The Mr. Magazine Manifesto for 2018

Samir Husni gives us some top industry quotes to move us forward into the new year.

“Magazines are money makers.”

That’s the quote Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni chose to open his 2018 manifesto on the magazine industry.

Husni, who is celebrating his 40th year in the magazine business, interviewed 70 industry leaders in 2017, and has done a great job of sharing their insights and inspiration through the year. Now, he narrows down this thought leadership into 18 quotes.

“Their words are eloquent and resonate with what magazines are all about: an experience that transforms and transcends time and circumstances while staying honest and hopeful about the digital age we’re living in,” Husni writes in his blog.

To start it off, he reaches for Hearst Magazine President David Carey’s thoughts on print magazines and money.

“We like to make money,” Carey says. “We think there is money in print and more print, and we like to make money and grow profits in digital. You can’t have one be primary and one be secondary. We have to be good at both.”

Being good at both made for a great year at Hearst, and his team espouses the “Print Proud, Digital Smart” mantra with a vengeance. With breakout hits like Pioneer Woman flying off the shelves thanks to this idea, they embody the idea that great ideas will always find a way to get funded.

While embracing digital (or any new technology), success follows only when you remain married to your purpose and “the soul” of your magazine, as The New Yorker’s editor David Remnick tells Husni.

“But here’s the thing, and this is the important thing; my job and our job in this moment in time is to get all of the technological things right, but never to lose sight of, or the feel for, what The New Yorker is or should be,” Remnick advises.

At the core, of course, digital technology has shown us how important it is to always put the audience first.

“I tell my staff all of the time; think about your reader, and when you have a million things coming at you; when you’re wrestling with a story or when you’re confused about what to do next, just think about your reader and put yourself in their shoes and look at it from their perspective,” said Sid Evans, editor-in-chief for Southern Living and Coasting Living magazines. “And as long as you do that, you’re going to make the right decision.”

The hallmark of a great year for me is how much I learned and grew, what I took away from the experience. Looking at 2017 from this point of view, it’s been a fantastic year for the magazine industry. We confirmed that readers will pay for quality content, according to Bob Sauerberg, President and CEO of Condé Nast. And we learned just how credible magazines are compared to other media, as MPA’s Linda Thomas Brooks reminded us.

Perhaps the most important thing we learned as an industry is that the future is in our hands. As publishers embrace their new reality, we are seeing new ideas, innovations and a commitment to editorial integrity as the hallmarks of our revised industry.

It’s going to be a great year to be in magazines.