New York was the little magazine that could. "Could" in this case meant publishing every week. That's changing in March when the now-weekly magazine will begin cutting back on its print run and publish every other week in an effort to save around $3 million per year.
"The magazine will move from publishing 42 issues to 29 annually (in calendar year 2014, there will be 30 issues, as the change takes effect with the issue dated March 3–10), on a biweekly basis, with three additional special issues covering a single subject from top to bottom," New York Media said in a statement. Those three issues are the "Best Doctors" issue, the magazine's annual gift guide, and a food-and-drink issue, The New York Times's David Carr reports.
The move (at least for media gazers and execs in the magazine industry especially) could be seen as one more nail in print media's coffin, especially after some other high-profile rollbacks in recent years. New York has seemed like the LeBron James of the media industry. It does superhuman things that a lot of other magazine companies say is impossible: publishing great stuff at a rapid pace, winning award after award, understanding the web as well as any company out there, and well ... actually being something people are hungry to read. Magazine geeks don't want to think that the malaise and sinking print ad revenue that brought down magazines like Newsweek would apply to a powerhouse like New York. But it did.
Carr explains further:
So far this year, the magazine is down 9.2 percent in ad pages compared with the same period last year, which was miserable as well. ...
The cut in frequency will yield about $3.5 million in savings, which will then be invested in faster-growing digital efforts. No layoffs are foreseen — 15 people will be added to beef up online content and sales, which is where a formerly local publication can reach for sustenance nationally.
It's on that digital side that New York is making its living. The magazine's spin-off sites Vulture, The Cut, and Grub Street are on fire. The company reports that their online audience was up over 40 percent this October, which translates to about 18 million monthly unique visitors. And they say that their investments will include a new blog focused on human behavior (titled "the Science of Us"), the Daily Intel blog beefing up its political coverage, and more manpower at Vulture and The Cut.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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