The national fatherhood movement that started with a whisper nearly a decade ago has grown to a roar. There's a plethora of books, studies and statistics detailing their changing roles. Even commercials stress the importance of dads in the lives of their children.
So it seems only natural that a magazine aimed at dads should take its place on the stands. Premiering this month, dads is a small, independent publication that calls itself "The Lifestyle Magazine for Today's Father."
"There is a generation of men now, baby boomers and younger, men in their 30s and 40s, who have been successful in business careers," says Eric Garland, chief executive editor. "We have lots of resources to do business and yet when it comes to being a parent, being a father and a husband, there is literally nothing for men to turn to," he says.
Mr. Garland, the father of "an adorable 2-year-old son," says he hopes that his magazine will fill a gap among the existing parenting magazines and publications aimed at men. "There is a deeper and emotional social change taking place among men. We want to enhance the connections and relationships we have with our children and our families," he says. "But where's the magazine for us?
"On the one hand, the current parenting titles are edited and written for wives. And when it comes to men's magazines, you are either faced with specific areas of interest like sports and outdoors or with something written and edited for 25-year-old single guys looking to get drunk and maybe a date."
The first issue, available on newsstands for $2.99, includes articles ranging from serious to fun: There's a story on connecting with sons and breaking their silent code, a profile of baseball's Cal Ripken and a survival guide to Disney World. A wife weighs in on making time for romance during a family vacation. And, of course, there are the prerequisite nuggets on cars and gadgets.
There are plenty of pictures of handsome men and their incredibly cute offspring doing, well, stuff. A father and daughter work together on a computer. Another father and son nestle on a couch, dad with clicker in hand. Mr. Ripken rolls in the grass with his children.
Future issues will continue to explore the changing role of dads, Mr. Garland says. "I think we have it worse than our fathers," he says. "They worked hard, but it was defined by 9 to 5 p.m. Now it is very hard to keep work separate . . . the boundary line between work and home life is eroded because of the internet and the Silicone Valley culture.
"Men get sucked into this track of 'I must be thinking about my company at all times,' and that shuts out your family or reduces the time you spend with them. So we are interested in finding ways to better manage business and family," he says.
Mr. Garland says that the publication is starting with a circulation of 200,000. The magazine has a Web site, edads.com.
It won't be hard to spot his publication on the newsstands, he says. The cover features a photo of Cal Ripken, chosen not for his athletic prowess but because he's a great dad, Mr. Garland says.
"We are the men's magazine with a man actually on the cover with his shirt on."