Mag Bag: Out With The Old, In With The New
If you wanted to be nice, you might say the magazine industry was very "dynamic" in 2007, with many storied titles closing as scores of new ones launched. Since we've been hitting the eggnog, let's be nice: here's a look at magazines that arrived and departed in a dynamic 2007--and one that departed before it even arrived.
They Came, They Saw, They Foundered
Nick Jr. Family Magazine: Got the chop from MTV Networks in February, after ad pages fell 19.4% in 2006, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.
Child: Put to bed in March after ad pages fell 15.2% in 2006, per PIB. Meredith folded its content into its new online "parenting destination," which also draws on American Baby, Family Circle, and Parents.
Life: Ended in March after ad pages tumbled 21.3% in January-February 2007 versus the same months in 2006, according to the Group Publisher's Report from TNS Media Intelligence. Time Inc. did not keep Life alive on the Web, but it did open the magazine's giant archive of 20th century online.
Premiere: Went dark in March, after ad pages fell 24.7% in 2006 and 9.4% in the first quarter of 2007. Pulling the plug on the print edition, Hachette Filipacchi said Premiere's Web site would continue to operate with more breaking news and community features.
Jane: Folded in July, after ad pages tumbled 20% in 2006, and despite an apparent rebound in the first six months of 2007. Many said the magazine appeared to have lost sight of its mission with the loss of founder Jane Pratt in 2005 (publisher Fairchild merged with Conde Nast in 2002).
Stuff: Absorbed by its older brother Maxim shortly after both titles were purchased (along with Dennis music title Blender) by the Quadrangle Group, led by Kent Brownridge. From a high of 1,223 and 756 ad pages in 2002, respectively, Maxim and Stuff steadily eroded through 2006, when Maxim reported just 930 pages and Stuff 615.
Business 2.0: Closed in September by Time Inc. as part of a larger reorganization of its business titles by Vivek Shah, the new head of the division. The magazine got a reprieve of several months thanks to fans who formed groups online to show support, but Shah couldn't argue with abysmal PIB numbers, which had ad pages down 41.5% in the first half of 2007.
House & Garden: Shuttered in November by Conde Nast. The loss of this venerable magazine, over 100 years old, was perhaps the biggest shock of 2007. Especially because it hadn't suffered nearly as much as some others: in the first nine months of 2007, its ad pages fell a modest 1.4% compared to the same period in 2006.
Cocktail: Dumped before it was served. This lifestyle and gossip magazine was canceled as many staffers showed up for the first day of work.
Now for the good news: plenty of publishers are confident there's demand for new magazines in all sorts of categories, both general interest and niche. Here's an overview of just a fraction of the well over 600 new magazine launches in 2007 (the number was compiled by Prof. Samir Husni of the University of Mississippi, a.k.a. "Mr. Magazine").
Monocle, February: An international glossy covering high-end design and style, created by Tyler Brl, the founder of Wallpaper.
Grey's Anatomy, March: A bi-monthly publication devoted to the popular ABC medical drama.
Toddler, April: A quarterly publication for parents with children ages 1-4.
Portfolio, April: An ambitious new business magazine from Conde Nast that aims to be smarter, quirkier (but not too quirky), and generally more interesting than its staid competitors.
Garden & Gun, April: A lifestyle magazine covering "21st century Southern America."
Single Mother, May: Addresses the concerns of single, working mothers.
Avenue Report, June: A quarterly magazine for professional African-American men.
Forbes Life Executive Woman, October: An improbable lifestyle magazine for women from the business publisher. Even more surprising: it works.
Jewish Living, November: A lifestyle magazine for Jews and Judeophiles focusing on culture, rather than religion.
Canteen, November: A quarterly publication covering literature that delves into the creative process.
Newspapers Get In on the Act As they struggle with declining readership and ad revenue, newspapers are turning to magazines as a new way to build their brand and connect with the readers. Below are a few of the bigger launches in 2007 (and upcoming in 2008)
Pursuits: A new lifestyle and leisure magazine from The Wall Street Journal, announced in September and due out in 2008. The magazine will be distributed in the paper's America, Europe, and Asia editions.
Page Six: A glossy gossip rag from the New York Post, expanding on the paper's daily gossip run.
Spry: A new free newspaper magazine from Publishing Group of America, which also publishes American Profile and Relish. Due out in 2008, Spry will cover health and lifestyle issues for America's aging boomers.