Zombies, Mutants & Resurrection: Magazine Publishing in 2019
For magazine publishing, 2019 has been a year full of births, deaths, mutants, zombies – and even a resurrection.
The glass-half-full crowd will point to the findings of Mr. Magazine (Dr. Samir Husni) that the total number of magazine titles in the U.S. is at a record high.
The half-empty folks will note the loss this year of so many well-known magazines – Family Circle, ESPN the Magazine, MONEY, National Geographic Traveler, Mad, Auto Week – the list goes on. Just last week, TEN Publishing added 19 magazines to the dead files.
And then there are such titles as Glamour, Seventeen, Cooking Light, Traditional Home, and Rachael Ray Every Day that became “zombies.” That’s my term for magazine brands that ditch their subscribers and their monthly publication schedules but continue to produce occasional single-topic, newsstand-only special issues.
Those high-priced zombie-branded “bookazines” are selling well, in contrast to the declining retail sales of traditional magazines. It seems that nothing can stop the zombies as they roam the country sucking up precious shelf space, draining the life from monthly titles until they, too, join the ranks of the undead.