Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

The Patient: Robb Report

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

The Patient: Robb Report

Article excerpt

AGE: 37 years

VITALS: Steady

PROGNOSIS: Sclerotic tissue

It's an article of faith that the well-heeled among us live longer, in part because they can afford the best health care. The same, it might be said, is true of magazines. Those that insist on regular checkups at the hands of savvy practitioners will likely do better over time.

To its credit, Robb Report--venerated for the way it caters to the endless wants of ultra-wealthy sybarites--appears over the years to have placed considerable value on its health. We'd stipulate that today's Robb Report is generally a handsomely produced and tightly edited magazine.

Moreover, it's staked to a publishing formula that makes the Medic's pulse race. The writing is inexpensive to generate, most of the photography is provided without charge, and the top staffers get to (indeed need to) live large in order to relate to their readers--all in the mission of connecting luxe advertisers to the moneyed class.

However--and this is critical--there's hardly a magazine alive that should go more than several years without a head-to-toe refresh. Robb Report is visibly past due.

WHAT WE PRESCRIBE

* Robb Report could win points by being less predictable. Every issue is a too-perfect template for the one that follows. Orderliness can be a virtue, and we imagine Robb Report's fussy readers salivate over all the regularly scheduled "special issues" on the finest rides, homes, timepieces, and so on. But we believe that great magazines must occasionally deliver what is not expected. …

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