The iconic New England magazine offers a respite from our modern world, and that’s a legacy worth carrying on.
The staff at Yankee magazine have something to celebrate – this fall marks the 80th anniversary of the family-owned magazine, notes Sydney Ember in The New York Times.
Comparing the magazine to a hardy New Englander, Ember writes, “Yankee has stuck it out, in much the same form, while more renowned print publications have succumbed to the challenges of the digital age. The magazine still depends on print subscriptions, which cost $28 a year, for the bulk of its revenue. Its website does not have a pay wall.”
“Indeed, Yankee’s original stated mission was ‘the expression and perhaps, indirectly, the preservation of that great culture in which every Yank was born and by which every real Yank must live,’” Ember writes.
There is something about this time of year that makes transplanted New Englanders’ hearts yearn for hearth and home: the bite of fresh apples and aroma of burning leaves recall a simple and gentler time. Yankee has somehow been able to capture that homespun feeling and package it successfully.
Like the traditionally-minded people of the region, the content hasn’t changed all that much over the years. They still eschew much talk of national-stage politics, preferring instead to deal with regional issues and cultural pieces.
“Yankee has carved out a niche largely untouched by other New England-based publications like Boston magazine,” says Ember. “The magazine stays away from topics like sports, and despite New Hampshire’s central role in the presidential campaign, articles about politics rarely make it into the magazine’s pages.”
With a largely older (65 and up) reader demographic, a digital presence hasn’t been a critical for the publisher. But that is beginning to change, with a new initiative called “Yankee Plus” available on digital in the six months each year that the magazine doesn’t print. But don’t expect digital to ever be more important than print.
“There are still people who want to escape the frenzy of the digital world and read a magazine filled with photographs of fall leaves and stories about hiking trails, seaside inns and Indian pudding. It also looks nice on their coffee tables,” says Ember.
Congratulations to the staff and all the best on a beautifully-done 80 years.