TIME’S Christine Blasey Ford cover named best of the year; Billboard K-pop cover wins Readers’ Choice voting

New York, NY (February 5, 2019)–The American Society of Magazine Editors today announced the finalists and winners of the 13th ASME Best Cover Contest. TIME’s “Her Lasting Impact” cover, depicting Christine Blasey Ford testifying during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, was named Cover of the Year. Billboard’s “This Is BTS,” featuring a black and white image of the K-pop boy band, won the Readers’ Choice Award.

TIME also won Cover of the Year in 2017 for “Total Meltdown,” which showed Donald Trump reacting to the crisis that followed the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape.

Stephen Orr, the editor in chief of Better Homes and Gardens and a member of the ASME Board of Directors, announced the winners at the annual American Magazine Media Conference in New York. The finalists and winners were simultaneously twittercast @asme1963. Edward Felsenthal, the editor in chief and chief executive officer of TIME, accepted the award for Cover of the Year.

The ASME Best Cover Contest honors the most outstanding magazine covers of the previous year. ASME members, including leading editors, art directors and photo editors, choose the best covers in 10 categories ranging from Best News and Politics to Most Delicious. The ASME Board of Directors then selects the best of those 10 covers as Cover of the Year. Selection criteria include the quality of the cover image and editorial copy as well as journalistic significance and newsstand appeal.

Every cover entered in the contest is also posted on Facebook, where media consumers pick the winner of the Readers’ Choice Award by liking their favorite covers.

Among the 10 finalists for Cover of the Year were entries from 8 publications, including two covers from both TIME and New York Magazine. The top 10 also included Food & Wine, InStyle, National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and Travel + Leisure. The top 5 finishers in the Readers' Choice Award voting were Billboard, Concealed Carry, Entertainment Weekly, ESPN The Magazine and National Geographic.

The ASME judges also chose covers published by the following magazines as finalists in individual categories: Allure, The Atlantic, Bicycling, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bon Appétit, The California Sunday Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, Garden & Gun, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, The Hollywood Reporter, Popular Science, Rachael Ray Every Day, Rolling Stone, Saveur, Sonoma, Texas Monthly, Time Out New York, Virtuoso Life, The Washington Post Magazine and Wired.

The Readers' Choice winners included, for the fourth consecutive year, ESPN The Magazine in the Best Sports and Fitness category and, for the second consecutive year, Allure in Best Fashion and Beauty, Concealed Carry in Best Service and Lifestyle and Popular Science in Best Business and Technology. The other Readers’ Choice winners were Airbnbmag in Best Travel and Adventure, Billboard in Best Entertainment and Celebrity, Food & Wine in Most Delicious, National Geographic in Brainiest, TIME in Best News and Politics and VICE in Most Controversial.

The ASME Best Cover Contest began in 2006, the year after “ASME’s Top 40 Magazine Covers of the Last 40 Years,” with Rolling Stone at No. 1, was published. The first Cover of the Year was The New Yorker’s “Deluged,” which depicted an Oval Office flooded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. More recent top covers include Vanity Fair’s Caitlyn Jenner cover in 2016 and The New Yorker’s “Blowhard”— a Trump-like figure sitting in a boat, blowing into a sail shaped like a Klansman’s hood—in 2018.

This year more than 200 magazine covers were submitted in 10 categories. Nearly 120 editors, art directors and photo editors judged the contest. Readers' Choice voting began January 2 on Facebook and lasted four weeks. The contest reached 6 million media consumers on Facebook; 90,000 votes were cast.

To view the 2019 ASME Best Cover Contest gallery, visit


Cover of the Year

TIME for "Her Lasting Impact," October 15

Best News and Politics

Winner: TIME for "Her Lasting Impact," October 15

Finalists: National Geographic for “The Story of a Face,” September; New York for “72 Years of School Shootings, by Those Who Survived Them,” October 29-November 11; The New Yorker for “Welcome to Congress,” November 19; and TIME for “Stormy,” April 23

Readers' Choice: TIME for “I’m a Teacher in America,” September 24

Best Entertainment and Celebrity

Winner: The New York Times Magazine for Maya Rudolph cover, September 16

Finalists: GQ for “Hands Down, Our Best Comedy Issue Ever,” June; Harper’s Bazaar for Zoë Kravitz cover, October; The New Yorker for “Golden Opportunity,” March 5; and Rolling Stone for Chadwick Boseman cover, March 8

