Mag Bag: Magazine Audience Numbers Stabilize

Magazine Audiences Stable: GfK MRI

The total audience for consumer magazines remained more or less stable from spring 2009 to spring 2010, according to the latest figures from GfK MRI, which show an overall increase of 1% over this period. The figures are derived from GfK MRI's surveys of 26,000 U.S. adults forming a representative sample of the U.S. population at large.

Comparing 2009 to 2010, total magazine readership for 215 consumer magazines tracked by MRI increased 1% from about 1.819 billion in spring 2009 to 1.838 billion in spring 2010 (both figures obviously included a great deal of audience duplication between magazines). As usual, within these results the fortunes of different categories and individual titles varied widely.

Big gains were seen at some women's fashion and beauty titles including Allure, up 25.7% to 7.45 million, Elle, up 18.4% to 6.1 million, Essence, up 12.1% to 8.3 million, Harper's Bazaar, up 15.2% to 3.1 million, and InStyle, up 13.2% to 10.9 million. A number of celebrity mags also enjoyed audience growth: InTouch Weekly grew 11.4% to 8.3 million, Life & Style Weekly jumped 31% to 5.5 million, OK! Weekly increased 25.9% to 7.4 million, People en Espanol grew 10.6% to 6.4 million, and Us Weekly jumped 15.9% to 14 million.



Among health and fitness titles, Fitness was up 31.2% to 7.3 million, Shape rose 26% to 6.8 million, and Women's Health increased 20.8% to 10.9 million. In the epicurean category, Food & Wine was up 8.7% to 8 million. In men's lifestyle magazines, GQ was up 10.6% to 7 million. Meanwhile, Automobile grew 16.1% to 4.6 million.

However, these gains were partially offset by double-digit percentage drops at titles including Newsweek, down 13.8% to 15.2 million, Parenting, down 15.7% to 8.6 million, and TV Guide, down 12.6% to 14.8 million.

Newsweek Bidders Line Up

The last couple of weeks has brought a storm of rumors, if no actual public bids, as the deadline for the auction of Newsweek by the Washington Post Co. draws near. Various news reports have named potential bidders including Mort Zuckerman, a real estate mogul who already owns one of New York's two iconic tabloids, the New York Daily News, as well as U.S. News & World Report; Ron Burkle, billionaire boss of investment firm Yucaipa Cos.; Haim Saban, an Israeli-American billionaire media magnate; Australian media titan and billionaire Rupert Murdoch; and Thomson Reuters, the global news and information company formed in a 2007 merger.

Christian Science Monitor Brings Power Breakfasts Online

The Christian Science Monitor announced a new initiative this week to begin posting online videos of its weekly "Monitor Breakfasts," which bring together Washington, D.C. power brokers and journalists in unscripted breakfast meetings. The new feature, created in collaboration with, can be accessed at and Highlights are available for free, but to see the full video, viewers must buy online subscriptions for $14.95 monthly or $99.95 annually. There are also advertising sponsorship opportunities consisting of pre-roll video within the videocasts on both Web sites and standard ad units on the video page of the Monitor Web site.

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