Top 5 Mag Group Pubs Jan-Sept.: Wenner Was the Ad-Page Winner

By Greer Jonas

Moving into the last weeks of 2011, min takes a look at magazine group publishers’ boxscore data for January – September 2011 versus 2010.  Of the 23 consumer groups listed, 10 showed gains in ad pages. Biggest performer was Wenner Media (totaling 290.37 additional ad pages) with their three mags all showing growth in 2011: Men’s Journal (+9.36%), Rolling Stone (8.42%) and US Weekly (+15.55%). The other four top group performers were Source Interlink, American Express Publishing, Condé Nast and Hachette Filipacchi (separated from the Hearst Magazine group for the sake of this chart). 
See the complete listing of 23 consumer and three b2b computer magazine pubs in min.




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1) Wenner Media Inc.

Taking first place, Wenner media vice president and one of min‘s 2011 Most Intriguing People in Media Vicci Lasdon Rose told min, "2011 has been an extremely productive year for Wenner Media’s three titles with each one up in ad pages and digital investment. This reflects the confidence that the marketplace has in our individual properties and as a collective whole. As we look into 2012, each brand’s strong editorial equity will deliver Wenner Media’s signature young and affluent audience in an even broader range of initiatives and media channels."

2) Source Interlink Cos.

Second place winner is the Source Interlink group. Much of their 266.58 ad-page growth has to do with the continuing success of Power & Motoryacht which finished off in December with a 28.97% ad-page lead in 2011 compared to 2010.  PMY‘s associate publisher Cindy Sailor tells min about this year’s success. "In the past year PMY has made significant investments in our print and digital portfolio of products, and we have been very proactive with our customers to provide integrated marketing solutions. This coupled with our award winning editorial have proven to be a successful formula driving this market rebound."

3) American Express Publishing

Taking third place with 98.34 additional ad pages in 2011, AmEx can give tribute to its bimonthly travel magazine, Departures (+46.20% Jan-Sept.). Looking into the future, Departures publisher Steve DeLuca tells min that new business in early 2012 includes Aruba, Australia, Balance Point Funding, British Virgin Islands, Celebrity Cruises, Miami Setai, Montage Deer Valley Real Estate and Paul Gauguin (cruising).

4) Condé Nast

Of the 19 titles in the CN magazine conglomerate, eight showed growth January through September 2011, especially Vogue (7.87%) and Wired (15.93%). Wired VP/ publisher Howard Mittman tells min about the tech-savvy mag’s success. “For 20 years, Wired has not only been staying ahead of the curve, but also identifying what is around it. We have a fully integrated brand which, on the sales front, has led to more than 75 new advertisers and a savvy staff that understands the nuances of our digital capabilities. Because of this, we derive 40% of our ad revenue from our digital offerings and our record-setting iPad app has showed the rest of the industry what is possible and what the future holds for them." 

"Editorially, Chris Anderson and his team have continued to grow the core magazine product – with 2012 bringing yet another increase in our rate base – taking us to a circ of 800,000, says Mittman. "And, it’s Chris’ vision that allows us to provide real value to the members of our community – not by filling them in on what has happened, or even what is happening. We give our readers, users and followers a glimpse in to the future – we have a unique ability to show them what will matter.” More on Wired in min.

5) Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.

There was a lot of movement in 2011 for Hachette Filipacchi, most substantial was Hearst Magazines’ acquisition on May 31, 2011. David Carey (one of min’s 2011 Most Intriguing People in media) tells min about the future of the Hearst conglomerate. “The growing penetration of tablets and e-readers offer publishers like Hearst, blessed with great brands and valuable content archives, enormous opportunities to generate millions of dollars of new consumer revenue.”

The biggest growth in the Hachette group was Elle Decor (+14.72%). VP/publisher Barbara Friedmann had much to say about ED‘s success in 2011. "This year clinches Elle Decor‘s position as the new shelter category leader: we are #1 in total ad pages for the third year in a row…#1 in newsstand growth for the past two ABC statements in a row…and #1 in the number of Facebook/Twitter followers. Why? Because, thanks to editor-in-chief Michael Boodro and his talented team, the brand strikes an indelible chord with affluent design enthusiasts and the marketers who want to reach them. And now that we are part of Hearst family, the future is even brighter."