Journalism Professor Presents Magazine Launch of the Year Award

Samir Husni announces honor for The Magnolia Journal at the American Magazine Media Conference

UM journalism professor Samir Husni presents the Magazine Launch of the Year award earlier this month at the American Magazine Media Conference in New York. Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for MPA – The Association of Magazine Media

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi journalism professor and Magazine Innovation Center director Samir Husni represented the university earlier this month at the American Magazine Media Conference in New York and presented The Magnolia Journal with the 2017 Launch of the Year Award.

Husni, known as “Mr. Magazine” for his extensive expertise of the magazine publishing industry, was the only university academic at the international conference. He was among the featured speakers of the conference, along with many other industry executives.

The publication is a lifestyle magazine launched by Meredith Magazines and Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.”

“The connectivity of the content and the design made and continues to make this magazine fly off the shelves,” Husni said. “Under the leadership of editor-in-chief Joanna Gaines, this print product creates a very interactive experience for readers.

“All in all, The Magnolia Journal burst onto the scene, and in less than a year, floated to the top, deserving the Launch of the Year award – an honor well-deserved.”

Husni, along with a selection committee, chose the magazine from among 212 total publications that launched last year.

“It was a huge team effort, starting with Chip and Joanna Gaines and our execution on that,” said Doug Olson, Meredith president. “Secondly, Meredith doesn’t win many of these awards, so we’re super excited and very much appreciate the recognition.”

Though the Gaineses were not in attendance to receive the award, they displayed their gratitude in a video sent to Husni and played at the conference.

Husni will host his own annual magazine conference in April at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at Ole Miss. The ACT 8 Experience brings in experts from all areas of magazine publishing to speak on a variety of topics and connect with students.