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5 Indestructible Magazines

What recession? These magazines are here to stay

2008's magazine killing season was like Peter Luger's on a Friday: busy and bloody. And unfortunately, the night's just begun. With the Big Three in a world of shit, ad dollars for '09 are drying up before the ball even drops. Eventually, most every mag will feel some sort of squeeze.

But unlike men, some magazines are islands, tiny idyllic places immune to the sufferings of the other, distant media continents. Here are some publications we're confident will emerge from the economic downturn no worse for the wear.


Circulation: 32.4 million

Mission: "PARADE … draws readers in and then holds them with stories that educate, entertain and empower."

Why it won't fail: Parade's key to success is its barely-there overhead. The paper quality is low, the finished product thin and it's distributed through Sunday newspapers, alongside canned sweet corn coupons. It's possible this weekly could be rattled by a full collapse of the souvenir coin industry, but even then we think it'd pull through, stomping down Media Road like an actual dumpy, boring parade.

Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

Circulation: 200,000

Mission: "Each [issue] is packed with new mystery short stories … and one 'Mystery Classic,' an outstanding tale from the genre's past."

Why it won't fail: Life's a niche! Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine's unique specificity, like Inked's (catering to tattooed men) and The American Spectator's (catering to white racists), is the reason it's not going anywhere. People who read AHMM can't go to a competitor, because a competitor doesn't exist. Rest easy, nerds, your subscription's safe.


Circulation: 150,000 in 1996

Mission: "Big tits for hard times."

Why it won't fail: "How do porno magazines still exist," you ask, "with such a proliferation of free pornography on the Internet?" Wake up, snob: The great majority of people in the world don't own computers, and even some people who do own computers don't have Internet access. What everyone in the world does have is a desire to reach orgasm. So while you sit in front of the computer, trying to stay aroused while battling relentless pop-ups, Joe Sixpack is going to the bodega, picking up Juggs and getting his rocks off the old-fashioned way. Also working in Juggs' favor is that, despite its tremendously cheap production, it can still fetch around eight to 10 dollars—less if you buy it in three-packs (not that we've price-checked it or anything).

Cigar Aficionado

Circulation: 446,000

Mission: "Every issue immerses our readers in … political perspectives, great golf, hot cars … and of course ???????? the most respected cigar reviews and ratings…"

Why it won't fail: Dealing in death may not win popularity contests, but it sure keeps the ad buyers coming back. While some publications won't touch tobacco advertisements, Cigar Aficionado welcomes them with open, stinky, atrophied, cancer-ridden arms. If you're a cigar company, you don't debate where to place the bulk of your ad money. You go to Cigar Aficionado and then, if there's anything left in the budget, you consider dropping a line to Esquire.


Circulation: 458,536

Mission: "DETAILS sets the trends and uncovers the stories that keep the modern man a step ahead of the crowd."

Why it won't fail: Despite the fact that it should be severely punished for frequently exalting the worst men in the world – fuckin' leave the Pete Wentz beat to Tiger Beat, guys! – Details will survive because it would be humiliating for Cond???? Nast if it did not. Having already been forced to massively shrink Men's Vogue, the ostentatious publishing giant simply won't allow another male-oriented cornerstone to crumble. It's the prideful wisdom of the woman who shows up to a bankruptcy hearing in diamonds: "They can't take everything."

Comments (9)
No. 1 · PhotoboyNYC

As a NY-based photographer who has worked for both Parade and Cigar Aficionado, I can add a couple of other reasons why these two titles do so well…they pay their freelancers wages that haven't changed in two decades! Both magazine's day-rates for photography are the same they were in the early 90's and Cigar Aficionado goes the extra step to insist photographers sign their draconian, work-for-hire contract to boot! At least if you work for Parade and shoot a celebrity you can hope to make a few bucks on the back-end with resale licensing fees, but at Cigar Aficionado they keep everything and refuse to let their photographers release images after publication, cutting off a necessary income stream.

Oh yeah…magazine publishing is doing just GREAT…!

Posted: Dec 17, 2008 at 9:03 am · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 2 · John Korpics

So what you saying is, if I started a magazine called 'Alfred Hitchcock's Parade of Juggs' I might be able to weather the storm?

Posted: Dec 17, 2008 at 10:07 am · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 3 · Jeff Armstrong

You forgot to mention Guideposts Magazine! They have around 3 million subscribers, offer spiritual AND financial advice during a time we need both greatly; and they pay their readers next to nothing to write all the stories! Plus, they currently have a hiring freeze, and are downsizing even though they are still very profitable!!!

Posted: Dec 17, 2008 at 10:44 am · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 4 · ilnazhad

Hellllloooooooooooo, Juggs is awesome. They have models with the fakest breasts ever (Penelope Pumpkins) and then they have models with the saggiest breasts ever, like Madame Dairy Queen. Yes, MADAME DAIRY QUEEN! I heard one out of two women just smile and wink when they catch their boyfriend jacking off to Juggs.

Posted: Dec 17, 2008 at 12:01 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 5 · RWB

No. 2 ???? John Korpics
So what you saying is, if I started a magazine called 'Alfred Hitchcock's Parade of Juggs' I might be able to weather the storm?
No, because you'd be trying to compete in niches that those mags already dominate. (They have what is called in B-school "first mover advantage.")

(And this is true despite the fact that any magazine called Alfred Hitchcock's Parade of Juggs would be awesome.)

Posted: Dec 17, 2008 at 12:19 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 6 · ilnazhad

Whoa… I just googled Juggs for a short while and got a bunch of new sites blocked here. In AIT, there are people employed to constantly watch campus web traffic (the internet's free, though) and it makes me really uncomfortable knowing that someone knows I was looking at "stupefying sluts." IP addresses ruin lives.

Posted: Dec 17, 2008 at 12:36 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 7 · In The Know

I know that Parade laid off 2 staffers in the art/photo department last month. They might not fold, but they are still cutting back. Instead of a Christmas party, they are giving all Parade staffers a luncheon in the dreary employee break room and $200.

Posted: Dec 17, 2008 at 3:17 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 8 · Wekanow

Your comment regarding "American Spectator" readers makes you look foolish.

Posted: Dec 18, 2008 at 4:04 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 9 · Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

Wekanow's right on that one. Not all reactionaries are racist; many of them just find the racists useful fools.

Posted: Dec 19, 2008 at 5:35 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
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