Scotland-based publisher DC Thomson has closed five women’s and children’s magazines it says were “marginal” six months ago and have since become “commercially unsustainable” because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It follows in the footsteps of the likes of Future, Immediate and Bauer who have all struggled as Covid-19 accelerated longstanding downward trends in the market.
About 40 magazines have already permanently closed in the UK since mid-March (see below for full list), with others remaining on hiatus.
The DC Thomson titles closing are:
- Scottish Wedding, which launched in 1995 as Scottish Wedding Directory and was only rebranded with the new name and new editorial features in October last year;
- No. 1, a glossy monthly lifestyle magazine with a Scottish focus launched in 2006;
- Girls’ magazine Sweet, which launched in March 2017 and reached a circulation of 25,006 circulation in second half of that year according to the latest available ABC figures;
- This Is, launched in October 2017 to focus on a different topic each month
- Slime Factory, which only launched in July last year.
DC Thomson said the closures would result in less than 20 job losses across its magazine business “subject to consultation discussions where options will be explored fully”.
DC Thomson Media chief executive Mike Watson said: “Regrettably we are closing some of our magazine titles which will result in a reduction of roles. We will work hard to support those affected by these changes.
“People are at the heart of what we do, and we will be sorry to see some of the team leave.”
In its explanation for the closures, the company said: “The magazine market has been challenged for a number of years, and disappointingly, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting changes in consumer behaviour has exacerbated declines in some cases.
“The advertising market has also been severely impacted recently, with some sectors faring worse than others. These factors have resulted in some magazines that were marginal six months ago becoming commercially unsustainable.”
The company said it is now planning to look at how its teams are structured and make sure it is an “agile business that can respond quickly to consumer trends and behaviours”.
Pre-tax profits at DC Thomson fell by three-quarters last year, from £86.4m to £21.1m although its overall revenues grew from £207.3m in 2018 to £221m.
The company continues to publish almost 20 children’s and lifestyle magazines as well as newspapers including the Press & Journal, Sunday Post, The Courier and the Sunday Post.
Magazine closures since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020:
|Mother and Baby||Bauer||Online presence kept|
|Golf World||Bauer||Merged into Today’s Golfer|
|Scottish Wedding||DC Thomson|
|No. 1||DC Thomson|
|This Is||DC Thomson|
|Slime Factory||DC Thomson|
|1843||Economist Group||Now digital-only|
|Official Xbox Magazine||Future|
|ProSound News Europe||Future||ProSound News global brand continues|
|Radio World International||Future||Radio World continues|
|Windows Help & Advice||Future|
|Cross Stitch Crazy||Immediate|
|Cross Stitch Gold||Immediate|
|EKBB (Essential Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom) Consumer||Immediate|
|Card Making and Papercraft||Immediate|
|In the Moment||Immediate|
|Lego Hidden Side||Immediate|
|Star Wars Galaxy||Immediate|
|Money Observer||Interactive Investor|
|Boxing Monthly||Kelsey Media|
|Classic Van & Pick Up||Kelsey Media|
|Retro Cars||Kelsey Media|
|Triumph World||Kelsey Media|
|Performance Audi||Kelsey Media|
|Classic Plant & Machinery||Kelsey Media|
|Classic Truck||Kelsey Media|
|World of Warships||Kelsey Media|
|Practical Poultry||Kelsey Media|
|SciFi Now||Kelsey Media||Now digital-only|
|Sunday Times Travel Magazine||News UK|