When city dwellers swarm to the East End this weekend, they’ll see a few things that they have not witnessed in a while — like sunshine, white sandy beaches and magazines fat with ads.
That’s right, the Hamptons, the playground of the rich and famous, is emerging as a delightful print oasis for the hard-pressed Manhattan magazine world.
“It’s going to be a bumper year in the Hamptons,” said Richard Burns, chairman of Manhattan Media, which publishes the largest-circulation media in the Hamptons — the 55-year-old Dan’s Papers, whose circulation has swelled to 55,000 a week and has a record-setting 208 ad pages for its Memorial Day issue.
That’s up 12 percent from last year.
Burns also publishes the glossy Avenue on the Beach, distributed in Manhattan and on the East End — with interior designer Nell Diamond on the season-opening cover.
“The rich are not getting poorer, and it’s a rich man’s playground,” Burns said.
In sharp contrast, Whalebone Magazine, a Montauk-based lifestyle title celebrating its one-year anniversary this Memorial Day weekend is steeped in the “un-Hampton” tradition that kept the Far East End apart from its more tony neighbors in East Hampton and Southampton.
“We’re the opposite of pretentious,” said publisher Eddie Berrang .
To start the magazine, the 34-year-old publisher said he approached Jesse James Joeckel, the 28-year-old one-time T-shirt designer who had started the successful Montauk retailer Whalebone Creative as “an expression of our lifestyle based around art, design, and surf culture.”
Grant Monahan, whose family runs the Ditch Witch food truck, served as guest editor of the current “Throwback” issue.
Berrang says he’s been profitable from Day 1 and, this year, he’s branching out to do a Whalebone Beer in conjunction with the Montauk Brewery.
Other more established players are reporting double- digit ad-page hikes — and the booming real estate market is playing a big role.
“The high-end real estate market is completely booming,” said Kelli Delaney, a former celebrity magazine editor who started the digital KDHamptons magazine five years ago.
“It’s a vibrant enclave of wealthy consumers. Plus we have a mix of local and national advertisers,” said Marianne Howatson, the president of the company that publishes Hamptons Cottages and Gardens. The first issue of the season will have 103 ad pages, up 20 percent from a year earlier.
Modern Luxury’s Beach seems to have a penchant for all things Cuomo. Andrew Cuomo does a Q&A with singer Billy Joel, who picked the governor to be the godfather of his baby girl.
It’s all in the family, since Cuomo’s sister-in-law Cristina Cuomo — who is married to CNN’s Chris Cuomo — is the editor-in-chief.
“Ad pages jumped 25 percent, to 108, in the first issue of the season,” said Cristina, who can thank her sister, Andrea Douzet, the publisher.
Hamptons Magazine, with a weekly schedule starting in late June, remains the undisputed champion on the East End glossy magazine scene. Publisher Debra Halpert said the first issue of the season, which hits this weekend, will be packed with 260 ad pages in a 356-page issue that features Drew Barrymore on the cover.
Samantha Yanks, who is doing double duty as the editor of Gotham, said the title did a “refresh” in its design and is launching @hamptonsmag on Snapchat on Friday.
Social Life is celebrating its 13th season on the East End. “There’s been a construction frenzy of homes in the $2.5 million to $6 million range,” said publisher Justin Mitchell, and that has helped turn real estate ads into his hottest category.
Mitchell has the sizzling hot Nicole Scherzinger on his cover.
Brandusa Niro, who runs the Daily Front Row, covering fashion in Manhattan, has started the Daily Summer and says she has been thriving by concentrating on fashion and beauty.
Buoyed by past success, she plans to add a sixth issue to the summer cycle this year. “This year, we’re tracking about a 30 percent increase in ad pages,” she said.