Kids' Titles Are Not Happy Campers
The entire consumer magazine business is struggling to some degree, with certain categories getting hit worse than others. For example, most shelter titles are declining along with automotive, music, and business mags. But titles targeting children may yet win the race to the bottom, suffering even steeper declines in ad pages and readership than their adult colleagues.
Nickelodeon, published by MTV Networks through Nickelodeon Mediaworks, is imploding in a fashion worthy of the game show "Double Dare." According to MIN Online, ad pages at the monthly were down almost 30% through July compared to the first seven months of 2007, to 110. Worse, the decline seems to be accelerating, with ad pages down 68% to just 12 in July.
Not to be outdone, National Geographic's monthly title for children, NG Kids, saw ad pages fall 41.5% for the year to date, to 42; July's ad pages were down 24.6% to 15. And Sports Illustrated for Kids, another monthly, saw ad pages fall over 30% in the first seven months, to 87. July ad pages were down 26.4% to 15.
Boys' Life, the venerable monthly publication of the Boy Scouts of America, is faring somewhat better: ad pages through July are only down about 8.5%, to 54.5
Several children's titles have closed during the last year, raising the question of whether some of the current crop might go the same way by the end of 2008. Nick Jr. Family Magazine closed in February of last year, followed by Disney Adventures in November.
8020 Deep-Sixes Everywhere
Everywhere, an experimental travel magazine targeting young adults with reader-generated content, is being closed by publisher 8020 Publishing after just four issues. 8020 is closing the magazine in order to focus on its other user-generated title, JPG, featuring photography and writing. However, 8020 will hold onto the Everywhere Web site, which is getting a makeover as the print edition closes.
MSLO Names Preston Group Publisher
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has promoted Sally Preston to group publisher, with responsibility for the company's new publishing ad sales group representing all titles, including Martha Stewart Living, Everyday Food, Martha Stewart Weddings and Body + Soul. She will also work closely with MSLO's Internet and broadcast sales teams to develop cross-platform programs for marketers. MSLO is also promoting Christina Cranley to group associate publisher, and Gayle Lambert to group ad director.
Hearst Names Robinson CIO
Hearst Magazines has named Debra Robinson to the newly created position of executive vice president and chief information officer. In this capacity, Robinson will direct the publisher's IT initiatives and operations, including Hearst Magazines Digital, CDS Global, a data-management company, the Periodical Publishers' Service Bureau and National Magazine Company Limited, the British branch.