The April 2016 issue of “More” magazine will be the magazine’s last issue, reports the Wall Street Journal. “More” is no more. Meredith Corp. said it is shutting down the lifestyle magazine for affluent women because of unrecoverable advertising declines. The magazine had monthly circulation of more than 673,000, about half of its circulation of 1.3 million from December 2012.
Started in 1997, “More” catered to affluent women ages 25 and up with median income just over $93,000 and a median net worth above $403,000, according to the magazine’s audience stats for 2014. The median age for ‘More’ readers was 54.
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“After a comprehensive review, Meredith Corporation has decided to discontinue publishing ‘More’ magazine, effective following the April 2016 issue, deciding rather to invest and align its resources against more profitable activities,” said the company in a statement.
“‘More’ became a profitable endeavor in the early 2000s, but was particularly hard hit during the recession of the late 2000s, and advertising never fully recovered to sustain prior levels of profitability,” they added.
The magazine’s closure could cause 30 employees to lose their jobs unless Meredith moves those employees to other positions within the company. This is the first high-profile shuttering of a magazine in 2016. Last year saw plenty of its own including Details (Condé Nast), Running Times (Rodale) and All You (Time Inc.)
This news comes a month after Meredith agreed to terminate a proposed merger between it and Media General. Media Post reports that Meredith accepted $60 million in cash to let Media General out of their agreement.
While we hate to see any publication shutter its doors, it is sometimes necessary when economic realities turn profitable businesses into businesses that drain a parent company’s resources. That seems to be the case here. Publications of all sizes need to be keenly aware of their market, competition, revenue and audience to be sure that they are nimble and prepared for change, whether it is financial or editorial in nature.
We find it interesting that Meredith doesn’t mention anything about More’s digital audience or what, if anything, will happen to it. When Details folded, for example, Condé Nast moved its content over to GQ.com. It doesn’t look like Meredith has similar plans for that.
Looking at More’s digital audience stats for 2015, we can see why. In January 2016, the magazine only had readership just over 170,000, per Compete, a fraction of its print audience. For many publications, web traffic is significantly higher. Oprah.com, for example, had 1.5 million visitors for the same period. This makes us question if More ignored its digital strategy and if that may have contributed to its demise.
“More” held a unique place in the market, so we are particularly sorry to see it go. This vacancy could create an opportunity for another magazine (e.g., Vanity Fair, Vogue, Oprah) to replace it or for an existing magazine to expand its audience – and its advertisers. Sadly, “More” won’t be the only magazine we’ll lose this year; it will just be the first.
~ Dana E. Neuts, Subscription Insider