Some magazine covers are honored as works of art. Others are considered controversial. Often, these are the same covers. • ASME’s top 40 magazine covers: • Annie Leibovitz took the photo of John Lennon clinging to Yoko One just hours before he was murdered. • www.magazine.org/Editorial/Top_40_Covers/
She also took the photo of Demi Moore, who was eight months pregnant at the time. The Moore cover sold an extra 500,000 copies and Vanity Fair received about 75,000 new subscriptions as a result of the cover photo. The Moore cover led to 95 separate television stories, 64 radio shows, and 1,500 newspaper articles. It has even been credited with spearheading a trend toward using pregnant women as a subject in art.
Magazines • Magazines have contributed importantly to U.S. culture. • Magazines have been journalistic and visual innovators. • Most newsrack magazines aim at narrow audience segments. • Sponsored magazines and trade journals outnumber newsrack magazines. • Magazines continue to demassify. • Magazines are changing along with the needs of their readers.
A Short History The first magazines printed in America featured a variety of literary materials gathered from books, pamphlets, and newspapers. 1741 Andrew Bradford printed American Magazine and Benjamin Franklin printed General Magazine, the first continuous magazines in the colonies. The publications carried political and economic articles along with literary and newsworthy items of the day.
1821 Saturday Evening Post was launched, ushering in the era of general interest magazines written for the literate middle class. 1860s Harper's Weekly introduced visual news with Civil War illustrations. It then began publishing reproductions of Mathew Brady’s war photographs.
1865 The Nation, America’s oldest continuously published weekly magazine, was founded. 1879 Congress gave discount postal rates to magazines (a penny a pound). With the Postal Act, Congress recognized the role of magazines in creating a national culture and promoting literacy. 1885 (to 1905) This is the beginning of the golden age for American magazines. During this period, the number of magazines grew from 3,500 to 7,000. These magazines became important in shaping public opinion and providing a forum for the discussion of important ideas.
1899 Gilbert Grosvenor introduced photographs in National Geographic. 1922 DeWitt and Lila Wallace founded Reader's Digest. 1923 Henry Luce and Briton Hadden founded Time, the first newsmagazine.
1960s Oversize general magazines fold as advertisers moved to network television. 1962 Hugh Hefner introduced the modern question-and-answer format in Playboy.
2008 About 12,000 magazines titles are available in the United States. About 90 percent of adult Americans read an average of 10 magazines per month. About 4,000 of these are consumer magazines and 8,000 are sponsored magazines and trade magazines. Only about 160 of these are called majors, magazines with circulations of more than 500,000 and revenues of more than $1 million.
The First American magazines • Americans were not heavy magazines readers during the mid-1700s to early 1800s. Books and newspapers were considered necessities, but magazines were seen as a luxury. Early magazines were expensive. A single copy could cost one shilling, half a day’s wages for a working person. • The first magazines eventually were becoming more successful though because they were more affordable than books. Magazines became more popular by the mid-1800s. Fewer than 100 magazines were published in 1825, but by 1850, more than 600 were published. • Small, specialized magazines were often based on literature, religion, or professions.
Golden age of magazines • The Saturday Evening Post’s (1821-1969) success began the age of general interest magazines and the golden age for these publications. • Magazines helped shape public opinion and provided a forum for discussion of important ideas and issues. • Magazines eventually were less expensive than books so more people could afford to buy them.
These publications built literacy as immigrants learned how to read and write English by reading early magazines. • Magazines also became a national advertising medium. That was something companies needed in order to sell their products. • Technical changes led to color illustrations, modern lithography, and photographs.
What events helped these general interest magazines to become mass circulation magazines? • Free universal education was available. • Postal Act of 1879 reduced bulk mailing rates. • Rural free delivery postal system was established. • Price of magazines was reduced as publishers began to focus on advertising revenue instead of subscription revenue. • Advances in printing technology helped to lower the printing costs.
Magazines as Media Innovators • Investigative reporting • Muckraking • McClure’s (In 1902, Ida Tarbell wrote a 19-part expose on Standard Oil Company’s monopoly through bribery, fraud, and unfair business practices.
