Shock Fails to Shock, Hachette to Close Print Publication
Hachette-Filipacchi’s short-lived foray into the “shocking” is coming to an end, at least in print form. The publisher today said it will shutter the print version of Shock magazine after just six months on the newsstand. The company says it will keep the magazine going online through its ShockU Web site. The February issue, which hits newsstands December 26, will be the publications last.
In a statement, Hachette CEO Jack Kliger said closing the publication, known for its gory and off-color photos, was a difficult decision. “We wanted to test the French magazine’s concept in the U.S.; however, after six months in the marketplace, Shock’s performance at newsstands has not produced trends that indicate that we will get the returns that we are looking for,” he said.
Kliger said the Web site, on the other hand, has been successful will be redesigned and relaunched in Spring 2007. “‘The Web site has shown real energy and connection with this young demographic and the 41 page-views-per-visitor-session is one of the highest for web sites at Hachette.”
This is the second magazine this year that Hachette has shuttered, while maintaining its online presence. In April, the company said it would close teen mag, Elle Girl with its June/July issue.
Shock has been controversial since its May launch. In June, it was yanked from the newsstands of drug stores Brooks Eckerd and Rite Aid just one month after it arrived in stores. The chains said they pulled the magazine following complaints from their customers.
The publication was also sued for the use of a cover photograph image that belonged to blogger Michael Yon. Yon claimed he did not give the magazine permission to publish the photo. The image was of an American soldier holding an Iraqi child in his arms.