Check Out the Winners of the Magazine Hot List

1

Magazine Editor of the Year

Paul Fichtenbaum
Editor, Time Inc. Sports Group (Sports Illustrated)

Under Fichtenbaum, in partnership with managing editor Chris Stone and publisher Brendan Ripp, the 60-year-old weekly has become one of the most innovative brands at Time Inc. SI is the first publication there to integrate its print and digital teams and to launch a live daily show (SI Now), a 24-hour digital video network (120 Sports) and a breaking news video platform (SI Wire). SI did an exclusive interview with LeBron James announcing his return to Cleveland. And the remade SI.com has introduced a slew of edit franchises covering everything from lifestyle to fantasy sports.

2

Magazine Publisher of the Year

Connie Anne Phillips
VP/publisher, Glamour

In 2013, when Phillips took charge of Glamour, Condé Nast’s largest title suffered from a flagging ad business and slack newsstand sales, not to mention an identity crisis. While editor in chief Cindi Leive began an editorial makeover under the supervision of Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour, Phillips undertook her own overhaul, stressing the title’s all-American optimism. Advertisers took notice. While most of Glamour’s competitive set ended the year down, Phillips was up in ad pages and 7 percent in revenue.

3

Hottest Magazine of the Year

Our Choice: Harper’s Bazaar

Hearst’s 147-year-old fashion icon, led by editor in chief Glenda Bailey and publisher Carol Smith, is enjoying rare growth for a women’s magazine. The September issue was its biggest ever, with 444 pages. Total circ grew 5 percent in the first half, as the magazine raised its rate base for the first time in over two decades (from 700,000 to 725,000). A digital overhaul led to 5.7 million unique views in November, up 320 percent YOY. And Bazaar is the most followed magazine brand on Pinterest.

Readers' Choice: Fast Company

The business-minded and consistently innovative title, owned by Morningstar founder Joe Mansueto, barely beat out world-roaming Condé Nast Traveler in our reader poll for the year's hottest magazine.

Finalist vote tally:
1. Fast Company: 37.4%
2. Condé Nast Traveler: 36.1%
3. Sports Illustrated: 10.2%

 

 

4

Hottest Lifestyle Magazine

Our Choice: Garden & Gun

Launched in 2007, Charleston, S.C.-based Garden & Gun is perfectly representative of the Southern culture it covers, where a genteel garden soirée might be preceded by a hunting party. And it has captivated readers from across the country—more than 40 percent of its readers reside outside the South. Total circ has grown by 8 percent to 321,697 over the past year. Advertisers have also embraced the brand, with ad pages up more than 9 percent for the year.

Readers' Choice: Du Jour

Founded in 2012, this print and digital lifestyle title was created by veteran luxury magazine publisher Jason Binn. Its vote-rallying effort in our reader poll helped Du Jour surpass many well-known titles, with the greatest competition coming from The Wall Street Journal's monthly magazine.

Finalist vote tally:
1. Du Jour: 48.9%
2. WSJ Magazine: 40.8%
3. Reader's Digest: 4.1%  

5

Hottest Magazine in Digital

Our Choice: Cosmopolitan

Cosmo’s fast-growing website, under editor Amy Odell and Hearst digital president Troy Young, got a major revamp this year, featuring a super-customizable CMS and state-of-the-art ad integrations. Hearst Digital Studios launched CosmoBody, a premium subscription service for workout videos. With 14.4 million unique visitors in October (up 133 percent YOY), Cosmopolitan.com now attracts more traffic than the websites of Glamour, InStyle and Vogue combined.

Readers' Choice: The New Yorker

At 90 years old, The New Yorker continues to create content that readers seek out however they can get it. Its digital footprint and traffic has grown so aggressively, the magazine recently launched a metered paywall that limits freeloaders to six articles per month.

Finalist vote tally:
1. The New Yorker: 48.3%
2. Cosmopolitan: 22.2%
3. People: 16.4%  

6

Hottest Home Magazine

Our Choice: HGTV Magazine

Just two years after its launch, HGTV Magazine has risen to the top one-third of all Hearst titles in terms of profitability. Total circ, now at more than 1.3 million, rose nearly 13 percent in the first half of 2014 alone, while some 300,000 in single-copy sales makes it one of the 10 best-selling monthlies. And the ad side has introduced innovative programs like Glidden-branded custom content and a shoppable Pier 1 ad.

Readers' Choice: Domino

Once honored as our Hot List pick for Startup of the Year after its launch as a Condé Nast title, Domino has since died and been reborn as an independent magazine. Despite the difficult transition, it continues to be a hit with readers, as evidenced by its success in our 2014 reader poll.

