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What is a magazine, really? The debate goes on…

June 25, 2010

My friend Joe Berger who describes himself as “a newsstand sales consultant (single copy sales consultant?), husband, father, recent convert to gardening, sometime avid cyclist” recently took me and Bob Sacks to task regarding our definitions of what a magazine is and is not. He wrote on his blog From the Foredeck of the Titanic an entry under the title: Husni Vs. Sacks: Who’s right? Who wins? Does it matter?

Dr. Samir Husni aka Mr. Magazine, ( mrmagazine.wordpress.com ) has developed a well deserved reputation as a defender of the printed magazine. He loves them, collects them, teaches about them to college students. And in the era of digitized content, declares very eloquently that they are not obsolete. As somebody who is acutely aware of the fact that more than 80% of his income still comes from ink on paper magazines, I applaud Dr. Husni.

On the reverse side of the same coin, Robert Sacks (aka BoSacks.com), a leading publishing industry consultant refers to himself (and apparently Dr. Husni concurs) as Samir’s “very good friend”, but debates him just the same about the future of the printed magazine. Like all good consultants, Sacks opines that the future of the printed magazine is essentially one where it will be niche and pull in significantly less revenue for publishers as the world goes digital. In fact, Sacks is such a forward thinker, that he and his staff came up with a definition of a magazine that does not include paper or ink (or staples, for that matter). I realize that in ten years or so more than 80% of my income might come from this new definition of a magazine, so I applaud BoSacks too (although may be more of a polite golf clap).

To read the rest of Joe’s commentary click here.

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2 comments

  1. Samir, thanks for the plug. That was very kind of you. I hope you didn’t think I was taking you to task. I was actually very intrigued with both yours and Bob’s arguments.


    • No problem Joe whatsoever… I was glad that you’ve added to the debate.



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