Sunday, August 22, 2010

Incredible Shrinking Magazines

Time to add a few more points to the declining media curve.

Today's Sunday newspaper insert, Parade magazine, struck me as being a fragment of its former self. Years ago, if memory serves, its dimensions were someplace between those of a news magazine and a tabloid paper, edging in the direction of the former. I don't recall how many pages an issue typically boasted, but it had at least a little heft -- call it 36-48.

The latest Parade measures 9.5 inches high by nine inches wide when closed. The page count?: 16.

Meanwhile, over at a newsstand, I did something I almost never do any more: I examined Time and Newsweek. Their 23 August editions each had only 64 pages, which felt pretty thin. I grabbed three copies of 1955-56 Newsweek from my archive and their page counts ranged from 92 to 114. (Those issues had cover stories about cars. I'll probably get around to posting about what was written.)

I wonder why they bother to keep Parade alive when it contains so little in its page-deficient, small format. And if Newsweek was sold for $1 (yes, the buyer assumed debt), then what might Time be worth?


Anonymous said...

I noticed the same thing about Parade magazine a couple of weeks ago when my Sunday paper arrived.
I was highly disconcerted.

I guess the publishing industry thinks we get our stories from internet sources, which is is true, but I still enjoy reading the magazines even if some the same stories are there as well.

Disgusted in Florida

Unknown said...

I've often had the same thoughts about 'Parade'. I wonder why they even bother. I'm waiting for the day the Sunday paper comes and 'Parade' will be the size of a postcard. They have (maybe) 2 articles and the rest is filled with advertising... mostly from drug companies which take up an additional page with the disclaimers. But the inserts aren't the only things getting smaller. The newspapers themselves have been slowly coming down in size. My local paper had been reduced almost 30% over the past 15 years. Less paper; less cost; less ink. Too bad. the internet is making newspapers go the way of Encyclopedia Britannica salesmen.