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Posted by: Jon Fine on October 30, 2008
Conde Nast Portfolio, the monthly business magazine that launched in April of last year, will cut its publishing frequency to ten times a year.
Since last September, Portfolio had been published according to what I’ll call a “real monthly” schedule—that is, 12 issues a year. (Some monthlies publish 11 times a year.)
The news was broken to staffers in a just-concluded meeting. Today is a rare day of belt-tightening at Conde Nast, which is legendary in publishing circles for luxe magazines and even luxe-r expense accounts. There will be expense and staffing cutbacks across all titles. And the monthly Men’s Vogue spinoff from its fashion flagship Vogue will now only appear two times a year.
Through the magazine’s September issue, Portfolio has run 444.6 ad pages. That’s not an outstanding performance for a big-budget glossy monthly, for which 1,000 yearly ad pages generally signifies “hit,” but by no means is it dire for a new launch that’s barely 18 months old.
The problem facing Conde Nast, though, is that the amount of patience companies can lavish upon new launches has shrunken significantly—even for a company like Conde Nast, which for long was reputed to be remarkably indifferent to profit margins.
This has been another tough year for major business magazines. Through September both BusinessWeek and Forbes have witnesses ad page drops of 14.6% and 16.6%, while Fortune has posted a 9% ad page increase.
As The Drudge likes to say: Developing
The media, entertainment and marketing worlds continue to shapeshift on a near-daily basis, as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. Where is it all going? No one really knows. But on this blog BusinessWeek’s media writers Tom Lowry and Ron Grover promise to provide ample helpings of scoop, provocation, and sharp analysis as they track and annotate this constantly changing terrain.