2022: The Year in Dead Print Publications
January 2, 2023 1:01 PM   Subscribe

Much as I loved being a reporter and miss it (dream job), I'll never do it again because man, is writing ever disposable these days.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:16 PM on January 2, 2023 [11 favorites]

I didn't subscribe to any of the newly dead, but in the last 10 years I dropped several magazines as the articles got shorter or became listicles and they quit doing long-form journalism. Two solid quits were Outside magazine using the same photo in an ad and in a story, just four pages apart and when the New Yorker reached the point of mentioning Trump not just in seemingly every single article, but even in a non-satirical poem.
posted by ITravelMontana at 1:35 PM on January 2, 2023 [3 favorites]

My Sunday (print) newspaper has become much lighter in the center where the ads and other inserts go. I read about Parade leaving, and while it's not unexpected, it's a bit of a jolt to not see it there. I've been reading it regularly since I was a kid. How will I get my Marilyn Vos Savant fix?
posted by hydra77 at 1:35 PM on January 2, 2023 [7 favorites]

Three of the publications mentioned in that Popula story as having gone kaput in ‘22 live on as digital-only publications: InStyle, Entertainment Weekly, and Parents.

All three are former Time, Inc publications now owned by Dotdash-Meredith (which in turn is owned by Barry Diller’s company, IAC).
posted by notyou at 1:55 PM on January 2, 2023 [1 favorite]

I had subscriptions for InStyle, EW & Allure, I believe, although I'm not sure (I think I still get Vogue?). Anyway, since those folded my subscriptions rolled over into one for People magazine, which I did not want. It was going to last another 2.5 years or something.

I cancelled it and I'm getting like an entire $1.09 back, except I may not see it because I think the credit card I used has been replaced.
posted by edencosmic at 2:16 PM on January 2, 2023

Wow, Entertainment Weekly? In the 90s that was a juggernaut of a magazine. But the fact that I haven't actually bought one in at least a decade is a good indication of why it's folded.
posted by zardoz at 2:23 PM on January 2, 2023 [2 favorites]

How will I get my Marilyn Vos Savant fix?
posted by hydra77

There is always this guy.
posted by Splunge at 2:33 PM on January 2, 2023 [1 favorite]

They didn't mention Bitch, which also folded in 2022.
posted by box at 2:40 PM on January 2, 2023 [4 favorites]

Hilariously, Entertainment Weekly moved to a monthly schedule back in 2019, of course they didn't change the brand. I kept calling it Entertainment Weekly Monthly every time it arrived. There's a few like that, Portland Monthly is now a quarterly, at least Oprah changed the name of her magazine to O Quarterly when they changed schedules. Dotdash Meredith still loves the bookazines, so you'll probably still see EW branded stuff in the supermarket checkouts (currently a Yellowstone special, Friends special on-sale 2/3/23).
posted by drinkyclown at 3:11 PM on January 2, 2023 [5 favorites]

Now that it's just online, EW is Entertainment Weekly Quarterly Constantly.
posted by lukemeister at 4:36 PM on January 2, 2023 [4 favorites]

15 years ago, I had 19 magazine subscriptions. I read each weekly or monthly edition cover-to-cover. I clipped the articles and sent them to friends, and we discussed them, and I gave magazine subscriptions as gifts. I bemoaned the end of beloved ones (Entertainment Weekly, Cooking Light, More) and shrugged as others disappeared (George, Newsweek, most of the women's lifestyle magazines, Oprah). Even my university alumni magazine is digital-only, and as with the others, I never think to look at it online unless an article pops up in my social media feeds.

Of those nineteen, Real Simple is the only one left. As I get interviewed for it multiple times a year, I really hope it doesn't disappear.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 5:38 PM on January 2, 2023 [5 favorites]

I'm currently subscribed to three magazines (and Sunday delivery of the local paper), but I struggle to make the time to read much of them, so it's in large part sort of an aspirational subscription. I'm probably not the only person in that situation.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 5:39 PM on January 2, 2023 [1 favorite]

I edit a magazine with a small, mostly local circulation of around 14,000. Mine used to be a fairly common job. These days I can count the number of people with the same title in Portland on one hand. Bitch folding was hard to process, since they, like my publication, were a nonprofit supported by grants and donations. The increasing rarity of magazines as a medium seems to make our readers appreciate the product more, but I don’t know how long that might last. After each issue mails, I remove a couple dozen deceased subscribers from our mailing list. New subscriptions are outpacing our losses for now; I hope that trend continues. I love the collision of design and prose that magazines allow, but I suspect my next job will be primarily or wholly digital, because there just aren’t enough print publications left.
posted by Just the one swan, actually at 6:40 PM on January 2, 2023 [10 favorites]

