How Business Magazines Are Responding to the Continued Ad Slump


We’ve seen a big change at BusinessWeek, now owned by Bloomberg. Big changes at Fortune. I guess we’re waiting for the shoe to drop for Forbes.

Meanwhile, here are some interesting points from the Journal article, “Fortune Magazine Cuts Back Number of Issues; Changes Are Said to Foreshadow Further Restructuring at Time Inc. Publications as Ad Slump Drags On

  • “Industry executives believe news, business and general-interest magazines—unlike fashion and entertainment titles—are unlikely to rebound fully even after the economy is on a firmer footing.” Which is to say, despite a recent Journal article that the business spending slump looks like it’s ending, we’re still not out of the woods yet.
  • “They see a permanent change in how readers interact with news titles in the Internet age.” Again, the advice component is something that news outlets and news websites are not offering.
  • Business magazines have been hit hard during the ad slump: “The number of advertising pages in Fortune dropped 35% from a year ago, on par with the declines at BusinessWeek, Forbes and Newsweek.” In contrast, “Ad pages for entertainment and celebrity magazines declined 15% this year from 2008, and fell 18% for fitness and men’s lifestyle magazines such as GQ, according to Mediaweek,” a far shallower dropoff.
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