Here at Starter HQ, we still have a few random magazine subscriptions and we still regularly buy magazines that catch our eye at checkout stands, Costco and our local book store. Supposedly we are a dying breed. The Economist, Wired, Los Angeles Magazine, Maxim (which is a replacement subscription sent to us after Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) went under), Martha Stewart, Vanity Fair, and Real Simple make up the bulk of the publications that clutter our end table.
Real Simple falls into the category of “Magazines that still come to house that I keep forgetting to cancel and then it auto-renews somehow and when it does it’s only like ten bucks so I swear I will cancel it next year”, which sadly is a slot it has occupied for at least four or five years. (My laziness is keeping the print trade afloat!)
Anyway, if I didn’t still get this particular magazine at home I would have completely missed the slight against Steeler fans in this month’s issue because I certainly am not cruising their website for tips, recipes, or Ann Taylor ads. (Real Simple the magazine, if anything, is perfect bathroom reading. You are in there so briefly, a one page story on the “Best Instant Foods” is all one really needs.) So I ask: why would you want to alienate any readers — especially when it is noted Pittsburgh is a city that reads — when more and more magazines are not only struggling, but are folding all together?
Well, it seems that Real Simple actually performs rather well, with a circulation of between 1.9 and 2.01 million readers, on par with Playboy, Newsweek, and ESPN:The Magazine. And their single-issue sales for the second half of 2009 were reported to be 411,705, (up 6.2 percent) ahead of Good Housekeeping and slightly behind Vanity Fair. They can afford to insult the Yinzer reading population.
Pity. But motivation enough for me to finally cancel my subscription.
(Note: This is not the first time Real Simple has been taken to task around these parts. See also, How Not To Throw A Super Bowl Party, Jan. 2008.)