Finalist vote tally:
1. Domino: 52.1%
2. Southern Living: 31.3%
3. Coastal Living: 12.2%  

7

Hottest Travel Magazine

Our Choice: Condé Nast Traveler

After years as Condé Nast’s respectable but not especially exciting travel title, Condé Nast Traveler shook things up in 2014 under the leadership of new editor Pilar Guzman from Martha Stewart Living and publisher Bill Wackermann, who joined from Glamour. With a fresher look, more stylish editorial coverage and an amped-up digital presence, the brand is infinitely more in touch with the modern traveler than ever before.

Readers' Choice: Travel + Leisure

In an agonizingly close race, Time Inc.'s Travel + Leisure edged out Condé Nast Traveler by a mere fraction of a percent in our reader poll.  Both titles clearly have passionate fans and advocates.

Finalist vote tally:
1. Travel + Leisure: 44.1%
2. Condé Nast Traveler: 43.4%
3. National Geographic Traveler: 10.4%  

 

8

Hottest Fashion Magazine

Our Choice: Glamour

Condé Nast’s biggest property—with a dual overhaul on the edit and business sides, led by EIC Cindi Leive and publisher Connie Anne Phillips—poached Elle creative director Paul Ritter to lead a more fashion-focused redesign, while it boosted careers coverage, hired celebrity contributors like Rashida Jones and Zosia Mamet, and launched a global philanthropic initiative, The Girl Project. The finished product is a magazine that is both elevated in its style sensibility and more in touch with its readers.

Readers' Choice: Nylon

With more than 1.5 million Facebook fans and nearly 700,000 Instagram followers, Nylon is popular with the social-savvy fashion set. Its millennial popularity helped land the magazine atop our reader poll. 

Finalist vote tally:
1. Nylon: 36.8%
2. InStyle: 26.2%
3. W: 9.3% 

9

Hottest Magazine on Social Media

Our Choice: Seventeen

Like its young audience, Seventeen is always at the forefront of social media trends. While boasting an impressive following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where it really stands out is in its adoption of new platforms. Seventeen was the first magazine brand on Snapchat, Wanelo and Kik. That savvy also informs the print product, which featured YouTube star Bethany Mota on its October cover.

Readers' Choice: The New Yorker

Clearly a magazine doesn't have to be youth-oriented to get praise for its social media skills. The New Yorker, with nearly 4 million Twitter followers and 2 million Facebook fans, dominated our reader poll and showed that timeless titles can remain relevant no matter how technology shifts.

Finalist vote tally:
1. The New Yorker: 49.0%
2. People: 26.9%
3. Fast Company: 20.0% 

10

Hottest Newcomer

Our Choice: Modern Farmer

At this year’s National Magazine Awards, one of the biggest rounds of applause went to a rather unexpected pick: the 100,000-circ Modern Farmer, which won Best Magazine Section. Founded in 2013 by former Monocle editor Ann Marie Gardner, the indie is targeted at anyone with an interest in where his or her food comes from. A robust site features more of the brand’s smart mix of news, politics, lifestyle content and photography.

Readers' Choice: Cherry Bombe

Kickstarted in 2013 with $42,675 of its $30,000 goal, the biannual Cherry Bombe promised to be a "beautifully designed, biannual indie magazine that celebrates women and food—those who grow it, make it, serve it, study it, enjoy it and everything in between." Its aesthetic has clearly won over a wide range of readers, as illustrated by its readers' choice victory (despite having a scant few thousand social media followers).

Finalist vote tally:
1. Cherry Bombe: 40.2%
2. Closer: 31.6%
3. Dr. Oz The Good Life: 21.5% 

11

Hottest Thought Leader

Our Choice: The New Yorker

Condé Nast’s nearly 90-year-old weekly doesn’t rest on its laurels. Under the leadership of editor in chief David Remnick, it unfailingly fascinates with content on every topic imaginable—like a dispatch from Gaziantep, Turkey, alongside a review of the new Wu-Tang Clan album. Publisher Lisa Hughes has mastered the task of producing a profitable weekly thanks to live events like The New Yorker Festival and innovative ad partnerships.

Readers' Choice: The Atlantic

An American institution more than 150 years old, The Atlantic has remained one of the top names in thought leadership, thanks largely to its comprehensive and thought-provoking digital content. Our readers ranked it atop a truly prestigious list of iconic publications.

Finalist vote tally:
1. The Atlantic: 30.7%
2. National Geographic: 23.4%
3. Time: 15.9% 

12

Hottest Food Magazine

Our Choice: Bon Appétit

This year brought big changes for Condé Nast’s Bon Appétit, where editor Adam Rapoport and publisher Pamela Drucker Mann added oversight of Epicurious.com to create the Food Innovation Group. The emphasis on digital more than paid off, with BonAppétit.com boasting a 33 percent bump in unique visitors and Epicurious growing audience 110 percent. And total audience across all platforms grew 22 percent between August and October versus last year.

