Magazines Are 92 In The Hole…Or Are They?

Hey! Check out the update to this post here, because we want you to get the whole picture….

187 magazines launched in the first half of 2009, but 236 folded and 43 went online only, for a net loss of 92 titles, according to MediaFinder, which tracks magazines for marketers and PR professionals.

Regional interest magazines took the brunt of the downturn, with 27 titles folding. Though each of these magazines probably employed a fifth, tops, of the folks working at a place like Vibe or Blender, in aggregate that’s a lot of laid-off, out of work magazine staff.

It’s interesting, we think, that MediaFinder is treating the act of going online-only as the kiss of death. Though to be fair, nobody seems to have figured out the magic bullet for an online magazine…

Meanwhile, Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni’s chart of magazine launches, last updated with the figures for May 2009, shows more like 250 new launches in the first half of the year. If you don’t count the 43 online-only mags as closures, we’re actually up a bit.

What gives? Why are the numbers so different? We asked Mr. Husni to comment, but he didn’t respond. Our guess, though? He’s probably tracking a more broad definition of the word “magazine.” Trades, newsletters, and so on are probably counted, whereas MediaFinder is interested in magazines that publicists can pitch and in which consumers can be advertised to.