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May 18, 2020updated 30 Sep 2022 9:18am

Bauer to close, merge or sell ten magazines as Covid-19 ‘accelerates trends’

By Charlotte Tobitt

Magazine publisher Bauer Media plans to close, merge or sell ten of its print titles it says will not be sustainable once the Covid-19 crisis is over.

The titles affected are: music magazines Q and Planet Rock, car brands Modern Classics and Car Mechanics, “true-life” title Simply You, Mother and Baby, Golf World, Practical Photography, Sea Angler and Your Horse.

Bauer said for each of these titles it is currently looking at whether to move them to a digital-only format, merge them with sister titles, sell them, or close them altogether.

The measures will cover the print publication, digital properties and associated events of each brand.

Bauer’s UK publishing chief executive Chris Duncan, who was appointed last month after leaving his role as Times Newspapers managing director, said: “The pandemic and lockdown has further accelerated the trends already affecting the publishing industry.

“Bauer publishes nearly 100 magazines in the UK, and some titles that were already challenged, unfortunately, are not expected to be sustainable after the crisis.

“We must protect the long term health of our business and ability to invest in future growth by re-shaping our portfolio.”

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Affected employees have now entered a 30-day consultation period.

Bauer Media in Australia has already suspended the printing of unnamed “certain titles” since the pandemic began, laying off 140 staff and indicating some of the magazines would not return.

Monthly magazine Simply You launched in May 2018 from the team behind Take A Break and That’s Life magazines to reach women over 40.

The rest of the magazines are mostly decades-old, with Q dating back to 1986 while Golf World goes back more than 40 years.

Of the titles registered on ABC, their latest average circulations are:

Magazine Average circulation
Simply You 35574 (2018)
Practical Photography 32,860
Q 28,359
Golf World 21,267
Your Horse 17522 (2015)
Sea Angler 15,524
Mother and Baby 9,708

Rival Future Publishing has already closed six magazines since the pandemic began while Kelsey Media shuttered Boxing Monthly.

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