Updated: Nick, Nick Jr. Mags to Fold

The embattled kids magazine category is getting smaller. Citing the tough economic conditions facing magazines, Nickelodeon Magazine Group said it would fold Nickelodeon by the end of 2009, the company said in a statement to staff.

Nickelodeon’s ad pages fell 27 percent to 230 for all last year, per Publishers Information Bureau. The staff of about 30 people will lose their jobs.

Launched in 1993, Nick, a monthly, is aimed at kids ages 6-14 and had a rate base of 950,000 in 2008, according to its Web site.

Also folding is sibling title Nick Jr., a magazine that gives moms tips on entertaining their young children. Nick Jr. has a rate base of 250,000. Both titles are published by Viacom’s Nickelodeon network.

“As I am sure everyone knows, the magazine publishing industry as a whole is severely challenged, and because of that, we have decided to exit the magazine business and will cease publishing them by the end of this year,” Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group, said in an internal statement.

Left in the category are Sports Illustrated Kids, whose ad pages rose 4.5 percent to 75 this year through June, and Boys’ Life, down 35.6 percent to 35 in the same period, according to the Mediaweek Monitor. Also publishing is National Geographic Kids, which carried 11 ad pages in the first quarter, up 1 percent, per PIB.