Magazine editors continue to love their list issues: Newsweek and Playboy create very different lists
The List – that special issue that contains some article that lists something – Top Doctors, Top Beaches, Top Kale Recipes… there is no end to the possibilities.
About 25 years ago my staff finally persuaded me to do a ‘Baby of the Year’ special section, and though the kids weren’t ranked into a list, it did prove to be incredibly successful from a marketing perspective, and was created for the same reason List issues are created – they drive readership. (Local area parents submitted pictures of their new babies, along with a check for $20, and they got to see their kid in print. They also got a T-shirt for their baby that read ‘Baby of the Year’ on it – along with the name of our newspaper, of course. From that day on you couldn’t walk around town without seeing the T-shirts, something that drove the competing newspaper crazy.)
“Newsweek’s High School Rankings are exceptional because of the many factors we take into consideration when selecting top schools as well as our look at inequality when it comes to education. We have unique insight into what public schools across the country are doing to prepare their students for college, which is a critical next step for graduating teens,” said Jim Impoco, Editor in Chief at the weekly magazine.
What his “unique insight” might be is anybody’s guess. But at least a few parents of high schoolers might be interested.
As the new print edition of Newsweek has only 100K in circulation, the title is wisely putting its list online, in hopes of reaching a wider audience. You can find it here, if you are interested.
Playboy has its own list issue this month: America’s 25 Sexiest Cities. The men’s magazine has struggled over the past couple decades. Today the magazine has a rate base of 750,000, while a decade ago it stood at 3,150,000.
According to the magazine’s survey, “New York respondents were the most interested in kink, with nearly two-thirds open to experimentation and almost a quarter into BDSM.” Few could argue that living in NYC can be a bit sadistic at times. But sexiest?
Playboy’s list reads like it was created by the circulation manager, with the top cities all falling pretty much in order based on population.
By the way, Detroit was ranked as the “unsexiest city in America.” Playboy can go screw itself. (Yes, I was born in Detroit, so what about it?)