September 6, 1896
1,623,697 per week (as part of Sunday paper)
Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.
The New York Times Magazine is a Sunday magazine supplement included with the Sunday edition of The New York Times. It is host to feature articles longer than those typically in the newspaper and has attracted many notable contributors. The magazine is also noted for its photography, especially relating to fashion and style.
Its first issue was published on September 6, 1896, and contained the first photographs ever printed in the newspaper. In the early decades it was a section of the broadsheet paper and not an insert as it is today. The creation of a "serious" Sunday magazine was part of a massive overhaul of the newspaper instigated that year by its new owner, Adolph Ochs, who also banned fiction, comic strips and gossip columns from the paper, and is generally credited with saving The New York Times from financial ruin. In 1897, the magazine published a 16-page spread of photographs documenting Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, a "costly feat" that resulted in a wildly popular issue and helped boost the magazine to success.
In its early years, The New York Times Magazine began a tradition of publishing the writing of well-known contributors, from W. E. B. Du Bois and Albert Einstein to numerous sitting and future U.S. Presidents. Editor Lester Markel, an "intense and autocratic" journalist who oversaw the Sunday Times from the 1920s through the 1950s, encouraged the idea of the magazine as a forum for ideas. During his tenure, writers such as Leo Tolstoy, Thomas Mann, Gertrude Stein, and Tennessee Williams contributed pieces to the magazine. When, in 1970, The New York Times introduced its first Op-Ed page, the magazine shifted away from publishing as many editorial pieces.
In 1979, the magazine began publishing Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist William Safire's "On Language", a column discussing issues of English grammar, use and etymology. Safire's column steadily gained popularity and by 1990 was generating "more mail than anything else" in the magazine. The year 1999 saw the debut of "The Ethicist", an advice column written by humorist Randy Cohen that quickly became a highly contentious part of the magazine. In 2011, Ariel Kaminer replaced Cohen as the author of the column, and in 2012 Chuck Klosterman replaced Kaminer. Klosterman left in early 2015 to be replaced by a trio of authors -- Kenji Yoshino, Amy Bloom, and Jack Shafer—who use a conversational format. "Consumed", Rob Walker's regular column on consumer culture, debuted in 2004. The Sunday Magazine also features a puzzle page, edited by Will Shortz, that features a crossword puzzle with a larger grid than those featured in the Times during the week, along with other types of puzzles on a rotating basis (including diagramless crossword puzzles and anacrostics).
In September 2010, as part of a greater effort to reinvigorate the magazine, Times editor Bill Keller hired former staff member and then-editor of Bloomberg Businessweek, Hugo Lindgren, as the editor of The New York Times Magazine. As part of a series of new staff hires upon assuming his new role, Lindgren first hired then–executive editor of O: The Oprah Magazine Lauren Kern to be his deputy editor and then hired then-editor of TNR.com, The New Republic magazine's website, Greg Veis, to edit the "front of the book" section of the magazine. In December 2010, Lindgren hired Joel Lovell, formerly story editor at GQ magazine, as deputy editor.
In January 2012, humorist John Hodgman, who hosts his comedy court show podcast Judge John Hodgman, began writing a regular column "Judge John Hodgman Rules" (formerly "Ask Judge John Hodgman") for the "The One-Page Magazine".
In 2004, The New York Times Magazine began publishing an entire supplement devoted to style. Titled T, the supplement is edited by Deborah Needleman and appears 14 times a year. In 2009, it launched a Qatari Edition as a standalone magazine.
In 2006, the magazine introduced two other supplements: PLAY, a sports magazine published every other month, and KEY, a real estate magazine published twice a year.
The best poetry in The New York Times Magazine
US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey selects and introduces every week poems from world-class poets like recipient of Nobel Prize Tomas Transtromer, recipient of Paz Prize Carlos Pintado, recipient of Pulitzer Prize Gregory Pardlo among others.
The Funny Pages
In the September 18, 2005, issue of the magazine, an editors' note announced the addition of The Funny Pages, a literary section of the magazine intended to "engage our readers in some ways we haven't yet tried—and to acknowledge that it takes many different types of writing to tell the story of our time". The Funny Pages was made up of three parts: the Strip (a multipart graphic novel that spanned weeks), the Sunday Serial (a genre fiction serial novel that also spanned weeks), and True-Life Tales (a humorous personal essay, by a different author each week). On July 8, 2007, the magazine stopped printing True-Life Tales.
The section has been criticized for being unfunny, sometimes nonsensical, and excessively highbrow; in a 2006 poll conducted by Gawker.com asking, "Do you now find—or have you ever found—The Funny Pages funny?", 92% of 1824 voters answered "No".
The Funny Pages is no longer published in the magazine.
Of the serial novels, At Risk, Limitations, The Overlook, Gentlemen of the Road, and The Lemur have since been published in book form with added material.