This Sunday's New York Times will be heavier than usual.
That's because the usually wispy Sunday magazine has swelled to 220 pages -- 121 of them ads -- to make it the thickest issue in the magazine's history, according to Times executives. Last week's issue, by comparison, was 56 pages total.
It's the result of a redesign from Editor Jake Silverstein and design director Gail Bichler that includes at least half a dozen new sections in the front of the magazine. Those new sections -- such as "First Words," which looks at culture through the lens of language, and "Letter of Recommendation," a service-y column that recommends something each week (this week it's Fleetwood Mac album "Tusk") -- will remind some readers of New York magazine.
But unlike New York Editor in Chief Adam Moss, who fills his pages with a variety of layouts and graphics, Mr. Silverstein's Times magazine on the whole appears more straightforward. It also has shades of The New Yorker, both visually and in terms of content: Mr. Silverstein is adding a poem to the magazine each week, something few mass-circulation titles besides The New Yorker regularly feature.
The revamp includes fresh updates of the magazine's web and mobile sites, which will publish roughly three new stories daily. "The Times magazine has never really done that before," Mr. Silverstein said. Articles from Sunday's issue go live on the web this evening (standard practice for the magazine).
And one long-running print column will now originate as a podcast: Each new installment of The Ethicist -- which becomes Ethicists, plural -- will begin as a podcast featuring novelist and psychotherapist Amy Bloom, Politico media columnist Jack Shafer and New York University law professor Kenji Yoshino, who take over for previous Ethicist writer Chuck Klosterman. Their conversation will then be distilled into a print column.
All told, Mr. Silverstein's redesign is an expectedly fresh take on the Times Sunday magazine, which had struggled in recent years to assert itself among the Times' new products, both online and in print. The Times has invested multiple millions of dollars on the revamp, executives have said.
"A year from now, I want to see it as an unquestioned must-read for everybody," Mr. Silverstein said last year. "If you're going to have a successful conversation with your friends that week, you'll have to have read it."
Advertisers have flocked to the redesign, with fashion brands like Diesel even showing up for the party. (The magazine competes with T: The New York Times Style Magazine for fashion advertising.)
Andy Wright, the magazine's publisher, said 40 new advertisers are in the issue, which is printed on a heavier paper stock (also contributing to the additional heft). Last year's issue at this time had 33 ad pages, according to a Times spokeswoman.
Don't expect as much girth in the weeks to come. The magazine will number in the 60 to 100 page range in subsequent weeks, according to Mr. Wright, who said that averages to about 10 more pages than usual.
Here's a glimpse of the heft, from the magazine's deputy editor Bill Wasik (who's off slightly on the grand total number of pages):