Writer Lincoln Steffens exposed municipal government graft and corruption. The result was reform in most municipalities even though graft and corruption was part of life. • Stories focused on municipal corruption, meat-packing plants, and government officials’ dishonesty.
Personality profiles • New Yorker owned by Harold Ross (1920s) • Writers used multiple interviews with a range of sources to create an in-depth profile of a person. • Photojournalism • Gilbert Grosvenor’s National Geographic • Henry Luce’s Life (1930s) and Look
Consumer Magazines —available by subscription or at the news rack Circulation leaders AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin (23 million each) Readers Digest (10 million circulation) News magazines Time (3.3 million circulation) Newsweek U.S. News & World Report
Women's magazines "Seven Sisters" Better Homes & Garden (7.6 million circulation), Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook, Woman's Day and Rosie (was McCall's). Cosmopolitan • Men's magazines Sports Illustrated (3.2 million circulation) Playboy Maxim Popular Mechanics
Teen/Young adult magazines Seventeen (2 million) Skateboarder • Elite (highbrow slicks) magazines New Yorker (1.1 million) National Review The Nation • Newspaper supplements Parade (30 million circulation) USA Weekend (21 million circulation)
No advertisements Consumer Reports Guideposts (nondenominational religious) Ms. (feminist) MAD magazine Reader’s Digest (no cigarette advertising) • Newspaper magazine National Enquirer (1.5 million circulation) Star Globe
Top 10 magazines for circulation • AARP The Magazine/Bulletin • Reader's Digest • Better Homes And Gardens • National Geographic • Good Housekeeping • Family Circle • Woman's Day • Ladies' Home Journal • AAA Westways • People Total circulation (2008): 90 million
Non-newsrack magazines • Sponsored magazines —published for members National Geographic Smithsonian AARP The Magazine • Trade journals—keep people in a certain profession informed but sometimes have a poor reputation —4,000 trade journals —sometimes the news stories and advertisements are similar —might excessively promote advertisers and ignore negative stories about the industry —offer leading information about the industry that the mainstream media do not report Billboard, Modern Hospital, Advertising Age
Like consumer magazines, trade journals are numerous and specialized. Hog farmers can subscribe to Hogs Today, Hog News, National Hog Farmer, Pig Farming, The Pig Journal, Pig International, PigWorld, Pork Magazine, and many others. Newsletters • focused content on one subject • expensive ($600 to $5,000 per year) • small print run • little or no advertising • Foreign Auto Mechanic
Magazines continue to demassify Heyday of mass magazines (1890s-1920s) • Magazines were the dominant mass medium. They helped create a national culture of shared information, perspectives, and literature. Magazines were the venue for advertising nationally available products. Assault from television (1960s) • Television delivered more people to advertisers for a cheaper amount per person. • As advertisers moved to television, publishers turned to special interest magazines. • These magazines offered their readers information they could not find anywhere else.
Magazines were modified to reach the readers with special interests: -business magazines -recreational interest magazines -diversity of people • The circulation was lower and so were the advertising rates. • Critics say these demassified magazines betray their traditional role of enriching the American culture. They also say that specialization reduces the intellectual role of magazines. • New competition—cable television, webzines/e-zines (online only magazines), direct mail advertising
Specialization • U.S. publishers are moving to international editions to take advantage of new markets for their magazines. • Cosmopolitan is the magazine with the most international editions (58 international editions-2008). • One of the reasons for the recent growth in international editions is that it is less risky to launch a foreign version of an established magazine than it is to start a new magazine in the United States.
Most of these international editions are offered in translation. Reader’s Digest was one of the first magazines to feature an international edition. Now it has 21 million overseas circulation in 35 languages in 52 editions. In South America, Reader’s Digest, Fortune, National Geographic, and Glamour are best sellers. Reader’s Digest is the best-selling magazine in Argentina, Chile, and Brazil.
National Geographic Magazine • National Geographic Society founders started the magazine to promote the society’s values and build membership. • It is the most widely recognized sponsored magazine. The magazine’s U.S. circulation is about 5 million.
