The era of women's magazines in Knoxville began with EvaMag. This trailblazing publication has been distributed in Knoxville for just over a year now, and its success had led other to follow.
With Skirt! magazine's arrival it becomes the second women's magazine published locally in Knoxville. This leads one to wonder if we are witnessing the rise of a new branch in the local periodical industry or it is simply a trend that will soon give way.
When asked if she felt that women's magazine is going to be a permanent establishment in Knoxville Janet Testerman, editor of Skirt! replied, "I do. I don't think it's a trend. I think it's hear to stay." She explains that larger cities like New York and Los Angeles already have a vast array of resources published solely for women and that it's going to take time, but Knoxville "is coming around gradually."
While it's too soon to tell for sure, both EvaMag and Skirt! seem to be developing a consistent readership. "I think these magazines are important because they focus on real women and real issues. Yeah there's some of the typical fluff you associate with the major magazines, but that's always going to be the case. Overall these magazines have substance, and that's something that has been lacking in publications that target women," says junior English major Shea Brickell who reads both magazines on a regular basis.
While the fact that women deserve a magazine with substance ought to be enough a reason for the magazines to gain a foothold in Knoxville, Testerman goes on to point out another reason she believes the women's magazine industry is here to stay- dollars and cents. "Advertising is the basis to any print media's success," Testerman explains, "and economically it makes sense [that women's magazines will be successful] because women make 80% of consumer decisions."
It's too soon to make any definite predictions about the future of women's magazines in Knoxville, but it sure looks as though they plan on being here to stay.
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