Sorry Ashton, The Shooter Took You Out: The Story behind Esquire’s Split Cover…

February 15, 2013

Esquire - The Man Who Killed Osama Bin LadenThe March cover of Esquire magazine is creating a buzz, a major buzz, on the nation’s stands. And this cover can only be found on the nation’s newsstands. As you can see, it is a typographical cover with some explosive words (no pun intended) to say the least. This is not your usual cover for Esquire. But, the cover story is not usual either. However subscribers are receiving the more traditional cover of the magazine with Ashton Kutcher’s picture and the usual array of coverlines.

ESQ030113COVER_CanNS2[1]I asked David Granger, editor in chief of Esquire, about the decision to create this cover and the split between newsstands’ copies and those of subscribers. His answer:

In general, I do not believe in splitting covers. I think it as as important to sell your subscribers on what’s inside as it is potential newsstand buyers.

In this case, we had a story of major importance—the first time the SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden spoke, both about the raid and, more important, about the slipshod way veterans (including our most elite forces) are treated when they leave the service—and a story that I thought could inspire a cover that make a splash when it hit newsstands.

The story came together much later than usual for a large feature and we were actually unsure if we could get it into the issue in time. So we prepared both two covers and two versions of the feature well. (Two stories were actually held for future issues when we completed work on “The Shooter.”)

At that point, we decided that we would promote the story as aggressively as we could with all the covers going to the newsstand and then go with a more conventional cover (with a dramatic coverline above the logo about “The Shooter.”)

One comment

  1. AG is pleased to announce its partnership with Brazil’s Castelo de Pedra to publish Newsweek for newsstands in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

    AG Publications has been producing Newsweek Pakistan since 2010, and Castelo de Pedra began publishing Newsweek for 28 Latin American countries earlier this month. The London-incorporated joint venture between these two companies, AG Castillo Media Limited, will publish Newsweek every week for newsstands in 55 countries across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

    Production for all three hardcopy issues—available in 84 countries around the world—is managed by AG Publications in Lahore. The first AG-produced Latin America and EMEA editions of Newsweek (Feb. 4, 2013) hit stands this week.

    AG Castillo Media’s directors comprise Fasih Ahmed, João Paulo Diniz, and Mauricio Weinstein.

    For more information, please email desk@newsweek-emea.com

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