Rolling Stone: Now More "Standardized"

Hunter S. Thompson exhales a mouthful of lighter fluid at Jann Wenner in 1976. Photo by Annie Leibovitz.

Rolling Stone magazine is switching to a smaller, rack-friendly size. This is certainly not the first time the Stone has changed its format. It started out with a double-folded newspaper style similar many current local alt-weeklies (which is pretty much what it was). So whatever.

Details after the jump…


Here’s what you need to know:

• Starting with the Oct. 30 issue, it will “adopt the standard size used by all but a few magazines,” 8 by 11 inches. It had been 10 by 11 3/4 inches.

• It “will switch to heavier, glossy paper and sleeker page designs, and it will be glued rather than stapled — “perfect bound” instead of “saddle stitched,” in magazine lingo — giving it a flat spine rather than a tapered edge.”

• It “will spend more and print more, not less: in addition to using more expensive paper and binding, it plans to add 16 to 20 pages per issue.” Woo hoo!

• The standard size will help in “selling insert ads, like those with scent strips or tear-out postcards.” Boo!

• It has “circulation in the United States of more than 1.4 million, the highest in its history, but its single-copy sales have fallen from 189,000 in 1999, to 132,000 last year.”

• “The magazine had 486 ad pages in the first half of 2008, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, down 33 percent from the same period in 2005.”

The Stone gets a lot of shit for putting dopey pop stars and TV celebs on its covers, but it’s actually run a lot of solid features over the past several years. And Matt Taibbi‘s political coverage is worth the $12 subscription price on its own.

One thought on “Rolling Stone: Now More "Standardized"”

  1. I’ve been a subscriber for going on two decades now. Buy my subscription expires the end of this month, and I’m not going to renew. All of the content I want to read (reviews, music news, even some of the feature articles) is available the RS website, plus I get music news from great websites (like this one) in a much more timely manner than any print publication.

    So long Rolling Stone. It’s been nice, but I’m moving on.

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