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May 13, 2008

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Blake's Baby

Gotta tell ya, Reaper, having worked a short and frustrating few weeks at this book last summer, I saw the writing on the wall.

I was there doing promotional copy for their sales materials. The publisher and her ad staff were frustrated that the media buyers kept shrinking away. I kept scratching my head that a magazine marketed to young men had ignored that fact that its direct target hardly reads magazines anymore and are getting the same things Mass Appeal offered online.

In devising sales copy to attract advertisers, I delved into past issues of the book. I kept being like, "Okay, this magazine is an open proponent of young men being on drugs and drinking, and also occasionally doing illegal things for fun." There's a whole string of advertisers who are wary of associating with a brand like that.

The mag was thought to be authentically hip-hop, but since most of the staffers were white and into skateboarding, it often covered that world. Funnily, they had trouble attracting skateboard companies to advertise. I think it was because of the mag's lukewarm commitment to skateboarding culture in its promotions. Some staffers thought it was a strictly hip-hop title, others thought otherwise. I don't think anyone on staff could define exactly who their readers were, or wanted to.

The magazine's owner Adrian Moeller, had lost interest in trying to invest any more dollars into the title. Patrick Elasik sudden death came before he devised a brilliant business idea. He organized the various contacts the mag had with grafitti artists and started managing them to paint wall-sized murals for ad agencies as Collosal Media. Colossal is the component of the company that mints money, while the mags flounder.

Missbehave, a new title aimed at presumably the girlfriends of the Mass Appeal guy, has similar issues. The creative director is brilliant and had developed a strong style for that title, but I was frustrated that none of the staff could state who their target was for that title. It's said the Missbehave targets the "downtown" girl, which one assumes to be a white young woman interested in hip-hop inspired fashion and art. More frustrating, as a fashion magazine, they made no attempts to market and promote advertisers' products. No shopping information, none of that.

Mass Appeal started as a vanity project for two guys to score women, free merchandise and host parties. As it grew, and the "style magazine" trend died with the rise of the net, it completely lost it's way. Hip-hop is pop. And Mass Appeal missed that boat.

Don't hate on Mass Appeal

Blake's Baby,

You don't know crap behind the scenes when you were an intern or someone just "dropping by". Quit talking as if you know it all when you did a quick stint, you damn wanna be.

Mass Appeal is a brand, not just a magazine. Yes, print is dead, but the Mass Appeal brand is strong. Have you been reading other bloggs and comments? No. You just like being a hater and have a strong need to "show off" to the world you have some sort of "true" insider information. You should read the positive comments people have to say about Mass Appeal and how it shaped urban culture. Alot of people were bummed its print edition is done with, because it was a lifestyle for them. Also, Gawker says that they are concentrating on events and online...so the Mass Appeal brand still lives. Why were you there you even there when you knew what the magazine was all about? Yet you have nothing but criticisms about the staff and the magazine and stuck around to talk crap on Magazine Death Pool? I was there and the magazine and people were great.

It was too bad the publisher Adrian Moeller did not choose to invest in online and kept his focus on print for Mass Appeal, but he has to deal with that. As for the media selling staff, they have to sell what is in front of them or given to them, they can't magically whip up a website or put a gun to the publishers head to demand different properties.

It's obvious, you are one of those "sideline" people, who talk alot of crap, don't know how business works and never have succeeded on your own. What have you accomplished in the publishing world....obviously nothing, you need to accept you have and are a nobody!


Brian

Trust me, you idiots! I was there and this was all meant to happen. We were all in a meeting and Charles Falchicio was the Advertising director. He gave the sales team a bunch of torn off ads from XXL which consisted of gold teeth & diamond encrusted watch ads, etc. Sasha looked on and the look on his face said it all...."Holy fuck, this wigger is insane"

I'll never forget that day.

B

Brian Scotto

B, who are you? As for as I know, I am the only Brian who ever worked at Mass Appeal. So it sounds like you are telling stories. Either way, Mass Appeal was a great mag to work for, shame it's no longer around.

