Magazine Hot List 1991: Highlights


Clean and Sober

Doomsday predictions make great copy. And, by that definition, when it came to covering the consumer magazine industry, 1990 was full of great copy. Magazines were failing. Other magazines looked like they were down for the count. Publishing companies were facing onerous debt. Magazines that were snatched on the block—or rumored to be—to raise needed cash. The industry press would have had a ball—if it hadn't hurt so much.

It's been a sobering year. And, as Iris Cohen Selinger reports in her cover story, it's forced not only considerable soul-searching but inventive approaches to both revenue enhancement and cost containment. Some of these, particularly those that might, in time, undermine the very quality that keeps magazines alive, may backfire. But many may prove cathartic, a modern-day, industry-wide bloodletting. Circulation strategies have taken on new meaning. The grayest of publications have started to brighten up. New technologies, most notably the Mac, have opened doors—and saved a lot of money. It's a big squeeze, but it's no doomsday.

Michael Winkleman, Special Reports Editor

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