The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

26 September 2007

Coming unStuffed

Unlike most magazines that are signing off forever, Stuff actually bannered it on the cover: OUR LAST ISSUE! Then again, they knew about it way in advance. Here's the opening of the Editor's Letter:

After eight years outside the mother ship, Stuff is returning from whence [sic] it came and will henceforth be a part of the Maxim nation as a special section inside America's favorite men's magazine. Long ago we were born from the loins of Maxim as a gear section and spun out into this crazy world, where we rocketed to success as the No. 2 men's lifestyle magazine in the country. Well, like an old cowboy, we've defeated all of our foes, and now it's time to hang up our spurs and hit the hot tub. Lord knows we deserve it!

For those wondering why I know this: Back in the spring of '05, they started sending me Stuff for no reason I could determine; I hadn't actually ordered it or anything, nor was it a substitute for something else that had been put out of its misery. They continued to send it for two whole years; on the basis that well, I was at least looking at the pictures, I sent in a one-year renewal, which, apparently, will now be fulfilled with Maxim. And I suppose that it's in some way useful for me to know what (and whom) guys one-third my age lust after.

Posted at 1:00 PM to Almost Yogurt

At Classic Gaming Expo (CGE) this year I attended a panel on videogame journalism. Apparently, this system of mailing out free magazines is becoming more and more popular. That fact that you are a "subscriber" boosts their circulation numbers, which allows them to continue selling ads -- and as I'm sure you know, ad revenue > your subscription fees. It's a business model the Internet has forced upon them.

Posted by: Rob "Flack" O'Hara at 5:47 PM on 26 September 2007

I was looking over TV Guide's numbers today — the annual Form 3579 they file with the Postal Service was printed in the current issue — and apparently only 84 percent of their circulation is actually paid for: of 4.1 million copies, about 500,000 are listed as "free or nominal rate distribution," and nearly 700,000 go unsold.

Then again, TV Guide, about the time they gave up local program listings, also cut their guaranteed rate base by rather a lot; as late as mid-2005 it was 9 million, and in the 1990s it was 12 million.

Posted by: CGHill at 6:14 PM on 26 September 2007


Posted by: Brian J. at 8:32 AM on 27 September 2007