2006 is Proving Lethal for Glossies at the Newsstand. Special by Fashiontribes. Second City Style Fashion Blog

August 23, 2006 • Fashion


This following was written by Lesley Scott at Fashiontribes.

It was a bad year, a very bad year…if you’re in the print business.
According to a recent WWD, during the first six months of 2006, a tidal wave of red ink washed over the newsstands.

Many prominent fashion & lifestyle books took a beating,
racking up single & double-digit losses. Even the
She’s-SO-Jane new editrix, Brandon Holley, was unable
to glean the winning formula, despite tinkering with the
covers and even raising the price of the June/July issue
back to $2.49 from $1.99. Interestingly, editor-about-town Graydon Carter was doing something right, as Vanity Fair
posted a relatively whopping 17% gain, along with Elle
which showed a respectable
16% increase.

Losers at the Newsstand (% monthly decline):

Jane 14.8% decline to 131,073

O, The Oprah Magazine 19.5% to 891,000

Men’s Journal  31.5% to 70,145

Teen Vogue  1.9% to 218,777 (paid circulation down over 36% to 972,555)


Vanity Fair 17% gain to 421,095

Elle 16% to 320,516. (Their June issue featuring Mandy Moore on the cover sold a record 360,000 copies.)

Martha Stewart Living 4.3% to 300,194

Vogue 3.5% to 432,163.

One look at the circulation figures and it’s clear that a fundamental
shift is occurring in the traditional fashion media. Before the days of
the Internet, fashion and lifestyle magazines were the sole source of
reliable information about fashion designers, beauty news, and wardrobe
& lifestyle how-to advice. However,
now that this same information is available within the space of a few
mouse clicks, fashionistas need no longer look to the print books – so
it’s small wonder they are turning their backs on traditional magazines.

Instead, they are increasingly turning to online sources, such as
blogs, not only for up-to-the-minute style info (print mags typically
operate a Jurassic 4-6 months out) but most importantly, they are
seeking advice. They want someone whose taste they trust to weed
through the glut of information, edit it down and then serve up a short
list. Essentially, the stylish public is in search of an editor with
good taste to curate their lives for them.

Many big fashion & lifestyle blogs enjoy traffic that surpasses
these titles’ sales on the newsstands, and in some cases, the
magazine’s entire circulation – both newsstand & paid. So print will need to change…or die.
Instead of clinging to their time-honored, but now outdated, role as
source of information, they should leave the breaking news to online
sources, and focus on helping readers understand how to wear, decorate
with, and otherwise enjoy all the fabulous choices out there. (via WWD)

To listen to Lesley’s podcast visit: Fashiontribes Podcast

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