Politics‘ New Face

The Washington Post’s Peter Carlson takes a look at Campaigns & Elections Politics magazine.

    Politics is the new name of the magazine formerly known as Campaigns & Elections. Founded in 1980, it was a trade publication for what could be called the “campaign-industrial complex” — political consultants, campaign managers and pollsters, as well as the folks who make bumper stickers or run the phone banks that bombard voters with pre-recorded “robo-calls” touting Candidate X or slandering Candidate Y.

    Last fall, the Arlington-based magazine hired a new editor, Bill Beaman, 51, a former Washington bureau chief for Reader’s Digest. Beaman’s goal is to keep his base readership of campaign professionals while expanding the 12,000 circulation by attracting readers who love politics but aren’t in the business.

    “A friend described Campaigns & Elections as an eat-your-peas publication — good for you but not a whole lot of fun,” Beaman says. “My hope is to make it engaging and lively and bring more political junkies into our readership.”

    To that end, Beaman changed the magazine’s name to Politics, perked up the design and began running articles that you don’t have to be a campaign wonk to appreciate. The March issue, for instance, has an interesting piece about how both parties can compete for the votes of young “cultural libertarians.” It also has a cogent explanation of the byzantine rules for Democratic delegates and superdelegates, and a profile of Charlie Summers, a naval reservist from Maine who is running for Congress while serving in Iraq.

Read the rest here.