'Muscle & Fitness,' 'Flex' Magazines Merge, Frequency Upped

American Media Inc. has merged Flex Magazine into its Muscle & Fitness brand.

Beginning with its May issue — currently on newsstands — Muscle & Fitness now incorporates Flex’s bodybuilding coverage and training programs in a new, 50-page dedicated section to Flex editorial content.

"Increasing the page count allows us to cover the entire fitness spectrum and explore new ways to present the information to our readers," stated executive editor Zack Zeigler. "It's our goal both in print and online to make M&F the destination for every CrossFitter, strongman, powerlifter, obstacle-course racer, bodybuilder, and fitness enthusiast, as well as for guys who simply want to look better, move better and feel better."

Flex’s website will also merge with Muscle & Fitness’, adding 5.5 million monthly unique visitors to the Muscle & Fitness site.

"Advertisers will benefit from the new combined print and digital platforms, which will deliver a larger audience under one brand," stated EVP and group publisher Chris Scardino.

Muscle & Fitness will also increase its frequency from 11 issues a year to 12.

Flex magazine has been around for 35 years. A letter was sent to Flex subscribers in March to inform them the magazine was ending its publication this month.

Combining brands may seem like a drastic move for a publisher, but AMI has seen success with the strategy before.

The website of AMI’s Men’s Journal experienced 166% audience growth year-over year, increasing from 3 million monthly unique visitors to 8 million, after it rolled online content from its Men’s Fitness brand into Men’s Journal.

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