Magazine ABCs: News titles grow as economy shrinks

Most current affairs magazines grew their sales in the second half of 2008 as the world’s economy worsened.

Financial advice title Moneyweek was the fastest grower – up 16.6 per cent year on year to 38,916.

The Economist also continued to grow, rising 3.1 per cent year on year to 186,995 copies a week in the UK. About 20 per cent of those copies were given away via “monitored free dsitribution”.

Left-wing political weekly the New Statesman did not publish its circulation in the current release – and is expected to do so in the coming weeks.

But the Specator did, and rose to a new record circulation figure of 77,146. The Spectator was helped however by giving away for free one-in-five copies.

The Oldie was another big grower – up 21.4 per cent to 31,391.

The Oldie, edited by Richard Ingrams, puts the increase down to the addition of supplements, such as the quarterly Oldie Review of Books, and spending £250,000 on subscription marketing since it changed hands in 2007.

The Oldie was sold to a group of investors led by the magazine’s former business manager, James Pembroke, in April 2007.

High-brow left of centre political monthly Prospect grew 3.2 per cent year on year to 27,623.

Dennis-owned news digest magazine The Week rose 6.4 per cent to 154,512. And Private Eye remains the top selling UK current affairs title, dropping slightly year on year to 203,234 sales a fortnight.

Business and finance (percentage changes are year on year)

The Economist – United Kingdom Edition – 186,995 (3.1%)
Fortune Magazine – Europe – 105,967 (-0.6%)
Business Life (not sold) – 104,348 (0.2%)
MoneyWeek – 38,916 (16.6%)
Investors Chronicle – 30,421 (-9.2%)
The Economist – Middle East/Africa Edition – 28,159 (0.7%)
What Investment – 19,497 (13.1%)
What Franchise (mainly free) – 11,883 (-7.0%)
Gleaner – UK Edition – 10,822 (-4.2%)

Domestic news and current affairs

Private Eye – 203,234 (-2.1%)
The Week – 154,512 (6.4%)
Spectator – 77,146 (2.0%)
The Oldie – 31,391 (21.4%)
Prospect – 27,623 (3.2%)
The Irish Post – 21,794 (-6.9%)
View From Honiton (not sold) – 21,125 (-7.9%)
View From Bridport (not sold) – 10,801 (-7.7%)
View From Crewkerne (not sold) – 6,074 (-7.6%)

International news and current affairs

Newsweek – Europe Edition – 192,595 (N/A)
Time Magazine – British Isles (BI) – 134,316 (-0.9%)
Guardian Weekly – 70,733 (-8.7%)
New African – 48,033 (18.2%)
African Business – 26,314 (23.4%)

Science

New Scientist – Worldwide Sales (Excluding Australasia & US/Canada) – 109,313 (-3.6%)

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