Readers' Choice: Every Day With Rachael Ray

Acquired by Meredith in 2011, TV personality Rachael Ray's eponymous magazine remains an approachable and casual title, one whose fans helped it rack up far more votes than competitors like Cooking Light.

Finalist vote tally:
1. Every Day With Rachael Ray: 53.2%
2. Cooking Light: 11.7%
3. Lucky Peach: 8.7% 

13

Hottest Men’s Magazine

Our Choice: GQ

Condé Nast's GQ turned in its best performance ever in 2014. The GQ Style issue was the most successful SIP in Condé Nast history (revenue was up 35 percent versus last year’s special) and it becomes biannual next year. The inaugural NFL Style Wars program, with sponsors like Nordstrom and Mercedes-Benz, brought in more than $1 million. And digital video series Casualties of the Gridiron was nominated for an Emmy.

Readers' Choice: Playboy

With its digital relaunch this year, Playboy added what many found to be a surprising new tone to its coverage: a feminist mindset. "Jennifer Lawrence Is Not a Thing to Be Passed Around," noted one popular headline. A much-passed-around flowchart illustrated when it's OK to cat-call a woman (spoiler alert: never). It's hard to say whether this new inclusiveness helped the men's magazine win our reader poll, but it surely didn't hurt.

Finalist vote tally:
1. Playboy: 42.5%
2. GQ: 28.7%
3. Esquire: 17.6% 

14

Hottest Sports/Outdoor Magazine

Our Choice: Sports Illustrated

SI has become a model for innovation at parent Time Inc. Under the leadership of publisher Brendan Ripp, Sports Group editor Paul Fichtenbaum and SI managing editor Chris Stone, the brand has rolled out a seemingly endless stream of money-making digital products, from its daily video series to verticals on the relaunched SI.com. Digital traffic has soared 30 percent YOY, with an impressive 70 percent of traffic coming from mobile.

Readers' Choice: Sports Illustrated

Finalist vote tally:
1. Sports Illustrated: 56.0%
2. Bicycling: 11.2%
3. Runner's World: 10.4% 

15

Hottest Celebrity/ Entertainment Magazine

Our Choice: People

Many celebrity periodicals have sprung up over the years, but none has come close to dethroning Time Inc.'s granddaddy of them all. In the age of blogs, People remains one of the few trusted sources for Hollywood news and is still the top choice for stars looking to share their stories (and wedding photos). It continues to innovate with the People Now Web series and People Magazine Awards special on NBC, while building on core franchises like Sexiest Man Alive.

Readers' Choice: Closer

A less-tabloidy cousin of Europe's more-established Closer, America's version is a weekly title aimed women over 40 . Despite only a few thousand social media followers in the States, Closer pulled off a win in our reader poll.

Finalist vote tally:
1. Closer: 39.2%
2. People: 36.5%
3. Entertainment Weekly: 10.6% 

16

Hottest Business Publication

Our Choice: Fast Company

It doesn’t get much more prestigious than being selected as Magazine of the Year by the American Society of Magazine Editors. Fast Company’s approach to business journalism through the lens of technology and innovation happens to be good for its own business, with circ up 4 percent to 806,367 in the first half, on top of killer 48 percent newsstand growth.

Readers' Choice: Inc.

Despite Fast Company's voter love in categories like Hottest Magazine of the Year, it fell out of the running in our reader poll for Hottest Business Publication, where Inc. took home the most votes.

Finalist vote tally:
1. Inc.: 42.0%
2. Forbes: 22.1%
3. Fortune: 17.3% 

17

Hottest Magazine Cover of the Year

Our Choice: Vogue
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

Before she and Paper magazine set out to “break the Internet,” Kim Kardashian (with Kanye West) shocked us by landing the cover of Vogue. Love it or hate it, Anna Wintour’s seal of approval paved the way for Kardashian’s transformation into a fashion icon. The April cover inspired spoofs by everyone from James Franco to Miss Piggy, and made Kimye the year’s most talked about couple.

Readers' Choice: Sports Illustrated
50th Anniversary Swimsuit Issue

It wasn't even close. The readers have spoken.

Finalist vote tally:
1. Sports Illustrated, 50th Anniversary Swimsuit Issue: 60.1%
2. New York, Lupita Nyong'o Spring Fashion: 8.8%
3. Wired, Edward Snowden: 6.4% 

18

Hottest Reborn Magazine

Our Choice: Town & Country

If Town & Country strikes you as old-fashioned, think again. Editor Jay Fielden and publisher Jennifer Bruno have transformed the high-society stalwart into a vibrant brand, and a very profitable one—ad pages grew 16 percent in 2014. The new T&C speaks to a generation of luxury consumers as likely to get inspired by an Instagram post as a hand-me-down copy of the Official Preppy Handbook.

