TIME’S TURN: For the last nine months, Time editors have been tinkering with the magazine. The results, a few gentle changes and some obvious updates, will hit newsstands Friday. It’s not a redesign, but it is a facelift. Executive editor Nancy Gibbs and design director D.W. Pine showed off proofs of the new design in the magazine’s office on the 23rd Floor on the Time-Life Building Tuesday afternoon. “Clear is the new clever,” said Gibbs.
The front of the magazine has been recalibrated for the year 2011. Letters to the editor will now run with stats about which stories are getting the best Twitter pick-up online (plenty of titles are doing that now). There will also be full-spread photographs in the front — a la Sports Illustrated or ESPN The Magazine — a nod to something that has worked well for Time on the iPad. There’s a new page about the economy with an infographic. The two sections that have been running in the back of the magazine, life and art, have been lumped into a monolithic back of book section called The Culture. “Advertisers like that,” said editor Rick Stengel. For what it’s worth, creating a fortified culture section in the back of the magazine was part of Newsweek’s swansong redesign in 2009.
When asked about Tina Brown and all the changes she must be working on for her new Newsweek, Stengel trod lightly. “I hope they figure something out.”
“It’s a great institution,” he added. “It’s a shame when any great media property goes away. I never wish for that. If they’re able to revive themselves, that’s great for everybody … I think it’s a fantastic time in the media world because there is so much experimentation. More people are consuming more news than ever.”