Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni, interviewed Hudson News Distribution owners Lisa and James Cohen about the recent launch of the couple’s first magazine Galerie. After working at the largest and oldest periodical wholesaler in the country for many years, the Cohen’s wanted to utilize their expertise to develop their own quarterly magazine. Despite declining newsstand sales, the couple believes there is a place for beautifully printed magazines that appeal to a passionate niche on the newsstand. “The most significant drop in newsstand is coming from the mass celebrity books where they have the most readily available alternatives,” explained Mr. Cohen. Mrs. Cohen added that a reading experience like the glossy Galerie is not easily replicated online. Following are a few highlight’s from Husni’s interview, in which the Cohen’s share their vision for Galerie and how they see the newsstand evolving in the future.
Read the full interview here.
Lisa Cohen on the mission of Galerie
There is such a huge interest all over the globe in the art world. And people really want to be a part of that and know more about it. As I have said before, there are magazines that are just about art; there are interior design home magazines that are just about that, and there are fashion magazines that are just about fashion and travel that covers travel, but this magazine brings it all together and shows how art influences all those different genres of design. So, I feel it’s a very full experience. . .
So, my goal is to bring that creative process out and break it down so that people can enjoy that and be motivated from one artistic eye to another.
James Cohen explains why they are keeping the magazine cost low at $7.95
Well that was a consensus decision that we all thought was appropriate for the simple reason that to be successful on the newsstand on a very small niche level or on a mass level, what I learned 35 years ago was that price should not be an impediment to buying it. And we wanted to have, even within this niche, as wide an audience as possible. So if there was an interest and they picked up a copy, the last thing that we wanted was for the price to be an issue.
James Cohen on the future of the newsstands
You know the most significant drop in newsstand is coming from the mass celebrity books where they have the most readily available alternatives. And as that settles in those drops will mitigate. The last four months or so of the business, sales have dropped less and we’re not sure if this the start of a trend or not, but at a certain point we feel that the migration is going to cease. . .
But the few publishers who have had the courage to print new magazines, and of course Hearst is the shining example, because they’ve come up with three winners in the last four or five years, that shows if you have the courage of your convictions and if you have a niche and you can find the right audience and publish something that people want to read, then there should be a future here.
Let’s face it, the mass books of half a century ago, the Saturday Evening Post, LIFE; they all kind of gave way in a certain manner to television. And the same thing has happened with the newsweeklies and the celebrity weeklies with digital. So, they’ll find their niche, it won’t be what it used to be, but as long as publishers can put products together that people want to read, it’ll be around. And you just can’t understate that; you just have to be a little more clever and creative these days. And I think that there’s always going to be a market for it. Ten years from now it may look entirely different, but it will always be here and hopefully stabilize over the next few years.