While reading about all the new magazines, feel free at any time to engage in some contextual commerce.
We knew that: If you missed the last six months of posts on the rexblog, then this article from Wednesday’s Newsday will help catch you up on all the magazine launch stories we’ve blogged. I hope the reporter, Aileen Jacobson, was aided by the rexblog in her research for the story about the vast number of magazine launches in the past six months: up at least one hundred from this time last year according to, who else?, Samir Husni, my friend and hero. And on this subject, Mr. Magazine is on his own playing field: no one, and I mean no one, comes into his house and pushes him around, when it comes to spinning a sound-bite, quotable zinger on this niche topic. The master of the magazine metaphor, Professor Husni, paints one stunning picture with his quotes in this piece:
“All of a sudden, everybody and their cousins are putting out a new magazine or two,” says Husni, noting that he’s counted about 450 launches in the past six months, 100 more than the same period last year. The last time there was such a big increase, he says, was 1998. “It’s starting to feel like the magazine industry is mushrooming again,” says Husni, who also consults on launches. “But one frost could kill them.”
Wait. I’ve got to pause here so that whole frost killing the mushrooms image can sink in. Now, where was I? Oh, yes, all the magazine launches. In my two years of doing the rexblog, I can say definitively, there are more people talking about starting a magazine than ever before in the history of the past two years.
Here’s my theory on why there are more new magazines being started. More magazine people have been fired during the past two years than any time during the preceding, well, I don’t really know that statistic, but for the sake of my theory, let’s just say, a long time. All these independent former magazine people would like to go into “consulting” but they can’t because there aren’t any of those jobs either. Four years ago, they could have easily raised some money to start a dot.com, but we all know what happened to those frosted mushrooms. So they start a magazine. I mean, they used to work for Tina Brown, for god sakes. They know a thing or two about magazines. And we all know that women spend lots of money on shoes so, gee, there must be room for a retail shoe magazine devoted to women with wide feet. And the next thing we know, Larry Dobrow’s writing an article about “Graceful Feet: The Magazine for Women Standing on A Firm Foundation.”
My theory is there is another group of magazine launchers who are men wanting to start a magazine about deer-hunting, fishing or something to do with gasoline-powered vehicles, or they want to start a Maxim for a recently discovered group of men who don’t have a Maxim-clone of their own.
My theory also is there are a group of gambling addicts who are betting that if they publish a magazine about gambling then they can write off their gambling debts as a business expense.
Also, it’s my theory that instead of launching a magazine, most of these magazine entrepreneurs should start a weblog and get it out of their systems.