Consumer Reports to debut new design with its November issue
“The new Consumer Reports is the result of more than a year’s worth of research and discovery, in which we examined every aspect of the magazine,” said editor-in-chief Ellen Kampinsky
YONKERS, N.Y. – September 25, 2014 — Consumer Reports, the largest and most trusted consumer organization in the world, has announced major changes to its flagship print product, Consumer Reports magazine. The revamp showcases a new design and architecture, innovative editorial additions, and a shift towards a new conversation with readers, and debuts with the November issue, on newsstands September 30.
“The new Consumer Reports is the result of more than a year’s worth of research and discovery, in which we examined every aspect of the magazine,” said Ellen Kampinsky, editor-in-chief, Consumer Reports. “The goal of this revamp is to create an engaging, modern magazine that empowers consumers with the information they need to improve their lives—especially as technology advances and new consumer issues arise.”
Consumer Reports applied an unconventional approach to readership analysis: focusing centrally on behavioral modeling—that is, how and why readers engage with the magazine—in lieu of the traditional model, which concentrates more on readership demographics.
“A key aspect of the revamp is the makeover of the cover which now spotlights a singular, provocative issue that impacts all consumers. Product testing will always be an integral part of what we do—but, as the new cover and other renovations demonstrate—it is just one part of the extensive amount of actionable information we offer each month,” said Brent Diamond, vice president and general manager, magazine and newsletter products, who led the overhaul.
Highlights from Consumer Reports’ November issue, the first issue as part of the revamp, will feature:
COVER STORY: How America Shops Now (pg. 26): After seven years of cutting back, consumers are finally opening their wallets again. But the recession has changed the country’s buying habits—big-time. Consumer Reports recently asked shoppers from around the country for insights on how they spend in the new normal. And many of the answers were surprising.
The Debut of Your ADVOCATE (pg. 7): This eight-page section contains new and expanded editorial features, including:
- CEO Q&A: Features the head of a major brand answering readers’ questions. This month, General Motors CEO Mary Barra covers topics ranging from the recent GM recalls to the future of the Cadillac.
- Problem Solver: Each month, Consumer Reports solves an individual reader’s problem, with a takeaway that all readers can benefit from. The November issue reports on how a recent Verizon service “bargain” really wasn’t such a great deal—until Consumer Reports stepped in.
- Reader Roundtable: Consumer Reports experts chat live on Facebook with readers. The best tips appear in the magazine. In the November issue, senior electronics editor Jim Wilcox offers advice on upgrading your TV this holiday season.
- Gripe-O-Meter: Consumer Reports’ exclusive polls take America’s temperature on everything from travel to TV—and Gripe-O-Meter displays the findings in a compelling, full-page graphic. In November, Gripe-O-Meter tackles the topic of holiday travel, and why it’s so awful.
- The Empowered Consumer: Offers insider tips on a specific industry. This month, the report reveals the inside secrets of frequent flyer programs.
- Heroes and Watchdogs: Highlights ordinary people who have done extraordinary acts.
- Get Involved: Provides specific, practical ways that consumers can take action.
The issue also debuts the expanded Road Report, Consumer Reports’ auto coverage that now includes monthly articles on how to maintain your car, and improved product reviews which include easier-to-read ratings charts and buying information tailored to different buyers’ needs. There’s also the useful and fun-to-read Best and Worst of 2014, as well as in-depth look at the outrageous costs of healthcare—and what you can do about it.
“The November issue is the start of a new conversation with our readers. Based on the feedback we get from them, we’ll be making more changes in the coming months,” said Ms. Kampinsky. But despite how the magazine changes, she says, “we’ll remain unbiased and unbought. And we promise never, ever to put the Kardashians on the cover.”