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Is Chicago the Second City of Media?

Magazines, for the moment, appear to be healthier than Windy City's newspapers.

Dylan Stableford By Dylan Stableford
06/23/2008 -18:04 PM

[Photo taken by FOLIO: publisher Tony Silber late Sunday]

CHICAGO—Circulation Management, the yin to FOLIO:'s yang, is in Chicago this week for its annual show. (The pre-conference just kicked off, so I'm not sure if it'll buck the attendance drought that's starting to take effect for b-to-b publishers—we'll just have to wait and see on that.)

Chicago is an interesting place to be in publishing. You've got the Tribune Co.—which, along with News Corp., currently occupies the center of the newspaper world—and the Cubs. And when a team that hasn't won a World Series in 99 years looks in better long-term shape than its owner's newspapers, you known you're in a troubled industry.

You've got city guides-there's the weekly Time Out Chicago (which is not owned by Donald Trump) and the monthly Where Chicago, which is expanding to more cities.

You've got Chicago magazine. You've got Lake. And you've got Niche Media's luxe Michigan Avenue, which recently corralled Ivanka Trump for one of its high-end issue parties. (See some photos here.) And don't forget about Playboy, which Hugh Hefner launched here in 1953.

For a city that's really a glorified small town, that many magazines would seem to constitute "health." But, as BusinessWeek recently found out, just because a region appears to be healthy doesn't mean it can sustain a magazine. (BusinessWeek was recently forced to shutter BusinessWeek Chicago after just seven months.)

Look for more dispatches from the CM show here throughout the week.

Oh, and go Cubs!

Dylan Stableford By Dylan Stableford --

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