Readers' Choice: Domino

The recently resurrected indie incarnation of Domino, whose predecessor was shuttered by Condé Nast in 2009 and presumed dead for four years, clearly dominated voting in our reader poll.

Finalist vote tally:
1. Domino: 60.9%
2. Redbook: 25.0%
3.Condé Nast Traveler: 8.6% 

19

Hottest Women’s Magazine

Our Choice: All You

While the women’s service category struggles, Time Inc.’s “smart shopping” magazine had a strong year. Originally distributed exclusively at Walmart and via subscription, the title expanded to retailers including CVS, Barnes & Noble and Target this spring, giving single-copy sales a 12 percent boost in the first half. Thanks to an increased focus on mobile, total audience grew 31 percent August through October year over year.

Readers' Choice: Redbook

After a design and attitude overhaul in 2013, Redbook re-emerged not as your mother's magazine but as one to which many millennial women could relate. This inclusive and modern new attitude likely helped lead to its success in our reader poll, where it even defeated the Queen of Media herself.

Finalist vote tally:
1. Redbook: 45.0%
2. O: 24.2%
3. All You: 14.5%

20

Hottest Car Magazine

Our Choice: Car and Driver

Hearst’s venerable auto enthusiast title—set to celebrate its 60th birthday next year—is firing on all cylinders, thriving in print while also growing its digital footprint at a time when the Web is chockablock with information about cars. Through September, ad pages jumped 8 percent while mobile audience grew 90 percent. Meanwhile, in the first half, newsstand shot up 8 percent.

Readers' Choice: Car and Driver

Finalist vote tally:
1. Car and Driver: 48.4%
2. Motor Trend: 27.9%
3. Road and Track: 13.6% 

21

Hottest Kids/Teen Magazine

Our Choice: Seventeen

Thanks to a keen understanding of its audience, Hearst’s Seventeen has managed to make a print brand cool with fickle teens. Its investment in mobile (where its audience grew 83 percent through September) and digital platforms like YouTube (where Seventeen has a partnership with AwesomenessTV) helped the brand connect with readers wherever they are, however they consume content.

Readers' Choice: Boys' Life

In a race that was close across the board, the official magazine of the Boy Scouts of America managed to score more votes in our reader poll than any other top teen or youth title.

Finalist vote tally:
1. Boys' Life: 30.6%
2. National Geographic Kids: 25.2%
3. Seventeen: 23.5% 

22

Hottest Health/Fitness Magazine – Women

Our Choice: Women's Health

For a lesson in print evolving across platforms, look no further than Women’s Health. The Rodale title scores in digital (a subscription-based workout program), live events (Run 10 Feed 10) and broadcast (the winner of its Next Fitness Star competition was revealed on NBC’s Today show). The result: a 28 percent jump in audience August through October versus 2013.

Readers' Choice: Women's Health

Finalist vote tally:
1. Women's Health: 33.1%
2. Shape: 26.6%
3. Prevention: 23.7% 

23

Hottest Design

Our Choice: Harper's Bazaar

With its spectacular photography and frame-worthy covers, Harper’s Bazaar is the perfect antidote to magazine monotony. Since its much-lauded 2012 redesign, led by design director Elizabeth Hummer, the title has continued to delight and surprise readers with its sophisticated yet playful approach. Look no further than its current subscriber cover: Jennifer Aniston suspended in a glass bubble.

Readers' Choice: W

More than 40 years old,  Condé Nast's fashion title continues to earn praise for its design, which our readers ranked top in the nation.

Finalist vote tally:
1. W: 40.4%
2. Bon Appétit: 22.8%
3. Lucky Peach: 16.4% 

24

Hottest Health/Fitness Magazine – Men

Our Choice: Men's Fitness

Under the leadership of editorial director David Zinczenko and publisher Patrick Connors, AMI's Men's Fitness has transformed into an upscale men's lifestyle brand. Total circ rose nearly 8 percent (newsstand up 3 percent) to 627,352 in the first half, while new business from fashion and grooming brands helped to make up for the magazine’s decision to ditch most of its (formerly) core supplement business.

Readers' Choice: Men's Health

A global media powerhouse, Men's Health rallied the largest number of votes in our reader poll, beating out the resurgent Men's Fitness and popular outdoors title Backpacker.

Finalist vote tally:
1. Men's Health: 58.4%
2. Men's Fitness: 30.6%
3. Backpacker: 7.2% 

25

More Hot List 2014 Winners

View the rest of the 2014 Hot List winners here:
Magazines | Television | Digital | Media Visionary