From My Vault Of Classic “New” Magazines – The Business Week And The New Yorker. Part 2.August 12, 2016
A Mr. Magazine™ Musing
I am going to go ahead and open my classic “new” magazines’ vault and start reporting on some words of wisdom editors, publishers, marketers and circulation folks used to write to introduce their new magazines, their readers, and their advertisers.
Consider this an informative journey down memory lane, for there is much we can learn from these masters; things we can either repeat or avoid in today’s marketplace.
In part two of this “classic new magazines” musings, I look at the first issues of THE BUSINESS WEEK, September 7, 1929 and THE NEW YORKER, February 21, 1925. Notice the importance of the word “THE” in both titles.
Malcolm Muir, President of McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. wrote in the first issue:
“THE BUSINESS WEEK herewith makes its first appearance — on a great plan, with a high ambition. Its ambition is to become indispensable — no less — to the business man of America. Its plan, we trust, shows forth in its pages.”
“Swiftly, intelligently, tersely, it tells the week’s business news, and the news of business. The distinction is not fine-spun. Business news impinges upon business from outside — news of the tariff, of the reparations settlement, of crops. New of business originates within business — news of developments in management technic, of improved production process, and (outstanding these days) of changes in marketing methods.”
Curation at its best:
“The whole story of the week is set forth in compact limits, a study in the fine art of saving the reader’s time. Nothing irrelevant is included; nothing really important is omitted.”
Strong editorials and opinions:
“You will find THE BUSINESS WEEK always has a point of view, and usually a strong opinion. Both of which it does not hesitate to express.You may find a little humor somewhere, if you look sharp.And all the way through, we hope, you will discover it is possible to write sanely and intelligently of business without being pompous or ponderous.We hope you will miss those vague but solemn generalities about business that pass so often for deep wisdom.”
A who’s who:
Advisory editors: Ralph Barton, Marc Connelly, Rea Irvin, George S. Kaufman, Alice Duer Miller, Dorothy Parker, Alexander Woollcott
A good starting point:
“One of the first things you do in starting a magazine, after you have got the notion to do it and, as our advertising friends say, sold your associates on the idea, is to rent an office and the next thing you do is get a telephone.”
“THE NEW YORKER starts with a declaration of serious purpose but with a concomitant declaration that it will not be too serous in executing it. It hopes to reflect metropolitan life, to keep up with events and affairs of the day, to be gay, humorous, satirical but to be more than a jester.”“It will publish facts that it will have to go behind the scenes to get, but it will not deal in scandal nor sensation for the sake of sensation.”
“It will conscientiously to keep its readers informed of what is going on in the fields in which they are most interested. It has announced that it is not edited for the old lady in Dubuque. By this it means that it is not of that group of publications engaged in tapping the Great Buying Power of the North American steppe region by trading mirrors and colored beads in the form of our best brands of hokum.”
Until next time, read, learn and laugh… All the best.