On a recent chilly Tuesday evening, magazine editors and ad salespeople from one of the nation’s most venerable glossies crowded the garden room at Michael’s, holding glasses of pinot aloft as the publisher and editorial director took turns toasting the latest issue.
Waiters passed bite-size hors d’oeuvres that were eagerly snatched up by hungry attendees. Busy bartenders poured white wine and whiskey. Editors and writers and advertising salespeople crowded in the corners, grabbing surreptitious glances at name tags. Assistant editors strategically positioned themselves near the coconut-crusted shrimp.
We’ve never understood who the target demographic of Hearst’s Town & Country were supposed to be. Certainly not people who actually live in a town or countryside, but perhaps those who can afford to have a summer home in a grassy estate? Cafe society and young socialites, ostensibly, but are those people really subscribing to “old media” anymore? And isn’t cafe society as antiquated as print, anyhow?
Adding to this confusion is the strange hodge-podge of articles that are thrown into the magazine helmed by Jay Fielden. At times, the entirety of T&C is seemingly comprised of an island of misfit articles; rejects from other Hearst publications for one reason or another. Since Town & Country still needs to keep up the pretense of being a monthly glossy in order to keep the brand alive (the Wedding and Homes editions are still lucrative, and let’s not forget that it’s the oldest magazine in America!) we end up with a subscription that puts Greta Gerwig and Audrey Plaza on the cover one month, and summer camp fun the next.