National Geographic is printed in numerous languages, including: • Chinese • Chinese Traditional Characters • Croatian • Czech • Danish • Dutch (Belgium) • Dutch (Netherlands) • English • Finnish • French • German • Greek • Hungarian • Italian • Japanese • Korean • Norwegian Polish • Portuguese—Brazil • Portuguese—Portugal • Romanian • Russian • Spanish (U.S. and Latin America) • Swedish • Turkish
National Geographic Society also publishes: • Traveler Magazine • Adventure Magazine • Kids Magazine • Explorer Magazine • The Green Guide • Classroom Magazine • It also has the National Geographic Channel on television.
Leading magazine publishers • Time Inc (Time, People) • Advance Publications-Conde Nast is part of this company- (Parade, Vogue, GQ) • Hearst Corp. (Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Seventeen) • Meredith Corp. (Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies’ Home Journal)
Magazine concentration • Primedia (and Source InterLink) owns: • Broad Reach Automotive • Automobile • Motor Trend • Truck Trend • Lifestyle • New York Magazine • Soap Opera Digest • Soap Opera Weekly
Automotive • 4-Wheel & Off-Road • 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility • 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords • ATV Rider • Car Audio and Electronics • Car Craft • Chevy High Performance • Circle Track • Classic Trucks • Corvette Fever 5.0 • Custom Classic Trucks • Custom Rodder • Dirt Rider • European Car • Eurotuner
Four Wheeler • GM High Tech Performance • High Performance Pontiac • Honda Tuning • Hot Bike • Hot Rod • Hot Rod Bikes • Import Tuner • Jeep • Kit Car • Lowrider • Lowrider Arte • Lowrider Euro • Mini Truckin' • Mopar Muscle
Motorcycle Cruiser • Motorcyclist • Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords • Mustang & Fords • Mustang Monthly • MXracer • Off-Road • Popular Hot Rodding • Rod & Custom • Sport Compact Car • Sport Rider • Sport Truck
Stock Car Racing • Street Chopper • Street Rodder • Super Chevy • Super Street • Turbo • Truckin' • Truckin's SUV • Vette • VW Trends
Action Sports • Bike • Canoe & Kayak • Climbing • Kitplanes • Powder • SG • Skateboarder • Slam • Snowboarder • Surfer • Surfing
High Technology • Audio Video Interiors • eDigital Photo • Home Theater • Petersen's Photographic • Shutterbug • Stereophile • Stereophile Guide to Home Theater
Crafts • Crafts • Creative Machine Embroidery • Creating Keepsakes • McCall's Quilting • McCall's Quick Quilts • Quilter's Newsletter • Quiltmaker • Sew News • Simple Scrapbooks • Step by Step Beads
History • American History • America's Civil War • Aviation History • British Heritage • Civil War Times • Military History • Quarterly Journal of Military History • Vietnam • Wild West • World War II
Equine • Arabian Horse World • Dressage Today • EQUUS • Horse & Rider • Practical Horseman
Outdoors • Bowhunter • Florida Sportsman • Fly Fisherman • Game & Fish • Gun Dog • Guns & Ammo • Handguns • In-Fisherman • In-Fisherman Bass Guide • In-Fisherman Catfish Guide • In-Fisherman Ice Fishing Guide • In-Fisherman Walleye Guide • North American Whitetail • Petersen's Bowhunting
Petersen's Hunting • Rifle Shooter • Shooting Times • Shotgun News • Walleye In-Sider • Wildfowl
Gems • Colored Stone • Lapidary Journal Marine • Power & Motoryacht • Sail
Magazines divide into regional or demographic editions • Regional—national magazine has different editions for regions (Sunset). • Demographic—identify subscribers by occupation, income or ZIP code. • Split runs—national magazines tailor advertisements to different regions. (Time, Newsweek)
Ink-jet imaging—specialized, personal message to individual subscribers • Time Warner’s geodemographic TargetSelect program—makes it possible for magazine publishers to identify narrower and narrower segments of the mass audience and then to gear their publications to those narrower interests. • Mobile magazines—magazine readers are able to read portions of some publications on their PDAs or cell phones. European countries are pioneering this trend. • Magazine publishers moved into cable television production and home video.