With circulation numbers sinking and print ad rates dipping just as fast, now seems like a really bad time to start a magazine. But digital publishers like Politico, Pitchfork and Pando are doing  just that: backwards-engineering their online publications for the physical page.

The trend is a 180-degree flip from the typical publisher transition from print to digital: Whereas print publishers have sold their websites as extensions of their print products, today’s digital publishers are creating magazines to supplement their websites.

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