Over the course of our 105-year history, Maclean’s has worked hard to keep the newsmagazine format relevant and engaging. The result being that you are holding in your hands one of the brightest spots in the entire North American magazine industry.
According to the most recent figures released by the respected Audit Bureau of Circulations, Maclean’s posted net gains for 2010—our total circulation increased by two per cent this year and single copy sales have more than doubled. A large part of this newsstand growth is attributable to our special Vancouver Winter Olympics commemorative edition, which sold an astounding 130,000 copies. All this should be seen as proof that a great product can succeed regardless of the economic climate.
Of course success of this sort requires constant refinement. In late spring, we redesigned the entire magazine, revising our content as well as the way we deliver it.
The cover now draws your attention to a single, riveting image. We’ve increased the space for National, International, Business and Society stories and revised our “Notes” at the end of each section. This provides a better mix of longer, investigative pieces alongside smaller but equally noteworthy stories ignored by other media outlets.
Overall, we’ve increased the total number of stories and words in every issue. In unveiling our revamp in June, we noted that each issue of Maclean’s now contains almost as many words as a standard-sized novel. (To those readers who wrote to say they don’t have time to read a novel every week: you are under no obligation to read every word. But if you do, you’ll find it worthwhile.)
The ultimate role of a great newsmagazine is to expand a reader’s horizons by providing valuable content that is unavailable elsewhere. That’s certainly the purpose of our popular new “Books” section. These short and pointed reviews give readers a heads-up on which books will soon become popular talking points.
What we haven’t changed are the traditional strengths of Maclean’s: award-winning reporting and standout opinion writing. Our special issues on universities, municipal government and Canada’s most dangerous cities always attract national attention. And our collection of columnists is unmatched anywhere, including such notables as Andrew Coyne, Mark Steyn, Scott Feschuk, Barbara Amiel, Andrew Potter and Paul Wells. Most of these writers provide additional exclusive blog commentary here on our website, macleans.ca.
The Maclean’s commitment to weighty reporting and fine writing is in ample display in this issue. On the pages that follow you will find fascinating reads on the inner turmoil at the Tim Hortons donut empire as well as the bizarre hold “human development” guru Keith Raniere has on the iconic Bronfman dynasty. Senior Writer Michael Petrou reports from Britain on the ominous rise of the English Defence League. As usual, Contributing Editor Adnan R. Khan is in the thick of events, this time the mountains of Pakistan. Columnist Wells takes an informed look at Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s culture wars. And the irrepressible Feschuk ponders our political leaders’ curious obsession with cats.
Maclean’s long-standing reputation also allows us to attract renowned writers from other disciplines. Of recent note was the searing on-the-scene account of the destruction wrought by the Gulf Coast oil spill by Canadian novelist Joseph Boyden—author of Three Day Road and Through Black Spruce—and his wife, Amanda Boyden, also a novelist. (“A cataclysm beyond all reckoning,” June 28, 2010.)
Looking ahead, Maclean’s reporting and opinion-setting will continue to be as vital as ever. At home, the return of Parliament promises plenty of drama, with major battles over the long-gun registry, the fate of Ottawa’s stimulus program and the fallout from the disastrous and unnecessary G20 summit. In the U.S., mid-term elections look set to complicate President Barack Obama’s efforts at restoring hope to the American people and fixing an economy that’s drifting aimlessly. Overseas, the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan remains grim. And what of the global recovery? We’ll be covering it all.
Maclean’s is looking forward to another 105 years of delivering unmatched news and commentary to our readers. Please let us know how we’re doing.