Behind the Scenes: Magazine of the Year
Lynn Keillor, freelance writer
Awards add up in race for top honor.
When EXHIBITOR magazine was named 2011 Magazine of the year, editor Travis Stanton said: “This has less to do with what we’ve accomplished this year, and more to do with the last 30 years of the magazine. It represents a lot of hard work.”
The annual award is not a product of a committee decision, or an in-depth analysis of magazines within a publishing cycle. It’s an award that’s built up over time.
Every time a magazine earns an MMPA award, it’s assigned one point for bronze, two points for silver and three points for gold. At the annual MMPA Excellence Awards, the magazine with the highest accumulated points—a total which is cumulative through the first year of the awards program—is named Magazine of the Year.
Once winning the award, the magazine’s points total drops back to zero. The 2010 Magazine of the Year, Minnesota Monthly, took a robust step toward a second MOY award, setting the standard with a field-leading 32 points for its recently reset account.
EXHIBITOR magazine made an excellent showing at the 2010 MMPA Excellence Awards, earning a total of 40 points to lead all titles. Still, it’s not the best showing in MMPA Excellence Awards history: that goes to Experience Life, which led the field with 44 points in 2009.
Other titles making significant gains this year included:
Archery Business with its best year since 1997.
Gardening How-To with its best year since 1999.
Minnesota Magazine with its best year since 2003.
Where Twin Cities with its best year since 2006.
ATA World with its best year since 2007
Who will be the next Magazine of the Year? It’s anyone’s guess. However, speculators may be interested to see the past 15 years of top-points earners:
1997: Mpls. St. Paul Magazine (16 points)
1998: Mpls. St. Paul Magazine (26 points)
1999: Minnesota Monthly (22 points)
2000: Presentations Magazine (28 points)
2001: Presentations Magazine (21 points)
2002: Minnesota Monthly (24 points)
2003: Cabin Life Magazine (20 points)
2004: Minnesota Monthly (26 points)
2005: Minnesota Monthly (37 points)
2006: Twin Cities Business (36 points)
2007: Twin Cities Business (28 points)
2008: Twin Cities Business (35 points)
2009: Experience Life (44 points)
2010: EXHIBITOR (40 points)
2011: Minnesota Monthly (32 points)