American Mass-Market Magazines

By Alan Nourie; Barbara Nourie | Go to book overview

one, became the publisher, and Phillip Moffitt, thirty-two, the editor. Esquire was reestablished as a monthly, and many of the long-time editors were retained to help restore the successful formula of the magazine. These included Rust Hills, Byron Dobel, Don Erickson, and Lee Eisenberg.

By the time Esquire reached the age of fifty, it was again a profitable venture. The two young outsiders turned the magazine around and raised circulation back up to the 700,000 mark, where it has remained. In 1987 Whittle and Moffitt sold the magazine to Hearst Corporation, but left Lee Eisenberg as editor-in- chief.

Established in 1933, Esquire has had the ability to adapt with the times. Sometimes bold, sometimes brash, it rings of American style and humor. Arnold Gingrich's edict--"He edits best who edits least"--allowed for a free range of literary styles, often new and challenging. In the Fiftieth Anniversary Collector's Issue, Gay Talese said:

More saucy than sophisticated, incessantly skeptical but never reactionary, Esquire depicted through its fiction and reportage the vast range of America's conscience and conflict; and though the level of Esquire's prose was often uneven, like the configuration of the country it covered, the magazine maintained throughout Gingrich's lifetime, and beyond it . . . what he once called an editor's most essential talent: "a continuing sense of wonder." 17


Notes
1.
Esquire, Autumn 1933, p. 3.
2.
Esquire, April 1987, p. 1.
3.
The median age is thirty-four and the median income is $34,119 according to the "Esquire Readership Profile," spring 1987 Mediamark Research, Incorporated figures. Very similar figures are found in the Esquire Subscribers Survey, prepared for Esquire by Universal Marketing Research, March 1965.
4.
Henry F. Pringle, "Sex, Esq.," Scribner's Magazine, March 1938, p. 36.
5.
In 1957, Apparel Arts and Fabrics and Fashions would be combined into the consumer publication Gentleman's Quarterly.
6.
Arnold Gingrich, Nothing But People ( New York: Crown Publishers, 1971), p. 106.
7.
The complete story is in the chapter titled "What Makes the Wheels Go Round," in Toys of a Lifetime by Arnold Gingrich ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966), p. 259.
8.
"Some Words and Pictures about Arnold Gingrich, Founding Editor of Esquire, 1903-1976," Esquire, October 1976, p. 66.
9.
Arnold Gingrich, Nothing But People, pp. 241-43. Also, this story told in "Arnold Gingrich, Esquire" by Harold T. P. Hayes, New Republic, 4 September 1976, p. 35.
10.
A good source is Baron Herman, Author Index to Esquire 1933-1973 ( Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1976).
11.
Gingrich, Nothing But People, p. 97.
12.
David Gelman. "Words From the Sponsor." Newsweek, 29 December 1975, p. 40.

-113-

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