BIWEEKLY RHYTHM: When New York magazine’s editor in chief Adam Moss revealed in December that his weekly publication would cut its frequency to 26 issues a year, few doubted that the news would be anything but gloomy for the magazine’s staff. Instead, the change has presented a chance for reorganization without layoffs, claimed Moss, who, along with fashion director Amy Larocca and Stella Bugbee, editorial director of The Cut, unveiled a new, recurring six-page fashion spread. Created by the staff of the publication’s beauty and fashion blog, The Cut, the spread is part of the magazine’s inaugural biweekly issue, which hits newsstands today.
This story first appeared in the February 24, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“The decision to go biweekly was just a moment when we rethought the whole magazine. And to say we rethought the whole magazine isn’t to say we changed the whole magazine, but we did think about every part of it,” Moss said. “It was an opportunity to make changes that we wanted to make for a long time. The Cut was a logical consequence of that process.
“I’m a big believer in print. I think print is going to last for a long time,” Moss stressed. “I think the magazines that last are the best versions of print. That is why fashion magazines will last for a long time. They are a wonderful version of print.”
The decision to go biweekly was a long time coming, and it’s due in part to how the Internet has changed the way readers consume content. Over the past five years, New York’s total paid and verified circulation has consistently declined, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. Circulation in 2013 totaled 408,822, a 5.5 percent dip from its 2008 circulation of 432,494.
“The magic of a weekly magazine no longer applies,” Moss said flatly. “When you get as much information as you get every minute, there’s nothing about a magazine coming out on a Monday that has as much meaning as it had 10 years ago.”
For New York, the move to go biweekly has already changed the physical magazine — its editorial pages have increased 20 percent — and it has also changed the company. The staff is now divided by department or beat, and not by whether it works for the Web site or the print magazine. While it’s been a learning process, the slightly slower pace has proved somewhat relaxing, according to Larocca and Bugbee.
“We can turn anything around in a week. Two weeks sounds so luxurious,” said Larocca, who flipped through The Cut’s first spread, which includes an artistic photo shot by Maciek Jasik and a story called “Normcore” on the unfortunate street-style trend of unbranded, mall-bought fashions.
Longer deadlines have left the duo able to play more with different layouts and ideas, not to mention finding new ways to meld Web and print storytelling. And that experience is perhaps the next chapter for The Cut, which is quickly evolving from its blog roots.
“The Internet has changed. Five years ago aggregation was the game. In the last two years it’s really shifted from a mix of aggregation to original stuff,” Bugbee said. “You can’t be a blog. I don’t even see us as a blog anymore. I see us as an outcropping of a magazine.”