January 14, 2016 Last Updated 11:53 am

Bauer Media to shutter Cleo magazine after 44 year run

The Australian woman’s magazine was provocative and aggressive in its time, modeled after Cosmopolitan, and at its launch featured male centerfolds

The Daily Telegraph reports that Bauer Media will be shuttering Cleo magazine, a little over a month after the publisher shutdown the title’s website (it usually is done in the reverse order, of course). The magazine’s website address has been redirected to the Australian edition of Cosmopolitan which Bauer publishes.

cleo-australia-300The Australian young women’s magazine was launched in 1972 and was seen as provocative, featuring from the start male centerfolds. The feature was discontinued in 1985, the last model featured being the actor Mel Gibson (who was actually born in NY, but moved to Australia when he was 12).

Cleo was intentionally similar to Cosmopolitan, a magazine that its original publisher Australian Consolidated Press (ACP) had lost the rights to its rival, Fairfax.

Bauer Media gained control of the magazine when it ACP in October 2012, and soon merged the editorial staffs of Dolly and Cleo magazines, putting both magazines under one editor.

The magazine’s circulation was hit hard this last year, falling 21 percent to 42,212 down 53,221 last year, and far off its high of about 150K a decade ago.

“The writing was on the wall once I knew they were going to start stripping stories from other publications rather than commissioning stories here in Australia,” founding editor Ita Buttrose told the Daily Telegraph. “It’s sad; it’s like a death in the family for me, but it hadn’t been the mag the Cleo team created all those years ago for some time now.”

According to reports, the staff of the magazine will be formally informed of the company’s decision at a meeting on Friday.

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