Friday, December 18, 2009
elle decor editor's page
ELLE DECOR Editor’s Page: January/February 2010
What's up at ELLE DECOR
Written by Margaret Russell
As many of you know, the magazine industry—particularly the design category—has been besieged by both the economic recession and the revolutionary changes the Internet has brought to the media landscape. Several publications have folded during the past two years, budgets have been battered, and staffs drastically reduced. All of us at ELLE DECOR were especially saddened by the closure of our sister publication, Metropolitan Home, the iconic chronicle of the best in modern design for 28 years. We honor and salute Met Home’s legacy, and we miss our colleagues, keenly aware that this loss will be shared by the magazine’s more than half-million readers.
Recently, I’ve been completely absorbed by design-blog postings regarding interiors magazines; the deep attachment people have for beloved publications is so heartening to see. Truth be told, I too sorely miss House & Garden, Domino, Southern Accents, and Cottage Living—as does anyone who is passionate about interiors and design. And for those who are searching to make sense of this topsy-turvy editorial world, the facts are shockingly simple.
Historically, advertising revenue subsidized a substantial portion of the manufacturing and distribution costs of most magazines. During this financial crisis, advertising has plummeted; competition from digital media has grown exponentially; and production, paper, and postage costs have all increased markedly. Yet a year’s subscription to any of your favorite publications still probably costs less than a taxi ride or a couple of cappuccinos at Starbucks. Crazy, no?
But don’t lose hope. Challenging times spark creativity, ingenuity, and industry, and the months ahead show great promise. Digital innovations now offer us myriad opportunities to provide astonishing amounts of ideas and information online, as well as videos, interactive tools, resources, and archives. And design bloggers have stimulated an animated and powerful dialogue based largely on images published in magazines. They are our treasured partners, and the conversation they engender and sense of community they encourage benefit us all.
The new reality at ELLE DECOR will encompass an even wider range of styles, as we embrace design features and contemporary projects we might have previously shied away from out of deference to the modern mind-set of Met Home. Moving forward, we will significantly increase our online presence with a new and improved elledecor.com, expand our architecture and renovation coverage both in print and on the Web, and, most important, continue to showcase the stylish lives and dazzling spaces we’ve celebrated for two decades. Our 20th anniversary has been a time to reflect on the past and to envision our future. And the future is now.