What Evan Smith Learned at Texas Monthly: Kelly Clarkson Doesn't Move Magazines
Our readers also tended to be well -- educated and well-to-do, with tastes that were sophisticated but fell short of obnoxiously rarefied. That's not to say they didn't enjoy popular culture (Willie Nelson always sells), but at the end of the day I knew I was serving the elites rather than the masses.
Is it any wonder, then, that when we occasionally gave in to the temptation to pander to the masses, we almost always pulled up short? See Clarkson, Kelly, May 2005, and NASCAR, Popularity of, February 2007. Our profile of the former ("Since She's Been Gone") and our piece on the latter ("EEEEEEAAAOOOOWWW!!!") were terrific journalism, but as cover stories, they were just awful. We couldn't give copies away. They inflicted the kind of commercial wounds you spend the rest of the fiscal year recovering from.