The year that was 2009 is drawing to a close and data from online magazine database reports that 428 titles have ceased publication in 2009, through December 14.

While any magazine going out of business isn’t good news, the silver lining is the total number of foldings this year (although anything could technically happen between now and December 31) is down significantly from 2008 (613) and 2007 (643).

But while the number of ceased titles may be fewer than years past, there have also been fewer launches. There were only 275 startups this year versus 335 in 2008.

Regional magazines topped the list with 21 launches, including Maine Magazine and B-metro Birmingham.

Regionals, however, also topped the list of shutdowns (34), with titles such Atlanta Life and Denver Living going under. Business magazine shutdowns came in second (16), with casualties including BusinessWeek Small Biz, Condé Nast Portfolio and Fortune Small Business.

The Health category had the second highest number of launches (15), including Scottsdale Health and Natural Awakenings. Food titles came next with 14 new magazines such as Food Network Magazine, Edible Queens, and Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade.

Magazines that were both ceased and then relaunched in 2009 were not counted by as ceased titles.

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