Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Golf for Women closure another sign of U.S. industry shakeout

Even the big guys sometimes top the ball. The announcement was made this week that Golf For Women was being discontinued. Condé Nast confirmed it will shutter the magazine, seven years after buying it from Meredith Corp. Ad pages were off 7 percent through the July issue and there's been significant turnover on the business side.

A story in MediaDaily News says:
The decision to close Golf for Women came just a few hours after editor Susan Reed jumped to Hearst's O, the Oprah Magazine. It also comes amid a general shakeup of the magazine industry, which recently saw the departure of execs from Hearst, Hachette Filipacchi, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Conde Nast, and Rodale. Conde Nast acquired Golf for Women along with Golf Digest from Meredith Corp. in 2001, but the women's title has struggled to build audience and ad pages. In the second half of 2007, newsstand sales fell 12% compared to the same period in 2006, to 11,183 per bi-monthly sales period, according to the most recent FAS-FAX report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Then ad pages plummeted an alarming 34.9% during the first quarter of the year, according to the Publisher's Information Bureau; although pages rebounded somewhat during the second quarter, they were still down in the high single digits. These declines in the first half of 2008 came on the heels of a 5.9% drop in 2007, versus 2006.



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