Since taking its current form in 2002, the idea behind Ad Age's annual Magazine A-List has been to honor glossy titles that are not only doing great in print, but smartly building their brands beyond the page. What the 10 magazines on this year's list have in common is that, in many ways, they're as much digital companies as they are "traditional" media companies.
There's still something distinctly (and desirably) magazine-ish about their sensibilities, but they're much more than magazines. Our list is dominated by multimedia, multi-tentacled megabrands and creative titles charting fast courses in that direction.
And to those who doubt magazine-centric media companies as relevant vehicles circa 2013, take note: Many of the titles on our list are doing phenomenally well with the dead-tree divisions of the operations -- in several cases, achieving historic, fattest-ever issues thanks to support from marketers who recognize the enduring value of print.
10. Men's Fitness
Men's Fitness and Men's Health were both born in late '80s, but over the years Men's Health far outpaced its rival in newsstand, ad sales and editorial quality. Then, in 2012, Rodale had a falling-out with its star editor, David Zinczenko, who had helmed Men's Health for a dozen years. Naturally, he ended up as a sort of über-consultant to Men's Fitness, where he helped bring in a new crew (including old Rodale hands) to undertake a total-body makeover that many regard as Men's Health redux. Although Men's Health remains bigger, Men's Fitness is on a new tear, with newsstand up 20% in the first half and ad pages up 34% through October.