The Newsstand Takes Another Tumble in Q1 | Industry Notes
Glamour taps WaPo's Ashley Parker as contributing editor, and Charlie Hebdo courts controversy once again...
MagNet releases Q1 newsstand figures…
The latest newsstand figures from MagNet — despite, notably, not including sales figures from Barnes & Noble or Hudson News — indicate that, at the top-level, magazine sales continued to suffer at U.S. retail outlets in Q1 of 2017, down 13.5 percent in units sold and 8.7 percent in revenue compared to Q1 of 2016.
While publishers sent 4.9 percent less magazines to newsstands than in the same period a year ago, sell-through efficiency also fell, from 26.2 percent in Q1 2016 to 23.8 percent in Q1 2017.
Also absent from the report were any actual sales totals, but MagNet reported last year that 88.1 million magazines were sold at retail in Q1 2016, which would indicate that the figure dropped to around 76.2 million in Q1 2017.
In keeping with a well-established trend, celebrity and women's titles — which still account for more than one-third of all newsstand sales — continued a significant decline, down 15 percent and 12.7 percent in units sold, respectively, although significantly higher cover prices made for a less-drastic revenue downturn of just 5.1 percent among the women's titles.
Perhaps most striking is the declines of 19.7 percent and 13.1 percent in units sold and revenue, respectively, for general interest magazines — which, to this point, had been a consistent bright spot in MagNet's reports. The entertainment, food/wine, and lifestyle categories also each saw double-digit declines in units sold.
Every type of retail outlet again saw a decline in units sold, although terminals (again, excluding Hudson News) and bookstores (excluding Barnes & Noble) appeared to take less of a hit than supermarkets and drug stores.
Hoffman Media, although making up just 1.7 percent of overall market share, continues to be the overwhelming star of the MagNet reports, achieving year-over-year growth of 17.3 percent in units sold 20.9 percent in revenue. Every other top-15 publisher saw declines in both categories.
Bauer, which continues to stake its bets on the newsstand, saw Q1 declines of 10.2 percent in units sold and 3.6 percent in revenue.
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An expanded role at Glamour for WaPo's Ashley Parker…
Editor-in-chief Cindi Leive announced today that Washington Post White House reporter Ashley Parker — the former New York Times veteran who has contributed about a half-dozen pieces to Glamour.com since 2015 — will now take on a more formalized role as contributing editor to Glamour, covering D.C. politics and policy across both print and digital.
While it may appear that the 78-year-old brand is following the lead of other national women's magazines in tapping into a period of heightened political engagement among the American public, Condé Nast cautions not to call it a comeback.
"Glamour's dedication to political issues runs deep," read a company statement announcing the appointment. "It was the first women's magazine to include a regular Washington report in its pages, and over the years it has introduced readers to many young women and leaders working in all areas and levels of politics."
Parker succeeds Giovanna Gray Lockhart, who in turn succeeded Linda Kramer Jenning in 2015 after Kramer Jenning had spent eight years as the magazine's D.C. editor.
"The interest in what is happening in Washington — from the walls of the White House to the corridors of the Capitol — is like nothing I've ever experienced before, and I could not be more thrilled to share these moments with Glamour readers," said Parker in a statement.
So much for Je suis Charlie…
French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, with which journalists and supporters of free speech around the globe expressed overwhelming solidarity after the weekly's offices were the target of a 2015 deadly shooting in response to the magazine's depiction of the Prophet Muhammad, has apparently taken things too far.
The cover of the latest issue — which depicts a cartoon version of British PM Teresa May holding her own head à la Ichabod Crane — was released to widespread condemnation on social media and, unsurprisingly, in the UK press today as Brits head to the polls to vote in a snap General Election called for by May in April.
The Sun called the cartoon "sick," the Telegraph accused the French outlet of "mocking terror victims," and even the Daily Star described the cover as "outrageous."
The controversy reaffirms the fact that depictions of beheaded heads of state do not play well in the court of public opinion — nor should they, but don't expect Charlie Hebdo to shy away from controversy.
If you're interested, the cover can be seen here.