U.S. ‘FHM’ Shuts Down

NEW YORK Emap Consumer Media, owned by Emap in the U.K., this morning said it has suspended publication of the U.S. edition of FHM, which launched in 1999 during the height of the laddie magazine craze.

Always considered the second banana to Dennis Publishing’s Maxim in the U.S., FHM was to act as a launch pad for more trendy Emap titles such as Q, the hot British music monthly published in the U.K.

In a statement, Emap CEO Paul Keenan said, “Trading conditions in the U.S. market have deteriorated over the past 12 months and we do not expect an improvement in the near term. In these circumstances we do not anticipate that the title would be able to trade on a profitable basis going forward.”

Keenan further noted, “The magazine has battled to establish a profitable presence in a hugely challenging and competitive market. With conditions in the U.S. worsening, we have decided to focus our resources elsewhere on faster growth platforms.”

FHM‘s total paid and verified circulation fell 3.2 percent to 1.25 million in the first half of 2006 compared to the year prior, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Newsstand copies fell 6.6 percent. Archrival Maxim rose 1.9 percent to 2.58 million in the same period. Single-copy sales fell 14.1 percent.

As for ad pages, in 2006 FHM was down 21.4 percent to 735.

The move does not affect FHM in the U.K. or any of the 30 other editions published around the world.

This was the second major blow for Emap, having acquired Petersen Publishing for $1.5 billion in 1998 only to see them be sold off for just $500 million in 2001 to Primedia.