Tuesday, October 28, 2008

U.S. big mags suffering "tremendous advertising attrition"

Spoiler Alert! If you're already sawing at your wrists over the economy, approach the following item with caution!

[This post has been updated] Magazines are likely to follow newspapers down a very slippery slope with a nasty bump at the bottom, according to the financial newsletter 24/7 Wall Street.
As the year wears on there is growing evidence that the magazine industry will not escape the fate of newspapers. Several of the largest weekly magazines, business publications, and the flagship properties at some of the big print companies are experiencing tremendous advertising page attrition which is, in many cases, accelerating.
The item notes (using data provided by min, the media industry newsletter) that Hearst magazines are all off significantly in ad pages through November: Cosmpolitan (-11%), Redbook (-10%) and Good Housekeeping (-4%). All Conde Nast magazines have had sharp drops for the same period: The New Yorker (-24%), Vanity Fair (-12% -- and its November issue is 34% smaller than a year ago), Vogue (-7% but November pages down 32% from a year earlier).

Time, Newsweek and US News and World Report have lost an average of 27% of ad pages, it said.

In business titles, Business Week (McGraw-Hill) lost 17% of its ad pages through the third week of October; Forbes (-16%); Fortune (Time Warner) was up just over 2%.

[UPDATE: As a companion piece, here is a compilation by MediaDaily News of the recent layoffs at big U.S. magazine companies.]

[UPDATE 2: Time Inc. was expected to announceannounced that (in addition to the layoffs above) the company will lay off 6 per cent of its magazine workforce, representing 600 jobs.The full text of CEO Ann Moore's memo to staff, from Folio:.]


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