This summer, I was given the amazing opportunity to intern at Wenner Media, a magazine publishing company in New York City. Wenner Media is run and owned by Jann Wenner, the legendary creator of Rolling Stone magazine. The company now creates, publishes, and distributes three magazines: Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, and Men’s Journal. Because of my position in the Advertising Services/Manufacturing Department, I was able to work on all three!
There are two misconceptions about what exactly goes on in the two departments I have just mentioned. Advertising Services is not just ad sales and Manufacturing is not just printing the magazine. I wasn’t going on sales calls with potential clients and I wasn’t standing in a paper mill watching sheets of the magazines being printed.
Instead, I mainly worked on assembling the pages of the magazines. Ad services is basically the department which determines which spaces are available in the magazines for advertisements. For example, a Men’s Journal sales representative will sell space to a client, but before doing so, they must ensure with Ad Services that the space the client wants is available. The ad services account managers, my supervisors, keep track of where all the ads are supposed to be placed in the magazine issues. This includes making sure there is enough distance placed between certain types of advertisements, like competitive car or alcohol companies. They also must pay attention to what kinds of editorial content will be placed next to the ad, and if anything in it conflicts with the advertisers' stipulations for their placement.
Then, it’s essentially putting a puzzle together. A map is created of the magazine, laying out exactly which advertisement will run on which page. They must structure the ads around the editorial content map, that has already been decided.
As an intern, I was able to observe and participate in the making of the maps made for each of the three magazines. I was first given the editorial content of the magazine so that I could read through the articles and make sure that there was nothing too controversial or that would breach an agreement we had with an advertiser. And with a magazine like Rolling Stone, there was controversy every issue.
Then, when the maps were made, I had the responsibility of putting the books together. The book is essentially the first version of the magazine, it’s where all the edit and ad pages are put together. My job entailed using the map to correctly assemble both the edit and ad pages in the book. My supervisors would then bring the book with them to run-throughs with the publishers, where they would review, make changes, and approve the layout.
I was able to do this for all three magazines, which is what I loved most about the internship. Each magazine is completely different and I was able to eventually pick up on the slight variations on how each was run. I became familiar with the advertisers for each and their specific stipulations for placement. I also had the opportunity to read a lot of interesting content, about music, celebrities, and men (you’d be surprised at how interesting Men’s Journal is) before it even hit the shelves! I even got to see and/or meet some celebrities! I’m still working on retrieving a picture I took with Flo Rida at a lunch event in the office.
Wenner Media was a great place to spend a summer. As you may have imagined with the mention of Rolling Stone, the environment was incredibly laid back and fun. It’s an office filled with extremely talented people that absolutely love what they get to do every day. I can’t imagine a better place to work, or intern!