The Power and Future of PRINT…Part II As told by Magazine and Magazine Media Makers…

January 2, 2016

A Mr. Magazine™ “Quotable” Retrospective…

Celebrate Magazines Celebrate Print. The theme for ACT 6 Experience that takes place April 20 to 22, 2016.  Painting by and © Laura McCrory. For information about the ACT 6 Experience email me at samir.husni@gmail.com

Celebrate Magazines Celebrate Print. The theme for ACT 6 Experience that takes place April 20 to 22, 2016. Painting by and © Laura McCrory.
For information about the ACT 6 Experience email me at samir.husni@gmail.com

I have been a firm believer in print and its power even when many doubted its future and even its role in today’s media world. I have been quoted as saying, “As long as we have human beings, we will have print.” And that quote stands firm and true as we enter into a brand New Year.

Of course, I’m not oblivious to the fact that we live in a digital age…just check the many devices you and I are using on a daily basis, even the platform that you’re reading this on now as we connect. Yet that did not deter my belief in the role and future of print. Nor, will it ever.

However, as an academic and a professor of journalism, I’d rather share with you what others from the field say about the future and the role of print in today’s media world and tomorrow’s; that way it isn’t just my word you’re hearing and reading. Never would I yearn to be lumped in with others who pontificate to high heaven with their opinions and speculations for the condition of magazines and magazine media; be it print or digital or any other platform that may arise before I can finish writing this. The blah-blah-blah disease spreads pretty fast on its own, without any help from Mr. Magazine™

And so without any further ado, here is the second installment of the 136 quotes (in random order) that Mr. Magazine™ has accumulated over the last two years through the wonderfully informative conversations I have had with the game changers and the passionate entrepreneurs in the magazine industry.

17. “When I look at another reason magazines aren’t going to die, it’s because one of the most enjoyable things to do for people is to go sit on the beach or by the pool, or in the mountains and bring your magazines along with you. Or bring your books and you just read. And for me that’s a great pleasure. If I can have time to sit outside and read my magazines, I have a one-year-old (Laughs), so if I can have that time, that’s heaven. And some kind of device is never going to replace that.” Yolanda Yoh Bucher, Chief Content Officer and Editor-in-Chief, New Beauty magazine.

18. “The future of print is good. It’s changed, particularly in the more mass market area of the business. It’s changed a lot. And consumers have not fallen out of love with what we do and our content, but their habits of buying printed magazines have changed. It’s much less so at the more high-end of the market where the products are very tangible and nice to have.” Duncan Edwards, CEO, Hearst Magazines International.

19. “We’re going to put emphasis on wherever the customer wants to consume content. If customers like our print products, we’ll continue to sell them. Print isn’t going away; it’s going to be around for the next 50 years. It’s still a very significant part of our business and it will be for the next 25 years.” Joe Ripp, CEO, Time Inc.

20. “The advantage that print has is really two-fold. One is that as digital media moves to the phone, it’s pretty easy to see what the difference is between digital media and print media. Print is just so much bigger and the display is huge, the colors are vibrant and you get to use design and it’s just a completely different experience. Fifteen years ago everybody was just trying to put what magazines did or what newspapers did onto a computer screen. And this is kind of the same thing. Now, what gets created for a phone is very different from what gets created for a magazine. In general, though there are some exceptions to this these days, what’s being created for a magazine is more ambitious and more sprawling and more built-to-last.” David Granger, Editor-in-Chief, Esquire magazine.

21. “I’ve been discouraged and disappointed when people expressed this idea that inevitably print was going to go away. And it’s not just because I believe that it’s the greatest medium ever created. I think that there is some appeal to it that is being demonstrated all over again. You see sales in books, in paper, are climbing while the digital experience in books is beginning to decline.” David Granger, Editor-in-Chief, Esquire magazine.

22. “I think forever and always there will be an audience for print. I don’t think the inevitable path for print is to go away, I don’t even think the inevitable path is for print to be some sort of retro-iconic version of what records are to music lovers. But what I do think is print will evolve and print will change and I believe the path that we’re on, expanding the size and the weight and increasing the experience for consumers as opposed to decreasing, which is what most of our competitors are doing, is the right path.” Howard Mittman, Publisher, GQ magazine.

23. “I also think that there is a way for print magazines to live on, they just have to adapt. We look at some great magazines like Kinfolk Magazine and Sweet Paul Magazine, even Edible Magazine to some degree; these are people who are doing great things with print, but also trying to rejigger the business model of the print magazine. And that’s really what we’re doing with the partnership with Meredith; we wanted to create this really beautiful magazine using amazing paper; a magazine that people would actually want to keep and hold onto, rather than toss it away.” Brent Ridge, Co-Founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief, Beekman 1802 Almanac magazine.

24. “I don’t believe in the death of either of those (the homepage and the tablet) because, you know yourself, the “death of print” has been covered extensively over the last few years; we’ve read hundreds of articles about the death of print and we know that prediction was BS. It’s not about the death of the tablet or the death of the homepage; it’s about where the audience is and how they’re getting their information.” Hunter Lewis, Editor-in-Chief, Cooking Light magazine.

25. “You’re not going to be surprised to hear me say that print is very important, I’m sure, but I will tell you why. And I’ll even go one step further, which is, although I certainly don’t have insight into all of the financials of the Rachael Ray brand, but I would guess that we’re not her main moneymaker, given that she has a national daily TV show. Obviously, we’re profitable and successful, but what I will say is the magazine for her is her legacy piece, no offense to television at all, but television doesn’t really have the longevity that a print product does. Rachael’s books and this magazine are where she can deliver a message that she can be unbelievably passionate about over and over again, so that the message is really sticky.” Lauren Purcell, Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Ray Everyday magazine.

26. “And you know magazines are not going away. The one thing that I think is so special about print is it’s the one medium where consumers say that the advertising is part of the overall experience.” Eric Schwarzkopf, Publisher, Fitness magazine.

27. “I will say I expected some publicity. I didn’t expect it to be so global and so intense. I am really surprised and I think, in a funny way, it’s getting more publicity for coming back than it got for going out of print. I don’t know, I love the fact that people are talking about it — it speaks to the power of the brand.” Jim Impoco, Editor-in-Chief, Newsweek magazine.

28. “If you don’t know why your brand needs to exist and how it exists in all those other arenas, whether it’s on social media feeds or digitally or on mobile; if you don’t know your voice and how you’re different than everybody else, you’re really screwed.” Ariel Foxman, Editor-in-Chief, InStyle magazine.

29. “The three main themes behind the name: the idea of print being exciting or going extinct, the idea that there’s this diminished cultural relevance that gets put on people that are a certain age, and the idea that the magazine itself is large.” Steven Gdula, Publisher and Editor –in-Chief, Dinosaur Magazine.

30. “What probably keeps me up at night is the dynamic relevance of printed magazines and what they mean to the consumer and making sure that a generation of advertising and media professionals appreciates the value of the medium.” Michael Clinton, President, Marketing & Publishing Director, Hearst Magazines.

31. “I think brands that will survive are strong brands that have a multi-faceted approach which offers the user or the reader an experience. It will be spearheaded by a print experience because people appreciate that.” Jason Brown, Editor-in-Chief, Men’s Health magazine, South Africa.

32. “We have a lot of data that shows in most instances print is a very important component to the media mix.” Carey Witmer, President, Meredith Parents Network.

Stay tuned for Part III of the Mr. Magazine™ “Quotable” Retrospective…

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