Mr. Burke, you’re one of our kind.
“I’m bullish, and it may sound crazy to some, but personally, I love print,” Larry Burke, chairman and editor-in-chief of Outside magazine, recently said to Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni in an interview.
It sure doesn’t sound crazy to me, or to the rapidly growing audience of the 43-year-old title.
“We’ve actually had a very good print year,” Burke told Husni. “Our audience grew by an astounding 41 percent in print alone, not even including our digital growth, which across the board has been very strong.”
He’s quick to concede that the proliferation of media channels subjects print to enormous competition. Yet thanks to their place as leaders in the outdoor media space, they are well-positioned to leverage a multi-channel approach to grow their print readership.
“That’s certainly the case with us; we happen to dominate in a very active lifestyle marketplace as a media brand. And it has given us a lot of opportunities,” Burke explains. “Of course, there are a lot of challenges that go along with that, but personally, I’m very bullish on our ability to keep pounding away with our print platform, as well as all of our other platforms.
We reported earlier this month on Outside’s massive bump in print numbers, which Burk attributes to recognizing and being committed to serving previously under-served audience segments.
“Since women have seen their perspectives reflected in our coverage, we’ve watched our audience expand,” Burke explains. “The majority of our growth this year is, in fact, from female readers. We’ll continue to shine a light on women in the outdoors and other communities that have not been represented accurately in the industry,” Burke told Publishers Daily.
Outside gives us a great example of a brand that adapts to changing realities – including their audience make-up – while remaining true to their mission. And the payoff is obvious – that 41% print bump didn’t come out of thin air, but out of respectfully delivering on the brand promise to a wider audience.
It’s no wonder he’s bullish.