Commentary

UK Celeb Gossip Mag 'Now' Shutters Print Edition, Shifts To Digital

U.K. gossip magazine Now will publish its last issue this week after announcing a pending shutdown in March. Publisher TI Media blamed the magazine’s woes on digital competition for celebrity news.

"Now’s circulation has been falling steadily over the past five years and with that decline forecast to continue, alongside a drop-off in advertising revenue, the magazine is simply no longer sustainable,” Angie O'Farrell, group managing director of TI Media, told The Drum.

Now had an average circulation of 44,709 last year and 2,889 paid subscribers. TI Media, which also publishes Marie Claire UK, TV Times and dozens of service titles, will continue to operate the Celebs Now website that updates throughout the day.

Social-media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat have become a conduit for celebrity news and gossip. While gossip magazines pride themselves on scoops about celebrities, social media has given public figures a channel to reach their fans directly and have more control over their image.

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The Shade Room started as a gossip site published entirely on Instagram and now has 15.2 million followers. The account mostly posts about African American celebrities and hip-hop stars neglected by other publications.

Now's closure follows the shutdown of several magazines in the past few years amid dropping ad revenue. Glamour stopped printing its U.S. version and cut the number of editions in the United Kingdom to twice a year.

In the United States, National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc. is shuttering enthusiast titlesTransworld Snowboarding and the print magazine of Transworld Skateboarding. The titles were included in AMI’s takeover of TEN: The Enthusiast Network’s Adventure Sports Network, which also publishes Snowboarder, Surfer and Powder.

In January, Hearst stopped publishing a print edition of Redbook, whichbecame a digital-only brand.

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