What's Hot What's New

The good, the bad and the ugly. You'll find them all here. Each week you'll get my take on the intriguing, and sometimes peculiar, titles to recently hit the newsstand.

American Driver
Cover Price: $10.00

American Driver is an automotive magazine for affluent car owners and enthusiasts. This magazine actually debuted as a regional publication in 2004 under the name Texas Driver Magazine. The editors decided to take the same concept but make it bigger and better (are they admitting there is something bigger than Texas). American Driver focuses on high end luxury cars, which is its niche. But this magazine is also attempting to sell itself as an affluent lifestyle publication. That can be difficult to do in a category that has become more about eye candy than substantive content. Every year dozens of car magazines hit the newsstand trying to carve out a place in a crowded marketplace. American Driver goes beyond the eye candy to provide its readers what can be considered as a "serviceable fantasy", cars to look at and lust after, and for some of the readers just go and buy them.        

Single Mother
Cover Price: $3.99

Single Mother is a bi-monthly publication that claims to cover the issues important to single mothers. This magazine is attempting to establish a niche but it does a poor job. It remains to be seen if enough single mothers will want to support a publication celebrating single motherhood in such an extreme superficial way. Placing Angelina Jolie on the cover may get you noticed at the newsstands, but isn't she married? Jolie is in a very high profiled relationship, Brangelina, so using her image on the cover makes little sense, plus Jolie is a multi-millionaire, the consumers this magazine is trying to attract don't fit that category. And why would readers of this magazine care that Jolie has twelve tattoos? The articles in the magazine fall short in supplying substantive content and the magazine tries to encompass too many subjects, some of which just don't work. An example of this would be consecutive articles on handbags, breast cancer survivors and macaroni and cheese. Single Mother falls short of achieving the editor's goal and could soon find itself stranded at the newsstand.   As for mixing the ads in the features and vice versa, well that is the topic for another day.

Ty Pennington At Home
Cover Price: $4.99

There's bad timing and then there's really bad timing, straight from the drunk tank and onto the newsstands comes Ty Pennington At Home, a special interest publication from Woman's Day. Pennington is well known for his home makeover show, so why not try and carry that success onto the newsstands? Because there are inherit dangers of TYING (get it) a product, any product to a person's image. Pennington's recent DUI arrest is proof of the problems that can occur from this type of strategy. The magazine is well done and provides excellent content but did they really have to use his name as the title for every spread? It remains to be seen if sales will be hurt by recent events (although I doubt that, it seems to me lately that the more celebrities get in trouble, the more they sell magazines). There is an old saying that any publicity is good publicity, this publication is about to find out if that adage holds true.   Just as a reminder, Bob Villa's American Home magazine that was launched by Hearst did not make it, while his program was still thriving.


May 25, 2007


© 2008 Samir Husni, Ph.D. - Mr. Magazine™