Thursday, May 04, 2006

The demise of the weak and the small

Rob Gregory, group publisher of Maxim, and Dana Fields, executive publisher of FHM were recently interviewed by Media Life about the current state of men's magazines, in light of the recent slump in advertising sales for the category. They were also asked about the demise of Cargo. Here's their response to two of the questions. You can read the rest here.

Q: What is the next big trend in men's magazines? Or is there a next thing?

Gregory: Consolidation. The demise of the weak and the small.

Q: What killed Cargo? Is there room for a men's shopping
magazine, and if there is, how would it be different from Cargo?

Gregory: Cargo wasn’t so much killed as it never actually lived. It was based on an abstract, advertiser-driven idea: that hopefully, men would respond to a Lucky magazine-like approach. Successful men’s magazines have to be reader-driven, not cold catalogs. Stuff has been the successful model of how to do a product-oriented men’s title that puts the reader first. Men want to be entertained, not just shown eye-glazing product listings. Men want genuinely original tone, a clever sense of humor, and diverse entertaining content.

Fields: Guys love gadgets. There is no question about that. But, guys like to read about gadgets in a magazine that also includes their main interests, namely entertainment, sports, music, gaming, sex and girls. Otherwise, a gadget-centric title is nothing more than a catalog. And while women love catalogs, men don’t.


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