Mr. Magazine's Take on the Latest Consumer Launches
This interview is a part of a larger feature documenting some of the most exciting magazine launches and relaunches of the past two years. Click here to view more interviews with publishers of newly launched or relaunched titles.
Samir "Mr. Magazine" Husni has been tracking consumer magazine launches for most of his life, making him one of the nation's leading experts on the subject. He began cataloging consumer magazines in 1978 as a hobby, but the fascination eventually grew into a profession when in 1985 he partnered with Meredith to create the first Guide to New Consumer Magazines. The guide tracked every new title on the newsstand and some non-newsstand launches. Today, Husni continues to release his guide, now in its 29th year, and shares monthly launch updates on his website, The Launch Monitor.
What launches stand out this year?
Leading the band of new magazines is Dr. Oz the Good Life. There is controversy around the ads right now, but the people love the content itself. This is the first magazine since Oprah that needed a second printing for the first issue.
Other titles that have had a positive reception are, for example, Active Interest Media's Anglers Journal. It is a beautiful magazine and I believe they will do well with it. Then there is Naked Food, which is capturing the healthy food movement. Hearst also launched Branché, which is a fashion magazine they distribute for free on the streets of New York. And of course the return of Newsweek to print is huge news.
What industry segments seem to be growing the fastest?
Special interest is number one, followed by food magazines, then regional titles, and crafts and hobbies.
Why do you think special interest tops the list?
Magazines are the best reflectors of our society and the more our society gets segmented and the more we live in this world of isolated connectivity, the more we are going to see those niche magazines coming to the marketplace. America is no longer a melting pot, but a cafeteria where everybody can pick exactly what they want.
Related story: Glossy Anglers Journal Proves the Power of Niche