Teen ‘Zines

While many of us might feel nostalgic about Tiger Beat’s collaged covers featuring teen idols of the moment, the media landscape has obviously changed in recent years, with the Internet providing instant celebrity news and gifs galore. Teen magazines in particular haven’t fared well: Sassy shut down in 1994, YM in 2004, Teen People and Elle Girl in 2006, CosmoGirl in 2008 and Teen in 2009.

But Tiger Beat, which was founded in 1965, is still around, and a new group of 17 investors led by banker and entrepreneur Mark Patricof have faith that teen girls of the centennial generation — which is technically anyone born after 1997 (but for the magazine’s purposes means those aged 14 to 18) — still care about the brand. And these investors aren’t just deep pockets: they include basketball player Kevin Durant, rapper Nas, his manager Anthony Saleh, comedian Nick Cannon, film producer and chairman of the New York Giants Steve Tisch, music manager Troy Carter, the Daily Mail, the talent agency Paradigm and the creative marketing agency MDC Partners.

“We have a good sampling of interesting, cool people who are intimately connected on a day to day basis with trend-setting in this country,” said Patricof. “The idea was to get in and leverage the people that we brought to the table to build this into a big, diversified brand for teen girls — which doesn’t exist right now.

A fun thought exercise is to imagine what the adolescent version of yourself might say if she could see what you are up to right now. Thirteen-year-old Haley didn’t really have much use for Tiger Beat and other fan magazines — she preferred more substantive print media offerings like the sugar-sweet Diet Feminism™ offered by CosmoGirl and other such feeder magazines for adult women’s magazines — but she certainly would’ve been thrilled to know that I’m spending the last month of “summer vacation” alone in my very own apartment, sipping a Diet Coke™ through a straw, posting a link to a story about how some very rich men are preserving the legacy of teen girls posting photos of cute boys on their bedroom walls. Oh, and that I have sex. Lots and lots of sex.

h/t Brittany Spanos.