Category Archives: Magazine News

Ad Age 2013 Magazine A-List Magazines to Watch

Magazines to Watch from Ad Age’s 2013 A-List

Ad Age 2013 Magazine A-List Magazines to WatchThese days, magazines must embrace identities beyond print in order to survive. So which ones are doing it best? Here are our picks of the ones to watch from Ad Age’s 2013 A-List.

The magazine industry isn’t just about magazines anymore. Sure, that original wireless device (that needs no charging, ever, by the way) is at the heart of it all, but more and more publishing companies are transitioning to media companies—meaning there’s digital and tablet editions, even branding opportunities and merchandising partnerships.

When Ad Age set out to determine its 2013 Magazine A-List winners, it considered magazines not just for their success in print, but also their willingness to innovate beyond the traditional medium. Of the ten titles that made the list, these are our picks of the ones to watch.

Men’s Fitness: This men’s magazine vs. competitor Men’s Health has been a longstanding battle since both were established in the ‘80s. For the longest, Men’s Health held the upper hand across the board, but under the guidance of former editor David Zinczenko, Men’s Fitness is emerging as a force to be reckoned with, thanks to surging newsstand sales and ad pages.

EatingWell: This food magazine has been one of our favorites since before Meredith took ownership. With the backing of the bigger publisher, EatingWell is hitting its stride, and the July/August issue is on pace to set a record with newsstand sales. As the former indie title takes its place in the national food and health conversation, its partnerships with health-care providers and major brands have been a major source of growth.

Women’s Health: This women’s fitness magazine made Ad Age’s A-List in part for its editorial excellence, but maybe even more impressive is its attempts to reach readers and potential readers in unlikely ways, such as through its Run 10 Feed 10 fitness-fundraising push that teams up with FEED projects to provide meals and raise money to help end hunger.

InStyle: One of the two repeats from last year’s Ad Age A-List, this fashion bible continues to test the potential of social media. It’s providing tablet-exclusive content and asking readers to weigh in on its Social Media Awards. The popular women’s fashion magazine is also entering into branded merchandise. It’s “Perfect White Shirt” measures fit by bra size, meaning no more tugging or unsightly gaping.

Esquire: There’s digital, then there’s what this men’s magazine is doing. While most publications have revamped resources to invest into websites and tablet editions, Esquire goes out and creates its own television network. It might sound kind of out there, but there are several tie-ins with the magazine. For example, reader-favorite sections “Women We Love” and “Best Bars in America” are being adapted into network specials.

Bon Appetit: The other repeat from Ad Age’s A-List from a year ago seems to have put the controversial editorial changes of a few years ago behind it. The food magazine boasts an increase in ad pages—counting several luxury brands among them—a redesigned website, and events that unite top chefs and restaurants. For its all-around success, Ad Age dubbed Bon Appetit its “Magazine of the Year.”

Government Shutdown Magazine Covers News Politics_featured

Magazine Covers Capture Frustration Over Latest Government Shutdown

Government Shutdown Magazine Covers News PoliticsThere’s a lot of frustration out there about the current government shutdown, and several news magazines tried to capture it on recent covers. Of these three, which one did it best?

The government shutdown continues to dominate news headlines and social media news feeds, but only a relative few news magazines are weighing in on illustrating or commenting on the standoff on their covers.

Magazine industry news site FolioMag.com compiled a list of three “shutdown” covers and asked readers to determine which publication captured the standstill in Washington best.

Time magazine, as should be expected, was part of that short list since its weekly publication schedule gives it an edge on monthly competition to more often add to the conversation with its cover commentary.

The newsweekly chose a striking shot of the U.S. Capitol under an ominously cloudy sky with the words “Majority Rule.” scratched out in red above it. The photo was taken Oct. 1, the first official date of the government shutdown. The headline was a reference to the oft-repeated mantra from Speaker of the House John Boehner in the days leading up to the furlough of government workers “Let’s listen to our constituents.”

According to the accompanying cover story in Time’s Oct. 14 issue, a majority of Americans would have preferred to avoid a government shutdown, making both the headline treatment and photo a well-done interpretation of events and perhaps what’s to come.

Fellow newsweekly The Economist placed the most recent shutdown in greater perspective, placing two politicians going at each other’s throats atop Mount Rushmore in its cover illustration. The founding fathers are turned in the direction of the politicians, giving them a look of disgust with the headline “No way to run a country” above it.

Not until 1980 did the government officially shut down. It became something of a common practice, occurring seven times during the decade. The last government shutdown happened 17 years ago, in 1996.

Perhaps the headline is a fitting reference to the fact the government continued to function for more than 200 years without interruption, the past several decades notwithstanding.

Finally, popular parody and humor magazine MAD took advantage of the opportunity to get in its jabs, too. For its October 2013 issue, it went with a less artistic shot of the U.S. Capitol than was used on Time’s cover with the sign “This Country Is Still Out of Order” hanging from it.

From Republicans to President Obama to everyone in Washington, there are plenty of targets the public is blaming for the latest impasse, and this sign pretty much covers them all.

