'Cosmo Girl' Closes, Brand Remains Online

cosmogirlAs the nation reeled from the unfolding credit crisis and steep declines on the stock market today, Hearst Magazines delivered an additional blow: It would close Cosmo Girl, depriving teenage girls of fashion tips and shirtless skater dudes. The December issue will be its last print edition, with subscribers receiving Seventeen instead. However, the Web site will continue to publish.

Hearst said the move will "consolidate" its teen category, but it's not clear how many of Cosmo Girl's editorial staff will be transferred to Seventeen (if any), and how many dedicated staff will stay on to contribute content to the magazine's Web site.

The company said Cosmo Girl editor Susan Schulz will stay on to work on unspecified "special projects." Publisher Vicki Wellington will take up the same role for Hearst's forthcoming Food Network Magazine.



For January-August 2008, Cosmo Girl's ad pages were down 15.4% compared to the same period of 2007--falling from 427 to 361, according to MIN Online. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, in the first six months of 2008, newsstand sales fell 18%, compared to the first half of 2007, sliding from 369,238 to 302,836.

Cosmo Girl was hit by three negative trends, including broader economic woes, the secular downturn in the magazine business in general and the slump in titles targeting young women in particular. Through August, the magazine business overall saw ad pages fall 9.5%, according to TNS Media Intelligence--adding to the challenges already facing the teen category.

In September 2006, Hachette closed Elle Girl, followed by Time Inc.'s decision to close Teen People in April 2007. Of the remaining titles, ad pages at Hearst's Seventeen are down 11% through August, and Teen Vogue is basically unchanged with a less than 1% increase.

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