Another print magazine is going to the big recycling bin in the sky.
On Friday, Mental Floss, publisher of trivia and fun learning content, is shuttering the print publication after 15 years to focus exclusively on the brand’s online presence: MentalFloss.com Web site. (Full disclosure: I have been a freelance contributor to both the magazine and Web site).
The magazine’s November-December issue will be its last in print.
In a note to readers that will appear in the final issue, co-founders Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur explain the decision to go online-only. “Hoping it’s not the last you’ll hear from us," wrote Pearson and Hattikudur in the note. "We’ve loved creating a print product, but fighting for space on the newsstand and Pony Expressing issues to doorsteps are no longer the best ways to get you the stories you want. There are more than 20 million Flossers reading and watching mental_floss online, and for us, it feels like there are so many opportunities for new adventures.”
As the note indicates, the Mental Floss site currently attracts roughly 20 million unique visitors per month, according to owner Dennis Publishing, which acquired the company back in 2011. By contrast, the print magazine remained a relatively modest affair with a circulation of 150,000, putting it in the same league as titles like Harper’s Magazine, National Review or The New York Review of Books.
The founders added that a number of key players from the magazine, including editor-in-chief Jessanne Collins, will continue with the publisher as it transitions to digital-only operations. Subscribers to Mental Floss will henceforth receive The Week, also owned by Dennis Publishing, for the rest of their subscription terms.
While the print magazine may be no more, a number of Mental Floss contributors have gone on to achieve fame and fortune, or at least as close as the literary world gets to those things.
Former contributor John Green has become a fixture of young adult literature with bestselling books like "The Fault In Our Stars," which was made into a major motion picture. Another MF alumnus, Ransom Riggs, made it big with his debut novel, "Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children," which was also turned into a movie, premiering nationwide on September 30.