As we found out definitively this week, the consumer magazine industry felt the brunt of the U.S. economic meltdown at the newsstand during the second half of 2008. As we reported, a staggering 355 magazines tracked by ABC—some 75 percent—saw their single copy sales decline between June and December. (Just 116 managed to increase sales at the newsstand.)

There was one major bright spot for publishers, however. Some 257 magazines overdelivered on their rate base guarantees to advertisers, while just 27 missed them.

This is good for those vying against television for bigger slices of marketers’ advertising budgets.

“With TV guarantees, under delivery is the norm,” Jack Hanrahan, publisher of the newsletter CircMatters, wrote in the latest edition. “Deficiencies of [5-to-10 percent] are not unusual. Makegood spots provide the missing advertising weight but the weight usually falls outside of the weeks when the rating points were desired.”

But giving advertisers too large a bonus—like Game Informer, which distributed, on average, of 1,217,598 more copies per issue than it guaranteed—can be problematic, and smacks of missed revenue.

Here are the top 10 over-and-underachievers during the second half, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.


ACHIEVERS

TITLE COPIES RATE
BASE
BONUS PCTG
Game
Informer
3,517,598 2,300,000 1,217,598 52.94%
Giant 372,673 250,000 122,673 49.07%
Figure 733,893 550,000 183,893 33.44%
Domino 1,047,916 800,000 247,916 30.99%
National
Review
187,968 150,000 37,968 25.31%
Archaeology 263,756 215,000 48,756 22.68%
Organic
Gardening
284,675 235,000 49,675 21.14%
Technology
Review
181,123 150,000 31,123 20.75%
Washingtonian 129,757 110,000 19,757 17.96%
BH+G:
American Patchwork
293,918 250,000 43,918 17.57%


UNDERACHIEVERS 

TITLE COPIES RATE
BASE
SHORT PCTG
Soap
Opera Weekly
169,674 225,000 -55,326 -24.59%
Mira! 93,259 120,000 -26,741 -22.28%
Today’s
Health & Wellness
137,902 175,000 -37,098 -21.20%
Athlon
Baseball
143,986 170,000 -26,014 -15.30%
Life
& Style
472,158 550,000 -77,842 -14.15%
In
Touch
898,911 1,000,000 -101,089 -10.11%
PGA
Tour Partners
483,183 525,000 -41,817 -7.97%
Workbench 278,702 300,000 -21,298 -7.10%
Robb
Report
113,496 120,000 -6,504 -5.42%
Athlon
Football
785,735 830,000 -44,265 -5.33%

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