M magazine, subtitled The Civilized Man, describes itself as a publication that "devotes itself to genuine matters of style, quality, and class for men who know the difference between real turtle soup and the mock." 1 Despite pretentious blurbs like this, M is a good as well as a sumptuously produced magazine: "In fact, M's elegant look puts it in the same league with Hearst Town & Country.* Throughout M the emphasis is on the wealthy male 'to the manner born' and how he lives. Presumably, some of M's readers actually live that life, and the others aspire to it." 2 Categorized by Newsweek* as "unabashedly aim [ing] at millionaires," its circulation director furnishes the following by way of elucidation: " M is an elitist publication (and it makes no apology for this fact). Its editorial coverage is committed to quality and excellence." 3
In fact, "civilized," "excellence," "quality," and "the best" seem to be M's favorite buzzwords. One is taken, for example, on a civilized safari, taken to the best tailor, informed about the best books for Christmas or the perfect medical checkup or the civilized sports, and so on. But while M is competing for a readership with the other two men's fashion oriented magazines-- GQ* and Esquire*--its typical issue is composed of 30 percent fashion despite being a transformation of Menswear and a Fairchild Publications product. (Fairchild also publishes Women's Wear Daily.) Through 1984, M was averaging slightly over sixty pages of advertising per issue, mainly but not exclusively devoted to menswear.
So, while targeting a 200,000-plus audience, M is not a mass-market magazine in the strict sense of the word (except for the circulation) and even prides itself on the opposite by virtue of its self-professed elitism, hence becoming a "demassification" organ.