Publishers suffer adolescent angst as sales of teen titles plummet

It’s Hot, TV Hits, Mizz, Top of the Pops and Shout suffered huge losses, leading publishers to predict closures within a year.

Marcus Rich, managing director of Emap Performance, which owns Smash Hits and Sneak, said: “You could even see more consolidation. I think people will gravitate towards Smash Hits and to proven brands.”

Rich said magazines were under pressure from mobile phones and digital outlets but said Smash Hits had the advantage of its TV component, digital and radio outfit. It was up 5.5 per cent period on period but down 19.6 per cent year on year to 120,701. Sneak dropped 7.7 per cent to 92,368, It’s Hot was down 20.6 per cent to 91,495 and Mizz fell 31.5 per cent to 78,158.

Asked if there were any plans to close Sneak, Rich said: “No, not when we are taking 35 per cent volume out of the category.”

It’s Hot and Top of The Pops publisher Alfie Lewis said recent issues of It’s Hot had sold 115,000-120,000. Despite its 14 per cent fall to 216,954, he said Top of The Pops was still 100,000 ahead of its nearest rival.

Lysanne Currie, editorial director at Hachette Filipacchi, said TV Hits had been affected by Smash Hits’ cover mounts, and that there was a relaunch and a tie-up with MTV in the pipeline.

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