Founded in late 1958 by George Winters, 16 magazine set the standard for all teen magazines. many imitators popped up over the years, and 16 withstood some pretty stiff competition but always remained true to its beginnings.
16 was never the place to look for serious interviews and top-notch writing. But if you wanted to know what The Monkees‘ Davy Jones’ favourite food was, or Leif Garrett‘s shoe size, or Marie Osmond‘s tips on dating, then 16 magazine was the place.
In the mid-60s, the late, great Gloria Stavers took over as editor-in-chief. Ms Stavers added full-colour pin-ups that readers pulled out and hung on their bedroom walls, and the rest is history.
Probably the most fascinating thing about 16 is that it remained self-supportive. For most of its 30 years, it did not accept outside advertising from any source (just like Mad magazine).
At 16 magazine’s peak in the mid-60s, it boasted over five million teen readers. In 1964, 16 launched 16 Magazine Spectacular, later to be called 16 Spec.
This magazine used the same formula with a different name and lasted well into the mid-70s.
In the late 1970s, 16 decided it needed a magazine that would deal more with hard rock and pop music. In 1979, it launched 16 Rockline! which lasted through most of the 1980s.
16 magazine has put out no less than 50 special editions, with subjects ranging from The Beatles to TV Tattle Tales.