Richard Pérez-Peña of the New York Times reports in today's article "A Venerable Magazine Energizes Its Web Site" that the respected foreign affairs, politics, economics, and culture magazine The Atlantic is revamping its site tomorrow in hopes that it will help the publication turn a profit.

Just over a year ago the magazine's site was, as editor in chief James Bennet explained to Pérez-Peña, "just a marketing arm for the print magazine, rather than publication in its own right."  In 2007, however, it added blogs, video, and increased content from both the magazine and unique to the site, and traffic to the site has grown to several times the amount it had in December 2006.

Tomorrow The Atlantic will continue its campaign to attract more visitors by dropping its firewall that restricts access to most of the articles from the magazine to subscribers.  It hopes that this will boost traffic and will increase advertising revenue to earn the publication something that it hasn't had for a while — a profit.

As print ad revenue drops industry wide, perhaps Internet revenue will make up the difference.  Either way, similar magazines — like The Economist, Harper's, and The New Republic — will likely pay attention to this change.  If The Atlantic fares well, then they may also consider dropping their subscription firewalls.  Further, The New Yorker, which doesn't have a firewall on its site but doesn't publish all of its articles online, may also consider making more of its content available through its site.