Saying Goodbye to Glamour

By Bob Sacks on February 22, 2019
BoSacks Speaks Out: Here is a question. Who is surviving and thriving in the magazine business of the 21st century? Is it the old school corporate shirts or the feisty, nimble entrepreneurs? The answer is complicated, because both new and old are facing a new set of business rule-breaking never before seen, and, therefore, there is no road map. 

In addition the obscene quantity of digital advertising fraud makes the answer to the question complex and murky. I think a case could be made that, under the stain of digital fraud, print should be shining as an example of needed and trusted media. It isn't; at least not yet. It seems day after day large corporations are condensing and reinventing themselves and their bloated methodologies to compensate for factors they still don't quite understand, while new publishing adventurers explore the limitless possibilities of publishing to ever widening niche audiences.

Which brings me to a limited twitter conversation between @DeadTreeEdition, @AndyKowl, @newsstandpromos and @bosacks at the news of the demise of the print version of Glamour

Could a smaller nimbler publishing house have saved Glamour? Yes. Glamour could have been saved by hard work, moderate frugality, focus on a smaller more valuable readership, and by a change in the rules of engagement by which it formerly ran. I usually try not to suggest that any particular publisher's business plan is wrong. Each publisher has his own a set of goals and actuaries that forecast the wisdom of a business plan. But in this case I make the exception to my own rule. The $5.00 annual subscription is a dinosaur that should have gone extinct decades ago. Meredith seems to make it work, but what works for one publisher is clearly death to another. The old rate base rules, which had a useful life, should be shot on sight to make room for better, more contemporary business plans that work.

By Bob Sacks| February 22, 2019

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Bob Sacks

Bob Sacks

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