Dirty Des has unplugged TV Pick after just five months, after the price war it initiated failed to grind out sufficient market share from Bauer and IPC’s TV listings weeklies for it to be sustainable.
Might it be that the finances at Northern + Shell overall are starting to look a little weak? The last ABCs showed a descent for New, Star and OK! that was rapid enough to cause blackouts, and OK! has cut its price to £1 in an (ultimately futile) attempt to shore up its circulation. This will be making a sizeable hole in N+S’s revenue, and it might be that they don’t have the stomach (or the war chest) for a long fight.
At the launch of TV Pick, Northern & Shell’s group editorial director Paul Ashford, said: “The launch of TV Pick underlines our commitment to the magazine sector.” Presumably its closure underlines allows us to conclude that N+S might be retreating from it.
The longest-lasting effect of this woeful venture will probably be on the finances of independent newsagents, who have had to endure months of price cuts in one of the few newsstand markets that was relatively robust.
This is about the time that circulation managers are polishing up their returns to send off to the ABC and if the recent retail trends are anything to go by, there will need to be an interesting range of techniques employed to put any sort of positive spin on the figures.
Dropping into Private Frazer’s inbox is Seymour Distribution‘s report on Quarter 1 newsstand sales. This covers the whole market, not just the titles that Seymour represents, and it indicates a year on year drop of nearly 14% in sales volumes. That means that newsstand is down by over a third since the beginning of 2009.
And the carnage seems to be pretty much across the board: women’s titles are down by 14% year on year, motoring is off 10%, computing over 20%, men’s interest over 25%.
There are no bright points among the gloom. If you aren’t a long way down a strategic route to offset the decline in print, then really, honestly, truly, you’re probably too late.
It appears that budgets are being worn a little tighter this year over at Immediate Media as they’ve just taken the pinking shears to Cloth magazine. An announcement on their Twitter feed says that the next issue will be the last.
With three closures in three months Immediate seem to have that fine old VC spirit and are axing anything that isn’t making a decent return. The word on Fairfax Street is that this won’t be the last bit of surplus material that Tom Bureau will be having taken in this year .
When Bauer launched Wonderpedia magazine last May they made a big deal of the “£1 million launch campaign”. Of course they didn’t spend anywhere near a million quid, but whatever was spent seemed to have been pretty much wasted as the title had a debut ABC of only around 20,000 – a pathetic result for what was meant to be a major launch.
The Bauer PR department must have taken an early summer holiday, as there’s been surprisingly little fanfare about the fact that the title has been moved from Bauer’s London Lifestyle division to the less glossy arms of H Bauer. This is the stack ’em high, sell ’em cheap division where Wonderpedia will sit alongside Take a Break, That’s Life and TV Choice.
“Curiosity is hardwired in us all.” said Wonderpedia’s launch press release. I bet there are some interesting questions being asked at Bauer.
According to FeaturesExec, RAS Publishing have closed Fashion Extras magazine (formerly Footwear and Fashion Extras)
Because print is so last year dahling.