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Jann Wenner on the Future of Magazines

Jann Wenner, he founded Rolling Stone, on the magazine business:

News magazines, magazines that have high frequency and news, are going to be challenged, heavily challenged, not just by the internet but by the whole 24-hour news cycle which has just been getting enhanced. Cable has been really supercharged. So it really impacts magazines like Time and Newsweek and so forth as we can clearly see. And they’re struggling to find what it is they can do in this age.

Magazines that depend on photography, and design, and long reads, and quality stuff, are going to do just fine despite the internet and cable news. Because in those areas there’s a real advantage to getting a print product and having something you can hold and that of course is portable and has a luxurious feeling and is comfortable and immersive and you can spend time with it and it’s organized for you.

In the age of the 24-hour news cycle and the availability of the internet you have to focus on those qualities in your magazine even more. Really you have to deliver quality more than ever. And unless you can deliver something that’s quality and really compelling there’s just too many fucking media choices around now. Unless you’re really good you’re in trouble.