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Eight Australian magazines closed permanently

Media and marketing

Eight Australian magazines – including Men’s and Women’s Health, Harper’s BAZAAR and ELLE – will be shut down, with their owner blaming an “unrelenting economic downturn” for the decision.

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Bauer  Media Australia closed the titles in May, in a move that it insisted would be temporary.

However, Bauer was sold to Sydney-based private equity group Mercury Capital only days ago, with the new owners acting swiftly on the shuttered titles.

The company said today it would permanently close eight of its Australian magazines – Harper’s BAZAAR, ELLE, InStyle, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Good Health, NW and OK!.

Bauer’s Australian and New Zealand CEO, Brendon Hill, said advertising revenue had plummeted during the “unexpected, uncertain and unrelenting economic downturn” caused by COVID-19 shutdowns.

“We, like many other media companies, have deeply felt the impact of COVID-19,” he said in a statement.

“The reinstatement of these titles and teams was always dependent on the advertising market bouncing back and the return of domestic and international travel. Despite promising signs from advertisers in recent weeks, this has not outweighed the medium-term outlook for these titles.

“Additionally, with a second lock-down in Victoria and minimal travel, it is not feasible to sufficiently distribute NW and OK! without transit channels. The financial impact of these factors and the ongoing economic uncertainty makes the return and sustainability of these titles no longer viable. We have been forced to reset and future-proof the business like all of the media industry has.”

Hill said job losses would affect editorial, sales and production staff.

“This is a devastating blow to those who are directly affected, the entire Bauer team and the industry as a whole.”

Bauer will continue to publish a range of long-standing Australian titles, including the Australian Women’s Weekly and TV Week.

On Friday, Hill announced that Bauer New Zealand would “resume publishing immediately” following its acquisition by investment firm Mercury Capital, which also completed the acquisition of the Australian arm of the company on July 15 following regulatory approval.

The New Zealand portfolio will include current affairs weekly NZ Listener, founded in 1939.

In April, Bauer Media Australia had purchased its fierce competitor, Pacific Magazines, for $40 million (US$27.5 million), which saw it gain 14 Australian and New Zealand magazines.

The German family-owned publishing conglomerate, headquartered in Hamburg, entered the Australian market in 2012 after buying ACP Magazines for half a billion dollars.

– with AAP

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