More from the Publishing Doomsday Files

Actually, it's good news! The only magazines that are dying, says Gabriel Sherman are stinkers or titles that service ad buyers before readers.

From Slate.com's The Big Money:
"...a closer look at the types of magazines that have closed reveals a more nuanced and, in many respects, hopeful portrait of the magazine business. According to a list compiled by Advertising Age, titles that have shut down in the past year come from the shelter, technology, travel, luxury, and teen categories. The reason for each category's challenges are obvious, from a meltdown in the housing sector to teenagers' wholesale abandonment of print for Facebook and Twitter.

"Yet the general conclusion that many extrapolate from these recent shutdowns is wrong. It's not that magazines are dying; it's that magazines that were created solely for advertising or market-share purposes are. New magazine titles often fail from a combination of bad timing, bad thinking, and a bad choice of brands to extend. Put simply, there are too many mediocre magazines."

"...Largely, these magazines never caught on with readers. And it's not surprising. Magazines are emotional products. They are objects of aspiration, passion, and desire. No one needs to read magazines, but millions of readers still subscribe to their favorite titles because they harbor deep connections to the glossy pages. As one veteran editor once explained to me, the best magazines make you feel like tearing open the plastic wrap the second that they arrive in your mailbox and curling up on the couch with them, ignoring whatever plans you had for the evening.

"Which is why the current downturn can be good for publishers. Magazines still offer an unsurpassed ability to marry literary ambitions with deep reporting, photography, and visual design. In this new media age, people talk about the importance of transforming readers into "communities." Magazines have never had a community problem. Great magazines have built enduring relationships with their readers that Facebook and Tumblr still aspire to. But in a race to grow their businesses, publishers put advertising first and editorial excellence second."

--"The Magazine Isn't Dying," Slate.com
Well said! P.S. Did you know People was a spin-off of Time magazine?

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