Mag Bag: Layoffs At 'Boy's Life,' 'Scouting'

Layoffs At Boy's Life, Scouting

Layoffs are coming to two iconic magazines associated with The Boy Scouts of America, Boy’s Life and Scouting. Altogether, around 34 layoffs are expected, with 17 positions already cut and another 17 due by the end of the year. Most of the positions cut came in the marketing department, according to a statement from the BSA.
Folio: also reports that BSA has entered into a partnership with educational publisher Pearson to consider various options for restructuring the publications, although there are currently no plans afoot to reduce the frequency of Boy’s Life or Scouting -- which publish 12 and five times per year, respectively.
Like many other publications targeting younger readers, Boy’s Life has suffered from both declining ad pages and circulation in recent years. Total ad pages fell from 145 in 2003 to 98 in 2012, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, for a 32% drop over nine years. Total circulation for Boy’s Life fell from 1,182,623 in the six-month period ending December 2003 to 1,098,328 in the six-month period ending December 2012, for a 7.2% drop over this period.
Although these declines clearly mirror the woes of the consumer magazine industry, they also reflect problems faced by the BSA, especially the issue of a long-term decline in membership. In 1976, the organization had 4.6 million youth members, but that subsequently declined to 3.4 million in 2000 and 2.7 million today. 

B&N Hands Off Nook Manufacturing

Tablet computers may be the wave of the future, but not for Barnes & Noble, which is handing off responsibility for manufacturing its Nook devices to an as-yet-undesignated partner, according to the company’s most recent earnings announcement. The move follows declining e-content sales and rising inventory costs associated with the Nook business. However, B&N plans to continue designing e-reading devices and platforms, including new offerings in the Simple Touch and Glowlight product lines, and will also continue expanding its e-book catalogue.
Mastrangelo Leaves Rolling Stone
Matt Mastrangelo stepped down from his position as publisher of Rolling Stone on June 21, according to the New York Post, which reported the news earlier this week. Neither Mastrangelo or owner Wenner Media provided a reason for Mastrangelo’s departure after three years at the publication. Rolling Stone continues to struggle with the same issues confronting other music magazines (a rapidly shrinking category). Over the last four years, total ad pages fell from 1,152 in 2008 to 850 in 2012, for a 26.2% decline over this period.
Brightfield to Health and Features Ed, BHG
Amy Brightfield has been named health and features editor at Better Homes and Gardens, publisher Meredith Corp. announced, where she will be responsible for overseeing the redesign of the magazine’s “Better” section, covering health, nutrition, family, travel, money and lifestyle. Brightfield previously held the position of health director at Woman’s Day; before that, from 2001-2007 she served as senior health editor at Meredith’s Fitness magazine.



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