will be No. But hopefully, for many more, the answer will be Yes. If you think BayBuzz is a quality publication deserving of your support, please turn to the last page, right now, consider our value, name your price …

And subscribe!

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