Maxim’s ad and circulation figures have been ailing for years now, so two months after bringing in Jack Kliger as a consultant, it comes as no surprise that layoffs would follow.
As content for guys on the Web has become plentiful, Maxim’s ad pages have tumbled 46 percent from 933 to 504 in the past four years. Total circulation is steady at 2.5 million, but single-copy sales have fallen by 50 percent in that same period to about 200,000. Meanwhile, the monthly has relied on verified, or free public-place circulation, that's often seen as less valuable to advertisers to prop up its circ guarantee.
Maxim is the lone survivor of a three-title company that has since shut down Blender and Stuff, and as online sources of naked women have proliferated, Maxim's reason for being as a print title has become widely questioned. Under former CEO Joe Mangione, Maxim tried to supercharge its licensing business with IMG in 2011. But that deal yielded little fruit other than a deal to sell pre-wrapped gifts at JCPenney, and Mangione has since gotten the boot.
Maxim president Ben Madden insisted that after a few down years, advertising is looking up, though. “Going into the second and third quarters, our print business is looking very strong, driven by automotive, spirits, beer and grooming.”