Deborah Solomon
Cary Tennis
Best Covers Critiqued
What Are They Reading?


Charting the Masthead
And the Award Goes to...
88 Magazine Uses
The Year In Magazines
NYRM X-word Answers

Short Takes Goes Glossy
New Moon’s Girl Editors
Name That Partisan Rag
Highs of the Lows, ’05-’06
Overheard in the Industry


Gay Talese’s Basement
Radical Art Mag vs. the IRS
Why Magazines Won’t Die
Radar’s Neverending Story
Davidson on His Photos
The ASME Curse
Wartime in the Glossies
An Ex-Con’s Legal Mag
Essence: Behind the Music
(Un)covering Athletes
My Beef with Bridal Mags
E&P Goes to War
The Price of Truth


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Los Angeles Magazine
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The Walrus
Women’s Health


About NYRM


Masthead Inflation

by Asa Fitch

Are magazine staffs growing? Or is it vanity? Whatever the reasons, it’s no secret that in recent years the number of names on mastheads has risen. Cosmopolitan’s masthead grew from 36 names in 1970 to almost 200 in 2006, for example, while Popular Science’s climbed from 34 to 100 in the same span. Once an exclusive list of top editors and owners, the masthead is now an inclusive space. Contributing editors, interns, ad reps, marketing directors and office managers share in the small-print glory with editors-in-chief and publishers. So do some weirder masthead entries: Annals of Improbable Research, a science satire mag, lists an “Associative Editor;” the geeky Linux Journal lists a “Chef Français;” and Adbusters has a “Dogsbody.”

At just shy of 300 names, Vanity Fair boasts one of the most populous modern mastheads. Perhaps more surprisingly, Forbes is right up there. Yes, a few magazines don’t have a masthead, The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine most prominently, but those are anomalies—anachronisms, perhaps?—in the name-heavy world of the latter-day masthead. Why so many names? It remains a mystery. We can only ponder: What’s next? The assistant office cat? For the curious, here’s graphic proof of the trend (and 20-year projections):


*Projections based on masthead trends since 1970.