Magazine Newsstand Sales Still Falling in 2012

Results in for 'Vogue,' 'Cosmo,' 'O'

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The numbers coming from the Audit Bureau of Circulations on Tuesday are likely to show yet another soft performance for magazine newsstand sales, especially for women's titles.

Many of the biggest women’s newsstand players saw double-digit percentage drops in the first half of 2012 versus the year-ago period, according to the ABC's Rapid Report, a voluntary publishers' reporting service. Newsstand stalwart Vogue fell 16.5 percent; Cosmopolitan, 15.5 percent; Elle, 20.5 percent; and O: The Oprah Magazine, 17.9 percent. InStyle fared somewhat better, declining only 4.5 percent.

Redesigns unveiled this past March helped Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar avoid the fate of many of their fashion brethren. While Glamour’s single copy sales fell 6.8 percent in the first half, sales have climbed 5 percent since the March redesign, according to the magazine. Likewise, Bazaar’s newsstand was flat—an impressive feat given the overall industry trend.

The newsweeklies' performance has been mixed. Time’s single copy sales, while a tiny percent of overall circulation, fell a whopping 31 percent. Bloomberg Businessweek fell 14.9 percent, Newsweek declined 9.1 percent and The Week, 9.3 percent.

It's not all bad, though. Bon Appétit, which underwent a redesign in spring 2011, shot up 20.5 percent on newsstands in the first half. Food Network Magazine continued its stellar growth, increasing single copy sales 17.8 percent (and trouncing onetime close competitor Every Day With Rachael Ray, which fell 21 percent). Family Circle and Woman’s Day both had impressive results through June, increasing their single copy sales 8 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively.

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.