News Magazines Are Fighting for Survival
A lot has been said about the troubles that many newspapers currently find themselves in. What's sometimes forgotten is the fact that magazines are hardly doing any better. America's most prolific news magazines have all suffered severe drops in advertising and circulation revenues in the past decade and it appears likely that the traditional Newsweek, that went out of print in the past year, won't be the last casualty of the current crisis.
While things weren't exactly going great for most magazines between 2003 and 2007, it wasn't until 2008 that things really started going awry for the industry. The financial crisis hit full force and ad revenues started plummeting. Newsweek was hit particularly hard. Ad pages in the traditional magazine dropped 19 percent in 2008, 26 percent in 2009 and another 20 percent in 2010. In 2011, Newsweek sold less than half as many ad pages as it had before the crisis in 2007 and, to make matters worse, the magazine's circulation had halfed as well. One year later, the last issue of the 80-year old Newsweek was published before it became an online-only publication.
While other news magazines had shown signs of recovery in 2010 and 2011, another downturn hit the industry in 2012. The most recent numbers aren't exactly encouraging as well. In the first half of 2013, all but one major news magazine reported double-digit declines in ad pages. Most of them near or above 20 percent. It can only be hoped that those declines can at least partly be offset by increases in digital revenue, because if not, news magazines could quickly become an endangered species.
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