Khoi Vihn, designer and former New York Times staffer, as part of his lukewarm response to the new New York Times magazine:
It’s also true that part of my objection owes to the fact that I find the magazine format less than enthralling these days. With few exceptions, it’s my experience that magazines generally can’t justify why all of a given issue’s content is bundled together, why I need to bother with the obvious filler that so often consumes the “front of the book,” and why so many long format stories are as long as they are.
It’s an interesting perspective. I think his comments certainly hold true – at least for generalist magazines, like newspaper supplement magazines tend to be. Niche magazines have a greater reason to exist, and have a clearer focus, meaning that all sections of it tend to have at least some appeal.
Now is not a good time to be in the generalist magazine business.