Alexandra Steigrad reported that 122 magazines launched in 2021, up from 60 the year before. Grazia US was among the most high-profile. My personal favorites: Drew Barrymore’s DREW and Tracy Anderson Magazine.
Spending my early PR years in-house representing a dozen or so magazines, I have a personal affinity for the glossies. For the better part of a decade, I sat in a newsroom as a spectator witnessing the beauty and perfection that goes into curating a magazine (without most of the frustrations the editors endured!) From countless redesigns, the always-changing storyboards, constant cover tests and all that goes into every word, every image, every detail. It still gives me chills…the good kind!!
It’s also what made this month’s news particularly devastating. Six iconic titles ended their print runs: Health, Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, Parents, Eating Well and People en Español. And it came with 200+ lay-offs of exceptionally talented journalists, which frankly just made me angry. It hit hard. Only months earlier we learned Marie Claire and Shape’s print editions would end too.
That night, I called my old roommate, a magazine reporter who now leads a digital news team, to commiserate. Is print dead? What is happening?? But I got to thinking. What did I—what did we as a generation of magazine-obsessed—really love about print?
Curated content. The reader has a name and values, a favorite store and how they spend their weekends. The reader doesn’t have to look through a sea of articles because the editor knows him/her/them and provides curated content.
In my single days, my Sunday mornings were ritualistic. I got a thrill out of staying in bed until noon with a big cup of coffee and the New York Post—reading it front to back. During my work commute (NJ transit days!!), I couldn’t help but stop to pick up the latest mags… usually InStyle or Glamour. And on Tuesdays, when the weeklies hit NYC newsstands, I stopped everything I was doing to flip through People. Why? Editors spent hours–or more like weeks–getting to know me. Every detail of these publications were curated for me. They knew I would love it–and I did. We did.
Curated content will never disappear. It may just look different. We hope some of our favorites will stick around. But we now also look to newsletters like The Daily Skimm and Newsette in our inboxes every morning. We (secretly) love how TikTok knows what we want to watch and in what order! We invest in single issue, niche magazines–which have grown tremendously during the pandemic as Mr Magazine says, with topics ranging from cannabis and sex to African-American culture and life in the mountains.
— By Lindsay Ferraro Bennett, Senior Vice President