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BRIGHTER DAYS — REALLY: Up is still the new up for magazines. Ad pages rose 2.5 percent in the first quarter of this year, which represents the fourth straight quarter the magazine industry has seen an increase, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.
Making a strong comeback in the first quarter, Vogue finished with the most ad pages among women’s fashion magazines, with 621, up 10 percent from the same period last year and more than 100 pages better than Elle, which finished with 520 ad pages, an increase of 14.9 percent. Meanwhile, InStyle was down 3.8 percent, with 496, while Harper’s Bazaar dropped 11.3 percent to 370.
Details, the Condé Nast men’s magazine, struggled again, dropping 13.9 percent in ad pages to 124 after finishing slightly down for all of 2010. GQ was also down, 7.8 percent, to 202, while Esquire was slightly up 2.4 percent at 158.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek had a particularly impressive quarter among the weeklies, rising 48.8 percent. Newsweek, which relaunched under Tina Brown in the first week of March, was down 30.8 percent in the first quarter. Felix Dennis’ suddenly profitable The Week had more good news with a 36.2 percent first-quarter gain. Time and The New Yorker each had modest ad page gains, with 3.1 and 3.9 percent, respectively. Rolling Stone had the most impressive performance of any magazine in the first quarter, picking up 70.6 percent in ad pages with 207.
For monthlies with relatively new editors, Brandon Holley’s Lucky dropped 14 percent in the first quarter, to 204. And despite the fact that Architectural Digest under Margaret Russell was up 80 percent for its relaunched March issue, the magazine went up only 3.3 percent for the quarter, to 201. Stefano Tonchi’s W Magazine was up 5.8 percent to 265. Town & Country — where editor in chief Stephen Drucker was replaced by Jay Fielden as editor in January — was down 1.3 percent in the first quarter, to 209.
— John Koblin