Meredith Puts Child To Bed, Folds Magazine Into Online Portal
Child was on the ropes in 2006, according to the Publishers Information Bureau--which had total ad pages falling 15.2% compared to 2005, ending at 914. In the second half of 2006, its circulation plummeted--with a 17.9% drop in subscriptions, compared to the second half of 2005, ending at just over 739,000.
The closing of Child is an embarrassing retreat for Meredith, which bought the title just two years ago from Gruner + Jahr. However, the company may view it as an acceptable loss, as it also acquired Family Circle, Parents, and Fitness in the same deal for a total $350 million. The other titles are faring better than Child, including Family Circle, which posted an 8.9% increase in ad pages with rate-card revenue that topped $347 million in 2006.
Its plans for a family portal indicate that Meredith, like other magazine publishers, is looking to the Web--including the possibility of online-only publication. Indeed, some of the other titles set to contribute content to the portal are also having a tough time. American Baby's ad pages were down 8.3% in 2006 compared to 2005, while Parents was flat on a year-over-year basis.