Which one do you think best captures the situation in Washington?

Nancy Gibbs Best Time Magazine Cover Stories

5 of Nancy Gibbs’ Best Time Magazine Cover Stories

Nancy Gibbs Best Time Magazine Cover StoriesTime magazine’s most prolific cover story writer is now its first female managing editor. Of Nancy Gibbs’ more than 150 cover stories, we’ve picked these five as some of her best.

Nancy Gibbs, the most prolific storyteller behind Time magazine’s headlines, has been making the headlines herself this week. As she should by becoming the 90-year-old newsweekly’s first female managing editor.

Hired first as a fact-checker in 1985, she rose through the ranks to become a full-time writer in 1988. Though she assumed editorial roles—executive editor and deputy managing editor—with greater responsibility since that time, she never stopped writing.

It’s no surprise, then, that in her 28-year tenure with the news magazine, she holds the record for most cover stories written—more than 150. That number should continue to grow as she’s already announced she doesn’t plan on giving up writing—either for the magazine or Time’s book division.

Scanning the headlines of Gibbs’ cover stories in the Time magazine archives, she’s overwhelmingly reported on national politics and hot-button issues like religion and reproductive rights—often the stuff on which news magazines are made.

But news is also about perspective. It has the potential to identify what the immediate consequences are, or to place a past event into some kind of current context. It can document how we reacted to a tragedy and, maybe more importantly, how it changed us.

Gibbs has done some of her best work in providing this sort of perspective needed to help make sense of the world around us. When we scoured her lengthy list of cover stories looking for her best, these five emerged as much for their message as for her writing.

1. “A Pilgrim’s Progress,” Time Commemorative Issue, April 11, 2005: This piece captures the emotion of the Pope’s passing with this nearly universally relatable opening: “You feel smaller when your father dies because he was strong and lifted you, carried you and taught you, and when he’s gone the room feels too big without him.”

2. “D-Day 60th Anniversary: The Greatest Day,” Time, May 31, 2004: Six decades removed from World War II, this line is one example of perspective on perspective: “World War II remains the model Good War, and D-day, its greatest day—one of those rare hinges of history that might have bent the other way.”

3. “Seven Astronauts, One Fate,” Time, Feb. 10, 2003: Tragedies like the Columbia’s that took the lives of seven astronauts are always possible, though we don’t often realize it, as summarized here: “Any risk much repeated can become routine, and so it was for shuttle flights, except when they become tragic.”

4. “What a Difference a Year Makes,” Time, Sept. 9, 2002: The 9/11 terrorist attacks spawned a new era of fears and uncertainty—not just in the world in general, but also in some ways in ourselves, as Gibbs captures here: “Holding two contradictory ideas in your head was supposed to be a sign of first-rate intelligence. Now it just feels like a vital sign.”

5. “Life Along the Mississippi,” Time, July 10, 2000: The Mighty Mississippi has been both a help and a hindrance as a force of nature can be. But bringing it under control had more than just positive effects. Gibbs writes: “Anyone who had anything to do with the river discovered long ago that it was too powerful to leave alone, this huge continental drainpipe, and so the great engineers engineered the levees and locks and dams that reduced the number of ships that sank and towns that vanished—but also had the effect of hiding the river behind its walls and leaving the rest to the imagination.”

O the Oprah Magazine September 2013 Cover Afro Wig

Behind Oprah’s Hair-Raising Look on September’s O, The Oprah Magazine Cover

O the Oprah Magazine September 2013 Cover Afro WigOprah has a history of getting our attention, and she’s done it again in hair-raising fashion on the September cover of O, The Oprah Magazine.

Of all the things we’ve known Oprah Winfrey to do—from audience giveaways to makeovers—being understated is not one of them. And her September cover of O, The Oprah Magazine is bigger than ever. At least the hair is.

Last year, Oprah went with her natural tresses for the cover of the September makeover issue. This time, she’s focusing on hair, and by the 3.5-pound afro wig she’s sporting, you know she means big business.

Socially, the magazine cover has been a hit, garnering more than 80,000 likes on the talk show queen’s official Instagram account, where she proclaimed it “one of my faves ever.”

It’s been widely praised by fans and media, some of whom have dubbed it “frotabulous,” whereas Oprah’s natural look that debuted on her namesake magazine cover a year ago wasn’t quite so well received.

Among the questions raised last year was whether the curly tresses were even Oprah’s, but there’s no mistaking the ones on the September 2013 cover are. Oprah came clean to US Weekly, saying “I wish I could say it was all mine.”

In reality, her hair stylist was planning to make the showstopping wig when he stumbled upon another stylist who said she had one he could borrow.

Said Oprah to US Weekly of managing the extra-large mane: “It feels like carrying around an extra head. My own hair is shorter, not quite so spherical, and a lot lighter.”

Such a departure from the typical O, The Oprah Magazine covers of the past might be expected, when it’s new editor Lucy Kaylin’s first issue. But magazine creative director Adam Glassman says there’s more eye-catching covers to come.

