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Esquire Adds 3-D Animation to Latest Issue

Esquire Adds 3-D Animation to Latest Issue

Photo: Esquire

Andrew Vanacore

On the page is Esquire’s regular men’s fashion spread, while on the screen, the model is pelted by a computer-animated snow storm. Granger gives the page a quarter rotation, the weather turns sunny and the model starts throwing on summer clothes.

The magazine’s regular “Funny Joke from a Beautiful Woman,” feature gets a new twist from actress Gillian Jacobs in a gray nighty. She’ll tell a second, “dirtier” joke should readers return after midnight.

Clearly not all is fun and humor in the magazine business.

The number of ad pages Esquire sold in the first half of the year fell to roughly 319, down 26 percent from 431 the year before, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

And Granger isn’t aloof from the debate raging about the future of journalism and media. He simply believes print still has some surprises to offer.

Explaining why Esquire has decided to pursue things like e-ink and augmented reality, he said, “I got so sick of people talking about old media versus new media. I wanted to prove that print is still kind of cool. I think of it as kind of our job to show people the strength of our medium.”

He may be doing something right. Unlike many printed publications, Esquire has managed to hold onto its readership even as the Internet grows. Its online audience is relatively modest – 362,000 unique visitors in September, according to comScore Inc. – as Esquire keeps some of its lengthier features off the Web. But its average print circulation grew this decade by about 38,000 copies – to 718,000 in the second half of 2009, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Both subscriptions and newsstand sales have climbed.

But that still leaves Esquire and the rest of the business in a waiting game to see if advertisers return as the recession eases.

With all the dazzle in the December issue shown off, Granger rests back in his chair, the view of midtown Manhattan behind him out of the 21st-story window of Hearst’s glass and steel tower on 8th Avenue.

“I just hope it starts coming back soon,” he says. “It’s got to, right?”

© 2009, YellowBrix, Inc._