It has been 12 weeks since the first issue of the newly redesigned Maclean’s appeared on newsstands. As we noted in this space last November, the changes are intended to bring freshness, relevance, and a renewed focus on current affairs to the magazine. To that end, we added a larger news section filled with more original reporting and investigative work. We have increased the amount of text in every issue by more than 50 per cent, while doubling the number of stories we publish each week. We have added new voices to Macleans, including columnists Andrew Potter and Mark Steyn. We have also introduced new sections, such as our Newsmakers feature and our back-page obituary The End. Other popular features have returned to prominence, most notably the two-page Maclean’s interview, conducted, alternately, by Linda Frum and Kenneth Whyte, and appearing at the front of the magazine.
The early reviews are in, and they have been overwhelmingly positive. Antonia Zerbisias, the media columnist for the Toronto Star, wrote that the magazine “suddenly seems more relevant, even almost edgy...there’s much more to read and, ironically, despite the decrease in art, there’s much more to look
at.” Chris Dixon, art director of New York magazine, expressed admiration for our new “bold, urgent approach” to cover design. “The photography is unique for a newsweekly,” added Dixon, “and innovative in its own way.” Bruce Claassen, president and CEO of Genesis Media in Toronto, hailed the new magazine as an “organized, arranged, fast read but substantial and well-written.” Magazine critic D.B. Scott called The Back Pages, our new culture section, “the runaway success of the new look, giving more of the lifestyle and glamour quotient that Maclean’s has always struggled to achieve.”
Pleased as we are with this response, we aren’t about to rest on our laurels. We are gathering responses from readers and looking for ways to make the magazine still more interesting, easier to read, and simpler to navigate. We expect to introduce adjustments to the redesign in several weeks. Meanwhile, we hope you continue to enjoy Maclean’s. M
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