This past year has been a war zone for the magazine industry, with the economic downturn causing market-wide reduction of ad pages by 26.6% from the previous year, and the shuttering of over 385 titles in 2009 alone (with many more being downsized). As recently as this month, we found that even once untouchable publishers like Conde Nast were still feeling the pinch. In these gloomy times, media types like to speculate apocalyptic scenarios, but one group is still giving out accolades for the best in magazine publishing. This year, Ad Age has awarded Rodale’s spin-off Women’s Health as the Magazine of the Year.
Says Ad Age:
For years Ad Age’s A-List honors were grounded in metrics such as ad pages and circulation, but these days consumers and marketers are demanding more of their media brands, so those are no longer the only way to gauge success. That’s why this year we looked for magazines that were truly operating as brands, whether that meant making smart licensing moves, becoming retailers in their own right, creating revenue-generating digital content, building smart cross-media content and ad platforms, or finding a way to engage and monetize their communities.
Meaning that Women’s Health and it’s editor-in-chief Michele Promaulayko did not manage to avoid the hit that took it’s toll across the industry, just that its losses were less than most mags. Advertising dropped only 14.4%, it actually grew it’s subscription base, and gained 8.7% in newsstand sales from the previous year.
Also on the list for Magazines of the Year included Cosmo, The Week, and Better Homes and Gardens.