NO BETTER IN BRITAIN: American magazines aren’t the only ones in the doldrums. According to figures released by the U.K.’s Audit Bureau of Circulations, only a few titles showed an uptick in the first half. In terms of total circulation — combining newsstand sales and subscriptions — British Glamour recorded a 4.8 percent rise to 498,629, compared with the same period last year, while Vogue’s circulation was down 0.1 percent to 164,652 and GQ’s was flat at 90,479. While the ABC did not break out figures for Tatler and British Vanity Fair, Tatler’s total circulation was flat at 90,128, though newsstand and subscriptions only made up 68.9 percent of that figure, while Vanity Fair’s total circulation was up 3 percent to 101,166, with newsstand and subscriptions making up 87.3 percent of those copies (the rest were other circulation).
At the National Magazine Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst, Esquire’s total circulation figures were a highlight, rising 8.6 percent to 58,136, of which newsstand and subscription makes up 83.8 percent. The title relaunched last year under editor Jeremy Langmead, with a new compact format and poet Nick Laird and author Colm Toibin among its high-brow columnists. Meanwhile, Cosmopolitan’s sales rose 4.4 percent to 395,948. British Harper’s Bazaar, which, in 2006, unveiled a redesign and changed its name from Harper’s & Queen, saw its total circulation figure up 3.1 percent to 109,146, made up of 70.9 percent newsstand and subscriptions.
Duncan Edwards, chief executive officer of National Magazine, acknowledged that the company’s weekly magazines had suffered, with its celebrity gossip title Reveal’s sales figure down 21 percent to 270,432 and Real People, another weekly magazine, down 26.4 percent to 223,909.
Newsstand and subscriptions at Marie Claire dropped 2.9 percent to 269,654, while Hachette Filipacchi’s British Elle’s figures fell 4 percent to 160,083. Those at IPC Media’s British In Style rose 3.2 percent to 136,997.
While monthly glossy magazines didn’t notch up a sparkling performance in the first half, they fared better than weekly gossip and real lifestyle titles. Heat, one of the first celebrity gossip magazines to launch in the U.K., dropped 15.8 percent to 459,979, while Closer fell 7.7 percent to 518,833 and Now fell 9.8 percent to 436,529. All three titles were in the ABC’s top 20 titles by newsstand and subscriptions, however.
Notable exceptions were Grazia, Bauer’s weekly fashion magazine, whose newsstand and subscriptions were flat at 217,714, while celebrity weekly OK’s figures rose 10.1 percent, compared with the same period last year, to 547,953. — Nina Jones