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Magazines Are Hurting Too

By JLP | April 28, 2009

I was in standing the checkout line at Kroger last night and I reached for a Time magazine. I kid you not, the magazine almost felt like a newsletter. I didn’t check the page count but it was extremely thin. The Newsweek sitting next to it was almost as thin. Then I got home and was on the Drudge Report and saw that Conde Naste is ceasing publication of Portfolio, which seems to be a mixture of Vogue and Fortune.

I have a hunch that we are going to see lots of magazines cease publication (at least print editions). There’s simply too many magazines and people are using the internet.

I still subscribe to a few magazines. I like Fortune and Barron’s. I still get Money, Kiplinger’s, and Smart Money but will not be renewing as their subscriptions expire. I just don’t have enough time to keep up with all the different magazines. My wife likes Southern Living, which we’ll probably keep renewing forever. I used to subscribe to GQ but haven’t for the last ten years or so.

One magazine that I LOVED as a kid was The Sporting News. I remember sitting out on the back porch and reading it from cover-to-cover. One of my best childhood memories. They changed their format though and now it sucks.

What magazines do you still subscribe to?

Topics: Miscellaneous | 15 Comments »


15 Responses to “Magazines Are Hurting Too”

  1. sherin Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 3:15 am

    It seems the common problem of some people to sustain with the same quality they had at the time of beginning years. I had same experience with a famous finance magazine and later stopped the subscription. Now I am happy to read the same magazine free from internet.

    It is a better idea, subscribing some good magazine to get most of the updated news in the industry. Quality check of such magazines required time to time. As a parallel solution, a check to know the possible free online reading with the magazine also will do better.

    Sherin
    The Money Maniac

  2. Money Beagle Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 4:44 am

    I subscribed to Entertainment Weekly for 15 years. I was tired of getting charged double or triple what new customers got, so I decided to cancel and re-sign up. Only thing is I haven’t re-signed up yet! I guess it was one of those things that once it was gone, I didn’t miss it.

  3. DebtFreeChristian Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 6:05 am

    I subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine provides, with the information they need to make smart decisions about their money. Each issue includes intellectual reporting on investments, taxes, insurance, paying for college, planning for retirement, home ownership, major purchases such as cars and computers and other personal finance topics.

  4. Stacey Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 6:24 am

    I still enjoy Money magazine and now my 14-year old is reading it. I could easily go back to waiting for library copies, however I’m now ordering thru magazine.com (thru Upromise’s site) and it has saved a couple bucks AND contributed to our college slush fund. However, I don’t often find anything in it I don’t already know…but I keep waiting for that gem that will pay for the subscription and then some.

    Magazine subscription sales are part of our fall fundraiser at school, so yes, I did subscribe to Food and Wine and renewed my Coastal Living. I will be catching up on these thru the summer, now that 4/15 has passed!

    Any more than 3 and my tidy husband purges them from our mag basket. I’m often trolling thru the recycle bin to retrieve/”save” my unread copies!

  5. BD Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 6:28 am

    Somehow or other I got a free subscription to Domino magazine, about home decorating. I never paid for it. The magazine folded a few months ago. I guess they couldn’t get circulation high enough to sell ads even when they were giving it away!

  6. headknocker Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 7:22 am

    I get SI each year for Christmas and this year I got National Review for my birthday. I was talking to a college friend who works for a newspaper in Tennessee and he commented on how they have had to decrease the number of pages because of lower advertising.

    As more and more things go online, the paper media is definitely taking a hit.

  7. George Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 7:23 am

    I work for a company that prints magazines so I try to subscribe to as many as I can. I, too, have noticed that page counts are down, very much, and mags are wafer thin, mainly due to much less ads. Right now, though, I wait for web sites to have sales and then I grab a few more subscriptions at bargain prices of less than $10/year. Money is my main magazine and like Stacey, I rarely find anything new in it, but I still like to keep it in my “reading” room.

  8. Chris Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 7:25 am

    I bought a FORTUNE magazine the other day while getting my oil changed. Little did I realize I had already read virtually (literally) every article in the magazine online. I will NOT be renewing any magazines. Once I depart from my financial job I may get the WSJ just to keep up to speed.

