Complex Responds to Cargo‘s Shipwreck

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Since we name-checked them in our post yesterday on the shuttering of Cargo, we asked the kids over at Complex — which is actually a couple years Cargo‘s senior — how they felt about being a gear-guide-y magazine beginning in a “C” on a day when the magazine that pioneered the genre on a bigger scale folds — not to mention on the heels of the ill-fated Vitals and Sync.

Complex publisher Rich Antoniello weighs in via e-mail:

We don’t believe that the folding of Cargo, Vitals and Sync is a statement of lack of support for the men’s shopping category. In this ultra-competitive landscape of publishing it is the quality and superiority of a product that will ensure survival, not what category in which you are included. Complex launched in 2002, two years before these other launches and we experienced success BEFORE them and continue to enjoy more now.

Continue on for Antoniello’s full response.


Complex publisher Rich Antoniello:

We don’t believe that the folding of Cargo, Vitals and Sync is a statement of lack of support for the men’s shopping category. In this ultra-competitive landscape of publishing it is the quality and superiority of a product that will ensure survival, not what category in which you are included. Complex launched in 2002, two years before these other launches and we experienced success BEFORE them and continue to enjoy more now. As we are a privately held company, we do not disclose revenues, but I will say that we are very happy where we stand. We closed 2005 up 45.8% in paging, averaging over 104 pages per issue. This success has continued with over 123 ad pages in our Feb/March issue and another 116 in our upcoming 4th anniversary issue (April/May). We have also increased our rate base to 330,000 from 325,000 this year, our fifth increase since launching with 275,000 in 02. As you can clearly see our support from both readers and the advertising community continues to grow.

Complex has thrived because we are not only a “product guide,” but we also mix top notch style and fashion coverage with cutting-edge lifestyle editorial that speaks to the everyday needs of our reader. It is this unique combination that has led to our growth and continued success over the years.

Even more proof of that is the range of top-notch talent we have lured, just recently from other highly respected and established magazines — art director Sean Bumgarner (Entertainment Weekly), account director Edgar Hernandez (Stuff), deputy editor Noah Callahan-Bever (Vibe), managing editor Andrew Simon (Vibe).