279 Mags Fold In First Half of '09
While there were a considerable number of new launches, with 187 new titles debuting in the first half of the year, 2009 has seen a larger number fold -- 279 to be precise, according to MediaFinder.com, an online database owned by Oxbridge Communications that tracks U.S. and Canadian periodicals.
The net loss of 92 magazines can't come as much of a surprise to anyone who has watched the casualty list grow longer in the first six months of 2009. The magazine industry -- like virtually all media -- has been pummeled by one of the steepest economic downturns in decades. The recession has hit key advertising categories hard, with automotive, fashion, health and beauty, electronics, and insurance and finance showing big drops in ad pages compared to last year.
MediaFinder.com sorted closed magazines to determine which categories took the biggest hits. "Regional Interest" had one of the worst attrition rates, with 27 titles closing; these include Denver Living, Florida Inside Out, Ocean Drive en Espanol and Forbes Mountain Time, a short-lived Forbes spinoff targeting executives at Western ski resorts. The "Lifestyle" category saw 14 titles close, and "Business" saw 10, including Conde Nast's ambitious, ill-starred Portfolio. Certain categories of smaller trade publications were also especially hard-hit, with 18 titles covering the construction business demolished, reflecting the state of the American real estate market.
But the damage has been widespread, with magazines closing in virtually every category. Among the bigger losses, 2009 has also seen the closing of Country Home, Wondertime, Teen, Domino, Figure, Craft, Hallmark Magazine, Travel & Leisure Golf, Best Life, Tennisweek, Genre, Blender, Portfolio, Television Week, Trump, PR Week, Radio and Records, Nickelodeon and Vibe.
This represents a big jump from last year. While designating "major" titles is admittedly somewhat subjective, the 20 titles listed in the previous paragraph are double the number of major titles that closed in all of 2008 (including Blueprint, Golf for Women, Quick & Simple, Home, CosmoGirl, Men's Vogue, O at Home, Play, Cottage Living, and PC Magazine). At this rate, and with an economic recovery still some months off, 2009 is certain to see the closing of more big titles.
Conde Nast Gets Multi-Title Ad Deal from P&G
Conde Nast is getting a much-needed boost in the form of a big ad deal with Procter & Gamble covering multiple CN titles, according to the Mediaweek Web site. While executives from both companies would not comment, unnamed insiders said the multi-platform September buy will include Allure, Glamour, Self, W, Vogue and Vanity Fair, as well as magazine Web sites, creating one of the biggest integrated ad deals ever purchased by P&G.
AutoWeek Launches AutoWeek Radio
Crain Communications' AutoWeek is expanding its content distribution platform with the launch of AutoWeek Radio. Airing each Saturday at 10 p.m. EST/7 P.M PST on 40 stations in the Radio America Network, the program will deliver news, opinions, car reviews and racing updates, drawing on the editorial expertise and content of the magazine.
Bonnier Hires Chris Allen as VP, Group Publishing
Chris Allen, formerly the senior vice president and publisher of Time Inc.'s Cooking Light, has been brought on board by Bonnier Corp. to serve in the newly created position of vice president of group publishing and corporate sales. In this capacity, he will oversee nine titles in the travel, shelter and lifestyle categories, including Spa and Islands.