Toxic  Adventurer

This is the shit I know. Here-

Yeah...Mass Appeal was the Best Magazine Around! That Magazine stayed alive for 12 years and had the best editorial around! Fucken some real shit vs. that homothug magazine Complex. The Associate Publisher Joanne Carolino, who headed the advertising, marketing and business department for 8 years left in Jan 2008. That bitch is a sharp as business woman and hustler....respect to her for keeping that magazine afloat for that long and Mass Appeal lost out when she left. Also the Editor in Chief Maclaine Jackson left and he was THE FUCKEN BEST EDITOR OF ALL TIME @ Mass Appeal! Mass Appeal hit it's penicle once he became the editor.I can't express how much more I got into the magazine when he took over. Mass Appeal really lost out when Maclain Jackson left!

So 2 of the most important people left Mass Appeal. Their best and reliable business woman and their best editor of all time. This guy Spyro from Tokion took over in the ad, marketing and business department and drove that magazine to the grave. Mass Appeal shouldn't have folded, but Indie magazines don't survive after a couple of issues of revenue not coming in. Spyro is now the Associate Publisher of Inked Magazine and I cannot wait until he sinks their ship since that magazine sucks!

hanta

Mass Appeal was excellent. I wonder if the person who entered this magazine into the database had ever read it. It was a niche magazine, it's title was not meant to imply actual, widespread, mass appeal.

Edrian Colina

Mass Appeal was a dope publication, it reminded me of a watered down version of Vice at times sure, but the content and the writing was solid. I don't really know much of what I'm talking about here, but I love hip-hop culture, and fashion, and trends as much as the next guy. MA definitely gave me that fix. Even though the blogs did eventually replace that for me, I remember always picking up some of my favorite mags when taking trips places, because internet access is unpredictable, and sometimes it's nice to sit on a fucking bench and just read... printed articles.

BigglesBK

MASS APPEAL!!! i interned there back in the Summer of '02 with my friend, it was great. office was fun. i got free copies of the mag, caps and a signed poster by shepard fairey. good times. Great mag, especially the graffiti issues by borough... got ALL that.

Ammdubbz

okay, you know what.... who cares how shit went down, who was responsible or why it happened.... all that matters is that it was awesome when it happened. I left before Mac or Joanne (who i agree, were fucking awesome) but before that we all had a fucking blast....dont talk about shit you dont know about. seems like you did a whole lot of resaerch and asking around beofe you wrote your post...beacause when i worked there we didnt hire any BITCH ASS SNITCH ASS PUNKS... go work for Complex you herb.

me.yahoo.com/a/WutqCyM_y8eQLNo7TaIkQ.Pk3mcV3KAOJA--

Wow, I had no idea I'm like 2 years late! I thought it was a great alternative pick up magazine when ever the cover drew me in for that month. They were the first to introduce me to entrepreneurs such as Jeff Staple back in '97. Some of their most interesting articles would come left field at the back of an issue. Crazy.

Bill Steinfeld

I interned at MA for about 6 months back in '07 working in the Ad sales and promotions dept. And I'm sorry but Mass Appeal was the shit.. Joanne, Adrian, Mac, Dante.. Like Amm said, were fucking awesome people.. The shit thats bein said about this magazine on here is obviously being said by people who just didnt get what the magazine was all about. I can understand why Adrian decided to fold the magazine.. I worked there a year before it stopped publication and I could already tell that his attention was almost fully on Colossal Media.. Mass Appeal was just being done "for fun" because it sure wasnt turning a profit. That being said, this was right at the same time as the hip hop/streetwear/hypebeast culture blog takeover and basically the idea was that if you have any kind of culture mag, you aint shit unless you got a blog, youtube page, and big internet presence. While I was there, we were trying to get that kinda stuff off the ground but honestly, i think it was just too small an outfit to get any major movement going behind an online presence. In any case, my time there was fun as hell, I got a TON of free shit and went to some of the dopest parties ever... Oh and being that it was an internship, I learned a little somethin too

Brian

Trust me, Brian Scotto, you fucking idiot! I was there (and YOU were there, too) and this was all meant to happen. We were all in a meeting and Charles Falchicio was the Advertising director. He gave the sales team a bunch of torn off ads from XXL which consisted of gold teeth & diamond encrusted watch ads, etc. Sasha was looking on and the look on his face said it all...."Holy fuck, this wigger is insane"

Are you still mourning Mass Appeal Magazine? Time to grow up!!!

B

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