I subscribe to Mountain Gazette, which is a revival of a ski magazine first started in 1966. It is a gorgeous large format magazine with no online version or articles on purpose - the last issue they purposively didn’t even publish the front cover online for a while - instead they encouraged readers to share photos of themselves reading it on social media. Apparently subscriptions grew over 150% in 2022. Who knows if it can last, but everything so far feels like a masterclass in building a successful small market magazine. The magazine’s owner/editor - Mike Rogge - is super friendly on social media and just seems like one of those people who is just living their dream job.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 7:00 PM on January 2, 2023 [3 favorites]

Oh and he didn't mention it, but : "Matt Haber lives in the Bay Area and works for Alta Journal."
Alta spiked their print edition this year and are online only :/
posted by drinkyclown at 9:45 PM on January 2, 2023

In terms of "keeping our planet habitable for humans," chopping down trees for magazines that can be read online just doesn't make sense. Otoh, I have a lot of nostalgia for Bitch, despite the fact that I stopped reading and donating a long time ago.
posted by pelvicsorcery at 11:48 PM on January 2, 2023

I mean, deforestation is an issue, but:

a) the worst deforestation happening today is done to clear the land for other uses, not for the value of the wood itself, which is often just burned
b) forestry is a perfectly renewable and sustainable practice, done correctly
c) the amount of raw material that goes into paper for magazines seems like it must be a small percentage of the amount that goes into paper overall, let alone how much wood goes to lumber
d) paper is a fairly recyclable material, as these things go
e) People find value in the physical object of printed material (magazines, books, etc). That they are available in a digital form does not mean that the digital form is a replacement for the physical form for everyone.

If we want to pick at the environmental impact of magazines, I don't think the raw material of the wood is the main place to look. My first thought would go to the impact of shipping, which is a CO2 producing operation. Right now that's the primary challenge we face as a planet. Secondly I'd look to manufacturing process of paper which I think is water-intensive. Maybe the ecological impact of the pigments in the inks after that? Both "how are they produced" and "what effect do they have once discarded into the environment", and I don't know much about either end.

I feel like "the trees getting chopped down" is just about last place in terms of any "magazines are bad for the environment" argument you'd like to make.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:45 AM on January 3, 2023 [6 favorites]

I currently subscribe to Harper's, The Atlantic, The Baffler, The Nib, Jacobin, and the Los Angeles Review of Books (and I get a few library magazines). This seems like way too many magazines, but, given the state of the magazine business, also seems like maybe it's not enough.
posted by box at 4:26 AM on January 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

My mom and I watched Twin Peaks (the original one) because Entertainment Weekly gave it a breathless A or A+ review. Neither of us had any idea who David Lynch was, or what his deal was, artistically, so that was some real quality mother-and-son time. She thought she was getting into a standard murder mystery and I was a teenager who was aspiring to higher artistic interests, so every time it got all Lynchy she'd ask me what was going on, and of course I had no idea.

Anyway, when it first came out and into the mid-90s I loved that magazine for the extremely wide breadth of reviews it carried under one cover, information that was often difficult to come by pre-internet and in a small-ish Canadian town.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:38 AM on January 3, 2023 [6 favorites]

All the good stuff that used to scrape by in the private sector—visual arts, magazines, performing arts, literary arts, workshops, (actual) radio, writing retreats, etc—all that is probably going to have to become non-profit in order to survive. Probably kickstarters and similar things are good for one-off projects but not likely to be sustaining. Anything that is remotely fun to work on is going to be squeezed until it is done gratis or paid for by patrons.
posted by newdaddy at 7:12 AM on January 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

Harper's is still great. I subscribe to it. I also subscribe to The Sun, which is exceptional, New York Review of Books, and Lapham's Quarterly. For fiction, I subscribe to Asimov's and F&SF. I know all of these are available online and/or as ebooks, but I'm old school. I want the print versions. They just feel right.
posted by MarioM at 7:25 AM on January 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

Locus barely survived the year, doing an Indiegogo to stay alive.

And I don't know how The Wire stays alive in this environment, but I'm glad it does.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:08 AM on January 3, 2023 [4 favorites]

I get a quarterly print magazine from the Audubon Society and the Cornell Ornithology Lab, both of which are really great if you are into birds. They are benefits of "membership" more than subscriptions per se, but the membership is only $5/month each.
posted by COD at 3:03 PM on January 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

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