July 9, 2006

"It's like a turkey leg on a Cornish hen."

That would be People Magazine, as part of Time Inc., described by an unnamed Time Inc. reporter.

Per People founder Richard Stolley: "For years during (Time Inc.'s) history, one magazine has been dominant. Time was that magazine until World War II, when Life exploded... It's built into the history of the company."

Aren't you glad you live in the People era?

7 comments:

charlotte said...

May I venture a wild guess that you have a few readers here who have never really read a People magazine? Or, do grocery store cover encounters count?

Jake said...

People Magazine is brain candy you inhale in 30 minutes. Ten minutes later you completely forget the experience.

The Zero Boss said...

Actually, I'm more worried that the same pool of people who put People above Time have voting rights.

Ron said...

I thought we lived in the turducken era, where each of these conglomerates is stuffed inside the others....

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I pronounce it 'PeepHole' magazine.

And it's great reading on an airplane.

And I vote.

Bruce Hayden said...

Actually, I am not sure if those who put Time above People should have voting rights either.

But I will suggest that People is almost entirely purchased by the fairer sex. Yes, some guys do, but how many straight ones would confess to it (without disclaiming that they were doing so for some woman in their life). So, I would futhter suggest that we guys really don't have a leg to stand on here in criticizing People, unless we want the women in our lives criticizing our purchases of Playboy, Popular Mechanics, etc.

One interesting thing about the article was the mention that People has gotten on-line advertising away fro AOL, and this is apparently starting to pay off.

Internet Ronin said...

I'm late to this party, and no one is paying any attention anyway, but I've got a few ideas. While this may be the "People era" for the publisher, that era is long past for the culture.

I wasn't old enough to know, but my guess is that the 50's were probably the "Reader's Digest" era.

The 1960's were the pinnacle of Life's influence, the rapid decline setting in at what should have been its greatest moment, man on the moon. TV obliterated it.

The 1970's were the newsmagazine era, and TIME's moment in the sun was Watergate and, to a lesser extent, the hostage crisis. Their circulation growth has been negligible since then.

The 1980's could be called the People era, but it really was the market segmentation era. Want sports? Read SI. Gossip? People. Business? Forbes (heavy as a brick by decade's end) Investments? Money. (This was the pinnacle for broadcast network television as well.)

In the 1990's, the magazine era was over. The cable era had arrived, and with it 24-hour access to news. Market segmentation accelerated with a host of special interest networks: Food, ESPN, E!, CNBC, History, A&E, etc.

This decade is the internet decade. Access to news is instantaneous, instead of on the half-hour. Everyone can read an AP story at the exact same time as the broadcast, cable, and newspaper editors get their copy. Information about just about everything is at your fingertips. Why wait until tomorrow morning, 6PM tonight, or 15 minutes from now?

The next decade will probably end up being the professional blog decade. Not blogs as we know them now, but a combination of video podcasts and print stories aggregated at a single site. For news, the video podcasts will probably end up being short highlights of current top stories (headline and lead) with a link at the end to take the viewer to more detailed print stories and background information.

Despite the consolidation on a single site, market segmentation will continue. At the same time we will witness massive consolidations of print and broacast media because neither has the expretise to manage this change alone