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Episode 2589             Episode 2591
Episode 2590

Munsey's Magazine
Fri, 2024-Jun-07 01:19 UTC
Length - 3:39

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Friday, 7 June 2024 is Munsey's Magazine.

Munsey's Magazine was an American magazine founded by Frank Munsey. Originally launched in 1889 as Munsey's Weekly, a humorous magazine, edited by John Kendrick Bangs, it was not successful, and by late 1891 had lost $100,000 ($3.39 million in 2023). Munsey converted it to a general illustrated monthly in October of that year, retitled Munsey's Magazine and priced at twenty-five cents ($8.48 in 2023). Richard Titherington became the editor, and remained in that role for the rest of the magazine's existence. In 1893 Munsey reduced the price to ten cents ($3.39 in 2023): this brought him into conflict with the American News Company, which had a near-monopoly on magazine distribution, as they were unwilling to handle the magazine at the cost Munsey proposed. Munsey started his own distribution company and was quickly successful: the first issue at ten cents began with a print run of 20,000 copies but eventually sold 60,000, and within a year circulation had risen to over a quarter of a million issues.

Munsey's Magazine included both fiction and non-fiction departments on topics such as art, music, and the theatre, and about famous people. In 1893 Munsey became one of the first publishers to regularly put a picture of a pretty girl on the cover, and circulation was also helped by the liberal use of illustrations. During the mid-1890s Munsey's often included images of nude and semi-nude women, though this became less common later in the decade. Circulation reached a peak of about 700,000 in 1897, and fluctuated thereafter until the 1910s, when it began to decline. It became a fiction-only magazine in 1921. Many well-known writers appeared in its pages, including O. Henry, H. Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Bret Harte, Max Brand, Edgar Rice Burroughs, P. G. Wodehouse, Joseph Conrad, and Ella Wheeler Wilcox. By 1924 circulation was only 64,000. In 1929 it was merged with Argosy, another of Munsey's magazines.

The change from a price of twenty-five cents to ten cents is considered by magazine historians to be the start of a revolution in magazine publishing. Before 1893, the bulk of most magazines' income came from the sale of subscriptions, though advertising was another source of income. Munsey's Magazine showed that it was possible to set a low price in order to increase circulation, and attract sufficient advertising revenue to make a substantial profit. Other magazines, notably McClure's and Cosmopolitan, quickly followed Munsey's example, but it was not until 1904 that another magazine, Everybody's, managed to outstrip Munsey's circulation, reaching a figure of almost a million.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:19 UTC on Friday, 7 June 2024.

For the full current version of the article, see Munsey's Magazine on Wikipedia.

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Until next time, I'm Danielle Neural.

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