Magazines at the Break: So Not Jane


The first half advertising numbers for consumer magazines are in, and according to the Publishers Information Bureau — the Magazine Publishers of America arm that tracks this sort of stuff — overall revenue is up about 1% but ad pages — typically the better gauge of the industry’s health — are off 1.7 percent.

More interesting to us, though, are the performances of selected individual titles, and what it means for their editors:

  • ElleGirl performed until the bitter end, up nearly 20% in ad pages and 50% in revenue to $19.1 million.
  • Brandon Holley-led Jane is down 41% in ad pages — some 150 fewer — and 36.6% in revenue to $15.2 million (about $9 million less). So not Jane.
  • Martha Stewart‘s post-penitentiary ass-kicking continues, as Living is up 75% in ad pages (586 vs. 336 last year) and 92% in revenue to $74 million — roughly $35 million more than it pulled in over the same period last year.

  • In the battle for New York, Adam MossNew York has run 15.9% more pages of ads than the first half of 2005, totaling $95.86 million, a 23.9% gain. The New Yorker is down 17.6% in ad pages (833, over 170 less than last year’s first half) and about a 10 percent in revenue ($86.9 million) — though editor David Remnick always has the option of eBaying his trophy case to make up the difference in cash.
  • Along the Men’s FitnessHealthJournal continuum, Men’s Health stumbled (-10.8% in revenue, -16.0% in ad pages) while its counterparts posted gains.
  • The Andy Pemberton Spin era resulted, at least in part, in a 17% drop in ad pages and 20% dip in revenue (to $11.8 million). Blender spun its 5 percent increase in ad pages into a 28.7% boost in revenue.
  • Despite the hype surrounding its 1000th issue, Rolling Stone‘s ad pages were down 12%, though its $90 million in ad revenue is just $2 million off of its 2005 pace.
  • Despite a shakeup at the top, Time magazine posted revenue (10%) and ad page (6.7%) gains as part of its $295,825,182 in PIB ad revenue.
  • Portfolio‘s future competition: Fast Company (-25% in ad pages, -21.5% in revenue); Inc. (-5.7%, -3.2%); Fortune (-3%, flat); Money (-9.7%, -5.4%); SmartMoney (-1.2%, +5.6%).
  • Bonnie Fuller‘s Star saw an 11.5% increase in ad pages and 33.6% in revenue, a gain $18 million — just enough to cover Fuller’s rider agreement.
  • Vanity Fair‘s dip (11.4% in revenue to $103 million, 15.3% in ad pages) may make Graydon Carter think twice about running more awkward Tom Ford covers.
  • TV Guide‘s shark-jumping was not exactly exaggerated. The magazine’s new format resulted in $100 million less in advertising revenue and 550 less ad pages.