Sign of the Times. More Cuts at Print Magazines

October 31, 2008 • Fashion

Men’s Vogue (as we reported yesterday) is not the only print magazine in trouble. There were sweeping job cuts and budget reductions across the magazine industry
this week.

According to WWD, having ridden the wave of the luxury boom (or hoping to capture a piece of it) many magazines now are finding
themselves squeezed by shrinking advertising revenue, in addition to
the afflictions that have already beset the newspaper industry,
including high production costs and competition for attention spans
from the cash-draining Internet.

The belief that the high-end
customer would be recession-proof had kept many magazines decently
equipped with ad pages even when the overall economic picture dimmed.
But with the tremendous wealth of the financial sector drying up,
retail sales stagnating, aspirational consumers slamming their wallets
shut and many major brands trimming ad budgets…publishers arePortfolio_mag
preparing for the

On Thursday, Condé Nast
Publications Inc.
, said it would absorb Men’s Vogue into parent magazine Vogue,
retaining only editor in chief Jay Fielden to edit a biannual supplement. That leaves about 40 people jobless.

, the
business magazine the company launched in 2006, laid off
nearly all of its Web staff as well as several magazine editors and
writers, and reduced the magazine’s frequency to 10 times a year.

That was also the year that 02138, Radar and
Culture & Travel
launched, with their own respective fanfares and
bids for the wealthy reader. All three of those titles were closed this

Every publisher is dissecting its cost structure and
stable of titles, from Hearst Magazines to Hachette Filipacchi Media
and Time Inc. to Rodale. And in recent days, American Express
, whose titles include Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure and
Departures, said it would cut 22 jobs, or 5% of its workforce.
Hearst began going “floor by floor” to cut costs, notably at
Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country.

Time Inc. also this week revealed a major restructuring that would
claim approximately 600 jobs. Time Inc. chief executive
officer Ann Moore said added that she has never seen so many of the
company’s ad clients in trouble at the same time.

Publishers say they are
having trouble getting firm, longer-term commitments from advertisers
who are having to make quick and strategic decisions.

And even
digital companies aren’t immune. Yahoo has revealed plans to cut jobs,
and magazine publishers have come to realize that it will be a long
road until Web advertising can generate anywhere near the revenues of
print publications while requiring substantial investments.

Read "Tough Times Hit Magazine Industry" here.

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