Darwinian Print Shakeout Leaves Strong Survivors

By Greer Jonas

An ad-page spring has sprung, with magazine advertising up in May for consumer monthlies. Our min ad-page scoreboard for the May finds 90 monthly magazines with a positive ad-page gain and only 58 magazines showing losses. The top five monthlies for May (see chart below) include The Atlantic, People’s StyleWatch, Inc., Town & Country and Vanity Fair.

What is the cause of the rise in ad pages from last year? We asked The Atlantic’s VP/publisher, Jay Lauf, how the magazine achieved an 81% gain in May advertising. Lauf says The Atlantic‘s fiction issue was distributed to the full circulation of readers and had a big impact; previously it was available only at newsstands. This, along with the partnership of Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity (June 11-20, 2010), broadened the pool of advertisers for The Atlantic.

“We are up more than 23% year to date," says Lauf, “and I think it’s a sign that the Darwinian shakeout we’ve been seeing on the print side is leaving the strong survivors in a healthy place."

In the financial world, Inc. enjoyed a huge ad-page increase of 44.78%. Publisher John Tebeau is undaunted by the economic crisis and its attendant fears. In fact, says Tebeau, “Things are fairly bright here at Inc. as all divisions (print, online, conferences and custom content) are experiencing significant growth." Tebeau tells min that Inc. speaks to the CEOs and companies that focus on the economic climate, spending and job growth. Both consumer and b2b marketers are seeing the importance of this audience.

“Kudos need to go out to editor Jane Berentson and her team for the work that they have been doing—on the April issue, ‘Virtual Workplace,’ for example—which has been recognized nationally, and the entire Inc. sales and marketing team," says Tebeau.

Greer Jonas is managing editor of min.