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The DNR List: Page Counts

Leading men’s magazines are ranked by ad-page growth through October 2007.

The men’s magazine arena lost Stuff and FHM in the past year, but the competition for ad dollars remains stiff. Men’s Vogue has upped its frequency to 10 times a year, and Details and Complex both added an extra issue this year. Best Life continues on its rapid growth path, while Men’s Journal will record its best year ever in 2007. Here, leading men’s magazines ranked by ad-page growth through October.

Men’s Vogue
Year-to-Date Ad Pages Through October: 579.93                    Percent Change: +112.61
The hefty jump in Men’s Vogue ad pages this year stems from the title’s ramping-up in frequency, publishing six issues through October of this year, up from two issues in the same period in 2006. Going forward, the title will have a frequency of 10 times a year. The Condé Nast–owned magazine has a rate base of 325,000.

Best Life
YTD Ad Pages: 432.67                                                                      Percent Change: +37.29
Rodale-owned Best Life remains in growth mode, posting the biggest increase among its competitors on a steady year-over-year basis (i.e., there were no changes in frequency). Through October it published eight issues, with 10 issues total to be published this year. For the first half of 2007, total paid and verified circulation was an average of 468,777 per issue, up 11 percent from the previous year—although newsstand sales fell 16 percent.

Men’s Journal
YTD Ad Pages: 920.54                                                                      Percent Change: +15.34
Published 12 times a year, Men’s Journal will rack up its best year in ad pages, and its upcoming December issue will be its largest ever. Monthly circulation at the Wenner Media–owned title was stable through the first half of this year at 707,808—with subscriptions dropping 6 percent and newsstand sales rising 7.4 percent.

Men’s Health
YTD Ad Pages: 907.8                                                                         Percent Change: +14.14
Men’s Health is the best-selling men’s magazine on newsstands, moving 547,958 single-copy sales on average in the first half of this year, up 1.1 percent from the year-ago period. Total circulation at the Rodale-owned title dipped 2.1 percent in the first half to 1.82 million. Men’s Health is published 10 times a year.

GQ
YTD Ad Pages: 1,439.5                                                                       Percent Change: +5.72
Buoyed by its fat 50th anniversary October issue—with 278 ad pages, up from 218 the previous year—GQ saw a nice bump in its YTD tally. The Condé Nast–owned monthly also enjoyed a 9.3 percent jump in total circulation to 931,694 in the first half of this year, including a considerable 11.3 rise in subscriptions and a 3.5 percent increase in newsstand sales.

Playboy
YTD Ad Pages: 382.03                                                                        Percent Change: +2.07
Venerable Playboy enjoyed a minor lift in ad pages this year—but on average is still only running 38 pages of ads per issue. Circulation at the Playboy Enterprises–owned monthly declined 5 percent in the first half of this year to 2.88 million, down from over three million in the year-ago period.

Details
YTD Ad Pages: 999.26                                                                        Percent Change: +1.46
Ad pages at Details are up slightly through October, and yearend numbers will get a big bump from an extra holiday issue this year, on newsstands Nov. 6—meaning the Condé Nast–owned title will publish 11 issues this year, up from 10 last year. Total circulation in the first half of this year grew 9.3 percent to 457,186, including a hefty 11.6 percent jump in newsstand sales and a slight 1.6 percent decline in subscriptions.

Complex
YTD Ad Pages: 664.2                                                                           Percent Change: (-2.1)
Complex’s slight dip in ad pages through October is tied to the fact it published a combined October/November issue last year with 146.12 ad pages, compared with a stand-alone October issue this year with 108.33 pages. Including this year’s November issue with its 135.71 ad pages, Marc Ecko-owned Complex would be up 15.2 percent to 799.91 pages. Total circulation in the first half of this year increased 2.5 percent to 341,128.

Esquire
YTD Ad Pages: 884.76                                                                         Percent Change: (-4.09)
Published 12 times a year, this Hearst-owned title will celebrate its 75th anniversary next year, which will likely be a boon to ad pages. Total circulation in the first half of the year inched up 1.5 percent to 721,133, including a 6.1 percent increase in newsstand sales, an 8 percent increase in paid subscriptions and a 73.2 percent decrease in free, verified subscriptions. With subscriptions available for as little as 50 cents per issue, Esquire is the biggest bargain among major men’s magazines.

Maxim
YTD Ad Pages: 670                                                                               Percent Change: (-8.87)
Acquired by Quadrangle Capital Partners and Kent Brownridge from Dennis Publishing in August, Maxim is the last of the original “laddie” titles still around in print in the U.S. The monthly’s ad pages are down so far this year, while circulation was relatively static (down 0.4 percent) in the first half of the year at 2.57 million.

SOURCE: ALL AD-PAGE NUMBERS FROM MEDIA INDUSTRY NEWSLETTER AND ALL CIRCULATION DATA FROM AUDIT BUREAU OF CIRCULATION, EXCEPT COMPLEX, WHOSE FIGURES ARE SELF-REPORTED BY PUBLISHER.