Q&A With David Granger, Editor of Esquire

How male readers have changed during his tenure

David Granger has presided over Esquire for 16 years, an unusually long tenure for the editor in chief of a magazine these days. In that time, America has been pounded by the dot-com bust, 9/11 and the Great Recession. Intertwined with those events came huge changes for American males. They’ve suffered through the mancession, but they’ve also stepped up at home, taking on more of the housework and child-care duties. And they’ve started caring more about how they look, to the benefit of men’s lifestyle titles like Esquire. The Hearst Magazines monthly is enjoying its best year in decades, helped by a surge in casual fashion and grooming advertising. At a time when overall magazine advertising is essentially flat, Esquire’s year-to-date ad pages grew 18.2 percent to 786 through October versus the same period last year. Average print circulation is up, too, by 1.8 percent to 734,306 in the first half of 2013. After 80 years of publishing, the magazine is extending itself into television via the Esquire Network, just launched with NBCUniversal. Here, Granger talks about why the men’s fashion boom isn’t really new, what advertisers get wrong, and the cultural phenomenon he never saw coming.