Trump, The Cover


Editor’s Note: This seems appropriate….


Is it possible that there are more magazine covers this year with Donald J. Trump on the cover than say, Taylor Swift? Heck yes! Have I managed to count them all? Well, no. I had to stop after a while. It would have been a really interesting exercise trying to count them all*. However it is planning season and spending all that time on Google is something I politely call a “Non-Revenue Generating Activity.”

So, no. I don’t have proof that there are more Trump covers than Swift covers, but go look at a newsstand and tell me what you think.

Of course the newsweeklies, business mags and culture pubs are the ones having the most fun with the mercurial Republican candidate as a cover story. Below are a collection of some of the ones I’ve found over the course of the year.

Here’s a few from Time Magazine.


I’m a fan of illustrated covers so my favorite is the one from August 22nd.

Newsweek Magazine, which no longer tries to follow in Time‘s shoes went with a more straightforward, head-on approach.


The current iteration of Newsweek retains the white on red logo but adds a small “folder tab” on the bottom right for the issue date. It’s an interesting add-on and I think it works to both preserve the original brand ID and set the new version apart. Other than the white on red, there is nothing else about the “new” Newsweek that resembles it’s predecessor as far as I am concerned (It’s a much better magazine). For the record, Trump has been on many Newsweek covers over the years. Here’s one from 1990 when he was having some trouble with his real estate companies:

So the hair style hasn’t changed much.

Meanwhile, The Economist yet again shows us that British humor and intellect always arrives with an arched eyebrow.

Apparently so.


Meanwhile, The New Yorker, the sophisticated tongue in cheek publication from Trump’s hometown has had great fun mocking the developer turned presidential candidate in a series of off-beat covers.


Across the island, New York Magazine, which avoids illustrated covers went with a more posed picture of Trump during it’s expose on how his campaign operates.

That is some seriously huge manspread.

Years ago, John F. Kennedy, Jr. identified the intersection between politics and entertainment and launched George Magazine. In fact, you may remember that back in 2000 Trump flirted with the idea of running for president and this was covered in the February/March issue of the magazine.

So apparently we have seen this before.

It is fitting, then, that this year The Hollywood Reporter got into the act in June with their own Trump cover.

Will Hollywood support Trump?

To show how politics has become entertainment, the newsstand champ, People Magazine asked “Who is the Real Donald Trump?” in their April cover.

It’s a little late to ask that question now.


In the end, what all these magazine covers have in common is their immediacy. They’re on topic and address something that is important to their audiences. They approach their main cover topic (Trump) with respect and understanding of their audience. The New Yorker, for example, always has a pointed, sarcastic spin on the city and their cover topic.

Back in June, I announced what I thought were the five most egregious covers to date for 2016. Coming in at number four was this cover.

Sorry, Melania

To my mind, Melania Trump can certainly stand alone on the cover of a luxury magazine. Having Trump lurking in the background strikes me as a bit creepy.

So what Trump covers have I missed from this year? What do you like or dislike about them?

*For the record, I should probably pick up the phone and call the nice folks down at MagNet and ask them if they have the count. Chances are they probably do.

About All of This Harrumphing About The Fate of Newsweek

The ongoing introspective bouts of introspection, mustache huffing and harrumphing about the final disposition of the weekly newsmagazine formerly known as Newsweek leaves this columnist with some questions and “Harrumphs” of his own. Oddly, the biggest question seems to be:

“What is all of this chattering about?”

Is it really that surprising that we discovered our readers were at first reluctant to pay for content that we once gave away for free back when the internet was young? Is it really surprising that when we finally charged for a digital version of the content, we charged a lot less for it than the print version? Why is your spreadsheet so surprised?  And why are we surprised that people remark about it? We have whole class of reporters and bloggers who fulminate about how digital should cost so much less because it’s so cheap to produce (Apparently they’ve never entertained a proposal from an app developer).


Let’s be clear, while Time and Newsweek were a pretty big deal in the past, were they really that big a deal compared to other forms of mass media?

And let’s be honest, if it was announced  tomorrow that the CBS television network was going out of business, well that would be a story. But the endlessly dreary drone that has been the Newsweek saga?

