There’s nothing that says ‘summer’ more than the thwack of P45 on doormat and it’s going to be a long, hot one for the team over at The Cricketer (formerly ‘The Wisden Cricketer’, even more formerly ‘The Cricketer’).
I say ‘team’, but according to Liz Gerard’s SubScribe blog, the editor and both staff writers have now been made redundant, leaving the magazine with no full time journalists.
It’s got everything Private Frazer asks for from a spectator sport – a once-famous brand bought by a multimillionaire owner with no background in publishing, a rapidly falling circulation (down 20% in three years) and crushingly low workforce morale.
No need to refer to the third umpire on this one.
“In forming our opinion … we have considered the adequacy of the disclosure made … within the consolidated interim financial information concerning the company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The company incurred a net loss of £30.0m during the six months ended 31 March 2014 and … had net current liabilities of £21.6m. These conditions … indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.” PricewaterhouseCoopers, Report on the consolidated interim financial statements Futureplc
Even by their own high standards, this has been a rough few months for Future. Profit warnings, redundancies, the departure of a CEO, the sale of their (profitable) cycling and craft titles as they attempt to patch (another) hole in their balance sheet and now yet more redundancies. Once these sales and lay offs have happened, Future will be down to fewer than 500 staff in the UK – as recently as 2011 the company employed more than 1,200.
Future’s shares, which were worth 29p in 2011 are now down to around 9p. They’ve lost 90% of their value since 2005. When the sale to Immediate was announced the shares rose by a penny, an indication perhaps that the banks see more value in the dismemberment of the company than in its long term survival. (more…)
As Private Frazer mentioned last month, it isn’t a question of if, but when the “lads’ mags” category will finally be put out of our misery, and the latest inevitable closure is IPC’s Nuts magazine. IPC have form in flogging dead horses to any buyer with a smart suit and plausible manner, so the fact that even they couldn’t offload this turkey (I will mix whatever metaphors I choose, thank you very much) suggests that the pool of stupid, wannabe publishers is not as deep as previously.
Now that Nuts is toast, Bauer can presumably declare victory and shut Zoo without loss of face.
Corporate bollocks award of the day goes to Paul Williams, managing director of IPC’s Inspire division. “After 10 years at the top of its market [you know what they say about scum always rising to the top], we have taken the difficult decision to propose the closure of Nuts … IPC will provide impacted staff with all the support they need during the consultation process.“
“Impacted“? You mean “fired” Paul, or “redundant”, surely?
Have we reached peak craft?
One of the few growth categories over the past few years has been in the “make do and mend”/”weave your own shroud” area, bringing to mind thousands of “crafters” producing tat to sell on to other crafters in a closed loop of economic virtue.
But last year saw Immediate cut Cloth, MyTimeMedia (got to love that name) recently terminated Homemade with Love, and the latest closure from Practical Publishing is Crafty magazine which lasted just one year.
If rumours are true (which they seldom are, but that’s never stopped me repeating them in the past) we can look forward to a few more instances of unplanned recycling in the next few months.
January is the month when we all think of shedding a few pounds, but that seems to have been taken a wee bit too literally by Quorn House Publishing.
They have gone into administration owing “well under £1 million” which means the end of Rosemary Conley’s Diet + Fitness magazine.
Deep-fried Ferrero Rocher all round.
Yet another lads’ mag seems to have woken up to the fact that it’s not the 1990s any more and has called it a day, as Front magazine is reported to have ceased publishing.
Front has been through a succession of ever more obscure owners since its launch in 1998 and was selling fewer than 30,000 copies in the last lot of ABCs.
It’s not a matter of if FHM, Zoo and Nuts will close, just when.
It looks like the wheel’s come off Old Tractor magazine. A charming email from Steve Wright the CEO of Kelsey (that’s how you do it Mark; why do you never write?) informs Private Frazer that the current issue will be the last and the title will be folded back into Tractor & Machinery.
Mr Wright also assures us all that Stationary Engine is in rude health and he reckons it’s possibly more profitable than Marie Claire. Old, creaky and consuming large amounts of energy while not moving at all, Marie Claire is published by IPC.
Kelsey Publishing are saying Tata to Land Rover World as its being broken up for parts with immediate effect; the current issue will be the last.
Rumours abound on other Kelsey titles being eyed for closure (and anyone with any info on these should contact the usual address), but as long as Stationary Engine continues to be produced, Private Frazer will be happy.
Future have given Official Pokemon Magazine its cards after less than a year; the first issue appeared in March 2013, the final one is hitting the shops about now.
Gotta catch them all!
Dudes, Private Frazer has been hangin’ ten so missed the announcement that The Surfer’s Path bowed out with its hundredth issue at the end of December.
From Wikipedia (so it must be true) “the magazine [was] a bit of an anomaly in the surf-publishing world… low-key and philosophical” so presumably everyone is pretty chilled about its demise.
Old Tommy Gray said “Paths of glory lead but to the grave“, but I prefer the Surfari’s version “ha ha ha ha ha, wipe out.”