Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Read But Dead XI

Fucked Company reports that Transworld Stance may be folding. An offshoot of the Transworld Skateboarding media empire, this magazine covering "lifestyles of the young and the dangerous" is a rare modern example of a general-interest magazine aimed at young men. Of the men's magazines, Details has long skewed a little younger than it's Esquire and GQ counterparts, as did the defunct POV, but it wasn't really until the emergence of the lad mags that men's magazines appealed to the younger set.

This fascinates me. In the history of magazines, publishers have long been able to support tiered general-interest magazines for female readers. You had your Teen, Seventeen, and Sassy, and then you had your Cosmopolitan, Elle, Mademoiselle, Glamour, etc. Now many of the women's magazines -- excluding the seven sisters of yore -- are skewing younger with slightly different titles such as Cosmo Girl! But I wonder: Why not just read Cosmo? Part of the allure of those magazines to younger readers is the aspirational aspect of pending maturity.

Men's magazines don't have this. When you're young, you get Boys' Life. Then you're left to a few older men's general-interest magazines and special interest magazines aimed at men. Sports, cars, crafts, hunting, and so on. Is this because men's interests specialize earlier on in life? Or do men just not need a general-interest magazine outside of the big three? Curious. Back in the day, there were several magazines aimed at college-aged men including titles such as the digest-sized 21 (not the wonderfully sexy French magazine).

Does the rumored nail in Transworld Stance's coffin indicate that the title didn't work -- or that the premise of a general-interest magazine for young men doesn't work?

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