BoSacks: No B.S.: This Debate's Positively Cerebral
I heard the following conversation the other day, and it sure seemed worth repeating to my readers. It was a discussion between the right brain and the left brain of a large publishing head. For the uninitiated readers the left brain is often said to be more logical, analytical and objective, while the right brain is said to be more intuitive, thoughtful and subjective.
It started something like this: "Hello, left brain. This is the right brain, and we need to have a serious conversation. I am worried about all the reports of the death of print and the horrible way that our old friends the advertising agencies are treating us. Lefty, did you see the reports last month that magazines haven't seen a year-over-year gain in ad pages since 2005? For seven straight years, ad pages have declined. I can see that the down economy hasn't helped our industry, but, come on, this doesn't seem good at all! It freaked me out when I read that last year marked the steepest magazine ad page decline since 2009, when the country was in the depths of a killer recession and pages plummeted 25.6 percent."
"Oh Righty, where did you read that stuff? In some silly trade magazine or perhaps an antiquated newspaper? As a brain, you should know better than most and remember that famous Japanese proverb, that if you believe everything you read, perhaps you shouldn't read at all. You are always so over-thoughtful on these things. It is not really all that bad, and I think a case can be made that our future is a positive one filled with profits. It is just a simple matter of perspective. Look at it from my logical point of view. According to our pal Samir Husni, there were a total of 870 new titles on the newsstands in 2012, with 242 of them publishing with a regular frequency. Not since 2007 have we seen numbers that impressive. In that amazing and illustrious year (2007) there were 715 total new magazines, with 248 publishing regularly. This is not the end of the magazine business, but rather the beginning of something new and wonderful."