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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's over for Business Magazines

Press Gazette conducts an analysis of UBMs results here. Print advertising is now in terminal decline, down 10% this year. This blog has been warning of the death of print for nearly two years and suddenly the combination of a shift in advertiser behaviour, the impact of several years of cost cutting on editorial quality, the impact of the Internet and the economic squeeze has tipped magazine publishers into near meltdown.

Lets summarise where we have got to. EMAP, one of the biggest and most successful business media companies has been sold off and has yet to emerge with a transparent strategy. Reed Elsevier, the sleeping giant of business media, has announced the sell off of all its business magazines. UBM, containing the remnants of the once great Miller Freeman and the darling of the eighties in business media, Morgan Grampian, is focussed on "data" and "events", Centaur trades on a share price 20% below is float value four years ago, has fired (made redundant) many of its most senior managers and has not demonstrated underlying revenue growth for at least three years., Nexus - once the fastest growing business media company in the UK has sold all but a handful of its magazines to concentrate on digital development.

Watch out for more magazine closures, falling enterprise values of magazine dependent companies, swathes of redundancies amongst magazine sales staff and journalists. The era of the business magazine began 150 years ago. Its all but over.

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