Readers' Choice: Billboard for “This Is BTS,” February 17

Best Business and Technology

Winner: TIME for “The Drone Age,” June 11

Finalists: Bloomberg Businessweek for “Big Changes at the Top,” March 19; The California Sunday Magazine for “A Kingdom From Dust,” February 4; The New York Times Magazine for “Is Google Too Powerful?,” February 25; and Popular Science for “Intelligence,” Spring

Readers’ Choice: Popular Science for “Intelligence,” Spring

Best Service and Lifestyle

Winner: New York for “How to Be an Artist,” November 26-December 9

Finalists: The Atlantic for “The Sex Recession,” December; The California Sunday Magazine for “The Way Home,” December 2; Garden & Gun for “Best of the Sporting South,” December 2018/January 2019; and Sonoma for “Take Me to the River,” July/August

Readers’ Choice: Concealed Carry for “Perfect Fit,” April

Best Sports and Fitness

Winner: The New Yorker for “In Creative Battle,” January 15

Finalists: The California Sunday Magazine for “Mavericks,” August 5; ESPN The Magazine for Adam Rippon cover, July 8; The New York Times Magazine for “The Enthusiast’s Guide to the Winter Games,” February 4; and TIME for Roger Federer cover, April 30/May 7

Readers’ Choice: ESPN The Magazine for Simone Biles cover, December 2018/January 2019

Best Fashion and Beauty

Winner: InStyle for Serena Williams cover, August

Finalists: Allure for “All About Hair,” June; The Hollywood Reporter for Tiffany Haddish cover, June 13; The New Yorker for “Savoring Summer,” September 10; and The Washington Post Magazine for “Wake Up and Dream,” April 29

Readers’ Choice: Allure for Priyanka Chopra cover, Summer

Best Travel and Adventure

Winner: Travel + Leisure for “The Adventure Issue,” July

Finalists: Bicycling for “To Be a True Champion of This Race, You Can’t Just Win. You Must Win Beautifully,” July; Condé Nast Traveler for “The Southeast Asia Edition,” Volume VIII, 2018; Texas Monthly for “Off the Grid,” April; and Virtuoso Life for “The Hotel Issue,” May/June

Readers’ Choice: Airbnbmag for “How the Chile Pepper Took Over the World,” Winter

Most Delicious

Winner: Food & Wine for “The Photography Issue,” March

Finalists: Bon Appétit for “How to Build a Better Sandwich,” March; Rachael Ray Every Day for “This Is How We Roll,” July/August; Saveur for “Italian Garden Cooking,” Fall; and Wired for “The Mutant Future of Food,” August

Readers’ Choice: Food & Wine for “The Photography Issue,” March 


Winner: National Geographic for “Planet or Plastic?,” June

Finalists: The Atlantic for “How Evangelicals Lost Their Way (and Got Hooked by Donald Trump),” April; Bloomberg Businessweek for “A.I. Painted This,” May 21; Time Out New York for “The Sex Issue,” January 31-February 6; and The Washington Post Magazine for “What Makes Someone Native American?,” August 26

Readers’ Choice: National Geographic for “Planet or Plastic,” June

Most Controversial

Winner: New York for “It’s the Corruption, Stupid,” April 2-15

Finalists: The New Yorker for “Unheard,” October 8; TIME for “The Opioid Diaries,” March 5; TIME for “The Summit Crisis,” July 30; and Wired for Mark Zuckerberg cover, March

Readers’ Choice: VICE for “Burnout and Escapism,” December

Readers’ Choice Award

Winner: Billboard for “This Is BTS,” February 17

Finalists: Concealed Carry for “Perfect Fit,” April; Entertainment Weekly for “Some Like It Scot!,” October 12; ESPN The Magazine for “The Legend of Ninja,” October 1; and National Geographic for “Planet or Plastic?,” June

All publication dates 2018 unless otherwise indicated

About ASME

The American Society of Magazine Editors is the principal organization for magazine journalists in the United States. The members of ASME include the editorial leaders of most major consumer and business magazines published in print and on digital platforms. Founded in 1963, ASME works to defend the First Amendment, protect editorial independence and support the development of journalism. ASME sponsors the National Magazine Awards for Print and Digital Media in association with the Columbia Journalism School and publishes the ASME Guidelines for Editors and Publishers.


Sid Holt
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Susan Russ
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