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Despite recent foldings, magazine industry still 'alive and kicking'

magazine industry still 'alive and kicking'

magazine industry still 'alive and kicking'

Foodies hold fast: while Gourmet magazine may be sliding into the depths of recession-driven non-existence, Condé Nast’s Bon Appétit magazine still appears to be clinging on.

On Monday, magazine publisher Condé Nast announced that four of its titles would fold: Cookie, Elegant Bride, Modern Bride and Gourmet. “We have now completed an extensive review of our business – an important undertaking given the dramatic changes in the U.S. economy,” Condé Nast CEO Chuck Townsend wrote in a staff memo. “The review has led us to a number of decisions designed to navigate the company through the economic downturn and to position us to take advantage of coming opportunities.”

According to the memo, Brides will increase its circulation from bimonthly to monthly to make up for the loss of the two other bridal magazines. While Gourmet ceases publication, the brand remains, meaning Gourmet’s book publishing and television programming will go on.

Despite this dismal news, a recent article in Folio points out that new magazines have been popping up frequently in the last several months, such as Afar, a San Francisco-based travel magazine that launched Aug. 18. “But Afar, while arguably one of the more high-profile launches so far this year, only scratches the surface of a wave of emerging magazines,” wrote Folio senior editor Jason Fell. Certainly, inVocus has announced a number of recent launches, including Florida entertainment publication, The Scene Magazine; Texas-based Woodlands Family Magazine; sustainable living magazine, Urban Farm; women’s bicycling magazine, She Pedals: The Journal of Women in Cycling; pet lifestyle publication, Cesar’s Way; and the Ultimate Fighting Championship publication, UFC.

According to Samir Husni’s Mr. Magazine blog, 71 titles were launched in September alone, bringing the total for 2009 to about 528, compared to 685 for all of 2008. So while it seems magazines may be dropping like flies, new ones are being born. “Our industry is still well, alive and kicking,” said Husni, who is the director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi School Of Journalism. “Just look at the other side of the coin, for every tail there is a head. Do not dwell on the tail, look at the other side. Be creative, be innovative, be a publisher of a necessary, sufficient and relevant medium and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel that is not the train coming.”

— Katrina M. Randall

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