December 15, 2015 Last Updated 11:34 am

The Year in Review – Magazines: Part Two

Part One, which talks about new digital editions that were released in 2015 can be found here

This year also saw the end of the line come for a number of titles, as well as more layoffs than I can recall occurring in any year in my 30+ years in the publishing business. I don’t think 2015 will be remembered as any worse than other years such as 2008, but it feels like what we are seeing this year will likely continue into 2016.

One of the titles shuttered was one I worked on, if only for a short time: App Publisher. Launched at the start of 2014 by Paul Blake, the magazine attempted to cover the digital magazine platform. I volunteered to collaborate on the magazine when I feared it might be shuttered. Unfortunately, after only a couple of issues Paul decided enough was enough. It’s hard to blame him for the decision, as there was by this year too many obstacles being placed in the way of publishers by Apple and the other platform owners.

The End of the Line:

Martha Stewart Living goes replica: {March 16}

  • “Beginning with the April issue, Martha Stewart Living Digital Edition will have a new streamline format more in line with the print magazine,” the notice states. “We have eliminated live video, audio and other interactive features, but each issue will still deliver all the great stories and ideas you love, along with handy web links, at your fingertips.”Nice try, but readers so far aren’t buying it, slamming the changes inside iTunes. And no wonder, the new version does not fit the screen of the iPad, coming up short – that means that not only are all print pages shrunk down for the digital edition, but they don’t even look right

AP_Jan2014-300App Publisher shuttered: {May 11}

  • The Newsstand model is all but dead. When I started App Publisher I (mistakenly) believed I was launching into the early stages of what could become an exciting, viable new platform for publishers – the newsstands created by Apple and Google. I now believe the newsstand model is all but dead. Part of the reason is the lack of interest and focus by Apple and Google, but that hides a more fundamental truth – in an age of immediate access to content, the newsstand creates too many barriers for readers, demands too much effort, and delivers too poor an experience for readers to come back time and time again. It’s simply too difficult, clunky and awkward. – Paul Blake

American Photo shuttered: {April 22}

  • “We are sorry to inform you American Photo discontinued publication effective with the March/April 2015 issue,” the app description now states.

Engineering News-Record sold by McGraw-Hill: (June 12}

  • ENR was created through the merging of two industry magazines. The first launched as The Engineer and Surveyor in 1874 and went through several name changes before becoming Engineering News. The second launched as The Plumber and Sanitary Engineer, with it changing names several times before becoming Engineering Record… In 1917, Engineering News merged with Engineering Record to become Engineering News-Record.

CJR to shutter bimonthly print magazine: {October 14}

  • “A digital-first approach should enable us to reach a broader audience than ever before. As a nonprofit with a mission of influence, this is our foremost goal,” said Elizabeth Spayd, editor in chief and publisher of CJR.

All You shuttered by Time Inc.: {October 19}

  • Launched in 2004 as a magazine found exclusively inside Walmart store locations, it originally featured a rate base of 500,000. In 2013 it expanded outside Walmart at the same time Hearst introduced Delish magazine inside Walmart.

National Geographic sold to Murdoch, layoffs soon follow: {November 3}

  • “Please watch your inbox for important information about your employment status tomorrow,” Gary Knell, National Geographic Society President and CEO wrote ominously to staff.

Condé Nast to shutter Details: {November 18}

  • “It’s been tough the last few months,” Bob Sauerberg, president of Condé Nast, told The Wall Street Journal. “Consumers love the magazine. It’s not fair or right.

RunningTimes-300Rodale to shutter Running Times following Jan/Feb issue: {December 5}

  • Rodale acquired the title in 2007 and never gave the book its own website, so the end was inevitable, if postponed a half dozen or so years. The magazine also did not have a native digital edition, but went with a replica edition app, making it much harder for the publisher to consider keeping the magazine alive as a strictly digital product.

National Journal publishes its last print edition: {December 14}

  • “The product was far from per­fect. It could be­come windy and in­su­lar. (I used to joke it was the only magazine in Amer­ica whose sub­scrip­tion list and in­dex al­most com­pletely over­lapped.) Those flaws left it vul­ner­able when a new wave of nimble com­pet­it­ors cov­er­ing the Wash­ing­ton scene emerged over the past dec­ade. Na­tion­al Journ­al was also weakened by the de­clin­ing rel­ev­ance of the weekly magazine format in the 24-hour news-cycle era,” Brownstein said.

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