The US and Canada have seen 383 magazines fold and 259 new launches in the first nine months of 2009, according to the MediaFinder.com database, which reveals that magazine closures continue to outpace launches as publishers face mounting difficulties in today’s tough economic environment.
In the first three quarters of the year, many large-circulation magazines folded, including Country Home, Nick and Nick Jr., Hallmark Magazine, Travel & Leisure Golf, Style & Design, Southern Accents, and Best Life.
In addition to these 383 closures, Conde Nast axed four large magazines on October 5, including Gourmet, Cookie, Modern Bride, and Elegant Bride – after the close of Q3.
Regionals, Food Top New Launches
Over the last nine months, MediaFinder.com reported that Regional Interest was the top category for new launches, with 15 new titles including Maine Magazine and The 45th (N. Michigan). Food had 14 new magazines, including Edible Queens.
Magazines in the Health & Fitness and Home categories were also popular for new launches through Q309, with 13 new titles each.
Regionals Top Folded Magazines Too
Though there were many regional launches, Regional Interest magazines also topped the list of ceased magazines, with 31 magazines folding, including Tampa Bay Living. The Business and Lifestyle categories also experienced a significant decline in numbers, with 14 and 13 folding, respectively, over the last nine months.
Print Stops, Online Stays
MediaFinder also reported that 64 publications ceased their print editions but continued online through Q3, with hunting and fishing magazines (5 publications) and music (4) topping the list.
“While magazines are continuing to fold, there were many new launches this quarter, said Trish Hagood, president of Oxbridge Communications Inc. and MediaFinder. Hagood pointed to a number of new titles, including Afar and Cesar’s Way; as well as revivals, such as Vibe and Jazz Times.
Business-to-business publications accounted for 75 of the new launches, 130 of the ceased magazines, and 24 of the magazines that ceased print editions over the last nine months.
Top Magazine Closures This Year
Declining subscriptions, falling ad revenue and the shift to digital delivery and preference have severely affected print publications’ viability during in 2009. Earlier this year, MediaFinder.com reported that the number of magazine closures began to accelerate in Q209. And earlier this month, The Christian Science Monitor – which itself went from daily to weekly in 2009 – recently listed the top 10 magazines by circulation – based on MediaFinder’s numbers – that have folded so far this year:
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