American Mass-Market Magazines

By Alan Nourie; Barbara Nourie | Go to book overview

PUBLISHER AND PLACE OF PUBLICATION

Time, Inc., Richard J. Durrell, 4 March 1974-21 November 1983; S. Christopher Meigher III, 28 November 1983-16 December 1985; Donald M. Elliman, Jr., 23/ 30 December 1985-21 November 1988; Elizabeth P. Valk, 28 November 1988- present. New York, New York.


MANAGING EDITORS

Richard B. Stolley, 4 March 1974-5 April 1982; Patricia Ryan, 12 April 1982- 18 May 1987; James R. Gaines, 25 May 1987-present.


CIRCULATION

3,311,139 (newsstand: 1,892,969; subscription: 1,418,170 as of 31 December 1987).

Vicki L. Tate


PLAYBOY

In December 1953, Hugh M. Hefner published the first issue of his new magazine, which lacked a cover date because Hefner was unsure how long it would need to remain on the newsstands. 1 The response to the magazine was immediate and positive. From the beginning, Playboy proved to be a winner. Even after thirty- five years, it remains the most popular men's magazine in America.

Hugh Hefner saw that there was a terrific void within the publishing field in the area of men's magazines. His vision was to fill that void with a totally new magazine. The intent of this new magazine, which Hefner called Playboy, was to give the postwar urban male what he wanted, a magazine filled with sophistication and style, appealing to the mind and body of the educated man. In the mid-1950s this was the market that was not being satisfied by any of the maleoriented magazines. Esquire* was the model for much of what Hefner tried to accomplish, but it lacked the editorial courage to continue its initial foray into the sexual realm. Other male magazines dealt in the "crude nude" market, but they lacked any sense of quality. Hefner's basic premise was that if he could create a magazine that appealed to him, it would also appeal to others. Hefner's vision of the ideal male was a suave, sophisticated man-about-town who was sexually liberated and irresistible to women. It was to this audience that Playboy made its pitch.

But what Playboy did was not new. It was a repackaging of tried-and-true material. The basic formula that Hefner used for its content was borrowed from Esquire: college-style humor noted for its risqué cartoons and bawdy jokes, mixed with quality fiction, fashion, and a taste for high living. The other major component came from the men's book tradition: a liberal use of the female body to tantalize and attract its readers.

Though the editorial content had played before, the one thing that made Playboy stand out was its attitude. No longer was sex considered to be foul and dirty. It was a natural aspect of life, to be enjoyed and relished, free from guilt.

-367-

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American Mass-Market Magazines
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • A 3
  • The American Farmer 3
  • American Heritage 7
  • American Magazine and Historical Chronicle 12
  • American Mercury 13
  • The American Whig Review 18
  • Argosy 29
  • Atlantic Monthly 32
  • C 47
  • Changing Times 47
  • The Columbian Lady's and Gentleman's Magazine 58
  • Cosmopolitan 78
  • Crawdaddy 88
  • D 95
  • Debow's Review 95
  • E 103
  • F 119
  • G 131
  • H 149
  • Health 152
  • High Times 161
  • Home Mechanix 165
  • Horizon 170
  • I 177
  • K the Kiplinger Magazine. See Changing Times 181
  • L 193
  • Liberty 195
  • Life 207
  • Lippincott's Magazine 213
  • Littell's Living Age 222
  • Look 225
  • M 235
  • Mcclure's Magazine 247
  • N 271
  • National Police Gazette 284
  • Niles' Weekly Register 329
  • O 341
  • P/Q 349
  • Parade 349
  • People Weekly 359
  • Playboy 367
  • Playgirl 375
  • Popular Science: the What's New Magazine 385
  • Prevention Magazine 399
  • Psychology Today 404
  • R 419
  • Reader's Digest 425
  • Rolling Stone 442
  • S 445
  • Saturday Review 452
  • Scribner's Magazine 458
  • The Smart Set 467
  • Smithsonian 474
  • Sunset 479
  • T 491
  • Travel-Holiday 507
  • True Story 510
  • Tv Guide 519
  • U 529
  • Usa Weekend 531
  • U.S. News and World Report 534
  • V 547
  • Vanity Fair 547
  • Village Voice 551
  • Vogue 556
  • W 561
  • Index 585
  • Contributors 605
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