Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What should Drucker do to make Town & Country great?


Discuss.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Redefine "covering society."

He needs to go more Vanity Fair. Introduce more critical voices, demand more editorial independence from his writers.

Cut the rich-folk sucking-up, in other words.

Show the wealthy behaving like jackasses on occasion. Even throw in an unsavory (but delicious) story every issue. Why not cover a high-society murder, for example?

Marija said...

Real people. Their homes, their stories, their writing, their lifestyles. Abandon the "rich is better" philosophy and instead show us people with rich lives that have nothing to do with their checking accounts (or credit card bills as the case may be...). Show us quality that isn't directly correlated to cost or quantity. Pretty general, I know, but if he would just hire me, I would happily elaborate...

Marija

Real Estate Resuscitation said...

Currently, I find their articles to be dumbed down and boring, so improving the writing and content would be a start.

Sharon

boops said...

ditto on what Marija said.

i think you'll see more and more people despising the rich rather than aspiring to be them.

Isabella & Max Rooms said...

I open Town & Country when I'm in the mood to look at some fabulous jewelry I'll never in a million years wear. My take on this magazine is that it is where the seriously wealthy enjoy taking themselves very seriously. Janell

Anonymous said...

Oh, come on. There are still a lot of rich people in this country. They still want their dumb jewelry-and-Istanbul magazine. Poor or middle class people despising the rich has never stopped good capitalists from trying to cater to them. They have the money, after all, and advertisers need that audience.

kelleyp said...

i agree that the magazine is nearly unreadable. so boring and so high society. only relates to a small few. really the entire magazine is easily forgetable. needs to "amp" it up in every way.

boops said...

so is a higher circulation more important for a publication, or higher spending power of its core readers?

mary said...

Although I'm not happy with Drucker going to T&C; the changes at Veranda are going to be fantastic. It is a great magazine, but too predictable.

Anonymous said...

" ...advertisers need that audience."

Not really.

From media bistro, which forecast three weeks ago that the editor of Town & Country would be fired:

"The luxury magazine's ad pages have dipped significantly -- 45.6 percent -- within the past year, and it isn't fairing too well on the circulation front, either."

my favorite and my best said...

homes. real homes. real people. who are on budgets. not necessarily tiny craigslist budgets like me, but a budget nonetheless. and all homes. just homes. no restaurants, stores, city shopping guides, ugly, rich people's wedding announcements or recipes. ok, maybe a few recipes. and then more homes. before and after's are always good.

Michele said...

uh, doesn't anybody know that the rich are getting richer and swelling in numbers - and the middle class are shrinking and the poor are increasing. I don't think he has to do a thing - there are enough of them to keep the numbers up. If you don't believe me take a look at the Robb Report.

Anonymous said...

MFAMB - really?? The core readership doesn't want to read about average people. She's asking about how to improve Town and Country, not Better Homes and Gardens.

Anonymous said...

It's a business, which is why they fired the editor when the revenue started drying up.

So the question isn't "What do WE want to see?" The question is "What editorial changes will get Town & Country to start making money?"

Anonymous said...

"Her name was LOLa..."

Just kidding.

I don't think the way to save T&C is to make it more democratic but it has to lose the claustrophobic clubbish feel it has had. And I'm all for eliminating the party pics pages and wedding announcements. I don't think we have to do "investigative" reporting or scandalacious features, though. VF does that fine it that's the sort of thing you like.

T&C must have incredible archives. Why not a regular feature pulling from those, making it something akin to a Slim Aarons photo book?

Definitely more of an emphasis on homes and design. Those were the only issues I bought, but please, not from those ancient society dragons Mica Ertegun and Geoffrey Bradfield.

Anonymous said...

"I don't think he has to do a thing"

If that were true, they wouldn't have fired the previous editor.

Elizabeth Sullivan said...

I agree with the last anonymous comment - Town and Country probably wants to maintain it's aspirational quality, not become another Domino or Cottage Living. But it is extremely frustrating that mags like Vogue Living Australia and AD Spain always have something fresh and sexy and in this huge country of such creativity and variety we can't seem to celebrate anything different. I have the most hope for Dara's efforts, but will not be holding my breath for any of them, as an editor can only bang their head against the brick wall of the publisher so much. I personally think that the bloggers have become what the mags once were to design lovers, and that if they can't offer us anything new, we are just fine with you guys...
Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

Okay, this might seem obvious but this magazines is the for the wealthy. It's okay to have a magazine showing and promoting a wealthy lifestyle, but what they could improve on is the writing. It's very boring to read, and does seem dumbed down.

For example, the article on Marrakech in the Kelly Wearstler cover issue listed only the two most expensive and exclusive restaurants as worth trying outside of La Mamounia, which is crazy. I would have loved to read an insiders look at amazing LOCAL restaurants, not catering only to tourists. Same idea for shopping in the city, why only feature the most exclusive boutiques, when there are so many fabulous places to shop in Marrakech.

Good luck Stephen, can't wait to see what you can do!

Anonymous said...

Lets be blunt, this is all about luxury branding. I want to see a home in town and a home in the country. And I want them to be homes that create a lifestyle image that I want to live in.

And Drucker better keep writing his editor letters. I enjoy them more than the magazine itself sometimes.

And I may be in the minority, but I like seeing the homes of wealthy folks. But make them interesting people (Aerin Lauder types) not idiot types (Tinsley Mortimer). Luxury branding (even in a magazine) should make you want to be that person or have their life...not cringe on their behalf.

Anonymous said...

