Once again, the number of magazine closings has outpaced the number of titles being launched, according to the latest report from U.S. and Canadian online magazine database MediaFinder.com. But when comparing the number of titles (383) folded through the third quarter of 2009 to the same time period in 2008 and 2007, the pace is significantly less.
According to MediaFinder’s most up-to-date numbers, 643 magazines ceased publication in 2007, and a total of 613 magazines closed in 2008. Right now, that means we’re 230 titles off from last year’s total. So unless there’s a dramatic push in closings through the fourth quarter, it looks like the industry may be looking at fewer magazine closings from the past two years (we can only hope!).
Of the 259 titles to launch so far in 2009, the report showed that publishers have pulled the plug on 104 more magazines since the first half this year, when 279 folded publications were counted. During the third quarter, 72 titles launched while 104 magazines closed, including the high-profile closings of publishing giant Condé Nast’s four titles—Gourmet, Cookie, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride. Other titles to vanish in ’09 included Meredith’s Country Home, Hallmark, American Express Publishing’s Travel & Leisure Golf, Time Inc.’s Southern Accents and Rodale’s Best Life.
Of the launches in 2009, the regional category topped the list with 15, but also experienced the most folded titles (31), including Tampa Bay Living. Both business and lifestyle categories also declined, folding 14 and 13 titles each, respectively.
The food (14), health & fitness (13), and home (13) categories proved to be popular for launches this year.
B-to-b publications accounted for 75 of the new title launches, 130 of the shuttered magazines, and 24 of the magazines that ceased print editions over the past nine months, the report said.