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Remake, Remodel

Women's Magazines in the Digital Age

Brooke Erin Duffy

Publication Year: 2013

What is a magazine? For decades, women's magazines were regularly published, print-bound guidebooks aimed at neatly defined segments of the female audience. Crisp pages, a well-composed visual aesthetic, an intimate tone, and a distinctive editorial voice were among the hallmarks of women's glossies up through the turn of this century. Yet amidst an era of convergent media technologies, participatory culture, and new demands from advertisers, questions about the identity of women's magazines have been cast up for reflection. Remake, Remodel: Women's Magazines in the Digital Age offers a unique glimpse inside the industry and reveals how executives and content creators are remaking their roles, their audiences, and their products at this critical historic juncture. Through in-depth interviews with women's magazine producers, an examination of hundreds of trade press reports, and in-person observations at industry summits, Brooke Erin Duffy chronicles a fascinating shift in print culture and technology from the magazine as object to the magazine as brand. She draws on these findings to contribute to timely debates about media producers' labor conditions, workplace hierarchies, and creative processes in light of transformed technologies and media economies.

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-viii

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xvi

... As I think back on my early encounters with media and popular cul-ture, I find it difficult to pinpoint the first time I watched a certain TV series, read a particular book, or tuned in to a new radio station. Yet there is one media moment that remains indelibly etched in my memory: the first time I thumbed through the glossy pages of Seventeen magazine. It was during ...

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Introduction: Questioning Media Identity in the Digital Age

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pp. 1-20

... In October 2011, as the news of Steve Jobs?s untimely death sent shock-waves through the internet and technology communities, French telecom en-trepreneur Jean-Louis Constanza posted a short video clip on YouTube as a tribute to Apple?s exalted leader.1 The opening scene, titled ?This One Works,? featured Constanza?s one-year-old daughter playing with an iPad; the beguiled ...

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1: Making the Magazine

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pp. 21-36

... What are women?s magazines? Their material attributes?sleek, glossy pages, vividly hued images, and consistent dimensions?no doubt distinguish them from other mediated forms of culture and communication. According to media scholar Lynda Dyson, magazines are carefully designed to meet the perceived needs of readers; for instance, the ?feel of glossies connote[s] luxury ...

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2: Transforming the Magazine

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pp. 37-50

... The massive tides of change churning through the early twenty-first-century media landscape have had a profound impact on the women?s magazine industry. But what exactly are these changes? To what extent can they be ascribed exclusively to digital innovations? Are they being felt evenly across the industry? And how have they created a perfect storm that has ...

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3: Production Tensions

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pp. 51-67

... Joanna Coles, the f?ted Hearst editor who was designated ?Editor of the Year? by Adweek in 2011, commented during our interview, ?One of the things that readers always want to know is what is it like to work at a magazine?what [are] the staff like?? It was partly such inquisitiveness about the women?s magazine profession that inspired Marie Claire executives?in-...

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4: Rethinking Readership

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pp. 68-86

... ?Never Drink and Text.? This irreverent phrase was imprinted on an assortment of fuchsia-and-white-hued iPhone cases that were distributed to young women as part of Cond? Nast?s ?Generation Glamour? branding campaign. Launched in the fall of 2012, the campaign targeted women in the so-called millennial generation, a highly coveted cohort that includes ...

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5: Inviting Audiences In

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pp. 87-113

... In 2006, New York University professor and journalist Jay Rosen published a blog post titled ?The People Formerly Known as the Audience,? which heralded the integration of consumer audiences into media production processes. Speaking on behalf of consumer citizens ostensibly empowered by twenty-first-century technologies, Rosen defied an imagined throng of media ...

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6: Off the Page

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pp. 114-134

... The cover story of the May 2009 issue of Publishing Executive, a re-source for magazine professionals involved in business management, print and e-media production, and audience development, featured an inaugural list of the ?Top Women in Magazine Publishing.? One of the honorees, Dwell Media president and publisher Michela O?Connor Abrams, issued a clarion ...

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pp. 135-144

... This study of the women?s magazine industry was driven by a seem-ingly simple question: ?What is a magazine?? Yet this question is in fact anything but simple, bound up as it is with pervasive concerns about the stakes of ?new media,? broadly conceived, for the processes and products of contemporary culture industries. In mourning the ostensible demise of ...


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pp. 145-158


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pp. 159-180


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pp. 181-192

E-ISBN-13: 9780252095221
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252037962

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2013