Psychologies rival Shape to close after three issues

Contract publisher River Publishing is closing its first consumer magazine, women’s monthly Shape, after just three issues, blaming the deterioration in the economy..

The magazine was pitched as a rival to Psychologies, and was the first big launch into the women’s monthly market since Psychologies launched in 2005.

Edited by former features director of Elle, Annabel Meggeson, the title launched in April with a circulation of 70,000.

River Publishing said today that the decision to launch Shape towards the end of last year “preceded the current economic downturn that has thrown into question the future potential of the title”.

River managing director Edward Axon said: “Like all launches, timing is everything, and unfortunately, when we pushed the button on this project last year, we didn’t foresee the deterioration in the economic climate.

“We are very proud of the work that went into creating such a fresh and innovative product.”

The Shape brand was used by River Publishing under licence from American Media Incorporated. The name is currently used in 23 countries, and was last used in the UK in 2004 by Dennis Publishing as a dedicated health and fitness title, in line with the American edition.

At the time of the launch, River Publishing said it chose the Shape name to get the support of being a global brand, even though the relaunch was offering different content to the US title.

But it said today that the backing of a global brand had failed to win over advertisers.

“In a difficult and uncertain market, it had become difficult to convince advertisers to commit to a new title,” River Publishing said in a statement.

The last issue of Shape will be the July issue, out this week.

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