Friday, March 27, 2009

Magazine News: Twilight of the Lad Magazines?

The recession claimed another casualty recently, taking down music magazine Blender, part of the lad-magazine stable of Alpha Media Group.

In the same report, it was announced that Alpha's Maxim magazine would be merging editorial staffs with, an increasingly common practice these days.

I know this doesn't mean the end of the British-inspired lad-magazine trend, but it does help highlight that it's no longer the "lad-magazine phenomenon." The laddie books have been on hard times in recent years, a far cry from when they exploded on the American newsstand scene and gave Playboy a run for its money.

But lad-book FHM ceased print publication in the United States two years ago, and it's been tough times for a number of these mags, which try to be salacious and tasteless but not pornographic. (Also see here.) For a good look at what these magazines hath wrought: Jon Zobenica wrote a great piece for Atlantic Monthly two years ago, noting the depressing difference between Playboy and the lad books when it came to treatment of women. People may love to criticize Playboy for its nudity, but Zobenica says it's a far healthier attitude than what transpires among the pages of the laddie books.

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