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A total of 187 new American and Canadian magazines have launched so far this year, but a much larger number – 279 titles – have shuttered operations, a trend which has accelerated in Q209, according to MediaFinder.com.

Regional Interest magazines, which traditionally comprise a large percentage of new and closing magazines, took a big nosedive in the first half of 2009, with 27 titles folding, including Denver Living and Florida Inside Out. Other magazine categories that declined in the first half of 2009 include construction, with 18 ceased titles; lifestyle with 14 ceased titles and business with 10 ceased titles.

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There were also 43 publications that stopped print editions during the first and second quarters, but continue to produce online publications. These include East Bay Living and Television Week.

At the same time as losing a significant number of titles, the regional interest category also saw the most new launches, with 12 new titles, including 360 West and Somerville Scout. Health & fitness had the second-highest number of new titles (11), including Scottsdale Health and SFA Fitness.

Other popular magazine categories for new launches were family, food and home, with nine titles each in the first half of 2009.

MediaFinder noted that the number of new launches is slowing, while the number closing is picking up steam.

“The number of new magazines has slowed compared with the first quarter, while the number of closings has increased significantly,” said Trish Hagood, president of Oxbridge Communications Inc. and MediaFinder. “Since March 31, of this year, 77 magazines have launched, while 184 have folded, compared with 110 launches and 95 closings in the first quarter.”

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