American Mass-Market Magazines

By Alan Nourie; Barbara Nourie | Go to book overview

OWNERS

Hearst Corporation, 1926-1952; Generoso Pope, Jr., 1952-1988; MacFadden Holdings, and Boston Ventures, 1989-present.


PUBLISHER AND PLACE OF PUBLICATION

New York Evening Enquirer Publishing Company, Hearst Corporation. Best Medium Publishing Company, Inc. (Editorial offices have varied and include New York City, 1926-1953(?); Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1953(?)-1971; Lantana, Florida, 1971-present.


EDITORS

William Griffin, 1926-(?); Carl Grothmann, 1964-1967; Nat Chrzan, 1968- 1969(?); current: Ian Calder, 1986-.


CIRCULATION

6.1 million.

Richard A. Russell


NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Gilbert Grosvenor, editor of National Geographic from 1903 to 1954, once described the kinds of readers who contributed to its enormous success: "[Those] who long to visit faraway places, to travel adventurously, to see strange customs and races, to explore mysteries of the sea and air. Not many persons can do these things in the physical sense, but they can venture far and wide through the pages of the National Geographic Magazine." 1 And, indeed, for just over 100 years, millions of readers in this and other countries have traveled the world through the extraordinary photojournalism available in National Geographic.

The early history of the magazine is intertwined with that of the society, established by Gardiner Greene Hubbard, a Boston lawyer and financier who moved to Washington. Once established, Hubbard delegated control to Alexander Graham Bell, originally a teacher of the deaf who had tutored Hubbard's daughter Mabel whom he later married, the original Ma Bell. Bell contacted Gilbert Grosvenor, who would become his own son-in-law, to be editor. Grosvenor's son, Melville Bell Grosvenor, succeeded him, and Gilbert Melville Grosvenor, grandson of Gilbert Hovey and great-great-great-grandson of Gardiner Hubbard, is society president today. In fact, the National Geographic Society as well as the magazine has been something of a family affair. 2

The beginnings of the magazine were irregular publications, scientific brochures. In October 1888 an announcement that explained the purpose of the magazine appeared in volume 1, number 1, to the effect that the society, "organized to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge," had decided that a magazine was one way to accomplish that goal. The magazine would include "memoirs, essays, notes, correspondence, reviews, etc.," in short, whatever material relevant to geography, submitted by any individuals, not just society members. The society itself would edit the magazine, which would appear irregularly at first; and the magazine was to be national in scope, not just local

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