Magazines still in decline and no bailout in sight

Magazine sales have been on a worsening decline from 2008 to 2009 with periods of decline in the double digits. The problems for magazines are not over and the business-model is still being challenged but now the decline in sales is slowing.

Newsstand declines had been getting worse — progressing from a 6.3% slide in the first half of 2008, compared with the same period the year prior, to an 11.1% drop in the second half of 2008, and then to a 12.4% descent in the first half of 2009. So the latest newsstand drop, even though it’s significant, presents a welcome return to single-digit declines.via Magazines Slow Their Losses at Newsstand – Advertising Age – MediaWorks.

Some have been calling for a government bailout of traditional media, newspapers in particular. The proponents claim they serve a vital function for the public and if they can’t sustain themselves the government should come in with support measures. As far as the FCC is concerned this may be a cry in the desert.

Steven Waldman, senior advisor to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, believes that, theoretically speaking, there is no harm in the decline and fall of broadcast outlets and newspapers, so long as there is something immediately set to replace their useful function of delivering news and civic information. While conceding that the world is not a theoretical construct, Waldman stands behind his point that the FCC is not out to rescue traditional media or to bury them. Instead, Waldman believes the responsibility comes with trying to figure out what, if anything, the government needs to do to preserve some of their traditional public-service functions in a world being deconstructed by new media. via Waldman: No FCC Bailouts in Store for Media – 2010-02-08 05:00:00 | Broadcasting & Cable

It looks like the pressure continues to be on the management of traditional media to curb costs while working with and embracing newbusiness models. As its likely that the decline in readership and sales will continue the cuts look to be a continued and familiar site amongst the operations and staff at magazine and newspaper publishers.

Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses