We are working on a few publishing projects by now and there seems no final good option out there to quickly get the site up and running. We are investigating what's best solution to build robust premium Magazine/News themes (by this I actually mean a complete Drupal website profile).
We want to develop at least 5 different Drupal News and Magazine themes and offer them as basic off-the-shelf package and add customizations on top per bespoke business requirements.
Still last year, Openpublish seems to be a promising option with a decent amount of people apparently were having good experience with this distribution. But now Openpublish seems to be pretty idle and it's even tough for non-devs to even upgrade core without it's breaking apart. I am currently working on a bigger publishing site and from this real life project, I am experiencing these problems first hand.
So instead moaning around that OP is dead, we would like to learn from users what do you think would be the best solution to build commercial magazine/news themes.
1) Build from scratch like on http://akihabaranews.com/ a tech magazine that we support and maintain for the client
2) Collaborate on Openpublish, fix current issues, join as maintainer and improve functionality, update old modules and ensure all works with newest code possible.
3) Use Panopoly/Panels. Instead blocks/region/context use Panels, Page Manager and more to build out a base Magazine distribution (like on http://www.bnhcrc.com.au/, Panels + Bootstrap)
4) Why build premium themes when building custom solutions from scratch makes you more money.
Hope this group is still showing signals of having an interest in making Drupal a leading news/magazine/publishing solution.