A bubble magazine niche?

A bubble magazine niche? I don’t know about you, but just the other day, I was saying to myself, what’s really missing on the magazine newsstand these days is a magazine for young men. And then, the next thing I know, The NY Time’s David Carr is previewing (registration required, etc.) Rodale’s effort to enhance its manhood by extending its Men’s Health franchise into a new title, Men’s Health BestLife.


BestLife is not your father’s magazine – the coming issue mentions that black-marlin fishing in Madagascar is lovely this time of year. But neither is it the son’s – the cover trumpets “8 Essential Age Erasers.” There is little of the literary or journalistic ambitions of Esquire or GQ, but a tilt toward moneyed male consumers, with, for example, a feature on turntables for vinyl records costing many thousands of dollars.

The article will also go down in my book for having the most obvious quote ever uttered by a so-called industry expert:

“I think in some way, publishers are borrowing a lot from women’s magazines,” said Betsy Carter, a writer and editor who worked at Esquire in the 1980’s before starting New York Woman. “For a long time, it was thought that men had no interest in service journalism. But men are a lot more touchy-feely and aspirational than they used to be. And now that those readers are becoming baby boomers, it might be a good time to launch a magazine like BestLife that is aimed at them.”

Has Ms. Carter never flipped through the Elle-knock-off called Men’s Health Magazine in, say, the past decade? I predict the magazine will be great, but I am guessing (and I mean guessing) that rather than being a reaction to a great market-opportunity, BestLife is a project Rodale’s management had to back to keep superstar editorial director David Zinczenko from moving to GQ.

  • Hudge

    Having turned my attention in the past few years to DIY and even agriculture magazines, I would vote for their inclusion as “service” books. And, although I’ve heard and used the term for years, before commenting I decided to look the term up, because I had never actually seen a definition (I knew it when I saw it, I guess).
    So, I argue for their inclusion under the broadest sense of the term as defined here:

    These magazines inspire me to do something – frequently, to nap, and, almost as often, to hire someone who knows how to do what I am inspired to attempt.