The consumer magazine industry took a major hit at the newsstand during the second half of 2008. Of the nearly 500 magazines tracked by the Audit Bureau of Circulation, a staggering 355—some 75 percent—saw their single copy sales decline between June and December, while just 116 managed to increase sales at the newsstand.
One of those 116 was the Atlantic, which increased its single copy sales by … 1 percent. But the magazine is trying to goose that number, and for its March issue, the Atlantic is publishing four quasi-regional editions—New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto—each with targeted covers for its cover story “How the Crash Will Reshape America.” (The rest of the country gets the New York cover.)
The Atlantic averaged 57,880 single copy sales per issue during the second half of 2008, per ABC. Overall, the magazine’s average total paid and verified circulation was 456,529 during that timeframe—an increase of 5.8 percent over the last six months of 2007 and a healthy bonus—56,529 copies—delivered on its 400,000 rate base.