Just because we're in the midst of a Great Magazine Die-Off, you may be under the impression that all magazines die equally. Not true!
We Leading magazine scientists have identified four distinct varieties of magazine death. Each has its own special flavor of despair for all those connected with the deceased publication. Here they are, from most common to least:
- Dead dead: Folded. Shuttered. Gone for good. Staff laid off. Throw away the business cards. Shred the back issues. There is nothing more to see here. Notable recent victims: 02138, Play.
- Folded into the mothership: When a publishing company doesn't quite have the hear to say they're folding a magazine for good, they'll say instead that they're "consolidating its content" into some other larger, more stable title. Sometimes this is accurate. Other times, it's just a polite way to leave laid-off staffers with a bit of self-esteem. "At least our magazine survived, in a way!" Notable recent victims: CosmoGirl, Men's Vogue, O at Home.
- Online only: In rare instances, this can be a forward-thinking move by a company that really believes that the internet is the future, and print is an anachronism. More often, it's a way to keep a magazine brand on life support on a shoestring budget, just in case. Notable recent victims: The Christian Science Monitor (not a magazine, but a publication that actually did this strategically), PC Magazine.
- Zombies: Some magazines die, but then they come back again! They are the undead. Usually, they die again. And then maybe rise again. And die again. And so on. Notable recent victim: Radar, of course.