1. NEW YORK, MARCH 24
Long before most of America had learned how to pronounce "Blagojevich," New York's righteous crusader of a governor was pioneering new gubernatorial paths to shame. Barbara Kruger pioneered a powerful visual style that proved fully capable of channeling the reaction.
2. THE NEW YORKER, JULY 21
Despite the risk that someone somewhere would prove too dumb to understand the satire here, New Yorker Editor in Chief David Remnick went ahead with Barry Blitt's evisceration of certain Obama rumors. Both presidential campaigns denounced it; it's a great cover anyway.
3. TIME, MAY 5
Time brilliantly adapted the campaign promoting the NBA playoffs, which made split screens of marquee rivalries like Kobe vs. Shaq. Too bad for pro basketball that its drama didn't begin to compare with that of the primaries. Yes, even with a Lakers-Celtics finals.
4. THE NEW YORKER, MARCH 17
It's hard to remember life before a Hillary Clinton campaign commercial ingrained the trope of a
3 a.m. phone call in your brain. The New Yorker's response illustrated Obama's perseverance in the campaign despite charges he wasn't ready for that 3 a.m. call. Now it looks like an image of a scenario in which Sen. Clinton is secretary of state in the Obama administration.
5. VANITY FAIR, APRIL
By the end of 2008, Tina Fey fatigue has begun to set in. But in the springtime, she was sufficiently in vogue to join Sarah Silverman and Amy Poehler in the fight against Christopher Hitchens' assertion that women aren't funny.
6. THE ECONOMIST, DEC. 6
There's got to be a bottom ... right?
7. ATLANTIC, JULY/AUGUST
The Atlantic introduced a smart redesign with its November issue, but the summertime cover line "Is Google Making Us Stoopid?" still stands out. Not far in the future, perhaps, a product called Google IQ will instantly compile the world's cumulative test scores and deliver an answer.
8. TEXAS MONTHLY, MAY
Willie Nelson first made the cover of Texas Monthly in 1976. For his seventh appearance, marking his 75th birthday, editors decided there weren't any cover lines that could improve on
the photo. Newsstand copies got small text advertising "Willie at 75: The Oral History," but subscribers' cover photos were unmarred.
9. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, AUG. 25
Michael Phelps shows off the eight gold medals he won in Beijing, more than any prior Olympian had collected at a single games. He also one-ups Mark Spitz, the swimmer who struck the same pose after winning seven gold medals in 1972.
10. NEWSWEEK, JUNE 16
In June this Newsweek cover terrified readers by combining all caps with gas pumps. At year's end it's almost charming. Gas prices have plunged since then -- along with the economy and employment.
Magazines We'll Miss
1. O AT HOME
It was "the only shelter book with the Oprah touch," but that wasn't enough. After four years, Hearst announced in November it was shuttering the quarterly and folding most of its content back into its flagship, O, The Oprah Magazine.
Despite growing circulation and increased advertising, the magazine's investors bailed in October, stopping the print edition -- for a third time -- and selling the website to American Media, publisher of Star.
Facing fewer ad dollars and a shrinking teen-magazine market, Hearst announced in October that the magazine "Born to lead" would do so no more. CosmoGirl.com lives on -- for now.
4. GOLF FOR WOMEN
When Condé Nast shut down Golf for Women in July, it sent a powerful message to the upscale market: All the money in the world doesn't guarantee immunity from a recession.
The weakened housing market contributed to Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.'s decision to close Home in August. Home décor just isn't top of mind these days; mounting debt is.
6. COTTAGE LIVING
The meltdown at Time Inc. led to the closing of this bucolic 4-year-old publication, which had a rate base of 1 million in January/February 2007.
7. QUICK & SIMPLE
Cathie Black's business model for this weekly budget title was "if not 100% newsstand, then 99% newsstand." Alas, paper became too expensive, so Hearst killed the magazine in July but kept QuickandSimple.com.
8. MEN'S VOGUE
In these bleak times, men's fashion has fallen out of vogue. Condé Nast reduced Men's Vogue to two issues from 10 in October. Ad sales fell sharply in 2008, and the title had trouble attracting large numbers of its target audience.
The New York Times Co.'s attempt to lure ad sales away from the glossies and toward its magazine insert Play failed in November.
10. PC MAGAZINE
This tech monthly was once one of the biggest titles out there. But in November, facing lackluster advertising accelerated by the recession, Ziff Davis Media announced it would turn the title into a digital-only publication.
Hagiographic Cover Treatments of Obama
1. NEWSWEEK, JAN. 14
"Our time for change has come"
2. BLACK ENTERPRISE, JANUARY
"Why Barack Obama should be president"
3. TIME, MARCH 10
"How much does experience matter?"
4. ROLLING STONE, MARCH 20
"A new hope"
5. TIME, MAY 19
"And the winner* is ..."
6. ESQUIRE, JUNE
"Ready set Obama"
7. ROLLING STONE, JULY 10
No cover lines
8. FORTUNE, JULY
"How I'll fix the economy"
9. NEW YORK, NOV. 3
"January 20th 2009"
10. VIBE, NOVEMBER
"Dear Vibe readers"