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media The Connected Table SIPS

Jacqueline Strum: Niche Media Is Going Strong

As digital media has soared in popularity many print newspapers and magazines have taken a financial hit.

But not all.

“Niche publications are the healthiest in the media industry, and aspirational lifestyle categories like wine are performing particularly well,” said Jacqueline Strum, President and Publisher of Wine Enthusiast Media, during an interview on The Connected Table SIPS.
So, what’s driving the interest in niche media?

Niche, a.k.a. special interest media, with its focused content, attracts an engaged, loyal audience of enthusiasts, whether the subject is wine, gardening, quilting or yoga. It’s a blend of aspirational meets recreational.

“Consumers want a break from staring at their screens all day working remotely during the past 18 months of the pandemic. They just want to focus on something they enjoy that is not work-related,” said Strum.

How to select, collect and store wine are also big topics. “People want to learn more about the wines they are drinking, and they are purchasing more wine to enjoy at home. In addition to the growth of virtual wine talks and seminars, we’ve seen considerable interest in new design concepts for at-home wine storage and wine accessories through our Wine Enthusiast catalog,” noted Strum.

Making the Wine Lifestyle Accessible

In 1979, when newlyweds Adam and Sybil Strum decided to launch a wine accessories catalog out of their suburban New York home, America’s wine drinking culture was in its nascent stages. Many Americans knew very little about wine unless they traveled to Europe or had an expense account to dine at restaurants known for their wine lists. California wines were just starting to gain acclaim, thanks to the 1976 Paris Wine Competition- the Judgment of Paris -organized by the late Stephen Spurrier, a juried blind tasting of California Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon against their French counterpart from Burgundy and Bordeaux. In an upset that gained international attention, the California wines won the competition.

The Strums sought to make the wine lifestyle accessible through their Wine Enthusiast catalog selling wine accessories, and in 1988 the launch of Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

In 2021, the elder Strums named Jacqueline (Jacki), President and Publisher of Wine Enthusiast Media, and her sister, Erika Strum Silverstein, President of Wine Enthusiast Commerce.

Jacqueline Strum and her sister Erika Strum Silverstein
Jacqueline Strum and Erika Strum Silverstein

The company has been a family run business since the beginning, and both sisters have been active running different divisions. Jacqueline Strum emphasized that both of their parents remain very much involved and are not stepping back.

“I work closely with our father on the business side of the magazine; he has built a large network of connections since the days when he worked in wine sales. Our mother is a design and product guru which is important for the Wine Enthusiast catalog.”

While advertising is the bread and butter for Wine Enthusiast magazine, Strum acknowledged the powerful impact of ecommerce. Wine Enthusiast’s ecommerce business alone has grown 50% in 2021.

The Strums look at marketing and promotion with a comprehensive eye towards making wine as accessible as possible. “With niche media, there are no wasted impressions. Every person reading Wine Enthusiast is a possible customer for your brand or business. You are speaking directly to your readers,” Strum said.

You could say Strum sees the glass half full…both of opportunity and fine wine.

Listen to our conversation with Jacqueline Strum on The Connected Table SIPS

This podcast can be heard on #iheartradio  #spotify   #applepodcasts or your favorite podcast platform anytime, anywhere. Please Like and Share #theconnectedtablesips

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Eat THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

What’s The Recipe for Running Good Housekeeping’s Food Dept.?

Susan Westmoreland

What’s the recipe for running the food department at one of the most respected magazine brands in the nation? We receive an inside peak from Susan Westmoreland, Food Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute (GHI), one of the most trusted sources for consumer product evaluation for over a century (GHI was established in 1900). GHI evaluates thousands of products for Good Housekeeping magazine which reaches 24 million readers each month.

At the Good Housekeeping test kitchen at Hearst Tower, Susan and her team produce all content, create recipes and test, taste and test again and again (an average of three times)  for the magazine, special issues, cookbooks and special projects. And we’re wondering: How does she keep turkey topics fresh year after year for the Thanksgiving issue? We discuss in this edition of The Connected Table LIVE!

Listen to our show with Susan Westmoreland here:

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Drink Eat THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

A Clever New Magazine Covering Cannabis and a Global Tea Ambassador- March 9- The Connected Table LIVE!

You asked. We listened!

We’re excited to announce The Connected Table® Sips on iHeart.com, our podcast series to provide more ways to spotlight people, brands and initiatives in the industry separately from our live show. The five minute podcasts are recorded, and guests can call in from anywhere in the world. They can be used for digital marketing & social media and will remain permanently on iHeart.com and the iHeart app. For information please shoot us an email: melanie@www.theconnectedtable.com

March 8 is International Women’s Day!

Here’s some kitchen wisdom from one of our favorite women in food.
KITCHEN WISDON- BLOWTORCH

This Week on The Connected Table LIVE

March 9, 2pm EST we continue our salute to women in the industry as part of National Women’s History Month. Joining us is Meridith May, the dynamic Editorial Director and Publisher of The Tasting Panel Magazine, The SOMM Journal and The Clever Root. Meredith’s journalism career spans both print (Santa Barbara News Press) and radio (KIIS-FM & KLSX, Los Angeles, and KEYT, Santa Barbara).She joined Patterson’s Beverage Journal in 2000 as Senior Editor and advanced to Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief.

Meridith May
Meridith May, Editorial Director and Publisher, Tasting Panel Magazine, The SOMM Journal and The Clever Root