Content Comments on Commentary

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Content Comments on Commentary

Now that the Obama presidency is underway and the fanfare has largely subsided (but I, for one, am still waiting for word about the new First Dog), most are offering critiques of 44. And Commentary Magazine wants to be at the forefront. This somewhat obscure monthly is gaining headway. I, admittedly, hadn’t heard of it until catching new editor John Podhoretz on C-SPAN’s Q&A a few months ago. (Actually, after watching the interview for a couple minutes, I remembered Alvy Singer’s quip in Annie Hallthat Dissent and Commentary merged to form Dysentery.) Podhoretz is out to increase Web traffic and print subscriptions, and the content I’ve seen in Commentaryis working because of one simple thing: The editorial staff has nailed its audience. One of the first callouts you see on the home page is—in large, serif typeface—the editorial focus. It simply and eloquently reads: "President Obama, welcome to the loyal opposition." You know the magazine’s tone from the moment you click on the first page: articulate and outspoken, direct and unapologetic. The content provokes immediate reaction, whether that be perusing the page or closing that Firefox tab. Such a "spirited" statement may not be the best approach for a business seeking a diverse client base, but you’ve got to hand it to Podhoretz and the Commentarystaff for knowing its audience and tailoring content to readers. That’s a communications lesson we can all learn from. -Jesse