Magazine Brands That Moved Away From Print This Year
It’s a tumultuous time in the media industry, and this year saw multiple publications change ownership and some—including, most recently, conservative magazine The Weekly Standard—shutter operations entirely.
So it perhaps came as no surprise when a number of brands across three leading magazine publishers announced they would be more or less eliminating their print products.
The decisions raise many questions for the brands going into the new year, including how often they actually will print a magazine (and if readers will buy), whether they can translate print ad dollars to their other offerings and what the staff behind the brands look like.
Here are all the brands that are pivoting away from print:
The Meredith brand announced in September that six special issues of the magazine would be printed in 2019, and other content that avid readers might’ve found in the title would be included in EatingWell magazines. The two brands will debut as one magazine 10 times per year.
Over the summer, the brand averaged a circulation of 1.8 million, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. There were 4.6 million unique visitors to the brand’s site in October, according to comScore.
The change to Cooking Light’s print schedule was announced amid sweeping structural changes in which about 200 people were laid off.
Amid those changes, another Meredith brand, Coastal Living, announced it would only print special issues for newsstands but has not said exactly how many. The Alliance for Audited Media did not have circulation figures for Coastal Living. There were 1.5 million unique visitors to the brand’s site in October, according to comScore.
Cue the nostalgia: The Hearst brand announced it would cease printing the magazine, outside of four special issues next year.
Teen Vogue is no longer in print…now Seventeen Magazine is going out of print. Dang, man…really important magazines for young teens. I hope @seventeen will still be online. Young writers of color need opportunities to showcase their writing and creativity.
— Alia Jones (@readitrealgood) November 28, 2018
The brand’s new print schedule was announced internally in October at the same time Hearst announced a number of sweeping changes among editors in chief at its brands, which gave many of them additional digital responsibilities in addition to managing the magazine. The changes, intended to make the digital and print staffs more cohesive, left about 30 people without positions.
Traffic to seventeen.com has remained at about 2 million unique visitors from September 2017 to the same time this year, according to comScore figures. In October, the same month the new print schedule made headlines, unique visitors reached 9.9 million.
Over the summer, the brand averaged a circulation of 1.9 million, according the Alliance for Audited Media.
Among the changes announced at Hearst, the publisher also said it would turn Redbook an online-only brand.
“Redbook has a long, proud history of informing and enlightening its audience, and it’s been part of our portfolio for more than 35 years,” Hearst Magazines president Troy Young said in a statement at the time. “We thank the team for their dedication and contributions to the magazine.”
The magazine had a circulation of 2 million over the summer, according to an average from the Alliance for Audited Media. Redbookmag.com saw 3 million visitors in November, according to comScore.
In another blow to teens, the Condé Nast brand announced in November that it would greatly reduce the number of times it prints the monthly magazine. The exact print schedule isn’t yet set, but special issues will be printed at least twice, such as one centered around the brand’s key Women of the Year event.
First Seventeen, and now Glamour is shutting down print production. I went into journalism because of how much I love magazines, and it’s so depressing to see so many of them cease (traditional) publication. https://t.co/VNEsewFI13
— Lesley Messer (@lesleymesser) November 21, 2018
Over the summer, the brand averaged a circulation of 2 million, according to Alliance for Audited Media, and the site got 7 million unique visitors in October, according to comScore.
The brand’s editor in chief, Samantha Barry, was expected to make extensive investments in the brand’s digital reach, when she started at Condé after serving as executive producer for social and emerging media at CNN Worldwide.
Barry told staff in an email that the changes to the print schedule were necessary to “use print the way our audiences do” and that the brand would make investments in other areas, including events.