Focusing on Success
You have probably heard the news that Condé Nast is folding women’s magazine Jane. This follows a number of closings this year, including other big-name consumer and b-to-b titles. All these closings have to worry even those of us with the brightest outlooks. There also are a lot of mixed messages out there, and sometimes even if there are reasons to be optimistic, they get lost in the shuffle.
While we may have seen a ray of hope in the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) announcement that 105 magazine launches were announced in the first quarter of 2007, a 4-percent increase over the same period in 2006, that ray was somewhat clouded by a July 8 blog entry titled “There May Be More Announcements, but There Are Fewer New Magazine Launches in the First Half of ’07,” by Samir Husni, Ph.D. (aka Mr. Magazine), chair of the journalism department at the University of Mississippi. His post suggested that while more new magazines may have been announced in 2007, “the real numbers of new magazine launches have witnessed a major drop in the first half of 2007 compared with that of 2006.” He even noted, “In fact, this is the first year that I can remember the numbers dropping by more than 38 percent from the previous year’s numbers.”
Mr. Magazine predicts a decline in 2008 as well. The not-so-dismal detail behind those figures, however, is that the two-year decline is part of the historical, predictable ebb and flow of the market, and he expects to see a turnaround in 2009, if historical patterns hold true.
Another bright spot appeared earlier this year when the Print Industries Market Information and Research Organization (PRIMIR) presented a report showing that the magazine industry is alive and kicking. Announcing the results of the study, “Magazine Printing and Publishing 2006–2011,” PRIMIR reported: