Psychologies magazine is the latest title in the Media24 magazine division to be given its marching orders.
John Relihan, CEO of Media24 Magazines, confirmed with TheMediaOnline that “Yes, we have given Group Psychologies – Lagardère notice of our intention to cease the publication and terminate our licensing agreement.” He added that the license was not up for renewal at the time the decision was made.
Tracy Melass, editor of the magazine that launched with much fanfare in April 2007, told TheMediaOnline that the “April/May 2011 issue will be the last one produced by Media24. However, it is expected that the license will move to an alternative publisher and we will make an official statement once we receive an update on this from our French partners”.
A press release issued in November 2006 lauded the launch of three new magazines at Media24 Magazines. “The launch of Psychologies is the third new title announced by Media24 Women’s Magazines stable this year, following the launches of True Love Babe in August 2006 and that of In Style this month”.
Sadly, True Love Babe and InStyle are already defunct, and Psychologies will follow suit – certainly as a Media24 title – next month.
“Unfortunately the title did not manage to gain either circulation or advertising traction on the levels projected and expected at the time of the launch. As a result, we have not been able to increase the frequency to monthly and advertising revenues dropped further during the recession. Our review of the Psychologies business case revealed that the prospects were unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future,” Relihan said.
The latest ABCs show Psychologies had slumped 30 023 to 25 132 for the corresponding period.
Media24 Magazines have quit publishing a number of magazines over the past few years, including the much-loved Femina. Is there a trend to tighten up the division and keep only best sellers?
“Media24 Magazines has a fairly diverse portfolio, which includes both large and small circulation titles. Both the titles closed over the past 18 months [Femina and Psychologies] were niche titles competing in the still fairly overtraded and fragmented women’s interest market,” Relihan explained.
“The recession did have an impact on the advertising revenue potential of niche titles such as these. However, we continue to publish both niche and mass-market titles, but with the expectation (and responsibility to our shareholders) to do so along sound, viable and sustainable business principles,” he said.
Relihan confirmed “The Magazines Division is indeed consolidating into only five business units, but with the retention of almost all the remaining titles into clusters where we can “safeguard” and develop their viability as business entities”.
He said that like all businesses, Media24 Magazines regularly review all its titles against their business objectives taking the prevailing and expected market forces into consideration.
“You rightly state that a decision to close a title is a difficult one, but sometimes one needs to weigh up the cons of continuing to invest in a title with little chance of recovery or growth and the pros of rather diverting those funds to titles or projects with much higher potential for growth and delivering returns,” Relihan said.
Relihan said that despite the impact of the recession on the print media, Media24 Magazines “will continue to invest in creating world class magazine brand content that enriches lives”.
“At the same time,” he added, “we are consolidating our publishing operations into a far more agile entity to ensure we optimise the opportunities and potential offered by fast changing media consumption patterns.
“We have great plans for expanding the consumer interface with our brands and content on multiple platforms – including tablet, e-readers and digital and mobile applications. Our focus will remain squarely on our readers and providing them with the magazine brand executions that best suit their (changing) needs and wants; and then carefully matching these brand communities with to ensure they too receive the best returns on their marketing investment with us.”