‘News & Observer’ Folds Lifestyle Magazine

By: E&P Staff

The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., folded its three-year-old lifestyle niche publication with its current issue, delivered to subscribers last weekend.

Living in Style magazine was a bi-monthly glossy publication produced by the newspaper’s display advertising department.

In an e-mail to News & Observer staff, Jim McClure, vice president for display advertising, said the publication was a victim of the continuing “economic pressures on our building and home furnishings customers,” plus staff reductions and the newspaper’s focus on its Print & Deliver insert program and Yahoo sales.

The e-mail was first reported by the blog “The Medium, The Message” by former N&O staffer Christopher E. Nelson, who was a writer for Living in Style when he was one of 10 employees laid off last summer.

Nelson reported that all but one of the publication’s staff had left through buyouts and layoffs, “and the publication itself, which once had a circulation of 87,000 per issue, has dwindled from a high of 92 pages in May/June 2007 to 32 in the past week’s November/December issue.”

The niche publication began with two issues in 2006 and was sufficiently successful that the four issues planned for 2007 became six issues. But it was devastated by the advertising turndown, Nelson reports: “The 32-page June/July 2009 issue just managed to cover its costs when a full-page ad came through at the last minute.”

The August/September and October/November issues were canceled, and the November/December issue was published in the hope that it would be fattened by holiday advertising, a hope that was dashed.

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