The Pew Research Center wrote up an excellent report on the state newsweeklies not so long ago. On the whole, it made some excellent points and conclusions. Their selection of titles for the category was very interesting.

Far be it for me to really criticize the Pew Research Center. There’s them, and then there’s me: a sole proprietor with limited time and resources.

But is The New Yorker, The Economist, The Atlantic and The Week in the same category and class as Newsweek and Time?

The Economist is an import. Its British tone and analysis is its appeal. And while it’s been in this market for some time, and competes to an extent with Time and the former Newsweek, it’s not really in the same ball park. It does cover news, but it’s called The Economist.  Spend some time with the content and you’ll see why I’ve always considered it significantly different from the other two titles.

Frankly, if you’re going to put these titles in the analysis, then BusinessWeek should have been included. Unless, their 6.8% increase in overall circulation from 2007 to the second half of 2012 would have skewed the results.

The New Yorker is a news magazine, of a sort. But its market and demographics is not the same as the Time and Newsweek. Those audiences are much broader.  The Atlantic is also in a different demographic class. Hell, if we’re going to toss those two titles into this analysis, why not include Harper’s? Who doesn’t love their index? Is it because they never offered a digital clock in their subscription offers?

While all of these magazines offer news and analysis, there is a big difference between the newsweeklies, the imports, and titles with less frequency in their publishing schedule.

In our market, the single copy world, the newsweeklies were their own category. And for a long time there were really only three titles: Time, Newsweek and US News & World Report. Three titles in a category. They were sort of big because of their weekly frequency and you could often find them at a checkout. At one time Newsweek and US News & World Report even had their own field forces. But well before industry consolidation hit us in 1990’s, they were long gone. And I recall people talking about the decline and fall of the newsweekly subcategory back in the early 1990’s.

As I’ve repeatedly maintained (And this is my opinion, nothing more, nothing  less), the issues that we see in the continuing decline of the newsstand have a lot more to do with the long standing issues we have with marketing, display and the dysfunctional nature of our supply chain. Is the general public giving up on print? Perhaps. At the worst, they will be giving up, over time, some of their print. But in the long list of illnesses our industry has, that particular symptom is near the bottom of the list.

The End of Newsweek is a Non Event

The internets are abuzz this morning with the news that Newsweek will cease publishing it’s print edition at the end of the year. The goal, according to editor Tina Brown in a letter on the Daily Beast site is to create a one stop shop. She described it this way:

Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context. Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with select content available on The Daily Beast.

You can place the  blame for the death of the print edition of Newsweek at the feet of whichever bugaboo you want to choose. The Twitterverse has been chock full of reasons. Heck, even God Almighty has chimed in:

It could be the economy. Or the weak newsstand market (Highly unlikely. Newsstand was less than 3% of their overall circulation). Or the high cost of printing and shipping a print weekly. Or the decline in print advertising. Or hideously cheap subscriptions. Or all of the above. Or none of the above.

Let’s get real here. Even at it’s peak, Newsweek was always an also ran to Time Magazine. The newsweekly magazine market was never deep (Time, Newsweek, US News and….) so the fact that we are down to one domestically produced newsweekly in this current market is not that shocking. Did anyone really think that a stand alone weekly news publication could survive on it’s own? Did someone really think that the Daily Beast was the solution to it’s problem?

I subscribed to Newsweek during a brief period in the 1980’s and again in the 1990’s. My rational for the second go round, was that I needed a new digital clock and the price was right (It was cheap). I’ve picked it up infrequently over the past decade as something to read on a flight that was cheaper than my usual “go to” for a long plane ride, The Economist. Invariably, I had buyers remorse shortly after flipping past the front cover. So let me present you with my reasons for why this magazine has finally died:

Newsweek Magzine in the 1970’s
Newsweek under Tina Brown

If no one wants to read your content, no one is going to read your content. At a certain point, weak magazines can not hide and there is no escape from declining subscribers, declining newsstand, falling ad sales.

Yes, it’s sad to see the end of Newsweek. But it’s not shocking, earth shattering or the precursor of something important or dramatic.

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