**There are currently too many jewelry and makeup ads.
**They need different covers from month to month. They all look the same (thin model sprawled across the front)
**Stories we can relate to OR dream about.
**No more etiquette columns. The last one was a rant about the misuse of words. Just some pet peeve run on. Besides, I know how to fold my napkin.
**An even mix of fashion, decor, destinations (especially IN the U.S. I love Design Sponge's city summaries)
**Mix up the celeb profiles, they don't all have to be from the Hamptons.

Anonymous said...

"I personally think that the bloggers have become what the mags once were..."

...only without any budgets or staff to document the kinds of homes people want to see.

Toby Worthington said...

Stephen Drucker, if he wants to do something for The Greater Good, should insist on retaining his post at House Beautiful and allow Town and Country Magazine
to die a natural death. He may be smiling in that photograph, but surely, through gritted teeth.

Anonymous said...

I just bought the new edition today, as it was the home design issue. I really felt the homes shown were a nice selection, something from Michael Smith, another from Thomas O'Brien. But there are four pages of party coverage and they still run horoscopes. Do people still read horoscopes?

The cover subject is Nadja Swarovski, of the crystal family and there is a l-o-n-g feature on her that was easily skippable.

Can't wait to see what Mr. Drucker does with his first issue.

One request: no more pics of the magazine's staff at a party with advertisers. Don't know if T&C does it as much, but it's a regular feature at Elle Decor. Really, who cares to see that?

Anonymous said...

**There are currently too many jewelry and makeup ads.

Right. They should turn down ads. Good business plan.

Cote de Texas said...

**There are currently too many jewelry and makeup ads.

Right. They should turn down ads. Good business plan.

omg, so funny!!! Really!

myself, i think SD is going to go a more Ralph Lauren lifestyle look with less diet info, plastic surgery, etc. more decor. it's going to be great. he'll clean up all the crap immediately. he's a genius imo. veranda? not sure about that one. they should have just given her a new titled magazine maybe. i hope HB stays great though.

Daisy's Mercantile said...

He created magic at HB that had been lost. I started getting HB when I was 19 years old and was happy for years and years. It began to die this slow death. He brought it back and so much more. I can't wait to see what he does with T&C.

Annie said...

A good magazine has to have an element of fantasy- things to amaze and have plenty of good stories to read.Lots of art and design book reviews, show people living interesting lives in the town and country in idea-filled houses and gardens. Too many magazines are just about expensive shopping opportunities. Rich is fine, but there has to be a better balance between creativity and luxury.

Penelope Bianchi said...

Let's just start with this! I am hoping that T&C does not use the word "HOMES" when talking about "houses"!

That being said.....I am hoping that other pretensions will be dispensed with. All references to "wealth" ; "society"; and then'"noveau riche" descriptions........of everything.

One lives in a "house"! It has degraded so far as to the fact that in the newspaper...."OPEN HOMES" Instead of "Open houses"!

nyrgrl said...

I seem to be in the minority thinking that while he made HB better, he did not make it great. Still looks too wannabe for me and I despise the design. I hope he can make magic at T+C but I am not hopeful. He is too mainstream, and T+C is not supposed to be 'on a budget' - its a fantasy rag for wealthy people who don't read blogs (read: older). This is a mag for hedge fund managers families, old money wasps, nouveaux rich - and those that aspire to live like them. It the society pages that give it a personality, the last thing we need is another watered down everything for everybody title.

Anonymous said...

Create a "large transom" for certain shabby chic lovers to traverse so that they get the recognition they have been so craving. Please no flea market finds like linen scarves hanging on tree limbs or stories about how to create your perfect seasonal tablescape and mantle with a little paint from Home Depot and pottery someone else threw away. Let's finally separate decorating from crafting.

Real Estate Resuscitation said...

We learned from one of Decorno's previous posts about her search for the perfect Le Creuset pot that Stephen Drucker reads (and comments on!!!) this blog. I would be willing to bet he reads this post too and takes all our comments to heart as he heads to Town & Country. I like to imagine he's that kind of guy.

Sharon

Toby Worthington said...

Thank you, Penelope Bianchi, for making the distinction between the word House and the word Home, and asking writers and editors to do the same.
Those words are not interchangeable, as most of the world seems to believe.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Penelope, that's what's killing print media: terminology.

Shoshana said...

I am excited for Drucker and Caponigro but don't know as much about Newell Turner besides his documenting his renovations in HB.I hope he keeps it as fresh as Drucker has.
I've never subscribed to either Veranda or T & C but who knows?

Anonymous said...

T & C archives! A great place to start. Play off the "times gone by" and old glamour that everyone loves to hate. The magazine has become a parody of itself. In its day T & C was very elegant. Cut the blingy jewelry ads and faux society BS and make it more authentic.

Anonymous said...

Please get rid of the weddings section. IT SUCKS. I could care less about who from Palm Beach is marrying blah blah from blah blah.

Anonymous said...

I love, love, love the clothes in T&C, so my answer is "more fashion!!!!!!!!!!!!"

slag said...

I don't think there's much he can do. Rich people are--on average--insular, unoriginal, and boring. At least that's what I see whenever I check out Town and Country magazine. I can only assume it's representative of the population it covers.

Anonymous said...

Cut the blingy jewelry ads.

Yes. Replace them with Bed Bath & Beyond coupons.

Anonymous said...

I agree with cutting out the rich-folk sucking up, and adding one salacious story a month. I'd also love to see a monthly 1 page fashion feature using only mature society women. Make them gorgeous and sexy. Give us something to look forward to! Please not another bimbo calling herself a "social", while doing nothing for the greater good.

Anonymous said...

Town & Country? Hmmm. Does anyone really read that magazine. "Society" hasn't existed since Edith Warton died.