NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- When Advertising Age began considering which magazines to honor for 2006, it became clear we would have to do some things differently this year.
|'More' is 'Ad Age's Magazine of the Year; Anna Wintour of 'Vogue,' Editor of the Year; and Susan Lyne of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Publishing Executive of the Year.|
Despite all the gloom -- with Time Inc. acknowledging it needs to shrink to grow, and high-profile closures like Cargo and Elle Girl -- we still found we had many bright lights to choose from. The industry has collectively been pushing into new territories with inventive brand extensions and putting new gloss on old topics so successfully that we needed to find a way to acknowledge more winners than in past years. We've also included video interviews with some of the winners.
Our Magazine of the Year, Meredith Corp.'s More, has finally cracked the code for a magazine aimed at 40-plus women that is embraced by both readers and advertisers, thanks to the efforts of Editor Peggy Northrop and Publisher Brenda Saget Darling. Despite mounting evidence for years that women in this demo are the best kinds of shoppers -- meaning they do a lot of it and have the wallet to match -- few were willing to boldly declare this group as their prime target. More has, and found a way to convince 20-something media buyers that it was the magazine their cool moms were reading.
Editor of the Year
We chose Anna Wintour as Editor of the Year, and while she's been editing the quintessential sophisticated women's fashion bible since 1988, she's never seemed more courant than this year. Not only has she powered Vogue to a circulation increase of 6% -- while also boosting single copy sales 3.5% -- she's done it while overseeing the expansion of the Vogue brand to teens and men. This was also the year she became a bona fide pop-culture reference, not only on the big screen as the inspiration for the chilly editor in chief in "The Devil Wears Prada," but also on the small screen -- the ABC hit "Ugly Betty" includes an editor in chief character that wears Ms. Wintour's signature bob and sunglasses. How did she handle all that attention? With stylish grace, of course.
Two Launches of the Year
This year, we've included two launches of the year. Talk about engaging, both of our choices, Every Day With Rachael Ray and Domino, attacked well-tread categories in such fresh ways that readers responded immediately.
Publishing Executive of the Year
For her steady hand and decisive approach to retooling the business, our Publishing Executive of the Year is Susan Lyne, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's president-CEO. With publishing at the core of MSLO's business, Ms. Lyne came in as founder Martha Stewart was incarcerated and focused the company on putting out the strongest magazines it could, knowing the product would be its best selling tool with advertisers. And despite lots of reasons why it shouldn't have, it worked.
Publishing Company of the Year
It is easy being green, just ask Rodale, this year's Publishing Company of the Year. With its emphasis on health, fitness and organic, Rodale is perfectly positioned, and suddenly others are scrambling to catch up. Two new titles, Best Life and Women's Health, have had strong starts and the company's niche titles, like Backpacker and Bicycling, are also doing well.
Another first, this year's A-List report includes Advertising Age's Magazine 300, which tallies up revenues for the top 300 consumer titles.