Vanity Fair is this blogger's favorite print magazine to buy at San Francisco International Airport when traveling. "VF," for all of it's faults, does a great job of presenting a certain way of the good life. While it could be more diverse in it's presentation of what that means, Vanity Fair is always an enjoyable read. The problem today is it's shrinking. Check out my video:
Yep. Vanity Fair's January 2011 print mag edition is a full 50 percent smaller in thickness than past issues. VF fans are used to seeing a thick, heavy, magazine, as was the case as recently as the December 2010 mag.
The one with Cher on the cover, wearing fishnets.
Those issues, two of countless many VF's I own, are all damn thick, heavy magazines.
Then, there's Johnny Depp, or the VF issue with Depp on the cover. There's only two words for it: shockingly small.
Curious, a little cyber walking revealed that Conde Nast, the company that owns Vanity Fair and other publications, embarked on an initiative to have its properties think in a more "business like" way. After losing $1 billion in ad revenue in 2009, it's no surprise to lean Conde Nast has some problems, but then, as it's CEO Chuck Townsend pointed out, so does its competition.
Its print competition.
Much was made of Chuck Townsend announcing how well Conde Nast was doing compared with Hearst Corporation and TIME media properties, but that's print. Magazine ad revenue as a whole barely recovered from the recession, and newspapers are just plain taking on water. Print's seen better days and before the Internet World.
The question is what's the future for Vanity Fair?
I can't see VF lasting as a monthly. Quarterly, yes. Monthly, no. Moreover, it's future is in television and multimedia. And it's got to up its audience grab from Oscar-related content. Why in heck it doesn't emphasize video and video-blogging is beyond me, but the old heads there better wisen up before it's too late. The VF brand can survive, but it's got to grow out of its print-oriented mentality.
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