NEW YORK — Jann Wenner is continuing his revolving-door policy at Men’s Journal, where a new publisher has been brought onboard to help the men’s magazine settle its identity issues. After turning from adventure to a brief flirtation with fashion, the folio is doubly determined to become a general interest publication competitive with the likes of Esquire and GQ.
After one year as publisher, Kevin Martinez is being replaced by Carlos La Madrid, publisher of Fairchild Publications’ DNR, a men’s fashion trade mag. La Madrid is the third MJ publisher in three years.
La Madrid was tapped for his breadth with advertisers, unlike Martinez, whose niche was limited to the fashion world.
The turnover is not unlike the editorial shufflings that Wenner — who is known for his strong editorial vision as well as his whims — has instigated at Men’s Journal as well as at other Wenner Media titles such as Rolling Stone and Us Weekly. Last summer, MJ editor in chief Bob Wallace replaced Sid Evans, who a year and a half earlier had replaced Mark Bryant.
Men’s Journal’s new look is reflected on its cover, where pics of brawny men doing crunches have been replaced by star power: Bruce Willis, Matthew McConaughey and Richard Gere.
“There was a lot of confusion among advertisers about what the magazine was,” Wallace said. “Now our covers reflect what the magazine has always been — a lifestyle magazine for men.”
Responding to his dismissal, Martinez said: “I had a short-term contract. There were certain goals I had to achieve and they were achieved. Now I’m moving on to other projects.”
Although in the second half of 2002 the 600,000-circulation monthly’s newsstand sales were up 15% to 94,533 from 2001, ad pages were down in 2002 by 7% to 921 compared with 2001. (Esquire’s pages dipped 7% to 892 for that period, and GQ’s rose by less than 1% to 1,753.)
This year, through May, Men’s Journal’s advertising pages are up 9.8% to 399, according to the Mediaweek Monitor. Similarly, Esquire’s pages are up 9.2% in the same period.