Magazine land: Does MRI measure YOU?

A recent story in AdAge leads with the news that US Magazine readers reportedly have higher incomes than Vanity Fair readers. As a dedicated reader of tabloids, of course I savor this news, but the Ad Age story then goes on to report that many magazine publishers are questioning whether Mediamark Research Inc (MRI) accurately measures upper-income demographics. The piece quotes Michael Clinton, CMO at Hearst Magazines, as saying “MRI is broken, with regard to measuring the luxury and affluent consumer.” (According to the story, Clinton says that MRI’s methods of in-home interviews are a poor match for the ultra-wealthy who live in gated communities and those making over $75K a year.)
(On the other hand, given that newsstand sales of general interest magazines continue to decline, and B2B magazine cirq is going down as well, according to an report Paid Content just covered, magazines clearly have multiple problems–related not only to rate base, but to a general erosion of readership as they turn to other media. As a magazine junkie, I want to see my favorite pubs stay healthy, but part of that challenge is keeping them relevant to always-connected readers.)