As Winter starts encroaching onto Autumn, there’s nothing Private Frazer likes better than pottering around the garden here at Dunprintin deciding what might grow back in the Spring and what should be uprooted.
A similar experience seems to have taken place at Kelsey Publishing (publishers of those hardy perennials Practical Sheep, Goats & Alpacas and Stationary Engine) as Grow It! magazine is being left to rot on the compost heap of history.
In fact, the magazine may not be the only thing at Kelsey to be pulled out and cast aside as there are rumours of a wee reshuffle among senior management. Any firm news on this to the usual address.
After the Christmas issues have safely been put to bed, the axe falls on the weak and the struggling of a publishing company’s portfolio.
And so it is with Zest, closed “with immediate effect” with the final issue out on December 5th. There are rumours that up to 70 staff across Hearst are going to be made redundant, making the company’s statement that they “will endeavour to find new roles within its portfolio for those staff impacted by the closure” a hot contender in the disingenuous press release of the year awards.
If truth be told the writing was on the wall for Zest after Hearst brought over the Women’s Health brand from the US. Cheaper to produce as it reuses a large amount of stateside content and given more promotional investment, its circulation quickly overtook that of Zest – and why have two products in one portfolio that are essentially the same?
These are interesting times for Hearst and it will pay to keep an eye on them over the next few months. They’ve closed big brands such as She and now Zest, flogged off several titles to Kelsey and others, and are sitting on huge circulation falls in many of their anchor brands. As my old mum used to say “things will get worse before they get even worser“.
It’s taken a while to get some confirmation on this, but Panini have axed Mizz, the magazine for teen and pre-teen girls they bought from IPC back in 2006.
Back in 2005 Mizz sold 70,000 copies, which had dropped to under 30,000 by the end of 2011 and just 25,000 last year.
Some people think that kids are migrating to yon interweb instead of reading print, but that can’t have been true of Mizz readers given that the title’s website would have looked dated back in 2001. In fact – and this is something that I haven’t seen on a magazine website this century – if you wanted to subscribe online to Mizz you had to download a form. Glorious.
After 19 issues, Well Red magazine, an unofficial Liverpool FC fanzine (wouldn’t you know “written by fans, for fans“) has blown for full time.
Magazines closing? Dey do do dat dough don’t dey dough.
The wheel has come off Privateer magazine, the mountain-biking brother to Rouleur, with the announcement that issue 18 will be the last.
Privateer had a hefty – nine English poonds! – cover price, hoping that the market would pay top dollar for high-end production, a non-standard format and limited adverts (see “The Golden Age of Magazines” passim).
There’s a distinct lack of inner calm among the readers of Yoga and Health magazine as it seems the publishers have gone out of business.
They’re not the first company to find themselves stuck in an unfortunate financial position and they won’t be the last.
Bauer’s Golf Illustrated magazine has thrown its clubs into the lake and announced that it won’t see its second birthday.
Golf Illustrated was launched in December 2011 as an exciting new journal … and took the reader on a journey into the game.
That ‘journey’ seems to have been similar to Tiger Woods’ famous car trip – short, confused and ending in a write-off.
While we were all looking the other way, Future have airbrushed Practical Photoshop out of their portfolio.
In the Jan-Dec 2012 ABCs the title reported a circulation of just 8, 265. Even then, this was not Future’s lowest-selling magazine.
However bloody the redundancies at Future, at least they are giving staff notice that they’re facing the bullet.
The same can’t be said of Publicservice.co.uk the publishers of Public Servant magazine, whose 180 staff found out that their jobs had gone when the administrators turned up. As this was the day before pay day, no one got their wages.
One employee … said: “Some of us knew the company was in trouble. It’s always a giveaway when you can’t order stationery without the direct permission of management.”
[h/t to Press Gazette]
I’d promised myself not to do it. Here I am sunning myself on the lovely Isle of Barra, where the temperature has climbed to a balmy 14 degrees, so I shouldn’t be playing with yon interweb.
Plus, it’s not to do with the demise of any printed products, but some of those new-fangled digital titles. And it’s about Future Publishing* so it seems like kicking a man when he’s down.
Then again, when a man’s down is the easiest and most effective time to put the tacketie buits in.
So our old pals in Bath have announced the death of two of their products in the last few weeks. The first was Tech, a “weekly international iPad magazine aimed at busy technology enthusiasts,” who were far too busy to read or to buy the product, and the second was Tap! the digital zombie left when the print version of the title was axed last year.
Even then I might have left mentioning these new corpses were it not for the comment about the closures that Nial Ferguson, Future’s MD of technology, film and games made to MediaBriefing , “there is learning in everything we do, and we’re looping that learning back across our teams as we drive on.”
“Looping that learning” – a phrase to savour.
*I know they’ve dropped the word ‘Publishing’ from their company name as that is so last century, so I feel it right and proper to go on using it, even if only to irritate Mark Wood.