Private Frazer’s Doomed Magazines

January 22, 2013

Marketing Weakly

Filed under: B2B magazines,Chair by the door — privatefraser @ 7:38 pm
Tags: , , ,

Like the demise of Blockbuster, the surprise with the news that Marketing is likely to go monthly is more in the fact that it hadn’t closed years ago.

That a weekly controlled circulation title has survived this far into the decade deserves some sort of award, but at least we will now all be spared dozens of poly wrapped magazines clogging up the post room because they are addressed to people who left the company years previously.

Haymarket have not yet confirmed that Marketing will change frequency, but if by the end of 2013 either it or Centaur’s Marketing Week are still publishing every week, I’ll eat my sporran. The bigger question really is whether they will still be publishing at all.

January 15, 2013

Qube Flattened

Filed under: B2B magazines,closures,digital only — privatefraser @ 9:18 am

To complete this week’s hat trick of print titles going ‘digital only’, Qube magazine – “proud to service the Facilities Management sector” (no, me neither) – has announced that its December issue was the last in the old, boring, fuddy-duddy ink on paper format.

It is venturing boldly into the future: “we are concentrating on our digital magazine and online presence that will give us more 21st century appeal and abilities”.




[h/t to Norman for the link]

January 14, 2013

Punch Drunk

Filed under: closures,consumer magazines,digital only — privatefraser @ 1:00 pm

Print is on the receiving end of another knockdown as Newsquest’s Fighting Fit magazine has thrown in the towel on its dead tree edition.

Print: floats like a bee, stings like a butterfly.


Fork Off

Filed under: closures,consumer magazines — privatefraser @ 10:43 am

Ink on paper is off the menu at Fork magazine as it goes ‘digital-only’.

Take one partially digested magazine, half bake with a sprinkle of interactivity, add a covering press announcement, turn out and watch your dreams collapse like a shaken souffle.

January 6, 2013

RD Graft

What are we to make of the news that Readers Digest is laying off 90 staff and trying to sort out a Corporate Voluntary Arrangement?

The first thing to note is that a CVA isn’t an insolvency or a liquidation, but a process a company uses to try to avoid going out of business. If an agreement is reached with creditors then a proportion of debt is written off and a payment schedule for the outstanding amount is put in place. If agreement isn’t reached then the creditors can push the company into administration.

The second point is that as the direct marketing division doesn’t seem to be a separate company, it is Vivat Direct itself that is trying to get a CVA*. If this fails then the whole of the company, including the magazine business, will be forced into administration.

And the third point is that non-magazine sources used to constitute 80-90% of Reader’s Digest’s revenue. If any print product does survive these next few weeks then the size of the company will be worth a fraction of what Better Capital paid for it three years ago.


*Interestingly, the FT squib says BECAP values the investment at just £1 million. Better Capital paid £13 million for RDUK in 2010.

January 5, 2013

Press Passed

Filed under: B2B magazines,closures — privatefraser @ 4:46 pm
Tags: , ,

After just one edition, the quarterly print version of Press Gazette has been axed by Mike ‘Chuckles’ Danson. Back in May last year the publication announced that it was closing the weekly print magazine but would continue as a monthly and then, before the echo of the announcement had even died away, canned the monthly version in favour of a quarterly. Private Frazer described this as the new model for the death of print – not the guillotine, but the thousand little cuts.

Editor Dominic Ponsford writes about the latest decision:

In common with other B2B titles…, we have increasingly found … that readers want to access Press Gazette’s news and analysis digitally…While the production of a quarterly journal made great sense journalistically, the commercial case did not pan out as well as we had hoped.

Translation: no one wanted to buy the print edition and no one wanted to advertise in it.

In the Grauniad’s piece about the closure, Dominic is a wee bit more forthcoming:

Persuading journalists to pay a premium price for a print product is tough in a market like ours, which is saturated with free information. 

That ‘premium price’ mentioned was under £5 an issue.

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