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Title:The Bright, Bleak Future of American Magazines
Author(s):Peterson, Theodore
Subject(s):Serials control systems
Abstract:On Friday, January 19, 1969, Martin S. Ackerman, who professedly had come to the presidency of the Curtis Publishing Company as savior, announced that the Saturday Evening Post would cease publication with its February 8, 1969, issue. The mourners came solemnly to the funeral, and there were obituaries and euologies galore. Since countless clinicians have already performed autopsies on Benjamin Franklin's illegitimate offspring, this is not the occasion to speculate in detail about why the magazine died. Yet if one is to assess the future of American magazines, it does seem important to put the death of the Saturday Evening Post in perspective, especially since at its death some people heard the ominous tolling of John Donne's churchbell tolling not just for the Post but for all magazines. Certainly the death of the Saturday Evening Post should remind us of the essential mortality of all magazines. Many of the magazines that led in circulation, advertising and prestige preceded the Post in death. And in the same month that the Post died, American Builder slipped quietly into the grave. Eight years earlier, American Builder had been its publisher's number one magazine, and only the previous November it had observed its hundredth anniversary. In April, 1969, Western Farm Life died at age seventy-one. In April, too, the Hearst Corporation gave up its attempts to sustain Eye, a two-year-old monthly for young swingers. Over the years, death has come with democratic impartiality to the young and old, to the poor and to the once wealthy.
Issue Date:1969
Publisher:Graduate School of Library Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:In W.C. Allen (ed). 1969. Serial publications in large libraries. Urbana, Il: Graduate School of Library Science: 1-10.
Series/Report:Allerton Park Institute (16th : 1969)
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright owned by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1969.
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-07-17

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