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Surprise, Surprise: September Rankings Show Vogue FTW

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Vogue's September 2011 Cover

The magazine industry tends to use the mammoth September issue as the weather vane for the state of print media, which may not be fair. Pouring resources into a single issue delivers mixed results for the whole year, plus, as WWD points out, the Olympics and presidential election probably skew results. That said, watching publications scramble for cover stars and ad pages gives the rest of us something to do all summer. So enjoy the results of the rat race September push after the jump.

Before looking at the rough numbers, here's a brief break down: Vogue and Elle are describing their September issues as the biggest yet, but that's including editorial. Actually, in terms of ad pages, next month's issue is only the largest since 2008 for both. Also, there were some unprecedented triumphs this year: Self finally beat competitor Shape (though they both published declining ad pages) and Elle overcame Hearst sister mag Harper's Bazaar. Also, despite bragging that they were catching up, WSJ.Magazine failed to beat out New York Times' T magazine.

Now check out who's on the up and up in terms of the magazines' personal records, and who couldn't beat last year's September pages:

1. Vogue, Condé Nast: 658 ad pages (increase of 13% from September 2011; largest since 2008)
2. InStyle, Time Inc.: 440 ad pages (2% increase since last year)
3. Elle, Hearst: 400 ad pages (up 12% from last year; largest since 2008)
4. Harper's Bazaar, Hearst: 360 ad pages (up 17% from last year; largest since 2008)
5. Marie Claire, Hearst: 237 ad pages (23% rise; one of the largest ever)
6. GQ, Condé Nast: 204 ad pages (increased 5%)
7. People StyleWatch, Time, Inc.: 185 total ad pages (10% increase since last year)
8. Details, Condé Nast: 140 ad pages (increased nearly 20%)
9. T, New York Times: 133 ad pages (small increase)
10. Allure, Condé Nast: 131 ad pages (up 14% from last year)
11. Town & Country, Hearst: 99 ad pages (6% rise since last year)
12. WSJ.Magazine, Dow Jones: 62 (small increase)

Not winning:
1. W, Condé Nast: 246 pages (dropped 4%)
2. Vanity Fair, Condé Nast: 222 (2.5% less pages than last year)
3. Glamour, Condé Nast: 205 pages (6% decrease)
4. Lucky, Condé Nast: 136, (26% decline)
5. Esquire, Hearst: 99 pages (lost 20%)
6. Self, Condé Nast: 90 pages (6% off decline from last year)
7. Shape, American Media, Inc.: 77 pages (22% drop from last September)

· Every Page Counts: Magazine Publishers Release September Ad Counts [WWD]
· All Cover Watch Coverage [Racked]