Coastal differences

Coastal differences: Dan Fost reports that Sunset will undergo an overhaul (but gradually) by next year. The editor and designer, both in their early 30s, are going to liven it up, despite its readers’ median age being 49.

Compare this to a similar title in the Time Inc. family, Southern Living. This magazine, perhaps the most profitable franchise in the Time Inc. world, would NEVER attempt a redesign. How could they? There are tens of thousands of southern homes with a bookcase containing a thirty-year collection of the magazine…all looking alike, down to the covers chosen for each month of the year. As long as there is Southern Living, there will be saddle stitching.

My prediction. In five years, Sunset will be redesigned by its next editor and designer to get that “classic” feeling back…you know, “your mother’s Sunset.”

  • lcreekmo

    OK but the problem is, keeping the median age of readers in the right age range, no? Isn’t that what LHJ — or which one of the seven sisters was it that was redesigning/refocusing recently in an effort to attract younger readers — was trying to do? If your readership continues to age, eventually you have no readers….

  • Rex Hammock

    I agree, Laura. But somehow that geometry doesn’t apply to Southern Living. The edit and design formula of the magazine is remarkably unchanged since the Mesolithic age. Yet, I would think its demographic is fairly static and remains remarkable youthful (speaking relatively, of course). I know you will have a theory why.