Without giving up its signature look, Esquire began going downmarket in to compete for the readers who were flocking to the new weeklies and their
emphasis on girlie shots and puerile humor. The move was a disaster, as circulation tumbled 27%; but now, with a new editor climbing aboard, the book is looking to find its old self.
Incoming chief Jeremy Langmead faces a big challenge to rebuild editorial to win back readers and advertisers. "It tried to go chasing numbers and got into a circulation war with Arena and lost track of what Esquire used to be," says David Barnett, press account director at Universal McCann.