Anybody involved in publications will undoubtedly be familiar with the name Frank Munsey. He revolutionized the way the publishing industry was run.
By introducing financial strictness, Munsey was able to take publishing to new heights of success.
Munsey is the man behind Munsey Publishing House.
A true business leader, Munsey was a pioneer in linking circulation volumes to advertisement prices, he made large-scale production of magazines both profitable AND affordable.
His efforts gave Munsey Magazine the distinction of being the largest magazine circulation in the world.
Frank Munsey – His Publishing Story
The story of Frank Munsey is a great example of what one can accomplish even when faced with limited resources and seemingly insurmountable challenges. This American publisher was able to build a magazine and newspaper empire through sheer determination and hard work.
Born to poor but hard-working folks, Munsey displayed a highly industrious nature at a young age. Not one to stay idle for long, he took a job at the Western Union Telegraph Company as a telegraph operator. Munsey was dependable and ambitious and was soon promoted to manager of the Augusta, Maine office.
Munsey concentrated on publishing to make his fortune. In 1882, Munsey trooped to New York City to publish the youth-oriented magazine Golden Argosy. He wrote articles for Argosy while busy merging, buying and closing down a number of publishing properties.
Munsey is mainly credited for the idea of utilizing high-speed printing presses for pulp paper printing and consumer magazine mass production. He cut cover prices to up circulation and didn’t hesitate to close unprofitable magazines and open up new ones.
1891 saw Argosy losing money. Munsey then launched Munsey’s, which targeted the same audience as his competitors.
Munsey lowered his price to 10 cents, to increase sales. This little stunt caused the American News Company to refuse Munsey distribution privileges to which he retaliated by establishing his personal distribution system. His brief but gutsy battle destroyed the monopoly and opened the doors for the establishment of the popular magazine.
Munsey added to his riches by going into ownership of grocery store chains and stock market speculation. He believed that large industries had more to gain from government control than free-booting enterprises. Munsey died on December 22, 1925, leaving behind his controversial popular magazine empire. After his passing, the bulk of his fortunes went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Frank Munsey Quick Bio
Full name: Frank Andrew Munsey
Birthdate: August 21, 1854
Birthplace: Mercer, Maine
Company: Munsey Publishing House
Industry: Publishing Print Media
Key success traits: A risk-taker, a doer, and extreme self-confidence
Frank Munsey never married or developed any special personal interests. After Munsey’s death, the company continued publishing magazines including All-Story Love and (Flynn’s) Detective Fiction. The company sold out to publisher Popular Publications in 1942.