As women's lives and roles keep evolving, so do their magazines. Look at veteran long-time rivals Good Housekeeping and Ladies' Home Journal. No longer hard-core "little homemaker" pubs, both now include more of what's become the generic formula for women's books, including stories on beauty, fitness -- and yes, sometimes unfortunately, celebrities. How do these mags compare now?
The Feb. 9 & 16 anniversary issue of The New Yorkeris as good a specimen as any to take the pulse of what has often been considered the nation's greatest magazine. The dramatic ascendancy of Tina Brown to the editor's desk in the early 1990s ushered in changes such as more timely articles and color photography, changes that can still be seen under current editor David Remnick. And yet the 2009 New Yorker still has an awful lot in common with the 1925 New Yorker: great writing, great reporting, great artwork.
It isn't just stocks that are splitting. So is Parenting. This month, the magazine transforms itself into two targeted editions: Parenting School Years and Parenting Early Years. Both are getting a design makeover. I have to limit myself to the former. Yes, kids are cute, but much better company once toilet-trained. Then you can take them to the theater, even if it's "Curious George Goes to the Moon." At least, it's a live performance. Later, they can toe-tap to "Guys and Dolls" and wonder at "Wicked."
The folks at Hoffman Media must have some serious chutzpah. While other magazines are folding left and right (at last count more than a dozen bit the dust in January alone) here comes the premiere issue of Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade.
First, the epitaph. I've been watching the magazine cemetery fill up with more and more shelter books, from Cottage Living to Country Home to Home. But my heart broke only for the latest casualty: Condé Nast's Domino. This was a magazine I anticipated so eagerly every month that, not knowing the exact publication date, I'd keep checking its Web site to see when the new issue's cover would be posted online. What in the pub's DNA inspired such stalker-like devotion?