US edition of OK among rumoured magazine closures

The gloomy and terse forecast for the increasingly troubled US magazine industry is that more titles are facing the axe.

According to the New York Post, Richard Desmond’s American edition of OK is among the magazines rumoured to be on the doomed list. It says the celebrity title might last for another six months, at best.

Losses at OK are reported to have been so substantial that Desmond is bringing in a bunch of Brits to see it through the summer.

The weak pound-dollar exchange rate means Northern and Shell is “losing money hand over fist and isn’t going to put up with it for long”, the Post suggests.

All this comes on top of a new series of closures at Condé Nast. Among them are Domino, Vitals, Cargo and Men’s Vogue, all recent start-ups.

Two long-established magazines, Jane and House & Gardens have also folded.

Only Cookie, a magazine for parents and Portfolio, a new business magazine, are among the Condé Nast start-ups that have survived.

Despite all the turmoil on Wall Street, Condé Nast seems keen to keep Portfolio going as long as possible – perhaps because it is said to be chairman Si Newhouse’s favourite new magazine.

Condé Nast publishes more than 20 magazines in the US, including two food magazines, Gourmet and Bon Appetit, two men’s fashion magazines, GQ and Details, and a slew of women’s fashion magazines including Vogue, W, Allure and Lucky.

How long can they keep going in the face of declining ads?

As the New York Times’s media columnist David Carr puts it: “If I spot [Vogue editor] Anna Wintour taking the subway, I’m immediately heading into the bunker with lots of water and canned food.”

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