Women’s Wear Daily
04.19.2014
fashion-memopad
fashion-memopad

Memo Pad: Jane's GoodBye... Sobering Up

Conde Nast's decision to fold Jane magazine early Monday was, despite a well-respected editor and a publisher brought in for a turnaround, widely considered inevitable for a magazine long on life support.

fashion-memopad/news
JANE'S GOODBYE: Condé Nast's decision to fold Jane magazine early Monday was, despite a well-respected editor and a publisher brought in for a turnaround, widely considered inevitable for a magazine long on life support. A total of 60 staffers, including business and editorial, are affected, and though editor in chief Brandon Holley and publisher Carlos Lamadrid are assuredly leaving the company, the official line is that jobs will be sought within the company for the rest.

With both advertising and circulation woes, executives at the company said it had given up on Jane filling out its portfolio by reaching a twentysomething female demographic. Sources said there had been no talk of replacing Holley, though the future of Lamadrid, the magazine's third publisher since 2005, had been in question. The magazine was put on serious watch starting in March, and top brass made their final decision between Thursday and Saturday, just after returning from vacation.

After the news, Holley spent the afternoon making calls on behalf of her staff, and was said to be stunned by the closure, believing that the magazine was in positive turnaround and that six more months would have made the difference.

The coming September issue was 25 to 35 ad pages below last year's 121.52, according to a source close to the decision-making, and while that figure had been up 11.5 percent from the year before, it had already been considered a disappointment. (First-bound copies of the August issue were already in, but the closed September issue, with Naomi Watts on the cover, will be neither printed nor shipped.) And while Jane's ad count grew 20 percent in the first half of this year, it was coming off a 41 percent decline from the same period in 2006. Moreover, an informed source said that "an overwhelming majority" of Jane's advertising came from company-wide group buys, and even then, advertisers with multititle commitments sometimes declined to place in Jane. (Lamadrid contended, "A lot of ads were unique to Jane, like Billabong, Roxy, that kind of stuff.") Lamadrid said, "It's a decision that was made. It is what it is. We have to deal with it."
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