That timing would be good, considering O, The Oprah Magazine was among women’s magazines experiencing sluggish newsstand sales through the first half of 2013, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.

Single-copy sales of O, The Oprah Magazine fell 22.7 percent, according to the report.

Reasons for Digital Magazine Subscription Growth

The Cultural Reasons Behind Digital Magazine Subscription Growth, Newsstand Decline

Reasons for Digital Magazine Subscription GrowthGiven our smartphone and tablet dependence, it’s no surprise digital magazine readership is growing. But the reasons for the nearly doubled number of digital subscriptions are as cultural as they are technological.

More smartphones, more tablets, more digital magazine subscriptions. That’s the very simplistic explanation behind the first half magazine circulation numbers released earlier this week by the Alliance of Audited Media.

Overall, paid and verified subscriptions held steady, slipping only 1 percent, while digital readership doubled, from 5.4 million last year to 10.2 million this year. By the numbers, it sounds impressive, though digital, at 3.3 percent, makes up a very modest percentage of circulation numbers.

Hardest hit were the single-copy magazine sales at the newsstand, which experienced a double-digit drop—10 percent overall—though some titles saw declines of nearly 30 percent.

Industry executives and publishers chalked up the numbers to the changing nature of magazines, readership and even their target audience. All true, and these are the fundamental factors at work.

We’re more mobile. Yes, we’re still tethered to our laptops, but more and more, you’ll see people clutching their tablets instead—especially if they’re traveling. Rather than lug the computer, the books and magazines on vacation or on business travel, tossing the tablet and the charger in the bag means there’s a lot less to pack and keep up with.

We’re more distracted by technology. This one is directly related to newsstand sales, and it’s not the first time the connection has been made. “Mobile blindness”—checking the old smartphone rather than make an impulse buy based on magazine headlines—is the side effect of our growing reliance on technology and the urge to scan Facebook or (gasp) play Candy Crush when we’ve got a free minute or two. Plus, a print or digital subscription will net you more issues than buying single copies at the newsstand price.

We’re ushering in a generation of digital-first readers. Many of us have experienced the days of the desktop computer and a landline (even before it was wireless!). We might feel pretty confident about our tech-savvy-ness, but you’ll find fewer holdouts clinging to print editions among, say, millennials and younger readers who are more likely to favor computers, smartphones and tablets for finding information.

5 Dollar Gift Card Offer

Get a $5 Magazines.com Gift Card With Each Select Time, Inc. Title Subscription

5 Dollar Gift Card OfferGet more than just your favorite magazines when you subscribe to select Time, Inc. titles. For a limited time, get a $5 Magazines.com gift card for each one you order!

Are you a fan of the wide range of magazines published by Time, Inc.? If so, for a limited time, you can get something extra when you subscribe to your favorite one—or more!

For each Time, Inc.-published magazine you subscribe to between now and midnight July 25, you’ll get a $5 Magazines.com gift card to use on a future purchase. You’ll receive the free gift within the hour of placing your order on our site. If you prefer to use it later, you can; it never expires!

With magazines available for a broad range of interests, you’ll no doubt be able to find something for yourself—or even a gift for a friend or family member. Here’s a preview of every title that comes with a $5 gift card.

For the Fashionista

With fall just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about transitioning your wardrobe while keeping it in step with the season’s hottest trends. InStyle provides tips on clothes, hair and beauty, while People StyleWatch previews what your favorite celebs are wearing.

For the News Junkie

Want to stay on top of current events at home or around the globe or in Tinseltown? Time keeps you up to date on the latest in news and politics, while People tracks your favorite stars and Entertainment Weekly gives insight on the best—and worst—in television and movies.

For the Sports Nut

Whether you like to hit the links or just prefer to catch the big game on the big screen, you can follow your favorite sports with Sports Illustrated get in the game with Golf Magazine. With the NFL and college football about to kick off, the former is a must-have to follow all the action from week to week.

For the Fitness Buff

Just because summer is winding down doesn’t mean you can’t keep up your beach body—or at least aspire to one. Cooking Light provides easy, good-for-you recipes that don’t skimp on taste, while Health magazine offers workout regimens, healthy living tips and motivation.

For the Culturally Aware

Embrace another culture or learn to more deeply appreciate your own with People En Espanol, which covers the latest in Hispanic celebrities, music and more, or Essence, dedicated to empowering African-American with inspirational features, relationship advice, and fashion and beauty tips.

For the Bargain Hunter

Want tips on getting a great deal for everything from everyday living to remodeling projects? All You offers money-saving secrets, organization tricks and other practical advice, while This Old House gives DIY remodelers of all experience levels inspiration and step-by-step guidance.

For the Money Conscious

Looking for ways to be smarter about your finances? Money magazine is perfect for individuals wanting money management, financial planning or retirement advice, while Fortune focuses on business and economic news on a national and global level.

For the Traveler

Appreciate your destination, whether it’s close to home, a short drive or a plane ride away with top regional titles. Southern Living celebrates everything delicious about the South, Sunset uncovers the treasures of the West and Coastal Living chronicles the beauty of the country from sea to shining sea.