Mr. Magazine: ‘We’re No Longer Just Journalists; We Are Experience-Makers’

On the eve of the 25th edition of his eponymous Guide To New Magazines, we caught up with Samir Husni, aka Mr. Magazine™, to discuss what it takes to succeed in today’s magazine marketplace, what he thinks of the iPad (“I am forcing myself to love it.”), and how media companies can make money from digital content. In addition to our So What Do You Do? interview, we also asked Husni for his take on how the role of an editor-in-chief has changed in the last decade, and who’s doing it best:

“The editor-in-chief is becoming more of the ‘official spokesman’ of the publication, not only just to the readers like it used to be. That spokesperson now is making more visits to the advertisers, spending more time with ad agencies, talking more about everything that has to do with the entire package of the magazine. That separation between church and state not only is fading out — the myth about it is starting to disappear. And it’s about time for ASME and other things to wake up and smell the roses and see that our readers don’t differentiate, they don’t feel like, ‘Oh, this is an ad, this is this.’ Our readers want the entire package.”

“To me the magazine is like a stew: You’re not going to say, ‘Oh, these are the peas, the ads are the peas, and then the meat is the editorial.’ It’s just stew, you want to eat it whole. Which means the editors all have to start — we have to start thinking the same way our readers are. We’re no longer just journalists; we are experience makers. And the editor is the top experience maker. He or she must ensure that the magazine in its entirety, including the ads, creates a pleasant, relevant, addictive experience.”

Find out which magazines’ editors are succeeding as “experience-makers” according to Husni, after the jump.

Food Network Magazine, Men’s Health, McSweeney’s, Real Simple, In Style, Lucky, Better Home & Gardens, and Family Circle, says Husni, to name a few. Well done, guys!

Read the full interview here: So What Do You Do, Samir Husni, Mr. Magazine?

[This interview has been edited for length and clarity]

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