New York Magazine To Publish Biweekly: Approval Matrix Will Stay, Subscribers Will Not Be Shortchanged

 @EllenKilloran on December 02 2013 11:40 AM

Updated 2:00 pm ET

New York magazine announced Monday that it will reduce its print issue output from weekly to biweekly, beginning in March 2014. The reduced frequency intends to reinvent “the print magazine as a more substantial, more durable, and more visual product, while growing its digital offerings at nymag.com, Vulture, the Cut, and Grub Street,” New York Media said in a statement published on NYMag.com Monday morning.

The Cut, currently NYMag’s online-only fashion blog, will be incorporated into the print edition, which will have 20 percent more content per issue.

Media reporter David Carr first broke the news in his New York Times column appearing in Monday’s edition. In the story, Carr said that “there will be fewer of the smart-aleck infographics that became something of a trademark,” which worried some New York magazine readers (including this one) that the beloved Approval Matrix would be a casualty of the new format. Not so, said New York magazine’s PR director, Lauren Starke.

“We’re absolutely keeping the Approval Matrix,” Starke said in an email, adding that “no particular infographics” will be eliminated.

New York magazine’s current 400,000 subscribers will be accommodated: While NYMag.com will remain completely free, Starke said, anyone who purchased a 42-issue subscription (the equivalent of a one-year subscription) will receive 42 issues -- extending a one-year subscription to about a year and half. Beginning in March, New York magazine will publish 29 regular biweekly issues, in addition to three special issues “covering a single subject top to bottom,” according to the New York Media statement

But anyone purchasing a subscription moving forward should expect to pay the same for 29 issues as previous subscribers have paid for 42 - the cost of an annual subscription is currently just under $30. Via Twitter, Starke said, "We start rolling out the change today but it'll take time for all offers to be 29." Also, the newstand price for the bulkier magazine will be $6.99, up from $5.99. 

Carr’s story said that the reduction in print issue frequency will save the magazine about $3.5 million, “which will then be invested in faster-growing digital efforts.” New York is expected to add 15 digital staffers, and no layoffs are anticipated.

“We’ve talked about this for a while and you can’t help but get wistful about it,” editor in chief Adam Moss told the Times. “But I would be more concerned if we didn’t address how the market and people’s reading habits have changed. I would not be doing this if I didn’t believe we could make a better magazine and continue to grow what we do both in print and online.”

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