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Big things ahead!

WORLD’s history has been one of change and improvement


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Those of you who have been subscribing to WORLD Magazine since the earliest days know that we have changed the publishing frequency a few times over the years. For roughly the first 10 years of WORLD’s existence—after a start and a pause in 1986, then a restart in 1987—we published 40 times a year. We were a weekly news magazine, but we really couldn’t afford to publish weekly year-round, so we went to biweekly for a few months during the summer.

Starting in 1998, we felt we could afford to be a true weekly. Even then, I guess, we weren’t a true weekly, because we took a one-week break in the summer and again at year-end, producing a 50-times-per-year publishing schedule. We kept that up until 2006.

For that jump from 40 issues per year to 50, the size of each magazine stayed roughly the same—we simply produced about 25 percent more content every year. After a few years with the weekly schedule we did start to beef up the magazines a bit, but it happened gradually.

By 2007 our website was delivering more news and analysis than we could ever print in a weekly magazine. Even with a tiny staff and a tiny budget, we were producing daily updated news stories and a fairly robust opinion section on worldmag.com (that’s what we called it back then). So it didn’t seem unnatural to start questioning how often we published the magazine. We published 48 issues in 2007 before taking the big leap to biweekly publishing in 2008. That change made sense, and a subscriber survey at the time told us that you felt the same way.

We’ve been biweekly ever since, although we did make a change in 2017 that provided two one-week publishing “breaks” (as we did when we were a weekly), one in the summer and one at the end of the calendar year.

With every change in frequency, we have figured out how to provide more content in the pages of the magazine. Even in the transition from weekly to biweekly, we were able to increase the pages of each issue enough to provide more content overall as a biweekly. At the time, we promised to provide at least 10 percent more content after the change, and we exceeded that promise.

Don’t worry—this discussion isn’t leading up to an announcement that we are reducing the frequency of publication, or reducing the content in each issue (actually, the opposite is true—more on that in another column).

This discussion is leading up to something, though: In our next issue, Lord willing, I will share the ways our editorial council is reshaping our editorial “org chart” to accommodate our growing content production. We think the new structure will allow us to keep improving WORLD Magazine, while expanding and improving all our other platforms. Big things ahead!

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