A total of 383 magazines have closed in the first nine months of 2009, compared with just 259 new titles launching. This continues the trend of the last couple of years, when more magazines closed than launched, according to MediaFinder.com, a property of Oxbridge Communications. Conversely, the number of closures in 2009 was smaller than 2008, when 525 titles closed and 335 titles launched.
However, the casualty list in 2009 included considerably more major titles than 2008 -- and the year isn't even over.
Big titles that met their demise this year include Gourmet, announced in October; Cookie, in October; Southern Accents, in August; Vibe, Nickelodeon in June; Portfolio, Blender, Best Life Travel & Leisure Golf, and Figure in March; Hallmark Magazine in February, Domino, Teen, Wondertime, Country Home in January.
The categories that saw the most closures included regional interest, where 31 magazines folded; business, 14; and lifestyle, 13. On the positive side, several categories saw a number of new launches, including -- ironically -- regional interest, with 15 new magazines, including Maine Magazine and The 45th, focusing on northern Michigan. The food category saw 14 new launches, including Edible Queens. Health and fitness saw 13 new launches, and the home category also got 13 new titles.
Mediafinder.com also noted that 64 publications gave print editions the ax, but maintained an online presence. Still, the ratio of magazines migrating to Web publication versus magazines shuttering completely is smaller. This suggests that online-only status isn't a viable business model for most print publishers.
Target Sells E-Zines
Target has added virtual magazines to the inventory of its online store through a partnership with Zinio, which produces digital editions of magazines. The deal will allow visitors to Target.com to order online subscriptions or buy single digital copies of dozens of big-name consumer magazines, which are delivered via email for viewing on PCs, laptops, iPhones and e-readers. The digital magazine offering is also being promoted in Target retail locations.
Health.com Partners with RightHealth.com
Time Inc.'s Health.com, the Web site for Health, is joining forces with RightHealth.com, hoping to attract advertisers by offering greater reach. Health.com's content will also be incorporated into RightHealth.com. The Web sites have complementary content offerings, with Health.com featuring lifestyle content, while RightHealth.com focuses on breaking news and a database of conditions, treatments and related information sorted by subject. In terms of audience, Health.com attracts 1.6 million unique visitors per month, while RightHealth.com attracts 5.5 million.
Rodale Introduces Workout Kits
Seeking to leverage the authority of its fitness titles to generate revenue via merchandising, Rodale is introducing workout kits bearing the Men's Health and Women's Health brands in partnership with EB Brands, which has obtained the licensing rights for brand extensions. The workout kits, priced at $49.99, offer exercise equipment, a chart guiding workout routines and digital subscriptions to the magazine and its associated online fitness content.
Clare Named Editor of LA Times Magazine
Nancie Clare has been appointed editor of LA, the monthly magazine of the Los Angeles Times. Before joining the magazine last year, Clare served as editor of WomensWallStreet.com, editor-in-chief of events and sports guide supplements for Ticketmaster and events editor for Los Angeles Magazine. She replaces Annie Gilbar, the founding editor of the new magazine.