The Nation, the progressive magazine that has published since 1865, will publish monthly instead of every other week starting in January.
As part of the change, the magazine will now be a “bigger, richer” 84 pages, instead of the current 48 pages, Bhaskar Sunkara, the president of The Nation, said.
D.D. Guttenplan, The Nation’s editor, and Katrina vanden Heuvel, its editorial director, said that the publication would continue to focus on long-form analysis and news from the political left. Ms. vanden Heuvel said that the staff was reconsidering the role the print magazine plays alongside the brand’s other products, including its website, podcasts, events and a possible book imprint — and that the coverage in print had a long shelf life.
“People put aside magazines, circle what they want to read,” Ms. vanden Heuvel said.
Nearly all print publications face strong headwinds, including declining circulation and lower advertising revenue, as most readers turn to online products. Mr. Guttenplan said The Nation was in a slightly different situation because most of its subscribers get the print edition and print advertising is not a major source of revenue.
“Unlike almost all of our competitors, The Nation has never made a lot of money from advertising,” Mr. Guttenplan said. “We have to pay attention to our readers and our donors” — people who contribute beyond the subscription price.
Subscribers have expressed a desire for “more of what we do in print at one time, and less often,” he explained, “because we can then go into greater depth, we can give them more background, we can give more context, we can do more investigation.”
Mr. Sunkara said, “For us, to be in print or not to be in print has never been a question.”
Subscriptions have grown 3.8 percent this year, Mr. Sunkara said, to nearly 91,000 at last close. About 80 percent of the subscriptions are for print. Including newsstand copies, Mr. Sunkara said, total circulation is 92,000 to 94,000. At the end of 2021, total circulation was 96,000. Still, there has been a sharp decline over the past two decades. In 2006, the circulation was 187,000.
“A reduction might be seen as a steppingstone towards a digital-only future,” Mr. Sunkara said, but “this is a way to deliver a better print product to people, rather than to step away from print.”