Magazine industry amid ‘death spiral’ over changing consumer habits, influx of woke politicians: experts


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There was a time when eagerly anticipating the arrival of the postman to drop off beloved periodicals was a key facet of American culture, but a shift in consumer habits and perceived liberal agendas have resulted in a “death spiral for the magazine industry,” according to media watchdogs. .

“What magazine industry? Twenty-five years ago, the big three were TIME, Newsweek, and US News. Today, one is gone, and the other two are uninteresting leftist rags that he is best to use for lining budgie cages,” Media Research Center President Brent Bozell told Fox. Digital News.

Indeed, the U.S. News & World report ceased publishing hard copies, and essentially lost its relevance in the process, in 2010. TIME and Newsweek, on the other hand, are still around, but many consider them a shell. themselves as their influence and place in the cultural zeitgeist diminishes.


TIME, already known for its liberal leanings, has spent years poking fun at former President Trump with a variety of derogatory cover images showing everything from his melting face, his hair on fire, him dominating a migrant child and him drowning in the oval office. The same magazine mixed Trump’s face with Russian President Vladimir Putin before a summit between world leaders and later published a flattering image of President Biden wearing sunglasses before his meeting with Putin. Earlier this month, TIME was ridiculed when journalist Madeleine Carlisle interviewed Maia Kobabe about the controversy surrounding the “Gender Queer” book and used “e/em/eir pronouns” to describe the author.

A change in consumer habits and the influx of a liberal agenda has led to a “death spiral for the magazine industry”, according to media watchdogs.

Fox News contributor Joe Concha was an avid TIME reader.

“I loved it, I was a bit of a jerk in my teens and twenties, but ‘man of the year’, they called him ‘man of the year’, actually I was looking forward to this and reading this particular profile word for word,” Concha told Fox News Digital.

TIME changed the once-high honor to Person if the Year in 1999 to be more inclusive, but Concha noticed other changes as well.

“Before it was much thicker,” he said. “What I remember the most, and now I see it, and it’s just a shell in itself, and I don’t even mean in terms of quantity, I mean in terms of quality. It went so far to the left.”


TIME was widely mocked when the magazine unveiled its cover image ahead of the 2021 summit between a sunglasses-wearing President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin after the publication spent years publishing unflattering illustrations of the former President Donald Trump.

TIME was widely mocked when the magazine unveiled its cover image ahead of the 2021 summit between a sunglasses-wearing President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin after the publication spent years publishing unflattering illustrations of the former President Donald Trump.

Another magazine that shut down Concha over her politics is GQ, which hired former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann to host a series of far-left anti-Trump videos.

“It’s just completely derailed,” Concha said. “When you hire Keith Olbermann, that’s a problem, isn’t it?”

The magazine industry is even playing fashion favorites, as Melania Trump was snubbed to see “first lady for all of us” Jill Biden land the cover of Vogue, and GQ recently doted on rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y.

Concha is an avid sports fan, but feels Sports Illustrated also “woke up” and didn’t even notice when ESPN magazine stopped publishing in print in 2019.

“It’s a classic case of ‘go wake up, go broke,'” he said.


A longtime media executive who spoke on condition of anonymity because of friends in the industry called the state of the magazines “very sad”.

“I love magazines, but it’s a depressing graveyard…no reason for them anymore,” the executive told Fox News Digital.

“While there are now some excellent, long-time talents, the best magazines are but a shadow of what they used to be. The New Yorker, once a must-read, is incredibly boring. Sometimes it there’s nothing good about a whole issue. Vanity Fair died waking up,” the executive continued. “Probably the best magazine right now, article for article, is the New York magazine and I don’t know how long it will survive. It’s very sad.”

The once-prestigious Newsweek has been plagued with errors in recent years, changing 10 different stories in September 2022 alone, according to its own website. In August Newsweek issued over 30 corrections and the concerning trend has been an ongoing issue for the publication which issued 26 corrections in July.

But not all magazines are losing their influence and importance simply because of woke politics or sloppy editing, as many companies have blamed a combination of COVID, poor ad sales or a pivot to content. digital for failing print publications.

“People just read stuff on phones in such a fast-food way. They get their news from Twitter or a Facebook post, and a lot of people just don’t have the patience to read the big, long profile or a news story or an investigative story,” Concha said. “So it’s as much about readers as it is about magazines… but there’s no turning back. It’s a death spiral for the magazine industry.”

A plethora of other magazines have closed their print editions in recent years, including EatingWell, Entertainment Weekly, Health, In Style, Martha Stewart Living, OK! Weekly, Parents and Fitness.


“My philosophy has always been that when you’re done changing, you’re done,” Martha Stewart said earlier this year when it was announced her magazine would go out of print, so resources could be directed to its website. “As consumers continue to search digital platforms for information, I’m excited to make the kind of digital e-commerce experience I’ve always wanted for my readers.”

Circulation for about 75 of America’s top magazines fell -9.1% between June 2021 and June 2022, according to Alliance for Audited Media, and that’s just the drop from last year. The industry had already seen circulation erode over the past few decades as more and more news consumers found their news on the Internet.

Fourth Watch editor Steve Krakauer, a devoted media junkie, recently noted that New York magazine is the only print publication he still receives in the mail when covering a deep dive the publication took. in Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop. In the modern age, news-generating magazines are increasingly rare, but Krakauer thinks New York did it this month with “extensive and meticulous” coverage on the outrageous notebook.

Krakauer believes that “all of legacy media is struggling as a whole, for reasons both within his control and outside of him”, and the magazine industry is no exception.

“In a way, the magazine industry is a victim of the overall shift in the habits of its audience – going digital and finding more specialized and niche avenues to get the information and entertainment they want and need. he needs,” Krakauer told Fox News Digital. “I used to subscribe to about five magazines and newspapers, now I get one in the mail.”



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