Lower Retail Numbers Lead To Rate Base Cuts For Bauer Media Group Titles
In Touch will be cut by 150,000, with Life & Style losing 50,000.
Citing “newsstand and marketplace conditions,” the Bauer Media Group announced last week that the company will cut the rate bases of two celebrity women’s weeklies—In Touch Weekly magazine and Life & Style Weekly. In Touch Weekly’s rate base will go from 800,000 to 650,000 beginning in January 2012, while Life & Style Weekly will go from 450,000 to 400,000.
“Magazines at retail are feeling the same pressure as other consumer packaged goods in this challenging economy,” says Ian Scott, president of Bauer Media Group, according to a news release. The company declined the opportunity to be interviewed or to provide further detail surrounding the circumstances.
“Our rate base adjustments moving into 2012 reflect natural consumer demand,” says Scott in the prepared statement. “Rather than pumping up our circulation with off-price subscriptions we are reducing our rate base guarantees and charging less, giving advertisers the best value in the category.”
According to the most recent Fas-Fax report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations [ABC], In Touch Weekly had about 646,646 single copy sales for the period ending June 30, 2011, with total paid, verified and analyzed non-paid circulation coming in at 682,634. Life & Style Weekly sold about 334,700 single copies during the same period—total, paid, verified and analyzed non-paid circulation was about 344,113.
ABC’s December 2010 publishers’ statement puts single copy sales for In Touch Weekly at 689,365, a decrease of more than 80,700 from the June 2010 publishers’ statement. Similarly, the December 2010 publishers’ statement for Life & Style Weekly shows about 411,012 single copy sales, down from 430,625 from the June 2010 publishers’ statement. This announcement represents a rate base total decline of 350,000 for In Touch Weekly since June 2008 – at that time it had a rate base of 1 million. For Life & Style Weekly, the newest decline represents a total drop of 150,000 since the same period, when the title’s June 2008 rate base came in at 550,000.
“Retail sales for all magazines have fallen by -17 percent [according to ABC] over the past eighteen months attributable to the continued soft economy, higher gas prices, fewer shopping trips for most households and other external factors,” a news release from the company says. “Celebrity/entertainment magazines mirrored the overall marketplace showing similar declines in retail sales over the past eighteen months.”
While the market place does seem to be struggling, Bauer says that these titles represent 28 percent of all celebrity and entertainment publications sold at retail.