It’s no secret that the media, especially the magazine industry, have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.
For years, businesses have cut spending on glossy advertising, a trend that has only been exacerbated by COVID-19. In addition to a decline in advertising, production of some magazines became nearly impossible for a few months during shutdowns, with limited people allowed into studios and fashion items hard to find as factories produced disinfectant. for hands instead of clothes and handbags. As a result, a number of magazines, especially independent magazines, have discontinued printing or reduced printing frequency. Some, like W, who changed hands again last year, have returned to print, while others have yet to.
Then there are those who took a hiatus for reasons other than the pandemic like Love, whose founder Katie Grand has stepped down to focus on new projects. Marie Claire also became a digital-only publication after Hearst sold the title to British media company Future.
Next year, more titles are expected to run out after Barry Diller’s Dotdash acquired the magazine business from Meredith Corp. – which includes People, InStyle, Entertainment Weekly, Shape, Magnolia Journal, Sweet July and Southern Living – in a deal valued at $ 2.7 billion. While its top-performing titles are expected to remain intact, the digitally-focused company plans to focus on profitability over scale and marketing and branding advantages, noting that magazine ad revenues are on a secular decline, accelerated by the pandemic.
Here, WWD takes a look at some of the posts that put printing plans on hold in 2020 and whether they are likely to return.
Paper, most famous for “breaking the internet” with the help of a half-naked Kim Kardashian West, halted print operations in May 2020, with its owner, the longtime former Vogue editor, Tom Florio, telling WWD at the time that he didn’t know if it would come back. “A part of me is open enough to allow this thing to really unfold digitally and socially the same way most people are familiar with Paper. Most people know Paper – like kids, Gen Z – because of this social engagement, ”he said.
About 18 months later, the print is yet to return and although Florio did not respond to the request for comment, a source told WWD that it is unlikely to return to version. printed. Instead, it focuses on digital and social platforms.
The biannual publication was created by stylist Katie Grand in partnership with Condé Nast in 2009 and based in London. But when Grand revealed in September 2020 that she would quit publishing, Conde executives decided shortly after that the title would move to New York City, with Them editor-in-chief Whembley Sewell ready to take over. No official statement was made on the future of the print product, but it was understood at the time that the focus would be on social media and video. However, since then there has been no mention of Love, including in the press release revealing Sewell’s successor at Them: Sarah Burke. And while the focus has been on social media, his Instagram account, which has more than one million subscribers, has not been updated since New Years Eve 2020, when the caption read ” Goodbye “.
Nonetheless, a source told WWD not to read anything about the fact that Love was not mentioned in the press release and that the post is expected to be relaunched next year. Only time will tell if there will be a printing component.
Free time in New York
Time Out New York was typically posted twice a month until the print break in March 2020 with many city dwellers working from home and fewer commuters within the city. This appears to be still under study. However, Time Out is back in press in London, Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona and Madrid.
“After many restrictions were lifted in cities around the world, Time Out made the decision to resume print magazines in limited volumes in response to market demand,” said Stacy Bettman, President of the Americas for Time Out. “Time Out Media in North America, including Time Out New York, continues to be a premier digital brand distributing high quality content – written and curated by local expert journalists – showcasing the best food, drink, culture, art. , music, theater, travel and entertainment that the city has to offer, across multiplatform channels and the team will continue to innovate in this area.
After buying the fashion, music and culture site Nylon in 2019, Bustle Digital Group relaunched it digitally in April 2020, but delayed its print release due to the coronavirus. “[Print has been delayed] because of the coronavirus and what it’s done to the industry and there’s uncertainty there and it’s a big project and a business for us and we’ll have to hire people. We’re still very excited about it, ”said at the time Emma Rosenblum, editor-in-chief of BDG’s lifestyle arm, which includes Bustle, Elite, Romper and The Zoe Report.
In a statement provided to WWD, Rosenblum insisted the print is still in the cards. “We plan to release Nylon in print this coming year, after the setback caused by the pandemic. We’re creating a special edition with our recent interview on the cover of this week’s Art Basel event, Nylon House, and our plan is to release larger print issues around the big cultural moments, which will align with the broader experiential offerings. of the brand, ”she said.
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