Rodale's 3Q Returns Mixed, Online Up

Womens Health mag coverRodale, publisher of Men's Health, Runner's World and Best Life, said its total revenues declined 5% in the third quarter of 2008, compared to the same period in 2007. However, the company's year-to-date revenue is still up 2.5% compared to the same period in 2007, on the strength of the first two quarters.

The news of a third-quarter decline comes a week after Rodale said it would be cutting 10% of its workforce as it battens down the hatches for a stormy economic environment.

Rodale also reported that online revenues increased 22.7% compared to the third quarter of last year--due, in large part, to increasing traffic and "stickiness" of its various Web sites. Total page views across its online properties increased 81%, while the number of unique visitors increased 55%. Online ad revenues at its Magazine Web sites increased 18%.



The company also enjoyed strong sales of the line of books pioneered by Men's Health Editor in Chief Dave Zinczenko, including the "Flat Belly Diet" and "Eat This Not That."

On the magazine side, Women's Health and Best Life--both relatively new launches--are still posting increases in ad pages despite the worsening ad climate. According to MIN Online, through November, ad pages at Women's Health are up 14.2% to 672, while Best Life is up 9.5% to 544.

Men's Health, however, has suffered from the ad-page recession afflicting the magazine business overall. Per MIN Online, ad pages through November are down 8.5% to 939. Overall print magazine ad revenues decreased 11%, compared to the third quarter of 2007.

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