In a year when more than 100 major newspapers and nearly 500 magazines have reportedly folded in the United States alone, it is interesting – if not reassuring – to note that some publications are striving to reinvent themselves. The 18-year-old Worth magazine, acquired by Sandow Media in 2008, has adopted a new revenue model, along with a new tagline “The Evolution of Financial Intelligence.” Now published bi-monthly, Worth has become a controlled circulation magazine, mailed free to a database of 110,000 high-net-worth households in major markets. It offers no subscriptions but sells a limited number of individual copies at $18.95 per issue primarily at select newsstands in private airports. In addition to the sale of advertising, the magazine essentially relies on thoroughly vetted wealth advisors to underwrite the publication in exchange for the opportunity to write articles in the leading advisors section of the magazine.
Visually, Worth is an inviting read. Printed on a substantial-feeling vellum sheet, it features a finely crafted design that suggests the confidence of old money. Engraved patterns seen on stock certificates and currency decorate article openers, and the wealth advisor section presents portraits in the stipple dot style popularized by the Wall Street Journal. With story titles such as “How to buy your own private island” and “Why friendship and financial advice don’t mix,” it clearly isn’t speaking to middle-income America. Topics explore financial, legal and lifestyle issues relevant to high net worth people, and talk candidly about wealth creation, passion investing and major philanthropy. If you can’t relate to it, you probably aren’t the person the magazine is trying to reach.
In an age of “me too” journalism, with the same stories running over and over on every media, a niche magazine offering content aimed precisely at a very specific, thinly sliced audience segment may be the wave of the future.