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A Year-ish Worth of Buzz

News and notes from the magazine industry in 2007 and 2008

By Michele Wilson


January 2007

  • The Independent Press Association calls it quits, meaning one less advocate and a rough start to the year for small indie publications.

  • Time magazine moves its delivery date from Mondays to Fridays, and redesigns its website to offer readers a “continuous 24/7 experience.”

  • Stockholm-based Bonnier Magazine Group acquires 18 publications from Time Inc., establishing itself in the United States as one of the largest consumer publishing groups.

February 2007

  • Starting an ’07 trend, Seventeen gives teen girls a new reason to reach for their cell phones by offering mobile access to content. Mags from Harper’s Bazaar to Car and Driver follow suit.

  • The U.S. Postal Service announces a postage hike that dramatically increases distribution costs for many small, independent magazines.

  • A Canadian media company purchases The New Republic, which cuts back from a weekly to a biweekly.

March 2007

  • Condé Nast launches its first online-only venture, Stylefinder.com, a website showcasing trends and tips from fashion experts.

  • The third time’s not the charm for Life magazine, which folds after yet another revival (as a newspaper insert). Time Inc. promises to keep Life alive online.

  • The Magazine Publishers of America launches a two-pronged recycling initiative, encouraging its members to use recycled paper and to carry a “Please Recycle This Magazine” logo.

April 2007

  • Online magazine Slate redesigns its discussion forum, “The Fray,” allowing readers to play an active role in the overhaul. The result? Easier navigation.

  • Condé Nast adds its newest title, Portfolio, to an already-crowded field of business publications.

  • Making sure that its magazines win some awards, Hearst creates its own program, the Tower Awards, to honor Hearst-only publications.

May 2007

  • Adam Moss’ New York magazine takes home five National Magazine Awards. In a jab at The New Yorker (which, for the first time in years, came up empty-handed), for Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker dubs Moss “the new David Remnick.”

  • Time Inc. editor in chief John Huey takes a dozen editors to New Orleans, spurring post-Katrina coverage in 10 Time Inc. publications, including Sports Illustrated, Essence and This Old House.

June 2007

  • In an attempt to reach a younger, internet-savvy audience, Popular Science launches PopSci Predictions Exchange, an online forum in which people buy and sell predictions for the future, using virtual currency.

  • Rolling Stone’s green printing initiative backfires when environmentalists point out that the “carbon-neutral paper” the magazine plans to use has no recycled content.

July 2007

  • Condé Nast ends Jane magazine’s 10-year run, prompting the mag’s founder and namesake, Jane Pratt, to attack her former company on her Sirius satellite radio show.

August 2007

  • Riding on the success of High School Musical, TV Guide includes in its August 13 newsstand issue a CD-ROM full of insider info about the teeny-bopper drama’s sequel.

September 2007

  • Oprah Winfrey throws her weight, and the attention of O: The Oprah Magazine (circulation: 2.5 million), behind presidential candidate Barack Obama with a fundraiser that rakes in $3 million for his campaign.

  • Time Inc. closes dot-com mag Business 2.0 after seven years, folding its staff into sister magazine Fortune.

October 2007

  • Habla Español, Meredith? The publisher rolls its Healthy Kids en Español into its parenting mag Ser Padres to create one of the largest Spanish-language publications in the United States.

  • BusinessWeek undergoes a major redesign, giving the magazine a new streamlined look and a more reader-friendly editorial approach.

November 2007

  • The Hollywood writers’ strike prompts Variety to start “Scribe Vibe: Variety’s WGA Strike Blog,” a blog dedicated to the topic.

December 2007

  • Condé Nast’s century-old House & Garden publishes its last issue. The H&G website now redirects users to shelter mag Domino.

  • The Utne Reader announces the winners of the 2007 Utne Independent Press Awards. Top honors go to political mags ColorLines (for General Excellence) and Democracy (for Best New Publication).

January 2008

  • Former New Yorker and Talk editor Tina Brown is inducted into the Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame. Jack Kliger, president and CEO of Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., receives an MPA lifetime achievement award.

  • Wal-Mart announces that it will stop selling more than 1,000 magazine titles, including W, The New Yorker, and BusinessWeek. No official reason is given, but speculation points to slow sales and Wal-Mart’s new effort to be environmentally friendly.

February 2008

  • Atoosa Rubenstein, founder of CosmoGIRL! and former editor in chief of Seventeen, flaunts her pregnancy on YouTube (and rags on celebs who sell their babies’ photos).

  • Vanity Fair launches new online forum “Hitch Bitch,” giving readers a chance to strike back at controversial columnist Christopher Hitchens.

  • People magazine reportedly pays Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony an unprecedented $6 million for rights to the first photos of their newborn twins.

March 2008

  • The Atlantic puts Britney Spears on its cover, causing a stir among readers. The article focuses on the celebrity-crazy culture in the United States.

  • More than 100 Newsweek staffers accept a buyout. They include long-time writers David Gates, David Ansen and Cathleen McGuigan.


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