Not a New York-centric beauty pageant, these awards honor real achievements

There are Maggies and Ellies and a mass of other magazine competitions in which publications are sliced and diced into numerous categories and have their “excellence” evaluated by various industry heavy-hitters, often their competitors.  The statuettes are invariably lugged back to the office conveniently located in New York, since the winners tend to be NEW YORK, THE NEW YORKER, GQ, VANITY FAIR and similar titles.  New York, for example, this year was recognized for “the excellence of a regular, cohesive front- or back-of-back section.”

But there are awards that honor real, measurable achievements.  The New Single Copy (a newsletter about magazine distribution) and its “Outstanding Performance” and “Notable Achievers” mentions celebrate numbers-backed newsstand successes.


“Since 1999 The New Single Copy has saluted magazines that have grown consistently on the newsstand.  This year we honor six publications that have improved their retail dollar sales in each of the last five years, no small feat in the current depressed, although hopefully recovering, economy.  They are:

ARMY TIMES, Army Times Publishing.  A price increase helped the weekly push retail dollars up 7.2% last year, to over $4.8 million, continuing a growth cycle that began in

MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Ogden Publications.  Average unit sales of the environmental magazine were up 20% last year, to over 122,000.  For the last five years, retail dollars grew nearly 90% to $3.7 million.  Sellthrough is an impressive 50% (How many copies delivered are actually sold; average industry numbers are in the low-to-mid thirties.)

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, National Geographic Society.  The largest dollar producer on the list with over $11.0 million in sales.  It has consistently produced sales efficiency rates in the high 40%-range.

RIDER Magazine.  Newsstand sales have jumped spectacularly for this motorcycling title, up plus 16% last year, and nearly 400% over the last five.

ST. LOUIS, St. Louis Magazine LLC.  A regional title that’s been growing by double digits each of the last five years – in 2009 by over 30%.  Newsstand has outpaced subscription growth as well.

THE WEEK, The Week Publications Inc. A different kind of newsweekly, newsstand sales are only a sliver of its circulation, but they did more than double to 3800 per issue last year, after inching up each previous year since its US launch in 2004.

We ha[ve], since 1999, also honored OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE, magazines that put together 10 consecutive years of growth.  Only one, THE ECONOMIST, met that criterion, something it ha[s] done for nearly 20 years.”


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