'Competition' prompts She and Cosmo Bride closures

Former National Magazine Company titles She and Cosmopolitan Bride are to close with immediate effect following NatMag’s merger with Hachette Filipacchi which was completed this week.

The two publishers have combined to form Hearst Magazines UK. The move follows NatMag owner Hearst’s acquisition of Hachette Filipacchi owner Lagardere in a £574m deal.

Hearst Magazines said the decision to close the two titles was prompted by “fierce” compeition in the sectors they operate in.

She magazine, which launched 56 years ago, achieved a fairly robust circulation performance in the last six months of the 2010 – dropping 3.7 per cent year on year to 144,583 copies a month. Describing itself as an “intelligent” read for women who juggle their lives, it may be that following the acquisition of Hachette titles Hearst felt it had too many brands in this sector.

NatMag’s women’s lifestyle/fashion titles are: Good Housekeeping (443,750), Cosmopolitan (400,575), Prima (268,421), Company (217,277) and Harper’s Bazaar (119,712).

The new Hachette titles from this sector which have been brought into the Hearst portfolio are Red (231,028), Elle (200,531) and Psychologies (120,199).

Cosmopolitan Bride sold 37,690 copies every two months in the second half of 2010 (down 3.8 per cent year on year). This compares with 48,664 copies (down 2.9 per cent year on year) for NatMag’s other wedding title You and Your Wedding. Hachette did not publish any wedding titles.

The last edition of She (for September) will come out on 16 August and the last edition of Cosmopolitan Bride (October/November) will come out 25 August.

Group publishing director for Hearst Magazines UK Meribeth Parker said: “Following the acquisition of Hachette Filipacchi, we have looked at our business and made the decision to close both SHE and Cosmopolitan Bride to ensure our company is as robust and adaptable as possible for the future.

‘As a business that believes strongly in the future of print, it is never an easy decision to close a magazine. However we are taking this decisive action now to strengthen our overall portfolio, focusing our investment on our stronger titles and digital expansion.

‘Both titles have earned a loyal following in their respective markets. Competition in those sectors, however, has never been fiercer and we cannot ignore those trends or the need to adapt our business accordingly.”

Hearst Magazines UK declined to reveal the number editorial staff affected by the closures. But a spokesman said that efforts would be made to redeploy those affected to other titles.

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