    My #1 fav? http://www.consumerreports.org... In a world where EVERYONE is trying to sell you something, it is nice to have an unbiased voice. God help me if I find out they are on the take… Ugh.

  9. Scott Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 8:16 am

    I’ve had many subscriptions over the years. JLP, you’re not alone…The Sporting News was a favorite for many years. Now my only subscriptions are to Virginia Game & Fish, and Cobblestone (for my daughter, but I read it too.)
    I still get the daily newspaper, but only because they gave me the full subscription for the weekend-only rate.

  10. steve Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 8:20 am

    I do a lot of online reading but still love a good magazine: The Week, People Money, Consumer Reports (print and web)… loved Best Life until it folded. There will be a weeding out of many magazines; the ad driven business model can’t sustain such low subscription prices anymore.

  11. Jason Bontrager Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Pop Sci/Mech and This Old House are the only titles I subscribe to, and I never make time to read them so I’ve got a stack that I need to get to.

    Fortunately they don’t go out of date too quickly:-)

  12. Stacey Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Steve’s #10 post reminded me: The Week is very worthwhile. I had received it as a gift from my uncle, but never renewed. Unfortunately, my library doesn’t carry it either. Good summary of world/political events w/some worthwhile cartoons, too. Even my oldest (10/11-year old at the time) perused it and chuckled. He’s always been an “old soul.”

  13. Joe Light Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Hey Jeff, sorry we’re losing your subscription!

    For you guys who do read Money magazine (I’m a writer there) but feel like you find nothing new in it: What kinds of things would you like to read about that we don’t write about? Are there any topics we just skim that you think deserve deeper treatment?

    A lot of the difficulty in covering personal finance is that the golden rules of saving and investing don’t really change all that much over time. So there’s always a struggle to find new ways to inform and entertain readers. It’s great when I get a chance to hear from them directly. So if you have any ideas, let me know.

    – Joe Light

  14. JLP Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Joe,

    I’ll always be a Money reader.

    You said:

    “A lot of the difficulty in covering personal finance is that the golden rules of saving and investing don’t really change all that much over time. So there’s always a struggle to find new ways to inform and entertain readers.”

    This is the EXACT problem that I’m having here on this blog!

  15. Stacey Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    @#13 Joe,

    Personally, I always enjoy taxation articles. With so many people (like me) unable to sell their homes, why not write an article about the pros and cons of renting your home? The tax laws about the effects of converting personal residences to leased property and then selling them after the (nonqualified) rental holding period have changed, and not for the better. I read a great article in the March 2009 The Tax Adviser (by Robert Cockrum and William Quilliam) which included various scenarios of how the Sec 121 exclusion (tax-free gain on principal residence sales) may not be there (entirely, or in part) for people who have the above status change in their house. It all depends on the qualified vs. nonqualified holding periods. Perhaps you could offer your own article on the subject.

    Basically, occasional hard(er)-core tax articles would be appreciated by those of us who already know the basics of personal taxation. More info about insurance and insurance products might be interesting. I always feel my knowledge of annuities is lacking.

    Another area where I see a great need is educating women on personal finance. Of course financial education should be gender-blind; however, I’m still amazed at the number of my female contemporaries who have (allow?!!) their spouse to handle all their financial matters. Unfortunately, a friend of mine had to confront this when her 40-year old husband died this past summer. What a terrible time for a learning curve. She then had no one to answer, “What is that password?” and “Where is that paperwork?”

    A column w/advice for teaching your pre-teen/teens/college-aged children about personal finance would always be desirable reading as well. (And yes, I know this has been dabbled in before.) Or how about an article geared to Grandparents called “The Ultimate Green Grandparents: Forget the Clothes and Stuffed Animals for Jr. and Invest in a 529 Instead.”

    Another regular column highlighting readers’ advice on money-saving tips would be interesting. Monetary awards for tips would be a nice carrot to dangle…

    P.S. I passed the CPA exam in November 1987 (ouch–I’m old!) and have taken classes toward earning my CFP, so to not always learn something new from Money should be normal and not construed as an insult. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be a very good professional! But I would be thrilled to see some of the above suggestions implemented.

    P.P.S. Say “hi” to The Mole. I miss his column!

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