With what looks like poetic justice, SmartMoney announced it is closing its print edition on Thursday, which also happened to be one of the worst days for the stock market so far this year. The September issue, due to hit newsstands August 14, will be the print edition’s last. The decision to shutter the print edition will affect 25 employees who will lose their jobs, according to Dow Jones, which published SmartMoney in collaboration with Hearst Corp.
As with other print editions shuttered in recent years, the SmartMoney brand will live on online.
In fact, Dow Jones said it plans to increase the staffing for the online product, even while slashing the print editorial staff, adding six new editorial positions at the Web operation. Those affected by layoffs are eligible to re-apply for positions with SmartMoney.com and other openings at Dow Jones.
Dow Jones will also incorporate a number of SmartMoney-branded features into the personal finance section of MarketWatch.com, another Dow Jones property with 17 million unique visitors per month. (SmartMoney currently averages around 2.5 million monthly uniques.)
The addition of SmartMoney content will increase coverage of issues such as retirement and tax coverage for MarketWatch.com.
Smart Money’s print edition faced the same headwinds as the rest of the magazine industry, including a weak business environment and the disruptive effects of new media technology. Ad pages declined 23.4% from 88 in the first quarter of 2011 to 67 in the first quarter of 2012. That is just the latest in a series of year-over-year declines. In 2011, the magazine tallied 338 ad pages, down 17.4% from 409 in 2010, and 54.3% from 739 in 2005.
Although magazines have been spared the carnage of 2008-2009, a number of other titles have closed this year, including NFL Magazine and Soap Opera Weekly.