The Ring has a long and varied history dating back to 1922. For a while the magazine was published by Bert Sugar, a colorful cigar-chomper generally regarded as the dean of boxing writers and a man who could have been created by Damon Runyon. But today's version of the mag has no such pedigree; a company owned by the slick entrepreneur Oscar De La Hoya now publishes The Ring.Which raises the question: Can someone who oversees a stable of dozens of contending athletes publish a successful and unbiased magazine devoted to that sport?
Tennis magazine has streamlined its design -- and so has cover boy John McEnroe. Known for his killer volleys, as well as his abusive on-court behavior, the bad boy has turned 50. He's gained some maturity and perspective, now able to pace himself and see tennis as "entertainment." But he still loves the game -- and for those who share his passion, Tennis is their user-friendly ticket to tips, gear and star profiles.
Billboard dates back to 1894, but it's a huge understatement to note the magazine has seen quite a few changes since it began as a trade publication for the billboard advertising biz. Like Variety, Billboard does double duty as a trade pub and a consumer mag at once. But Variety is endlessly entertaining, even for those who aren't entertainers. Billboard can be tough to slog through if you don't make your living in the music business.
I was really glad that I'd stocked up on magazines before boarding a flight on Spirit Airlines back in August. Sadly, their inflight magazine has gone the way of complimentary beverages and free luggage checking. Not so for Delta's Sky. The slick 160-page October issue would rival any general interest publication out there. The magazine contradicts current niche publishing trends. Think about it, it's potentially in the hands of 5.2 million people each month during Delta flights. While it's impossible to be all things to all people, Sky takes a pretty good stab at it.
The launch issue of New England's newest regional pub dresses up nice. First, because any non-food mag that celebrates pie on the cover is a keeper. Yap all you want about a state's "distinctive cultural landscape," but if you don't understand the hierarchy of baked goods, I doubt you'll appreciate the virtue of making wine in a former dairy barn in Warren. Or that Grain Surfboards in York crafts its wooden boards by hand.