There is an idea about magazine media that Madeleine Frank Reeves, senior editor at Country Living, would like to confront head on. As an editorial intern in New York, she was told over and over again that to work in magazines you have to pick up and move to New York and then look for a job. “That’s simply not true.” She also suggests that many of the more harsh critiques of the industry are unfair and not necessarily accurate.
With all the depressing headlines lately, there are still positive stories to be told. Data suggests that 91% of adults have read magazine content in the past six months, and magazines still show the highest return on advertising spend (per the 2017 MPA Factbook).
“Many more titles are launching than closing each year, and the industry is still growing, in part by finding new ways to create revenue so that we can continue to bring incredible content to readers,” Reeves says. “I know I’m biased, but magazines are important—there’s real value in being able to flip a page to a beautiful opening spread and get drawn into a story you would have never otherwise seen, especially in a time when what people read is so dictated by what their friends are posting on social media.”
For the 25-year-old Harvard grad, “it’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t know that I wanted to be a part of the world of magazines.” Her early career experience had much to do with her view that the New York City-centric narrative that surrounds magazines needs to change. College graduates can gain a lot of valuable experience working for a regional magazine that translates easily to the job skills you would need to work for a mass consumer brand.
“There are other cities that are thriving magazine hubs!” she says. “I’ve been delighted to discover the energy of the industry in Birmingham, where so many brands are based, and to be able to work for a major magazine publisher like Hearst in a very livable city. Sure, I love New York, but I am so full of pride for Birmingham, and I always encourage recent graduates looking to break into the industry to consider what options there might be for them here.”
Something that originally drew Reeves to Country Living was that every page reads like it could only be in Country Living. The brand has a distinctive voice, and it’s editors have an unwavering commitment to maintaining that voice. But Reeves role in maintaining that voice is anything but stale. “It excites me that, thanks to the extensive network of creatives on Instagram and blogs, this job is so different from what it would have been even just a few years ago,” she says.
Know Someone Worthy of Joining These Ranks?
min’s Rising Stars Awards is looking to single out the next generation of media superstars—the editors, writers, social media pros, bloggers, brand leaders, marketers, salespeople, and others who are laying the groundwork for the evolution and future success of magazine brands. Find out more—early bird deadline to enter the competition is on Friday, September 15.