Next month, Cosmopolitan will celebrate its 40th anniversary. In a neat bit of timing, the magazine will also reach another milestone, selling its one-billionth copy. That set us thinking: Just what goes into writing, editing, printing and distributing all those magazines? The chart below represents an attempt to quantify what it means to be the country’s best-selling monthly newsstand magazine.
Founded: 1886, as a digest-sized publication
First published in its modern form: 1965
Average newsstand sale: 2,011,650
Number of staff: 60 editorial and 52 advertising
Longest serving editor in chief: Helen Gurley Brown — 32 years
Number of best-selling mystery novels by current editor in chief Kate White: 3
Number of different owners: 2
Pounds of paper required to print typical issue: 4,236,851
Pounds of ink required to print typical issue: 312,000
Person who has appeared on the cover the most times: Cindy Crawford — 17
Best-selling issue in the last 10 years: July 2002 — 2,305,000 copies.
Sell-through rate for that issue: 82.7 percent
Who was on the cover: Molly Sims
Cover price of first issue: 35 cents
Current cover price: $4.50 (January and August); $3.99 rest of year
Three advertisers who ran in the first issue: Coty, Covergirl, Helena Rubinstein
2004 PIB Advertising Revenue: $347,048,600
Number of foreign editions: 51 in over 100 countries
First time “sex” appeared on the cover: March 1967
First time “orgasm” appeared on the cover: April 1970
Average number of reader letters received per month: Over 3,000
This story first appeared in the July 1, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
(Sources: Audit Bureau of Circulations, Mediamark Research Inc., Publishers Information Bureau)