Food on the Cover

I am a huge fan of all magazines, but I really like city and regional magazines. From a single copy sales perspective, you’d think that working with these titles would be pretty easy. One note stuff. But in today’s marketplace, it’s often not as if there is only one wholesaler and one level of delivery service in the market to work with. In fact, for one of my city books, I actually have nine (No, I am not kidding!) distributors to work with. In another, three. And in one, well, one.

On the editorial and design side, a glib observer could look and say, “Well, it’s all the same. Best Of, Best Restaurant, Weddings, Homes. Same old, same old.” And it is true: There are certain topics that a city magazine will cover no matter where they are. Because if you’re a reader, those are the things you want to know about. But what I like about a really good city magazine is how deep their knowledge of those topics are. I like how they can make every article about a favorite restaurant or chef new and interesting. From where I sit, the writing in a good city magazine is equal to or sometimes better than the writing in a major national magazine.

In our little end of the circulation pool, there’s been a lot of talk about the success of the “Food Network Magazine”. It’s buzz is well deserved. Despite all of the things the “brand” had going for it coming out of the gate, the publisher took a huge risk and their success is hard earned. But city magazines have been talking about food, restaurants and local chefs for a long, long time.

With that in mind, I present to you, some of my favorite covers from recent history:

Pittsburgh Magazine’s June 2010 Best Restaurants
San Antonio Magazine’s April 2010 Best New Restaurants
Chicago Magazine September 2009 Burgers
Florida Table Spring 2010
Madison Magazine June 2010 Restaurant Issue
Los Angeles Magazine June 2010

So are you hungry now? Tell me what your favorite city magazines and covers are.

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3 Replies to “Food on the Cover”

  1. Great perspectives Joe. Your knowledge of magazine newsstand sales and distribution is deep and your blog postings illustrate exactly what is going on in the stores magazine racks and on the street. Keep up the good work.

    Can you find a magazine cover that shows delicious sushi so I can have an extreme craving for that?

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