Dow Jones & Co. said it would stop publishing SmartMoney in print this summer while expanding its digital operation. The 815,154-circulation monthly’s September print issue, on stands Aug. 14, will be its last.
Dow Jones and Hearst Corp. started the magazine 20 years ago and operated it jointly, with Hearst managing the business operations and Dow Jones overseeing the editorial function. Two years ago, Dow Jones bought out Hearst’s portion of the business. The magazine has collected three National Magazine Awards, and helped give David Carey, its onetime publisher and now president of Hearst Magazines, his start in the industry.
Personal finance magazines have been facing relevancy issues as people more often go online for money advice. The year started off tough for magazine advertising in general, but personal finance titles have been particularly hard hit.
SmartMoney’s ad pages fell 23.4 percent to 67 in the first quarter of this year versus the year-ago period, per the Publishers Information Bureau. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance's pages fell 34 percent to 53 in the same period, and Money's by 14 percent to 92.
“What consumer wants financial advice in 30-day increments?” Scott Daly, evp and executive media director at Dentsu America, said in an email. “Not this guy. How can I recommend that to a client with a straight face?”
SmartMoney will seek to expand its digital reach by adding six new editorial staffers for a total of 15, but there will be a net loss in staff as about 25 positions attached to the print edition will be lost. SmartMoney’s content will live on at SmartMoney.com as well as in a section of the much-larger MarketWatch.com.
With the final issue, subscribers will have the option to receive Barron's or WSJ Weekend in lieu of SmartMoney.