The housing crisis has moved to the magazine rack.In addition, in early June the decade-old Discovery Home TV network was relaunched as Planet Green, an environmentally-oriented TV network.
For much of this decade, publishers could not move quickly enough to offer design and decorating advice to the mushrooming population of homeowners. Lately, though, the downturn in the real-estate market has cast doubt on reader and advertiser appetite for "shelter" publications that tell people how to spruce up their homes.
Now, grappling with the possibility that they overshot demand for home-related content, some publishers are scaling back their investments in these publications.
On Wednesday, Lagardère SCA's Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S, publisher of Elle, Woman's Day and Car and Driver, as well as several shelter and enthusiast titles, said it is pulling the plug on its struggling Home magazine. The closure of Home comes less than a year after the demise of Condé Nast Publications Inc.'s House & Garden magazine and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.'s Blueprint. Jack Kliger, president and chief executive officer of HFM U.S., cited sharp declines in the "mid-market home sector" for the decision to close Home, which posted a 47% decline in ad pages in the second quarter, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.
"Obviously, this is a tough time for the shelter magazine category," said Andy Sareyan, president of Meredith Corp.'s Better Homes & Gardens, which he said was less vulnerable than competitors because of its broader focus on lifestyle. "When people do less buying and selling of homes and less remodeling, there is less need for the advertising categories that support the businesses to spend their money."
Spending on home additions and alterations declined 5% in 2006 and an estimated 11% in 2007, according to the National Association of Home Builders. This year, the number of home magazines is expected to decline for the first time in five years, after the number of titles increased by 57% between 2002 and 2007, according to the National Directory of Magazines.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Homeowner-Oriented Magazines Going Under
After thriving during the upside of the housing bubble, several magazines devoted to homeownership are now being discontinued. Home magazine is the latest victim. From The Wall Street Journal: