Yankee ingenuity, loyalty spell success

Last modified: Monday, September 14, 2015
Yankee Magazine has weathered 80 years of New England storms, not to mention the Great Depression and World War II. Equally impressive is its continuing evolution in today’s fast-paced information age. Yankee ingenuity combined with newfangled creativity has been a recipe for enduring success.

What began with just 14 subscribers in 1935 has transformed into a New England institution — Yankee Publishing Inc. — with multiple publications and offices in Dublin and Manchester. Today, Yankee Magazine draws more than 6 million eyeballs monthly to the inaugural publication alone. The company has also shepherded the success of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the country’s oldest continuously published periodical, which it purchased in 1939. Yankee Magazine’s pages have been graced with the writings of such distinguished writers as poet Robert Frost and Hancock’s Howard Mansfield.

Yankee has seen the ups and downs of publishing, both locally and nationally, and is still providing readers with Yankee wit and charm, while also employing writers, photographers and editors in rural New Hampshire. Think of all the people Yankee Publishing has employed over the years. Most of us know someone who works, or at one time worked, for Yankee.

In the 1970s and ’80s, the Peterborough area was becoming a publishing mecca, with a number of personal computer and technology magazines springing up, among them Byte magazine, which became the nation’s largest computer publication. And Yankee was growing alongside them. But by the late 1980s and 1990s, print publishing was contracting. The World Wide Web was changing all the rules, and the economy was shrinking. Many local publishers were merging with larger media companies located elsewhere, cutting back and/or closing altogether, and would continue to do so into the 2000s.

To remain financially viable in the challenging years of late, Yankee Magazine has made changes that weren’t always popular, at least initially, i.e., going from a monthly to a bimonthly and from a digest to full-size magazine. But reader loyalty seems to have overcome New Englanders’ resistance to change.

In 2012, Yankee Publishing acquired McLean Communications and its publications — New Hampshire Magazine, New Hampshire Business Review, Parenting New Hampshire and New Hampshire Home — which continue to operate out of Manchester. Capitalizing on its expertise, Yankee Publishing offers custom publishing services to an array of clients seeking expert marketing capabilities.

Now, the bimonthly Yankee Magazine will be supplemented with the online-only Yankee Plus, set to publish alternating months with the print magazine. There’s a lot to celebrate.

Yankee credits its long success to a commitment to its founding mission: reflecting New England’s character and people. The alchemy of that commitment and innovation have made it a model in the publishing industry and beyond.