Responding to inquiries about the rumored move, a spokesman for Nielsen said: "We are looking at many models that could be the next steps for these brands. Our goal is to serve our markets smarter and better." While no further details were given, this seems to leave open the possibility that Brandweek will cease to exist as a stand-alone print publication. However, Nielsen -- like other magazine publishers -- is probably considering maintaining an online-only presence for the title.
The Nielsen spokesman denied a rumor that the company was also considering closing The Hollywood Reporter. In recent weeks, outside journalists and publicists who work with the magazine have told of deep budget cuts. If the rumor is accurate, the demise of THR would mean the end of one of the oldest trade publications serving the media industry, and one of just two covering the movie business, competing with Variety. VNU bought THR along with several other trade mags in 1994. (In 2007, VNU was re-branded The Nielsen Company.)
Since then, however, most print trade publications have suffered steep declines in ad revenue, due to competition from the Internet. Last week, American Business Media predicted a 19% to 22% drop in business-to-business ad revenues in 2009, following a 7.3% drop in 2008. Ad pages for 2008 were down 9.6%. Overall losses appeared to be accelerating, with ad revenues down 13.1% in the fourth quarter.