Overview Meta: Magazine Publishers of New York City

For the NYU Summer course Cultural Capital: Media & Arts of NYC, I chose to research the Magazines sector. New York is home to the “big three” publishing giants* which each own a variety of popular titles:

Condé Nast (VogueWGlamourAllureSelfTeen Vogue, GQDetailsLuckyArchitectural DigestBridesGolf Digest, Golf WorldBon AppétitCondé Nast TravelerWiredVanity FairThe New YorkerWWD, Gourmet)

Hearst (Harper’s BazaarELLEMarie ClaireCosmopolitanEsquireCar and DriverCountry LivingElle DecorGood HousekeepingHouse BeautifulO, The Oprah MagazinePopular MechanicsRedbookRoad & TrackSeventeenTown & CountryVerandaWoman’s Day)

Time Warner (All YouCoastal LivingCooking LightEntertainment WeeklyEssenceFORTUNEGolfHealthInStyleLIFEMoney, PeopleReal SimpleSouthern LivingSports IllustratedSunsetThis Old HouseTIME)

For my sector Overview, I will be analyzing their history & development for background, but more importantly, how they are utilizing new media to bring publishing into the Digital Age, and how they are differentiating their content in a time of over-abundant information. For my case studies, I will be focusing instead on two magazines which are not owned by these companies. Some magazines with wide distribution that are not owned by the big three are listed here:

Magazines with large paid-subscription-based circulation in the USA which are not owned by these companies include National GeographicBetter Homes and GardensLadies’ Home JournalFamily CircleReader’s DigestParentingESPN MagazineSmithsonianMartha Stewart LivingTV GuideUs Weekly, Men’s HealthNewsweekRolling StonePlayboyPopular ScienceTravel + LeisureFood & WineBloomberg Businessweek, and Forbes. Many of these are owned by the Meredith Corporation, based in Des Moines, Iowa.

Yet my two Case Studies will not focus on magazines from that list, either! The two magazines that I want to look into are New York Magazine, which is locally focused, and Fast Company, which is a rapidly growing business magazine. Both have seen recent updates to their design and content, and have very robust websites. I am interested in seeing how they embraced technology while keeping up their print magazines and utilizing that form, too. Since they don’t have the massive power of these publishing houses behind them, I am interested in seeing how this helps or hinders them. Perhaps they are given more freedom to make large sweeping changes because they don’t have a lot of bureaucracy to deal with? Or they are more dependent on subscribers to make a profit because they don’t attract as many advertisers?

Stay tuned!


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