Time Magazine isn’t just tweaking a few things — it’s literally retooling, like a plant being refitted to produce a new car. In addition to changing the publication day to Friday, already announced, Time is:
— adding an audience model, a la television networks, as an option to the rate base. Time is guaranteeing 19.5 million print and online readers per issue.
— cutting circulation (don’t worry, #1 status is safe) by 375,000 to 3.25 million.
— launching a substantial redesign of the venerable magazine in January. Exepect a focus on breaking news at Time.com and lean-back reading in print.
— reducing the number of targeted U.S. print editions to three from eight.
— raising the cover price by a dollar to $4.95. That alone should drive some occasional print readers online. It won’t make much of a difference when it comes “historic” keepsake issues.
MediaPost: John Squires, Co-COO, Time Inc., at the Audit Bureau of Circulations Conference: “It’s not about a competitive positioning in print; it’s about relevance for readers, wherever they may read the brand. We’re building the newsmagazine brand of tomorrow.”
— “Of course, if the audience guarantee proves highly successful, we’d certainly think about whether it might be appropriate for other titles.”