Hey Teen Magazines, Listen Up!

Mediaweek reports that magazines aimed at teen girls are losing circulation, especially Teen People:
Teen People now has a new team to help turn business around. Last fall, it brought back one of its founding editors, Lori Majewski — most recently executive editor of Wenner Media’s Us Weekly — to be managing editor ... “We need to fix this brand,” Majewski said. “In delivering what these kids want to read on the Internet and in the magazine, I want to see both dramatically improve.” Majewski says despite the challenge of today’s news cycle, the magazine will remain relevant by breaking stories (it snagged the first interview with Nick Lachey after his divorce). It aims to grab teens with racy cover lines like “What’s Your Sex IQ?”
Sometimes the publishing gurus can't see the forest OR the trees. Here's my theory: teens (15-up) who buy their own mags want to be caught reading People, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and other "sophisticated" women's magazines. That means the so-called "teen" magazines are being read by 11-14 year-olds. This, however, is a group who still must get purchases approved by M-O-M because M-O-M is the one who takes them to Walmart. Since there aren't very many mothers on the planet who would rejoice over their 12-year old girl's high sex IQ, I'd recommend a change of strategy.

But of course, who's going to listen to M-O-M? Probably not the marketing-to-teens experts, who seem to think they know their readers better than we do. That's why I'm rooting for publications like Justine Magazine, Guideposts Sweet 16, and Brio, which actually seem to grasp the demographic of their consumers -- and the power of M-O-M.

1 comment:

Paula said...

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