You have to hand it to Josh Tyrangiel, the Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg Businessweek, the guy knows what he’s doing. His magazine is all the rage right now because he consistently gives readers high quality content presented in an interesting way. He’s talked about how this process happens before, and last Thursday he expanded on it during a talk with Columbia students.
WWD reports that Tyrangiel (Creative Director Richard Turley also spoke) explained to the audience that the he maintains a magazine that people want to read because he makes sure that it’s one that he would want to flip through first:
To be totally honest, the target audience is me. I endured a couple — I worked for a couple of editors who really believed that you could fictionalize your audience. And I remember one editor, who shall remain nameless, said, ‘No. Our reader is a 48-year-old woman. She’s a librarian. She has a graduate degree. She lives in Missouri.’ And I said, ‘That’s crazy.’ Not only is it crazy because it’s something you just made up, but it’s crazy because you are not that person.
So the secret to creating a good magazine is to make Tyrangiel your target. Done and done.