Weekend magazines
September 13, 2004 5:05 AM   Subscribe

The Observer does, the New York Times does, the Boston Globe does, and so does the Washington Post. Why don't more newspapers put their weekend magazines online?
posted by jedro (13 comments total)
Thank god the Kansas City Star doesn't. It's only marginally a newspaper and the sunday magazine sucks serious ass.
posted by damnitkage at 5:10 AM on September 13, 2004

The ass sucking demographic is already well catered for on t'internet, the Kansas City Star seems to know what it's doing.
posted by vbfg at 5:34 AM on September 13, 2004

If the other papers are anything like the Times and Globe magazines, it's because their target demographic is close to 50 and print is still the best way to reach them.

You just can't squeeze as many detailed ads for stodgy home furnishings and old lady jewelry on a web page as you can in print and still keep it readable, either.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:42 AM on September 13, 2004

I think that one reason other papers don't offer an online version of their magazines is that they think that they might lose some newsstand or subscription sales if they gave the magazine away online. I think this is wrong-headed, and an online mag might generate interest and increase sales of their traditional product. It's pleasantly surprising to see the Times and Globe (both owned by the same company) are so invested in their online products.

Also, most of the smaller market papers skip the original weekend magazine, opting instead to throw in Parade or USA Weekend.
posted by SteveInMaine at 5:56 AM on September 13, 2004

By the way, you can read the Chicagon Tribune Magazine online as well.
posted by SteveInMaine at 5:59 AM on September 13, 2004

Not entirely weekend-magazine-related, but the newspaper where I started out after college (a six-day daily, no Saturday edition) doesn't give the full contents of its articles away online, even if you register at the site and sign in. That's ridiculous as well, I think.
posted by emelenjr at 7:44 AM on September 13, 2004

Here's a better question: why aren't the weekend grocery coupons available on-line? Valassis and SmartSource could put half the newspapers in the country out of business if they could convince their merchants to back them in fully committing to a web platform for distribution.
posted by MattD at 7:47 AM on September 13, 2004

For what it's worth, Parade and USA Weekend are both online. So is LIFE magazine, soon to be relaunched as a weekender.
posted by eatitlive at 9:38 AM on September 13, 2004

I work for a small, independent trade magazine. Since our product is a print magazine, we have made the conscious effort to make our print effort the main focus and use our website as a means for enticing people to subscribe to the print magazine. For some of the larger magazines and newspapers, I suspect this is also the case.

Magazines (and newspapers for tha matter) tend to lay around and get passed about far more easily than websites do, so at least our advertisers get longer exposure than they would through a website. Think of it like this -- magazines in waiting rooms. How long do they sit there? How many people leaf through them? A website, on the other hand, is not as accessible to (at least my magazine's) audience unless they have a computer at the ready, with webaccess, and already know about your site (either through word of mouth or *shudder* unsolicited email.) Not to mention with a lot of tweaks and browser whosits that block banners and pop-ups, what's to say your advertising on a website is reaching the audience? In a print magazine, it's right there -- no avoiding it other than flipping the page.

Since every magazine and newspaper, no matter its focus, lives and dies by its advertisers, the way to serve those advertisers sometimes must dictate how those ads are delivered. For us, we have found that our print publication is the meat, while our website is gravy -- nice addition, but just as palatable without.
posted by macadamiaranch at 10:16 AM on September 13, 2004

When I worked in online at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, we put all our stories online. Many papers are dropping those Sunday mags, though. Just not worth the expense to produce them. I think the Strib got rid of theirs years ago.

Which newspapers have them and don't put them online, by the way? All the ones I know of do, including the Seattle Times.
posted by GaelFC at 10:43 AM on September 13, 2004

Copyright, in a lot of cases. Big papers afford their own writers for magazines, so can publish on the web freely. Smaller papers buy their copy in from syndication (do readers really think they got that Tom Cruise interview on their own merits?) and putting it on the web would cost more. A *lot* more in some cases.

A similar thing happens in the other sections, btw, but you won't notice because it'll only be a story or two a day not making the web. The magazines would be gutted, however, so why bother?

shouldn't this be askme?
posted by bonaldi at 10:51 AM on September 13, 2004

Are you thinking of publications in particular that actually have a weekly mag that are not online?
posted by rex at 1:34 PM on September 13, 2004

That's right. If you're running a major paper, with a weekend magazine, why not put it online?
posted by jedro at 2:51 AM on September 14, 2004

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