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.

One thought on “A bubble magazine niche?

  1. 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.

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