American Mass-Market Magazines

By Alan Nourie; Barbara Nourie | Go to book overview

costs $11,660 and a color page $15,625, most of the ads are only a few lines-- well within the reach of small businesses. Advertising pages have held steady in the range of 1,100 to 1,200 in recent years. 4

Yankee's appeal is nationwide and international. The Swoppers Column engenders responses from as far away as Australia. In 1986, 65 percent of the subscribers lived outside New England, 5 9 percent were in the West, 14 percent in the South, and I percent were overseas. The rest were in the Mid-Atlantic and North Central areas. 6 The subscribers, whose median age is fifty-seven, are incredibly loyal and are completely oblivious to detractors of the magazine who call it quaint and schmaltzy. Competitors who have attempted to produce regional magazines with more social relevance find that they must look somewhere other than the Yankee readership for subscribers. Mediamark Research reported in 1983 that Yankee circulates more magazines than Fortune, Saturday Evening Post,* Forbes, Esquire,* and Business Week. Its circulation is twice that of the New Yorker. 7 Subscription renewal rate exceeds 80 percent, and the publishers claim that many of those who don't renew have died. The $19.95 per year subscription rate ($1.95 per single issue) is still modest and affordable, and many subscriptions are gifts. The original subscriber list of 612 has now risen to over a million, and requires the services of over 100 computer terminals to process. The magazine continues to acknowledge each renewal, with typical Yankee shrewdness, including flyers for Yankee Publishing's numerous other publications.

In 1983 the magazine established a restoration internship program by asking each subscriber to contribute twenty-five cents to a fund to pay college students working on projects under the auspices of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Each year approximately forty interns work for twelve weeks each on small-town and rural projects. Yankee readers pay 60 percent of the cost, and local community sponsors pay the rest.

The digest format continues to be Yankee's most distinctive feature, reinforcing its practical image as a handy magazine for the lunch box, the flight bag, or the shelves in the summer cabin. Like the National Geographic* and Reader's Digest,* Yankee is difficult to throw away. It is not slick and glossy, nor would its readers have it that way. Yankee is like an old friend, and no doubt will continue to be for years to come.


Notes
1.
Judson D. Hale, Sr., The Best of Yankee Magazine; 50 years of New England ( Dublin, N. H., Yankee Publishing, 1985), p. 10.
2.
David Shribman, "Rural New England has a Bulletin Board That Turns a Profit; Yankee Magazine Celebrates Virtues of Small Towns; Critics Find It Schmaltzy," Wall Street Journal, 29 October 1985, p. 20.
3.
Ron Winslow, "The Pride of Yankee," Boston Magazine, October 1980, p. 186.

-573-

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